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AC Milan 2-0 Lazio – highlights and takeaways

AC Milan faced Lazio, with both teams setting perfect records as Stefano Pioli aimed to overshadow his former side.

The home side started well and made good progress with half-chances for Tomori and Leao. The away team weathered this storm well and seemed to grow back into the game in the first 20 minutes.

Milan kept the pressure going and their propensity to attack across the flanks ensured that they often recaptured the ball. Their game in the final period left a lot to be desired, however, as Lazio patiently waited for their chance. Just when it looked like the game would stay level at halftime, all hell broke loose.

First, Leao finally scored his goal and played a clean one-two with Rebic after a counterattack at breakneck speed. Then, after a VAR check, Kessie received a penalty for being turned over by Immobile from a corner in Milan. Kessie himself took responsibility as last season, but hit the bar, which led to the 1-0.

The next 45 started more evenly with the men of Maurizio Sarri, who strived a little more forward and now need an equalization. The home crowd returned to the fans’ darling after an hour with the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It only took six minutes for it to take effect.

In another brilliant counterattack, Rebic stormed back over the left side with the defense. After breaking into the box, he slid a pass over the gate, which was typed by the returning Swede.

Despite a two-goal lead, Pioli’s side kept attacking whenever the opportunity arose while Lazio struggled to take one back. Top scorer Immobile was kept really calm by the Milan defense in the last 10 minutes. In the 82nd minute he finally managed a shot on goal from a tight angle, which was easily blocked by Maignan.

The game ended towards the end and both teams were left with the final result as the home side scored all three points again. There were some unsavory scenes in the end when Sarri was sent off after apparently getting into a verbal argument with Ibrahimovic

Here are the three main takeaways from the game:

MAGICAL MILAN MAKE IT DONE

The Rossoneri were at the forefront for most of the game and their frequent forays forward ensured that the result wasn’t too in doubt. The main thing was to break the deadlock, which they eventually did. Milan’s pace on the wings and his ability to harass his opponent when he was not in possession meant that Lazio was always vigilant.

The full-backs played high up, while the midfielders always tried to switch quickly. Both goals were the result of quick breaks that unsettled Lazio as they simply didn’t know how to hit so many attackers. Ibrahimovic’s return will be a welcome blessing for Pioli as he takes three out of three wins at the start of the campaign.

SARRI HITS ROADBLOCK

Having scored nine goals in two games, Lazio never looked particularly comfortable from the first whistle and were unable to handle the relentless intensity of Milan. Their attackers were rudderless while the defenses were in doubt if they withdrew. In addition, they were pushed to their limits when Milan tirelessly ran rings around them, especially in the flanks.

They had blocked some good chances before the goals finally came, but the result was no longer in doubt after falling behind. Leao and Ibrahimovic both scored from similar games, with Sarri’s side simply lacking the pace tonight. The coach will know that he has to work quickly on their defensive weaknesses against the top teams if they want to get into the top four.

OPEN RACE FOR SERIES A

Milan had only conceded one goal in the last seven league games and their defensive solidity can hardly be doubted. Thanks to their superior goal difference, they are at the top of the table. With Juventus stalled, it looks like the two Milan teams will be real challengers again. Pioli’s men are well placed on the pitch and with a fully fit Ibrahimovic, their title drought could soon come to an end.

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