A.C. Milan

  • AC Milan 5 Fiorentina 1: Cutrone brace s...

    AC Milan wrapped up a Europa League group stage place as Gennaro Gattuso's first season in charge ended with 5-1 thumping of Fiorentina at San Siro. Already sure of a qualifying spot, the Rossoneri needed to at least match Atalanta's result against Cagliari in order to finish si...

    AC Milan 5 Fiorentina 1: Cutrone brace secures Europa League group stage spot

    AC Milan wrapped up a Europa League group stage place as Gennaro Gattuso's first season in charge ended with 5-1 thumping of Fiorentina at San Siro. Already sure of a qualifying spot, the Rossoneri needed to at least match Atalanta's result against Cagliari in order to finish sixth in Serie A and go directly through to the main draw of Europe's second-tier continental competition. And Milan made sure in style thanks in large part to Hakan Calhanoglu, who equalised three minutes after Giovanni Simeone's opener and then delivered the cross for Patrick Cutrone to head the hosts into the lead at the end of an eventful first half. Nikola Kalinic added a third against his former side soon after the restart before Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura combined to cap off a positive last assignment for Gattuso, who will now have more time to prepare for his first full season at the helm having taken charge in November.  He will surely hope to include Gianluigi Donnarumma in those plans, with the young goalkeeper continually linked with a move away after the most difficult campaign of his short career. Whatever the outcome, Gattuso can take some satisfaction in steering Milan into Europe.  Franck Kessie threatened to open the scoring for the second week in succession when he broke into the box in the seventh minute, but Marco Sportiello spread himself well to make the save and Cutrone turned wide on the follow-up. Kalinic was similarly wasteful four minutes later as he shot straight at Sportiello from 20 yards and the hosts were soon made to pay for their profligacy. Federico Chiesa threaded a pass in behind Ricardo Rodriguez that was reeled in by Simeone, who delicately dinked over the onrushing Donnarumma. However, the lead lasted just three minutes. Calhanoglu, who scored the equaliser when these teams drew 1-1 in December, was again the man to rescue Milan, driving a low free-kick past the wall that appeared to surprise Sportiello. Kessie's heavy touch next squandered what should have been a one-on-one, but Fiorentina's luck ran out when, four minutes from the interval, Cutrone expertly headed in Calhanoglu's cross from the right edge of the area. Stefano Pioli had lost Vitor Hugo to injury in just the 29th minute and emptied his bench at the break, withdrawing captain German Pezzella and goalkeeper Sportiello, the latter having picked up a head knock during the first half. And his plans were truly in pieces in the 49th minute, substitute Bartlomiej Dragowski powerless to prevent Kalinic from poking home at point-blank range after saving Cutrone's initial downward header. Milan were oozing confidence by that stage and stretched their advantage 10 minutes later with Italy international Cutrone tucking Calhanoglu's pass through Dragowski's legs. There was still time for Bonaventura to get in on the fun with 14 minutes to play, the midfielder driving toward goal and firing through Fiorentina's stand-in shot-stopper to put the seal on Milan's end to the season.   Key Opta stats: - Patrick Cutrone is the second player, born after 1/1/1998, to have scored at least 10 goals in the top-five European Leagues in 2017-18, after Kylian Mbappe. - Calhanoglu has both scored a goal and provided two or more assists during the same match for the first time in his career in the top-five European leagues.  - Calhanoglu provided seven assists in the current Serie A campaign, a record for him in a single season in the top-five European leagues. - Since the start of 2018, Hakan Calhanoglu and Patrick Cutrone have been directly involved in more goals in Serie A than any other players for AC Milan (10 the Turkish player, 9 the Italian). - The average age of AC Milan's starting lineup tonight is the second youngest starting XI in Serie A this season (24 years, 78 days), only behind Milan's lineup on Matchday 1 against Crotone.

  • Suso seeking Liverpool return but intend...

    Suso has aired a desire to return to Liverpool at some stage in the future, but intends to honour a deal at AC Milan which includes a €40 million (£35m/$47m) release clause. That figure helps to highlight how far the Spaniard has come since being forced to move away from Anfield...

    Suso seeking Liverpool return but intends to honour Milan deal with €40m release clause

    Suso has aired a desire to return to Liverpool at some stage in the future, but intends to honour a deal at AC Milan which includes a €40 million (£35m/$47m) release clause. That figure helps to highlight how far the Spaniard has come since being forced to move away from Anfield in search of regular first team football. After graduating out of the Reds’ academy system, the highly-rated winger struggled for minutes on Merseyside and departed for Milan as his contract ran down in 2015. Having spent time on loan at Genoa, the 2016-17 campaign proved to be a breakthrough one for Suso, with those efforts enhanced this season after netting eight times in 50 appearances. Senior international recognition has also come his way and it could be that a return to England is made at some point, with the 24-year-old telling The Guardian: “In a sense I became a man before I became a footballer. It was very hard with the lifestyle and language. “But to this day I remember everything. I did not play that much but I got to know Steven Gerrard and be a team-mate of players such as Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho and Jamie Carragher. I’ll never forget my experience at Liverpool. “Premier League football is different, I would call it special: I would like to play for Liverpool again some day. I grew up there and it is a big club.” While Liverpool may be the future for Suso, the present is very much Milan. He committed to a new contract in September 2017, taking him through to the summer of 2022, and it is unlikely that any suitors will be willing to trigger a hefty release clause. He added on his immediate plans: “I’m very happy at Milan. “Always when there are rumours about me leaving I reiterate that I am happy here and I think the club is with me. “I have a release clause [€40m] and that was something both the club and my agent wanted. If the club wants to continue to be among the top sides and count on me then I am here for them.”

  • Donnarumma disputes with AC Milan not go...

    AC Milan great Paolo Maldini fears Gianluigi Donnarumma's relationship with the club's supporters might already be beyond repair. The 19-year-old goalkeeper became an unpopular figure with many fans last year, when a protracted transfer saga ended with him signing a new four-yea...

    Donnarumma disputes with AC Milan not good for anyone - Maldini

    AC Milan great Paolo Maldini fears Gianluigi Donnarumma's relationship with the club's supporters might already be beyond repair. The 19-year-old goalkeeper became an unpopular figure with many fans last year, when a protracted transfer saga ended with him signing a new four-year deal after courting interest from other clubs. Last Sunday, Donnarumma reportedly tried to throw his shirt into the crowd following the 1-1 draw with Atalanta only for a number of ultras to force him to turn away from the stands. The unrest and the imminent arrival of Pepe Reina from Napoli has increased speculation over Donnarumma's future, despite sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli insisting they want him to stay. And Maldini, who won seven Serie A titles and was a five-time European champion with the Rossoneri, admits the youngster's situation is a sad one. "In life, I've learned that, if you don't live in the environment where things are happening, it's hard to understand the reality of it," he told Tuttosport. "But communication is very important and there have certainly been mistakes on one side and the other. "I don't know how the situation will be solved. What I'm sorry for is that this is a boy who is so strong, so young and so promising, and he's already burned bridges with some of the fans. "It's not a good thing for anyone, the boy or the club." Milan head into Sunday's clash with Fiorentina knowing that only a win will be enough to guarantee a Europa League spot. Maldini concedes results have not met expectations given the significant investment made in the playing squad before the start of the season. "It's been a complicated year, partly because of the change of ownership after so many years, partly because there was an expensive transfer period that brought so many new players in and made it difficult to create a team," he added. "The results are certainly not what everyone had hoped for at the start of the year."

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