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Milan v Benevento Live Commentary, 01/05/2021

2 - 0
H. Çalhanoğlu (6)
T. Hernández (60)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza


That concludes our coverage of the Serie A fixture between Milan and Benevento! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Milan travel to Turin to face Juventus next Sunday in an extremely important fixture for both sides’ Champions League hopes. Benevento visit Cagliari in a crucial relegation six-pointer.
A confident Milan performance sees the Rossoneri emerge with a 2-0 victory at San Siro. Calhanoglu’s opener after just six minutes was doubled 15 minutes into the second half, after Hernandez was able to get on the end of an Ibrahimovic rebound to beat an otherwise solid Montipo. Benevento certainly fashioned their chances, with Insigne firing just over the bar from close range and Falque hammering a close-range shot which ultimately flew wide, but a lack of clinical finishing meant a rather straightforward match for Donnarumma in the hosts’ goal. The win puts Milan second ahead of tomorrow, while Benevento remain 18th.
Samu Castillejo
Yellow Card
90' + 3' Castillejo is booked for recklessly running into Insigne off the ball. It’s a silly booking for the winger to pick up - especially as it will force him to miss the Juve fixture.
90' + 1' The fourth official indicates five minutes will be added for stoppages. 
88' The Milan attack have brought the match down to a walking pace. It's been smooth sailing for the hosts for some time now, as Benevento have failed to threaten save for the occasional counter. 
Brahim Díaz
H. Çalhanoğlu
86' Calhanoglu makes way for Diaz with five minutes remaining in the match.
A. Tello
B. Dabo
86' Tello is sent on for Dabo by Inzaghi, who looks to change things up in midfield.
84' Calhanoglu sends a Milan corner into the penalty area, but it’s repelled immediately by the imposing Glik.
82' Caprari curls a Benevento free-kick into the penalty area, but it’s a poor delivery that fails to beat the first man as Calhanoglu whacks it away comfortably.
80' Milan have lost the fewest points from leading situations in this Serie A (five), while in contrast, Benevento have dropped 16 points from such scenarios.
78' The substitutions have quite obviously affected the pace of the match, with a disjointed last five minutes really helping the cause of the hosts. Benevento will look to throw as many many forward as they can as time rolls on, with nothing left to lose. 
G. Caprari
R. Improta
76' Inzaghi sends Caprari on for Improta as he looks to get his side back in the game. 
D. Calabria
T. Hernández
76' Hernandez is withdrawn as Pioli looks to avoid any unnecessary injuries. Calabria is on in his place, though he'll go to right-back and send Dalot to the left. 
A. Gaich
G. Lapadula
76' A change in attack for Benevento sees Gaich sent on for Lapadula. 
A. Rebić
Rafael Leão
76' Leao’s evening is over as Rebic comes on for the rest of the match.
Samu Castillejo
A. Saelemaekers
75' Milan make a couple of changes as they look to freshen up the XI. First up is Castillejo, who replaces Saelemaekers.
74' Just over 15 minutes left to go in the match and it looks comfortable for Milan, who are holding onto possession inside Benevento’s half. They’ll look to run out the clock and avoid any late drama as they see out the result.
72' Ibrahimovic rejects an opportunity to shoot, instead playing it to his right for the oncoming Dalot, but it appears the wrong option as Montipo rushes off his line to get to the ball first.
70' Depaoli is sent to the turf after an unnecessary push by Romagnoli, but the set-piece from the right wing comes to nothing as the delivery into the penalty area is whacked away by Tonali.
68' A real chance goes begging for Benevento, after a one-two between Insigne and Lapadula gets the former free with a sight at goal from inside the penalty area. The diminutive winger leans back and looks to curl it in the far corner - but he misses by a disappointing distance.
66' Benevento won their first point in Serie A against Milan: a 2-2 draw in December 2017 thanks to goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli's goal.
64' Viola takes Benevento’s free-kick from deep on the left wing, but Tonali is first to it as the substitute midfielder heads it clear.
62' Milan get exactly what they needed with 30 minutes remaining, as they get themselves some insurance. The win today is crucial for Milan’s Champions League hopes - with three points putting them second, ahead of games from Napoli, Juventus and Atalanta tomorrow.
T. Hernández
60' MILAN DOUBLE THEIR ADVANTAGE! 2-0! Hernandez plays a pass into Ibrahimovic just inside the penalty area before continuing his run towards the edge of the six-yard box. Ibrahimovic’s low shot is parried well by Montipo, but the goalkeeper can only put it into the path of Hernandez, who tucks it easily into an empty net!
58' Improta receives a pass on the edge of the 18-yard box from Insigne, but instead of looking for the cross, the winger hopes to curl a shot into the far corner but it misses the target by a considerable distance.
56' Calhanoglu’s corner is taken short to Saelemaekers looking for the return, but the eventual cross from the Turkey international is punched away by Montipo.
R. Insigne
Iago Falqué
54' Benevento make a change just before the hour, with Insigne coming on for Falque.
53' FALQUE HAS A HIT BUT IT GOES WIDE! Lapadula gets to the loose ball on the right wing before getting by Hernandez with some nifty footwork. The centring pass to the edge of the penalty area finds a free Falque, who really should have hit the target from 18 yards.
51' Dabo attempts the spectacular, sending a curling effort to the far corner from well outside the penalty area after Romagnoli was late to perceive the danger. The ball goes wide of the goal, but it was certainly worth a shot.
49' Worrying signs for Milan as Improta’s cross to the far post was met by an audacious overhead kick attempt from Lapadula. The striker manages to make contact, but also catches Hernandez square in the face. It looks an extremely painful one - hopefully he’ll be able to continue. 
47' Calhanoglu plays a pass through the Benevento defence for Ibrahimovic, who settles the ball quickly before hitting a shot that is turned behind by Montipo. 
46' Milan get the match restarted from the kick-off! 
S. Tonali
I. Bennacer
46' A change at the half sees Tonali sent on in place of Bennacer, who was booked in the first.
With a narrow lead, Pioli will have to decide whether to try and double the advantage or hang onto the lead. With options to do both, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add some industry to the XI. Expect Tonali as well as Rebic to see the pitch in order to add some extra pressing intent. As for the visitors, they’ll be forced to open up and attack, with Insigne as well as Gaich - hero of the Juventus fixture - likely additions. 
Milan take a deserved 1-0 lead into the half-time interval at San Siro, after Calhanoglu’s slotted finish separated the two sides after just six minutes. The hosts looked confident despite a poor run of results, passing the ball around quickly in midfield and taking advantage of the space left by Benevento’s midfield. Montipo has been busy, blocking close-range efforts from both full-backs in an attempt to keep his side in the match. Half-chances from Lapadula and Depaoli were the best the visitors could muster in the first 45, though the result is still very much hanging in the balance.
45' + 3' GREAT SAVE! Ibrahimovic looks to cut a shot back and put it into the far corner with a low shot, but the outstretched boot of the keeper turns it round the post!
45' + 1' The fourth official indicates three minutes will be added for stoppages. 
44' Dabo is down holding his knee after a collision with Bennacer. It doesn’t look good for the midfielder, who may need more assessing at half-time. 
42' With under five minutes to go before the half, it seems as though both coaches will take the result as it stands. Milan have been the better of the two sides and deserve their lead, but the match certainly isn’t over as Benevento have done enough to keep their heads up in hopes of an equaliser.
40' Falque brings a cross down inside the penalty area acrobatically and shifts it to his right for Depaoli, whose volleyed effort is deflected by Hernandez and put behind for a corner.
I. Bennacer
Yellow Card
38' Bennacer’s overeager attempt to win possession from Lapadula gets him in hot water. It’s a yellow card for the Algeria international - the first booking of the match.
36' CHANCE! Hernandez has possession on the edge of the penalty area and waits for an overlapping run to distract attention before hammering a shot which forces Montipo into a diving parry!
34' Dabo plays a pass down the left for Improta, but the winger’s off-balance cross in the face of a defending Dalot sails over Donnarumma’s crossbar and out for a goal-kick.
32' Viola’s corner from the right is hit looking for the head of Dabo, but Donnarumma’s instinctive punch keeps it out of his goal after the inswinger missed its target.
30' Hernandez is again down on the turf after a clash of knees with Depaoli during an aerial duel. After receiving some treatment the left-back has returned to his feet, but it’s been a rough and tumble first half for the former Real Madrid player.
28' Dalot receives a pass from Calhanoglu and immediately picks his head up and sends a cross forward for Ibrahimovic, but the accuracy from the full-back is off, as it rolls out for a throw-in on the other side.
24' The head-to-head record between Milan and Benevento in Serie A is perfectly balanced, with one win for each side and one draw.
22' Calhanoglu plays a pass with the outside of his boot on the left wing, opening up space for Ibrahimovic in midfield. A forward pass gets Kessie through into Benevento’s half, but a cynical foul from behind ends the move before it could begin.
20' Falque looks to get free on the left wing and chip a cross into the penalty area for the second time in quick succession, but similar actions produce a similar result as Tomori is again there to get a block.
18' After a prolonged spell of possession by Benevento, Falque looks to put a cross into the penalty area for Lapadula, but a deflection from the defending Tomori puts it into Donnarumma’s hands easily.
16' After a wasted Benevento corner which is awkwardly headed towards goal by Ionita, Milan break on the counter through Kessie. The midfielder gets well into the penalty area before shifting it to his left for Leao, but the curled shot is again blocked by a busy Montipo.
14' Milan work the ball beautifully from left to right, getting the entirety of the midfield involved before finding Dalot on the flank. The full-back hammers a shot towards goal from inside the penalty area, but Montipo does well to block it. The follow-up effort is Ibrahimovic’s, but it’s a weak shot saved comfortably.
12' Viola plays a long pass from the heart of midfield which puts Lapadula through on-goal, but Dalot does enough to put off the striker, who had gone into a slide in order to turn the ball towards the target. It goes harmlessly wide, but it’s a warning for the Milan defence.
10' Bennacer launches a pass forward to the left flank looking for Leao, but he’s unable to keep onside as the Benevento defence breathe a sigh of relief.
8' It’s a disappointing start for the visitors, who really need the points if they wish to stay in Serie A. They’ve failed to trouble the Milan defence, rarely staying in possession long enough to create something.
H. Çalhanoğlu
6' GREAT WORK FROM MILAN MAKES IT 1-0! Kessie and Calhanoglu work it between them in midfield before a pass to the flank for Saelemaekers spreads the play. The winger immediately puts it back in the box, where Kessie’s dummy allows Calhanoglu the space needed to dispatch a shot into the bottom corner!
A. Saelemaekers
6' Saelemaekers didn't wait, hitting an incisive pass back into the penalty area immediately, playing Calhanoglu through on-goal. It's the assist for Milan's opener! 
5' Tomori wins the ball just outside of his penalty area but slips on the slick surface, allowing Improta to walk into the 18-yard box unimpeded. The forward takes it wide and chips it across Donnarumma’s goal, but Hernandez is there to win back the ball.
3' Benevento look to have switched to a back four, with Falque and Improta either side of striker Lapadula. An homage to his mentor, it seems Inzaghi is employing the same Christmas tree formation Carlo Ancelotti used to so much success with Milan in the 2000s.
1' Hernandez is down on the pitch within seconds after receiving an elbow in the back from Depaoli. It’s poised to be a physical contest in the rain as the visitors impose themselves early. The left-back will be able to continue, which is good news for the Rossoneri. 
1' Benevento get the match underway from the kick-off!
Milan make four changes from their 3-0 loss to Lazio last time out. Kjaer and Calabria are replaced in defence by Romagnoli and Dalot, while Rebic is dropped for Leao and Mario Mandzukic makes way for the return of Ibrahimovic.
Milan make four changes from their 3-0 loss to Lazio last time out. Kjaer and Calabria are replaced in defence by Romagnoli and Dalot, while Mario Mandzukic and Rebic makes way for Ibrahimovic and Leao in attack.
BENEVENTO SUBS: Andres Tello, Giuseppe Di Serio, Amadou Diambo, Pasquale Schiattarella, Roberto Insigne, Nicolo Manfredini, Christian Pastina, Gianluca Caprari, Siriki Sanogo, Adolfo Gaich, Igor Lucatelli, Perparim Hetemaj.
BENEVENTO XI (3-5-2): Lorenzo Montipo; Kamil Glik, Federico Barba, Luca Caldirola; Fabio Depaoli, Bryan Dabo, Nicolas Viola, Artur Ionita, Riccardo Improta; Gianluca Lapadula, Iago Falque.
MILAN SUBS: Samu Castillejo, Matteo Gabbia, Jens Hauge, Simon Kjaer, Ante Rebic, Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu, Sandro Tonali, Brahim Diaz, Rade Krunic, Soualiho Meite, Ciprian Tatarusanu.
MILAN XI (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Alessio Romagnoli, Diogo Dalot; Franck Kessie, Ismael Bennacer; Rafael Leao, Hakan Calhanoglu, Alexis Saelemaekers; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides are lining up - starting with the hosts! 
Winless since an unbelievable 1-0 victory over Juventus over a month ago, Benevento still have hopes of remaining in the Italian top-flight. Tied on 31 points with Cagliari and Torino, it’s last years’ Serie B winners who occupy the final relegation spot. Former Milan player and coach Filippo Inzaghi will be looking to poach something at the San Siro one more time, and give his Benevento squad some breathing room ahead of a tight finish to the year.
Milan are on the outside looking in with five matches to go, as two consecutive defeats have dropped the Rossoneri to fifth place in the table. It isn’t all doom and gloom for Stefano Pioli’s side though, as they remain level with both Napoli and Juventus - only behind due to an inferior goal differential. The hosts will be desperate for a win today that keeps them in touching distance of the rest of the Champions League pack, with crucial matches against both Atalanta and Juventus still to come before the season’s end. 
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Serie A fixture between Milan and Benevento!