As Rebi returns, Ballo-Touré and Leo score in overtime for a 3-1 victory.

Injury setbacks, the woodwork, missed opportunities, and a late equaliser weren’t enough to stop AC Milan. Having defeated Empoli 3-1 at the Castellani on Serie A matchday 8, the Rossoneri triumph. A wide range of feelings were there, especially late in the game, as they recorded their second away victory of the year.

The Rossoneri appeared to have won it when Rebi scored ten minutes from time after Giroud’s effort hit the crossbar and three injuries occurred in the opening 70 minutes, to Saelemaekers, Calabria, and Kjaer.

Then, the hosts tied the score when Bajrami converted the ensuing free kick. But the AC Milan team is resilient and can prevail in any situation. After giving up, the visitors’ Fodé Ballo-Touré scored his first goal for the club two minutes later, and then Rafael Leo added a third.

It was a thrilling way to start the demanding month of October as Pioli’s team prepares for a stretch of three challenging matches: at home and away against Chelsea, with Juventus at San Siro (Saturday at 18:00 CEST) wedged in between.



Leo’s comeback, along with the predicted selections of Tătăruşanu and Ballo-Touré, was another surprise. Kjaer was paired with Tomori in the middle of defence. From the very first minute, the Rossoneri tried to advance, and after eight minutes, Leo forced Vicario into a superb foot stop. The Portuguese made the away team appear to be a significant danger moving forward with their left-sided wing-play and aggressive pressing.

After 21 minutes, Saelemaekers was passed in by Rafa after he dribbled past two defenders, but his low shot missed the far post. After 28 minutes, Giroud crossed for Leo again, but despite the goal being wide open, Leo was unable to get his head on the ball.

Empoli eventually had their first shot after the halfway point, but Ballo-Toureé played outstanding defence to stop Haas, and shortly after that, Saelemaekers and Calabria suffered injuries. De Ketelaere and Leo received a few opportunities towards the conclusion of the half, but they were unsuccessful.

Following Marin’s right-footed shot that narrowly missed Tătăruşanu’s goal early in the second half, Stojanovi also tried his luck from the edge of the box. Giroud did hit the crossbar with a free kick for AC Milan on the 57th minute, and five minutes later Tonali’s free kick forced Vicario into action with a superb save as the ball rebounded off Luperto.

But AC Milan didn’t give up, and two minutes later they regained the lead again when Kruni set up Ballo-Touré to score and excite the home crowd. Leo launched a counterattack in the final play of regulation time, scoring a cheeky goal against Vicario to make it 3-1 and end the game.

Match specifics


Vicario; Stojanovi; De Winter; Luperto; Parisi; Haas (83′ Cambiaghi); Grassi; Henderson; (45’+2 Marin); (58′ Bandinelli); Pjaca; Satriano; (83′ Destro); and Lammers. EMPOLI (4-3-1-2). Substitutions include Perisan, Ujkani, Cacace, Ebuehi, Guarino, and Walukiewicz; Baldanzi, Degli Innocenti, and Fazzini; and Ekong. Trainer: Zanetti.

Tătăruşanu, Calabria (39′ Kalulu), Kjaer (73′ Dest), Tomori, Ballo-Touré, Bennacer, Tonali, Saelemaekers (33′ Kruni), De Ketelaere (73′ Daz), Leo, and Giroud (73′ Rebi) are the players for AC Milan in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Jungdal, Mirante, Gabbia, Thiaw, Adli, Bakayoko, Pobega, Vranckx, and Lazeti are the substitutes. Tutor: Pioli.

Aureliano from Bologna is the referee.
79′ Rebi (M), 92′ Bajrami (E), 94′ Ballo-Touré (M), and 97′ Leo are the goals (M).
24′ Kjr (M), 26′ Haas (E), 56′ De Winter (E), 61′ Luperto (E), 80′ Zanetti (E), and 91′ Bennacer have been booked (M).

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