Milan’s Crucial Victory Against Lazio: Key Takeaways in the Race for Top-four

    The Serie A title race is long over, with Napoli out of sight for the rest of the league long before official confirmation came earlier this week, but a fight for the remaining three places will guarantee Champions League entry next season. could hardly be more cruel.

    In a very important match in this regard, Milan beat Lazio 2-0 thanks to strikes from Ismael Bennacer (17 minutes) and Theo Hernandez (29 minutes) in the first half.

    Leao got injured early

    Rafael Leão, Milan’s star winger who is reportedly followed by many clubs across Europe, looked very lively at the beginning, attacking from the left flank with recognizable speed and guile, but the game ended for him in just over 10 minutes. After a typical throw into the box, he fell down next to the author, and when he got up, his hand went to his groin. He hobbled to the dugout and received a short treatment, but it soon became clear that it was extremely unwise for him to continue, and Alexis Salemakers entered the field in his place.

    Milan have some high quality attacking players and head coach Stefano Pioli certainly has options, but Leao’s quality is hard to replace and if he doesn’t come back quickly they will miss him on the left flank when they challenge for finish. in the top four.

    But Rossoneri fans will be delighted when the Portugal international declared nothing serious and that he’s “okay”.

    A game

    The first 15 minutes passed in relative balance, both teams trying to seize control and direct the course of events in the desired direction, but then Milan began to push harder.

    Just seconds after Olivier Giroud’s volley over the crossbar, Bennacer put pressure on Marcos Antonio at the edge of the box and directed the ball towards the French striker. Giroud then simply put it back on Bennacer again and the midfielder kept his cool to hit him for the first time, off the ground and out of Ivan Provedel’s reach in the Lazio goal.

    Milan’s determination to harm the guests during that period was rewarded.

    The Lazio players soon became frustrated and unable to deal with their opponents in midfield, and as a result, former AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli and right-back Adam Marusic received yellow cards for excessive force against their opponents in order to prevent a home side of the fast transition application.

    And it soon became clear why they had to do what they did when AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Meignan caught a cross and sent Hernandez down the left flank. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, lacking speed to stop Milan’s left-back, decided not to knock him down, and Hernandez went to the center, rushed to the box and, after running with the ball for at least 70 yards, missed one ball. The shot hooked Romagnoli with a slight slant and went through Provedel again straight into the top corner.

    There was little to be seen but Milan’s determination to maintain control for the remainder of the half, and indeed the entire match. After the break, Lazio could not get close enough to Milan’s goal to strike until the 87th minute, when substitute Luca Pellegrini played a one-two with Luis Alberto and smashed the ball into the net from a tight angle. .

    Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri will be extremely unhappy that his team looks very pale in the second half, not at all like a team that needs to score not one but two goals to avoid defeat.

    Ranking table

    The three points Milan earned for this win saw them briefly back into the top four, but their city rivals Inter also won an important match, another big battle in a 0-2 away race to Roma. pushing Milan to fifth place. There was a third head-to-head clash in the top four, in which Juventus defeated Atalanta and, taking advantage of the defeat of Lazio, moved into second place with 66 points. Lazio are now in third place with 64, Inter in fourth with 63, followed by Milan with 61, and Atalanta and Roma with 58 each.

    With four rounds to go, no team (except Napoli, of course) can relax yet.

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