Venezia vs Milan 0-3: Hernandez Brace Builds on Ibra Opener

Milan confirmed their good trend and made short work of Venezia at the Pier Luigi Penzo Stadium in the Serie A Round 21 opener on Sunday. The Rossoneri wrapped a comfortable 3-0 win thanks to an early goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a brace from Theo Hernandez. The Lagunari never managed to pose any threat across the whole game, especially since they remained with one man less due to Michael Svoboda’s sendoff in the second half. 

Thanks to their third win in a row, Milan temporarily went top of the table as they wait for Inter to tackle Lazio at the San Siro tonight.

Venezia, on the other hand, are winless since November 21 and have collected only two points out of their last seven games. Paolo Zanetti’s side has been one of the surprise packages in the first part of the season but the Lagunari coach surely needs to find a way to reverse the negative trend.

Ibrahimovic Opens the Scoring Early

Both sides were maimed by injuries, match bans (two in the case of the Arancioneroverdi), and absences induced by the upcoming AFCON. Stefano Pioli, in particular, had ten of this regular players missing. He made three changes versus his mid-week winning effort against Roma, as Tiemoué Bakayoko won a spot in midfield and Rafael Leao was back on the left wing after a shimmering performance with the Giallorossi. Upfront, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was preferred to Olivier Giroud.

That was a wise choice on Pioli’s part as the eternal Ibra took less than two minutes to draw first blood for the visitors. Technically, all Zlatan had to do was push the ball into the back of the net, taking advantage of the marvelous work done by Rafael Leao, who galloped along the left channel to serve him an easy conversion chance. 

Venezia’s defense was totally caught by surprise and that was a clear sign that it was not going to be a good day for Zanetti’s boys. The Arancioneroverdi struggled to contain the Diavolo‘s offenses, especially along the left channel where Leao and Theo Hernandez continued to wreak havoc.

Only in the last quarter of the first half did Venezia manage to show themselves around Mike Maignan’s area but, after saving the day multiple times in the mid-week game against Roma, the French goalkeeper could basically act like a tourist in Venice for the whole afternoon. 

Hernandez Wraps It for Milan with a Brace

Those believing the second half could be a good chance for the home side to reverse the trend were proved wrong just three minutes after the restart. A brilliant exchange between Brahim Diaz, Leao, and Hernandez ignited the Frenchmans’s progression into the box from the left.

Poor defender Pasquale Mazzocchi did what he could to contain him but Hernandez was unstoppable and ended his effort with a powerful shot to the near post on which Venezia goalkeeper Sergio Romero should have done better.  

On 59 minutes, defender Svoboda completed a nightmarish performance with a suicidal backpass to his goalie that was easily read and intercepted by Ibra. From the subsequent action, the 23-year-old Austrian blocked Hernandez’s shot with his hand, winning an inevitable red card and sending the Milan captain to the penalty spot.

Indeed, Ibrahimovic thought well to leave the incumbency of converting the penalty to Hernandez, who made no mistake to set the score at 0-3.

At that point, the match was basically done and dusted and Pioli had room to give some playing time to the returning Ante Rebic as well as gift young Primavera defender Luca Stanga with a Serie A debut. 

What’s Next for Venezia and Milan

Both sides have some home games ahead. Milan will receive Genoa in a Coppa Italia Round of 16 game on Thursday. The Rossoblu are coached by Rossoneri legend Andriy Shevchenko and that will be the Ukrainian’s first visit to the San Siro as a manager. Next, Milan will face Spezia in Serie A on January 17.

Venezia, on the other hand, will play host to Empoli. The last time the Lagunari received the Toscani, Venezia came on top of a 3-2 thriller that paved the way for their permanence in the Italian top-flight at the end of the 1998-99 season. Paolo Zanetti and his boys can only hope the outcome will be the same.   



January 9, 2022 – Serie A 2021-2022 Round 21

SCORERS: 2′ Ibrahimovic, 48′ Hernandez, 59′ Hernandez

VENEZIA (4-3-1-2): Romero; Mazzocchi, Svoboda, Ceccaroni, Haps; Cuisance (60′ Kiyine), Busio (79′ Fiordilino), Ampadu; Aramu (60′ Johnsen); Henry (60′ Crnigoj), Okereke (88′ Bjarkason) (Lezzerini, Modolo, Molinaro, Schnegg, Heymans, Peretz; Forte, Sigursson) Coach: Zanetti
MILAN (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Florenzi (88′ Stanga), Kalulu, Gabbia, Hernandez; Tonali, Bakayoko; Saelemaekers (46′ Messias), Brahim Diaz (73′ Maldini), Rafael Leao (62′ Rebic); Ibrahimovic (73′ Giroud) (Mirante, Nava, Conti, Krunic) Coach: Pioli

REFEREE: Mr. Irrati from Pistoia
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Ceccaroni (V), Saelemaekers, Gabbia, Tonali (M); Red Card: Svoboda (V); Added Time: 1st Half: 1′, 2nd Half: 3′