Well. You might not see a more eventful Milan game than that. Milan stole the three points with a one goal victory away in Modena despite putting the ball into the net on three separate occasions.
After Carlos Bacca missed a glorious chance, Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo was brought down by Vangioni in the penalty area. While the Neroverdi had a strong shout for a penalty, they would be denied and Berardi would actually get his name into the book for a dive.
I’d say it was a penalty, Berardi did make the most of it, but there was the slightest touch of contact from Vangioni.
It mattered not though, as Sassuolo found their penalty not five minutes, but Berardi - moments after being booked - would blaze it wide.
The THIRD penalty incident of the first half fell to Milan when Bertolacci was brought down by Alberto Aquilani. Carlos Bacca took the ball and placed it soundly into the net.
Milan’s goal would not be without controversy, though. A replay shows Bacca slipping and hitting the ball twice, which is of course not allowed and the penalty should have been taken away from Milan. Despite Sassuolo’s protests, the goal was allowed to stand.
Also of note in the first half was a moment of rare madness from Gigio Donnarumma, who pointlessly rushed out to clear the ball, only for it to bounce off of Zapata. The 18-year old got off lucky as the ball could have went anywhere.
Milan found the net again before the first half finished after Bacca headed in a great cross from Jose Sosa, but the goal was pulled back for offside. Carlos Bacca was barely an inch offside, but offside still. This was another case of poor concentration for Bacca who could have placed Milan two goals ahead if he had stayed onside. The Colombian would be caught offside in a goalscoring position once more as the first half ended.
So, the first 45 minutes in Modena ended - with one denied penalty, two penalties, one goal, eight yellow cards and one goal pulled back. In another dimension, this match could easily be 2-0 to Sassuolo and Neroverdi fans will feel slighted by the fact that Bacca’s penalty wasn’t halted. A ‘double touch’ of a penalty in the rules means that it’s a freekick-to the other team.
Who said Serie A was boring?
The second half started with more controversy as Sassuolo demanded another penalty. Aquilani knocked the ball through Sosa’s legs, with the ball hitting Sosa’s hand. The referee rightly turned down this shout for handball as there was no way it could have been intentional, Sosa’s hand was behind his back! Shortly after, Alfred Duncan and Juraj Kucka would clash, with Duncan trying to win his second penalty of the day for the Neroverdi.
Another penalty shout was turned down as Paletta flung his feet into the backside of a Sassuolo forward. We’re at four penalty cries from the Neroverdi if you’re counting and this was one they should have had. You won’t see a clearer foul and a more stonewall penalty than that.
Sassuolo came close in the 70th minute through a deflection, but Donnarumma was of course on hand to save. Gianluigi Donnarumma would also replicate his sweeper-keeper antics numerous times as the game came to a close with some excellent anticipation. At least this time he wasn’t wildly clearing the ball.
Milan had a great chance late on as Donnarumma rolled the ball halfway down the pitch to a surging Gerard Deulofeu, who cut a through ball through to Suso who tested Consigli well, but really should have scored. Zapata forced a superb save from Consigli moments later with a thunderous header. Suso had another glorious chance, but fluffed his lines.
For me, the man of the match would have been Gerard Deulofeu. He was a constant threat and even managed to track back to fulfil his defensive duties. However, Cristián Zapata takes the cake. He threw in plenty of crunching tackles and along with Paletta he held Milan’s backline together. This was an excellent defensive performance from Milan despite the controversy and a large part of that comes down to Zapata.
A one nil game might just be the most eventful of Milan’s season. The Rossoneri condemned the Modena side to their third defeat in a row. Sassuolo should have had multiple penalties, but hey - that’s football.