AC Milan came to Empoli tonight knowing that a victory could see them rise as high as ninth in the table while a loss or draw would leave them near the bottom of the table. Spirits had to have been high, as Milan were facing newly-promoted Empoli.
The biggest negative, however, had to have been the lack of a striker in the starting lineup, as Patrick Curtone wasn’t able to start after coming back from injury and Gonzalo Higuain was left at home with a knock. Fabio Borini was drafted into the starting lineup instead.
And despite getting an early goal, Milan failed to capitalize and extend their lead, and once again allowed the opposition back into the match and dropped yet more points.
The answer to the question that would Milan be able to score without Higuain or Cutrone on the pitch was provided early, as Lucas Biglia, of all people, scored a great goal in the 10th minute.
Diego Laxalt had done some good work on the left hand side to put in a couple of crosses, and after Empoli did a poor job of clearing the ball out of the box, Biglia was able to latch onto the ball and put a good shot on net that probably surprised even himself, much less everyone else in the ground, when it went into the back of the net.
Empoli then went on the attack, twice forcing brilliant saves from Donnarumma and another extremely good intervention from Alessio Romagnoli. On the other end, Franck Kessie went close twice , once from a rebound off of a Fabio Borini shot that the Empoli keeper somehow got a hand to save and another chance after Bonaventura’s glancing shot from a corner kick fell to him, but he was off-balance going for the shot and he sent it into the sky.
Milan once again probably should have scored another goal, but their attempts at goal were blocked by the safe hands of the Empoli keeper Terracciano. Milan’s finishing seemed rather tame, as one would have guessed, given the lack of a natural striker in the side for Milan.
Halftime. 1-0 up.— The AC Milan Offside (@SBNRossonero) September 27, 2018
Good news is that we’ve had plenty of chances and look pretty positive moving forward.
Bad news is that we look very susceptible to giving up a goal on a counter.
Milan went into half-time up 1-0, but probably feeling as if they were a tad unlucky to not be up by more.
Milan would, however, once again let a yet another opponent back into the game after taking an early lead. After some dodgy passing in the box by Romagnoli, Biglia fouled an Empoli player and the ref gave a spot kick which was converted.
Cutrone and Samu Castillejo were brought on in the 73rd minute in order to try and bring some attacking flair on, but they failed to deliver the goods. Tiémoué Bakayoko was also brought on, in a slightly puzzling move when chasing the game.
This shit is depressing and painful.— Domonique Foxworth (@Foxworth24) September 27, 2018
While not speaking about this match (well, I guess he could have been) this sums up the second half for Milan. Later in the half, after they had given up the penalty, the team heaped pressure on the Empoli goal, only to have Terracciano play like Buffon and deny numerous brilliant attempts on net.
Suso came close a half a dozen times, and even Cutrone and was denied from close range on a couple of occasions. Unlucky or not, it does seem that Milan should have put this game to bed long before Empoli got their equalizer, and that the club was certainly unlucky to not get a second goal. However, a second goal was not to be found, and Milan tossed another two points in the trash can.
This was another disappointing match for Milan, just how many of these can this team have?