Spezia vs Milan 1-2: Maldini Jr First Goal and Diaz Winner Help Rossoneri

Milan traveled to Spezia looking to secure a win that would take them top of the Serie A table. They accomplished the mission with a 1-2 powered by Daniel Maldini’s first top-flight goal and a Brahim Diaz later winner, but had to struggle more than expected to best Thiago Motta’s Aquilotti.

After the midweek victory over Venezia, Stefano Pioli rang again the changes, keeping his squad fresh with a midweek Champions league game on the horizon.

Theo Hernández returned at left back along with Fikayo Tomori. Franck Kessié came in to replace Ismael Bennacer alongside Sandro Tonali. Ante Rebić moved to the left with Olivier Giroud taking the starting spot and Alexis Saelemaekers taking the right. Daniel Maldini started as the attacking midfielder – a special moment for his father, the legendary Paolo.

Spezia looked to rebound from their late defeat to Juventus. Manager Thiago Motta shuffled his pack bringing in Jacopo Sala into midifield with M’Bala Nzola taking the striking role and Janis Antiste moving to the right of the sides 4-2-3-1 matching their opponents.

The first half ended goalless with Milan having the lion share of possession but failing to land any meaningful efforts on target. Hernandez was Milan’s most dangerous player in the first half carrying on from midweek but a lot more was needed in order to break down their opposition.

Milan came out stronger in the second half and quickly broke down the Spezia resistance. It was academy product Maldini who opened the scoring.

Right back Pierre Kalulu got forward well down the right and flighted in a cross. The young Italian midfielder had made his way into the box and directed a thumping header past Jeroen Zoet in goal, outjumping his marker and getting dad Paolo up on to his feet.

Substitute Rafael Leão on for Croatian Rebić nearly doubled the lead shortly after with a glorious curling strike, hitting the inside of the far post from the left hand side of the box after cutting inside his man.

Unable to find a second, there was always a chance for Spezia to find a way back into the game and they snatched an equalizer 10 minutes before full time. Good work down the left from full back Simone Bastoni saw him burst into space and fire a low cross with the ball going through the far side. Daniele Verde picked up the ball and cut inside firing a strike which was deflected past Mike Maignan sending the Spezia bench wild with celebration.

This seemed to kick Milan back into gear and the Rossoneri retook the lead in the 86th minute. Another attack down the left this time bore fruit, with Saelemaekers making his way into the box and rolling the ball across. Brahim Diaz and Pietro Pellegri both in the box looked to break on the loose ball. It was Diaz first to it firing low into the center of the goal, beating Zoet for his 3rd goal of the league season.

Milan saw out the remaining few minutes and secured a big three points to keep up the pressure at the top of the table. Next up the Rossoneri host Atlético Madrid on Tuesday night in a must win clash whilst Spezia travel to Verona next Sunday afternoon.  



September 25, 2021 – Serie A 2021-22 Round 6

SCORERS: 48′ Maldini (M), 80′ Verde (S), 86′ Brahim Diaz (M)

SPEZIA (4-2-3-1):  Zoet; Amian, Hristov, Nikolaou, Bastoni; Bourabia, Sala (65′ Verde); Antiste (65′ Manaj), Maggiore (64′ Ferrer), Gyasi (79′ Strelec); Nzola (Provedel, Zovko, Bertola, Kiwior, Podgoreanu, Salcedo) Coach: Thiago Motta
MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Kalulu (72′ Calabria), Tomori, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessié (82′ Brahim Diaz); Saelemaekers, Maldini (59′ Bennacer), Rebic (46′ Rafael Leao); Giroud (46′ Pellegri) (Jungdal, Tatarusanu, Ballo-Touré, Conti, Gabbia, Castillejo) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Mr. Manganiello from Pinerolo
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Sala, Bourabia, Nikolaou (S), Hernandez (M); Added Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 5′