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Key Events

89'
G. Bellusci
Yellow Card
84'
A. Poli
G. Lapadula
78'
M. Niang
M. Pašalić
77'
Suso
Assist
77'
G. Lapadula
Goal
74'
A. Gilardino
G. Marilungo
68'
A. Tello
R. Krunić
68'
M. Zambelli
F. Veseli
64'
A. Costa
Own Goal
61'
I. Abate
Assist
61'
Suso
Goal
43'
G. Bonaventura
Yellow Card
37'
R. Krunić
Yellow Card
31'
J. Kucka
Yellow Card
17'
R. Saponara
Goal
15'
Suso
Assist
15'
G. Lapadula
Goal
10'
J. Kucka
M. Fernández
4'
A. Romagnoli
Yellow Card
3
2
3
3

Stats

Possession
% %
8
4
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 4 6
Total Passes 400 623

Commentary

That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Saponara equalised two minutes after Lapadula opened the scoring for Milan, sending the sides level into the interval, but Suso restored Milan's lead at the hour-mark before a Costa own-goal and Lapadula's second put the match out of reach.
Gianluca Lapadula's first Serie A brace helped the Rossoneri overcome a slow start as they cruise to a comfortable win at the Castellani, keeping the pressure on leaders Juventus.
90' + 2' FULL-TIME: EMPOLI 1-4 MILAN.
90' There will be two minutes added on at the end of this match.
G. Bellusci
Yellow Card
Empoli
89' Bellusci puts in a hard challenge as frustration unmistakably sets in there, earning him a yellow card.
88' Empoli limping towards the finish as Milan win themselves a corner, which is nervously scrambled clear by Tello, giving possession straight back to the visitors. Milan struggled for close to an hour, but they were able to get that second goal and it was clear skies for them after that as the wind was sucked out of Empoli's sails.
86' STAT: Milan have picked up at least 26 points after 13 match-days for the ninth time in Serie A – on the previous eight occasions, the Rossoneri have ended the season among the top three.
A. Poli
G. Lapadula
Milan
84' Lapadula leaves to a standing ovation from the traveling fans following his first Serie A brace, as he's replaced for the final minutes by Andrea Poli.
82' This win will take Milan three-points clear of Roma and four back of Juventus, both of whom play tomorrow. It will just put a bit of pressure on the leaders, who face a bit of a tricky test tomorrow at Genoa, following their midweek trip to Spain in the Champions League.
80' This match will have a painstakingly familiar feel to it for Empoli, who put in a strong first-half showing here six days ago, only to wind up losing 4-0 to Fiorentina. It's another collapse from Martusciello's side, who need to do better to keep their intensity for more than an hour.
M. Niang
M. Pašalić
Milan
78' A second Milan change sees M'Baye Niang replace Pasalic, which means Bonaventura will drop back into midfield.
Suso
Assist
Milan
77' It's a second assist on the night for Suso, who also has a goal to his name. Some showing from the Spaniard.
G. Lapadula
Goal
Milan
77' MAKE IT FOUR! Seconds after having a goal disallowed for offside, Milan have their fourth. Lapadula takes a pass in the area and does well to open up, cutting onto his left and powering a strike with his weaker foot beyond the reach of Skorupski for the brace!
76' STAT: Milan have conceded a league-high 41% of their goals in the last 15 minutes of play (7 of 17).
A. Gilardino
G. Marilungo
Empoli
74' Indeed it is time for Gilardino to come on, but it's Marilungo who is replaced, not Maccarone.
72' Maccarone is clearly beginning to tire. He was such a threat in the first half, running at these Milan defenders and carving out a number of opportunities, but at 37-years-old, he doesn't have the same tank he used to, clearly. Perhaps it could be time for another ex-Milanista to enter, in Alberto Gilardino.
70' The sting has been taken out of the match here. Two Milan goals and a lengthy stoppage for the changes have really sucked the life out of this stadium, which is being reflected in the play of these two sides as we enter the final 20 minutes.
A. Tello
R. Krunić
Empoli
68' The other change sees Krunic replaced by Juventus loanee Andres Tello.
M. Zambelli
F. Veseli
Empoli
68' Empoli make their first change of the night, as part of a double-swap here, with Marco Zambelli entering the fray, at the expense of Veseli.
66' It's incredibly harsh on Empoli here, who have played much better than the scoreline suggests. There's a case to be made for them to actually be ahead in this match, but they failed to make the most of their opportunities, something you cannot afford against a side of Milan's pedigree, and they have been punished.
A. Costa
Own Goal
Empoli
64' A QUICK-FIRE DOUBLE! Milan in firm control now, in the blink of an eye, as Bonaventura's cross on the end of an outstanding individual run is turned into his own net by Costa.
63' STAT: Suso has scored four goals and delivered two assists in the last three Serie A games (including today).
I. Abate
Assist
Milan
61' Abate provides the assist.
Suso
Goal
Milan
61' MILAN'S LEAD RESTORED! Great centre-forward play from Lapadula to hold the ball up and spring Abate on the flank, who then pulls it back admirably for Suso, and the Spaniard makes no mistake, slotting a first-time finish in at the far post!
60' Over from Pasalic! Better chance than advertised there as the midfielder is presented with a clear sight of goal from the edge of the box, but he's caught leaning back and skies his first-time effort.
58' Empoli have had no shortage of confidence since kick-off, but with each passing minute the confidence seems to grow in this team. There's a real sense of belief amongst these players that they can go on and snatch all three points.
56' It's become a bit scrappy as Milan assert themselves in possession, but struggle to navigate their way through a mess of blue shirts which have found their way back into defence. Empoli are going to focus on defending in this second half, biding their time between counters.
54' STAT: Milan are unbeaten at the Castellani in Serie A, winning five and drawing six of the previous 11 games.
52' STRAIGHT AT THE KEEPER! Straightforward for Donnaruma in the end, but Milan were caught out there as a ball over the top came to Saponara, who was onside. His initial effort was blocked, but the follow-up presented itself for Maccarone, only for him to send a shot straight into the waiting arms of the keeper.
50' Milan have settled in again as they confidently work the ball around, largely at the back, enjoying a prolonged spell in possession that also provides some welcome respite for their back line.
48' Empoli start the second half much like they started the first, taking the game to the visitors and pushing the tempo in possession. They don't manage to create as much as they did early in that first half, but, nonetheless, it's a positive start from them once again.
46' Here we go again...
A wonderfully entertaining first half has come to an end at the Castellani with the score level and the match perfectly poised. Gianluca Lapadula put Milan ahead against the run of play, before Ricardo Saponara pulled the hosts level just two minutes later, and twice came close to scoring a second against his former club. Everything still to play for in the second half.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: EMPOLI 1-1 MILAN.
45' There will be one minute added on at the end of this first half.
G. Bonaventura
Yellow Card
Milan
43' Good advantage played by the referee, and an even better memory to bring play back following the continuation and book Bonaventura for his poor challenge.
41' Milan are really snatching the momentum as the match creeps towards half-time. They're looking brighter in possession and are consistently managing to create once and for all, but Empoli remain threatening on the break. It's been a highly entertaining first half.
39' STAT: In the Milan derby, the Rossoneri failed to win their first Serie A game after going ahead in this season – they had had won on each of the previous eight occasions.
R. Krunić
Yellow Card
Empoli
37' Krunic fouls Bonaventura on the very edge of the box, and is issued a yellow card. The ensuing free-kick is in a very threatening position, but Empoli manage to defend it soundly and usher it behind for a corner.
35' WIDE! Real opportunity squandered there from Saponara, who was teed up exceptionally by Maccarone, but for some reason didn't take the shot first-time, which closed down the angle and allowed pressure to mount as he winds up knocking an effort wide!
34' SUSO! The subsequent corner falls kindly for Suso, just over 20 yards out, and he hammers a terrific strike at goal, but Skorupski flies through the air to keep it out!
33' AGONISINGLY CLOSE! Abate arrives late in the area and it works our for him as he gets on the end of a scramble, sliding in to send a first-time effort toward the far post. It takes the slightest of deflections on the way through, which sees it inches wide of the target!
J. Kucka
Yellow Card
Milan
31' Just past the half-hour mark and Milan have a second player in the book now, with Kucka going in this time for a late slide which took Croce to ground.
29' STAT: Milan have faced 52 shots in the last three Serie A match-days (15 or more in each of them) – only Empoli (70) and Crotone (59) have faced more in this time.
27' Better from Milan, as they enjoy a prolonged spell in possession in the attacking half. They don't pose any threat on Skorupski's goal, as they struggle to break down this organised Empoli defence, but it's a good sign at least, as they haven't had much success keeping the ball up to this point.
25' Milan need to dig deep and find a bit of inspiration. They barely appear to have any fight in them at the moment. They're being a bit careless in possession, struggling to produce any creativity and have really had a difficult time slowing Empoli on the break. This is hardly the start they would have envisioned.
23' STUNNING EFFORT! Certainly can't fault him for trying, there! Saponara surges forward as Locatelli concedes possession inside his own end. The scorer slides a pass across for Maccarone, who attempts a brilliantly chipped effort towards the far post, that misses the top corner by mere inches!
21' Empoli remain very much on top in this first half, continuing to force the issue impressively in attack. They're looking wonderfully confident in possession, while Milan are altogether struggling to find any sort of rhythm going forward.
19' STAT: Saponara's goal ended Empoli's goalless drought at the Castellani in Serie A at 501 minutes.
R. Saponara
Goal
Empoli
17' JUST LIKE THAT, EMPOLI ARE LEVEL! What an outstanding response from the hosts, and no one can say it isn't deserved! Donnaruma comes way off his line to parry a cross in from the right, but he knocks it straight to Saponara, who beats it low into the empty net from 25 yards, against his former team no less!
Suso
Assist
Milan
15' Nice work from Suso to make himself an option out wide and produce a pass of that quality for Lapadula, as he's credited with the assist.
G. Lapadula
Goal
Milan
15' FIRST SHOT, FIRST GOAL! Completely against the run of play, Milan lead! Kucka strips Diousse of possession and charges forward, springing Suso down the right. The winger picks out Lapadula in the centre and he produces a wonderful first-time finish to put Milan ahead!
14' First real attacking piece of play from Milan here as they win a corner through the work of Suso on the right. The resulting set-piece is played short and worked around momentarily on the flank, before a disappointingly overhit cross is send behind for a goal-kick.
12' MILES OVER! Positive signs nonetheless for Empoli, as their two full-backs are getting forward effectively in these opening stages of the first half. Pasqual latches onto a poor clearance following a corner, but with his weaker foot he can only send a wild effort flying over the bar.
J. Kucka
M. Fernández
Milan
10' Tough one here for Milan as Mati Fernandez has picked up a knock as the visitors are going to be forced into an early change, with Juraj Kucka on in his place.
8' STAT: Empoli have defeated Milan only twice in 22 Serie A clashes, losing 13.
6' BIG SAVE! The towering Donnaruma does really well to get his hands up to deny Saponara's strike from 15 yards, after a wonderful touch from the Empoli attacking-midfielder to tee himself up for the strike. This is a big game for him up against his former club.
A. Romagnoli
Yellow Card
Milan
4' Terrific start here from Empoli! Romagnoli goes into the book for a bit of a clumsy challenge, though he's a bit unlucky to be shown yellow. It was a foul to stop an attack, but he made a real effort to get the ball and made some contact with it, too.
3' SO UNLUCKY! Chances don't get much better than that! Donnaruma's pass out from the back puts De Sciglio under pressure and he gives the ball away. Empoli break, with Maccarone picked out in the centre. He shoots first-time with the keeper stranded, but an unbelievable last-ditch challenge from Gomez diverts the strike an inch wide of the empty net!
1' AND WE'RE OFF! Empoli in blue, get us underway, attacking left to right, with Milan in white.
The other change sees Gianluca Lapadula brought on to lead the line ahead of Carlos Bacca, flanked by Bonaventura and Suso in Milan's trident attack. This Rossoneri XI has an average age of 23.6-years-old, their youngest since 1985.
Vincenzo Montella has made four changes to his side which drew 2-2 with Inter this past Sunday. Alessio Romagnoli is chosen to partner Gustavo Gomez at centre-half, with Gabriel Paletta dropped to the bench. Mario Pasalic and Mati Fernandez come into midfield, with Giacomo Bonaventura pushing up into an attacking role, with Juraj Kucka and M'Baye Niang replaced.
There's just one change to the Empoli team which lost 4-0 at home to Fiorentina last weekend, and it comes up top, where striker Guido Marilungo is brought in to partner Massimo Maccarone, at the expense of Manuel Pucciarelli.
SUBS: Gabriel, Guarnone, Paletta, Zapata, Antonelli, Poli, Sosa, Kucka, Bertolacci, Honda, Adriano, Niang.
MILAN (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Gomez, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Locatelli, Pasalic, Fernandez; Suso, Bonaventura, Lapadula.
SUBS: Pugliesi, Pelagotti, Zambelli, Dimarco, Barba, Cosic, Mauri, Maiello, Pereira, Buchel, Tello, Gilardino.
EMPOLI (4-4-2): Skorupski; Veseli, Bellusci, Costa, Pasqual; Krunic, Diousse, Croce, Saponara; Marilungo, Maccarone.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
The relegation threat becomes a scarier reality by the week for Giovanni Martusciello’s men. They drastically need to figure out how to improve their home form, otherwise it will be a tough ask for them to avoid the drop.
Empoli have not scored at home since early September and were humbled 4-0 by Fiorentina last weekend at this venue, leaving them just three points above the bottom three.
They can ill-afford to squander points like that with the race for top three proving so intense. It’s unbelievably congested at the top, with just two points separating second and sixth place, turning matches like these into must-win situations against bottom-table clubs.
Milan’s two-match winning run was halted by a 92nd minute Ivan Perisic equaliser in the derby last weekend, leaving them tied with Roma for second, seven points back of leaders Juventus.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Stadio Carlo Castellani as Empoli aim to distance themselves from the bottom three when they host a Milan side chasing leaders Juventus.
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