Empoli 2-4 Milan: Rossoneri surge into second

Milan moved into second in Serie A, taking advantage of a slip-up by Napoli with a 4-2 win at Empoli.

The Rossoneri entered the game having only lost one of their last nine Serie A meetings with Empoli and Franck Kessie’s double, sandwiched by Nedim Bajrami’s equaliser, put them on course to continue that run.

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Despite a spirited effort from the hosts, Milan pulled away in the second half as Alessandro Florenzi’s 62nd-minute free-kick and a fine Theo Hernandez strike made sure of the points despite Andrea Pinamonti converting a late penalty after VAR ruled Tiemoue Bakayoko had handled in the area.

With Napoli beaten at home by Spezia, Milan head into a two-week break in second and four points behind arch rivals and defending champions Inter.

Kessie broke the deadlock in the 12th minute, meeting Olivier Giroud’s lay-off from Alexis Saelemaekers’ cross with a composed finish into the bottom-left corner.

But it was Kessie’s failure to clear from a corner that allowed Empoli to level matters six minutes later as Bajrami’s effort proved too hot for Mike Maignan to handle.

Maignan got a crucial fingertip to Pinamonti’s effort from a tight angle to turn it around the post.

And his intervention was rewarded further when Kessie restored Milan’s advantage by firing his near-post strike through the legs of Guglielmo Vicario three minutes before half-time.

Bajrami went agonisingly close to restoring parity three minutes after the restart as he cut onto his right foot only to see his curling effort rattle the crossbar with Maignan beaten.

Milan made the most of that reprieve, taking complete command through Florenzi, who bent a sublime free-kick into the bottom-left corner shortly after the hour mark.

Hernandez added a further flourish when he crashed home on the half-volley seven minutes later, Pinamonti’s penalty serving as little more than a consolation as Milan boosted their title hopes in the final game of the year.

Source of the article

Author: XenBet