AC Milan came into the early match on the Serie A schedule knowing that they would need to pick up three points to guarantee that they would end the Easter weekend in fourth place, with Lazio, AS Roma, Torino, and Atalanta all in action and looking to either make up ground or pass them in the table.
Parma came into the match with only one win in their last 10 games, and while they had a fantastic start to their return to Serie A, it seems that the second half of the season has not been as kind, yet they still went into the weekend six points and three spots above Empoli in relegation zone.
Parma would likely have been content with a point, while Milan needed a win on the road to keep their goals for the season alive and kicking. Parma set up well and frustrated Milan almost all match and after Samu Castillejo had given Milan a second-half lead, Bruno Alves scored from a free-kick in the 87th minute to give Parma a share of the points and denied Milan a road win.
My wife just said, “this is a boring game”— The AC Milan-Godfather (@ACMilanSydney) April 20, 2019
As she said that Imwas yawning and my lap top switched off.
I have to agree with her, boring to watch this, 36 minutes gone.
The first half was a poor advertisement for calcio, as Parma had set up to limit Milan’s chances and looked to hit Milan on the break, and Milan could not figure out how to break down Parma while on the attack and all too often were exposed at the back, with Parma not having the quality to punish Milan for their mistakes. Donnarumma had to make a few saves in the first half to keep Parma out of the net, but otherwise not a lot of chances in the final third.
The second half started about the same, with Milan again failing to get any real chances until Gennaro Gattuso made a few changes, having brought on Patrick Cutrone on for Bakayoko in the 58th minute and Castillejo in the 66th minute for Andrea Conti.
Castillejo finally made Parma pay, as his header in the box from a difficult angle from a Suso cross finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute. It seemed that Gattuso had finally found the right combination to unlock Parma. Cutrone appeared to have scored a second goal, but it was flagged offsides. Krzysztof Piatek was ruled offsides in the build-up in a rather tight decision. Lucas Biglia was brought on for Hakan Calhanoglu 75th minute in a more defensive move to try and maintain the lead.
And while it appeared that Milan were coasting late on to another win, Fabio Borini gave up a free-kick just outside the Milan box, and Bruno Alves made Milan pay from a very, very well-struck direct free kick. The ball went up and over the wall and into the back of the net, with Gigio Donnarumma rooted in place, having moved too late to make the save at the far post.
The draw could have been a fair result, given the chances in the match, but it will still feel as if Milan threw away two points, especially considering that until the free-kick, Parma looked back on their heels and more likely to concede a second goal rather than pick up an equalizer. Now Milan will have to wait and see if picking up a single point will be enough for them to stay in the final Champions League spot.