Milan’s hopes of finishing in the top four in Serie A received another blow on Saturday when they lost 2-0 to Spezia, who were in danger of relegation.
The Rossoneri went to the Estadio Alberto Picco on a seven-match unbeaten streak but are still suffering from Wednesday’s 2-0 first leg loss to city rivals Inter in the Champions League semi-final.
Stefano Pioli’s men put up another disappointing performance against a hard-nosed Spezia, who were rebounded twice from behind the post before Przemysław Wisniewski and Salvatore Esposito landed a late shot as the hosts scored three points for the first time in nine matches.
The result means that fifth-placed Milan are still two points behind fourth-placed Inter and three points ahead of Roma, although both teams can still take advantage of their latest miscalculation in these the weekend, leaving the Rossoneri to work on their Champions League qualification. qualification.
On an ongoing basis.#SpiceMilan #SempreMilan@Acqua_Lete pic.twitter.com/uIZV2LCHPJ
— Milan (@acmilan) May 13, 2023
Milan hit the woodwork in the seventh minute through Sandro Tonali, who sent the ball into the bottom left corner with little effort, only to see the ball bounce off the post.
Bartlomiej Dragovski then made a crucial stop to stop Theo Hernandez’s sharp shot over the bar as Milan failed to break through a tenacious Spezia defense.
The hosts equalized shortly after the break, when Mehdi Bourabia swung the arc straight from range and Brahim Diaz shot from a very tight angle off the post for Milan.
Spezia took the lead with 15 minutes to go, Kelvin Amian hit the post from a corner before Wisniewski hit back to delight the home fans.
Their win was guaranteed with five minutes left, Esposito’s amazing free-kick through the wall into the top left corner as Milan’s gloomy week ended on another sour note.
What does it mean? Milan continues to falter
While the Rossoneri’s Serie A unbeaten streak was seven games ahead of their trip to La Spezia, they only won three of those matches and once again flattered to deceive the home team, who are in grave danger of relegation.
Pioli’s men hit the woodwork twice but can’t complain about leaving without points as Spezia scored 1.71 xG (expected goals) to Milan’s 1 and also created three big chances against one 19-time champion Series A.
8. In the last four seasons (since 2019/20), only James Ward-Prowse (13) and Lionel Messi (10) have scored more goals from free kicks than Salvatore. #Esposito (8) in the top 5 European leagues and their respective second divisions. Speciality#SpiceMilan pic.twitter.com/WtX6vsTFQO
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 13, 2023
The river plays a major role
Arkadiusz Reka had a great performance at left wingback and helped his team to three vital points against a fall, with Spezia now only in the bottom three on goal difference.
Reka led in key passes (four), while no Spezia players had more shots (three), touches (63) or completed crosses (four).
Rebic fights for first place
With Olivier Giroud only on the bench and Rafael Leão out of the line-up altogether, Ante Rebic’s sharp performance for Milan pretty much summed up his team’s attacking efforts.
The striker failed to hit the target with his single shot, made just 21 touches and completed just seven passes before Pioli saw enough, replacing him with Giroud in the 71st minute.
Key facts about Opta
– After a 2-1 home win over Inter Milan in March, La Spezia beat both Milan clubs on their own ground for the first time in the same Serie A season.
– Meanwhile, Spezia, under head coach Leonardo Semplici, won only two league victories against the Rossoneri and the Nerazzurri.
– In the last four seasons (since 2019-20), only James Ward-Prowse (13) and Lionel Messi (10) have scored more free-kick goals than Esposito (eight) in the top five leagues in Europe and in second place. divisions.
Tonali has hit the woodwork in each of his last two games, against Inter in the Champions League and Spezia here. In the previous five seasons leading up to this campaign, he had only hit the treeframe twice.
Milan failed to score in consecutive matches for the first time since January, when they lost 3-0 to Inter in the Italian Super Cup and 4-0 to Lazio in Serie A.
Milan are looking to make a miraculous comeback on Tuesday when they take on Inter at the San Siro in the Champions League semi-finals, hoping to clear a two-goal gap.
Meanwhile, Spezia’s next game is a trip to see fellow Lecce wrestlers in Serie A next weekend.