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Milan v Salernitana Live Commentary, 04/12/2021

FT
2 - 0
MIL
SAL
F. Kessié (5)
A. Saelemaekers (18)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Commentary

That concludes our commentary of the Serie A fixture between Milan and Salernitana! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Milan have a crucial match with Liverpool on Tuesday in the Champions League, ahead of a trip to face Udinese next Saturday. Salernitana will look for a win in seven days when they travel to play Fiorentina.
Despite failing to capitalise on a number of great chances, Milan still come away with an easy victory, beating last-place Salernitana 2-0. Two goals within 20 minutes from Kessie and Saelemaekers ended the match as a contest as the visitors were unable to manage anything noteworthy - allowing Maignan an easy match en-route to a clean sheet. The Rossoneri were certainly not using their full-strength XI but still managed to take a stranglehold on the match, allowing their opponents just 30% possession for the entirety of the contest. Salernitana once again fail to score (their fifth blank in six fixtures) as the loss keeps them at the bottom of the table. Milan’s win puts them up into first - two points ahead of Napoli - with the Partenopei’s match against Atalanta to come later today.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: MILAN 2-0 SALERNITANA. 
90' + 2' Milan are showing absolutely no intention of going forward as they look to see out the result and the clean sheet by holding onto possession in midfield. 
90' The fourth official indicates that three minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages. 
88' Salernitana are the 18th team that have lost at least 11 of their first 15 Serie A matches in a season: of the previous 17, only one avoided relegation, Crotone in 2016/17.
M. Đurić
Yellow Card
Salernitana
86' Duric is shown a yellow card for catching the face of Romagnoli during an aerial duel between captains. 
85' Schiavone takes Bennacer down cynically on the left midway between the centre-circle and Salernitana’s penalty area. It’s a free-kick for Milan which they’ll no doubt use to see off precious seconds.
83' Jarosyznski hurls a long throw-in into the penalty area looking for Duric but Romagnoli easily clears the danger with his head - getting to the ball ahead of the striker.
81' Messias whacks a volley towards goal after a lovely bit of build-up around the Salernitana penalty area but it’s put at a comfortable height for Belec to make the save.
P. Jaroszyński
L. Ranieri
Salernitana
79' Salernitana’s last alteration is in defence as Jaroszynski comes on for Ranieri.
S. Tonali
F. Kessié
Milan
79' Each team make their final substitutions. The first sees Milan replace Kessie with Tonali.
78' A clash of heads between Bogdan and Messias during the corner brings play to a halt to allow for some treatment. Play will restart with a Milan free-kick. 
76' Kastanos curls the free-kick into the penalty area with his left looking for Duric, but Kessie manages to turn it behind for a corner.
74' A cynical foul in midfield gives Salernitana a free-kick in a good position to deliver a ball into the box. 
72' Bennacer slips Brahim through on-goal with a lovely and incisive pass but the forward is once again unable to redirect the ball past the goalkeeper as Belec makes another impressive save!
70' GREAT STOP! Belec flies across his line and keeps a strong arm high to punch away Messias’ fantastic curling shot from the right corner of the penalty area. It really should have been 3-0!
68' Milan look comfortable and rather undisturbed in possession as they knock the ball around in midfield before turning behind and playing it into the defence. The substitutions have disrupted the flow of play while a lack of forward thrust from Salernitana is allowing the Rossoneri to see out the clock with ease.
66' Duric is back to do his defensive work as the tall striker easily nods away Florenzi’s corner from the right flag.
65' Bennacer’s corner from the left is cleared at the near post only as far as Florenzi 20 yards out. The right-back sizes up the chance and takes a whack at goal only to see his shot deflected behind for a second set-piece; this time on the right.
64' Great idea as Krunic curls a pass through the lines for Brahim, who is unable to get enough of a touch to the ball to steer it past Belec. The goalkeeper does well to hang onto the ball and make the save - keeping the deficit at two.
F. Ballo
T. Hernández
Milan
61' Ballo-Toure comes into the match for Milan as Pioli keeps one eye ahead on Milan’s meeting with Liverpool at San Siro this week. Hernandez comes off.
M. Đurić
F. Ribéry
Salernitana
61' Ribery’s match comes to an end after an hour as Duric is sent on in his place.
W. Kechrida
N. Zortea
Salernitana
61' Confirmation of the enforced change as Kechrida comes on for Zortea.
F. Bonazzoli
S. Nwankwo
Salernitana
61' Bonazzoli is introduced as Simy makes way.
60' Milan have lost only one of their last 20 Serie A games against newly promoted sides (W14 D5), keeping 12 clean sheets in this period - their only defeat came against Spezia (0-2 away from home in February 2021).
58' Hernandez fires a cross into the penalty area looking for Messias but Bogdan goes well in the air to nod away the danger.
56' Belec puts the ball out of play for Zortea, who has seemingly pulled up with a problem to his right leg. A substitute is getting himself ready as Salernitana look to be forced into a switch.
54' Salernitana are awarded a free-kick in midfield but opt to pass back into defence instead of lumping it forward into Milan’s penalty area. It turns out to be a poor idea as the hosts immediately cut out a pass through the middle of the park and win possession back.
52' OH SO CLOSE! Florenzi shapes a brilliant ball that flashes across the face of goal for Kessie, who mistimes his in-step which allows the ball to roll past the Ivory Coast international at the far post.
51' Milan press Salernitana high up the pitch but a lifted pass from Ranieri finds Simy to ease the pressure. It’s a poor pass from the striker though which gifts the Rossoneri possession just inside their own half. 
48' Messias - on loan from Crotone - will be looking to make an immediate impact. The Brazilian forward has netted three times in his last two matches; winning the match against Atletico Madrid with his header before netting twice in midweek against Genoa.
46' Salernitana get the match underway from the kick-off! 
I. Bennacer
T. Bakayoko
Milan
46' Bakayoko was booked in the first half and will be replaced by Bennacer for the second. 
Junior Messias
Rafael Leão
Milan
46' Messias is on for Leao as Milan make a switch at the half. 
G. Kastanos
F. Di Tacchio
Salernitana
46' A change for Salernitana at half-time sees the booked Di Tacchio replaced by Kastanos. 
The only sour note in the first half for Milan is the enforced change of Pellegri - who had to go off through injury after 15 minutes. With complete control of the match though, Pioli won’t see a need to bring his rested starters onto the pitch in the second half, with the introduction of Messias and Maldini more likely than Ibrahimovic. Salernitana have it all to do in the second half and could make use of Bonazzoli - who scored the club’s last goal - as Ribery’s legs begin to tire.
A comfortable first half for Milan comes to a close as the hosts find themselves with a two-goal advantage at the interval. Despite a much changed XI, the Rossoneri put themselves ahead after just five minutes, thanks to Kessie’s first-time finish after a Leao cutback. They would double their tally 14 minutes later, after Saelemaeker’s fantastic curling finish beat Belec at the far post. Dominating both the stats and the score - Pioli’s side haven’t allowed Salernitana a minute’s rest - firing 10 shots at the goalkeeper and maintaining over 70% of the possession in the first 45. It looks to be another grim day for the visitors - who’ve failed to trouble Maignan at all.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: MILAN 2-0 SALERNITANA.
45' + 1' The fourth official indicates a single minute will be added for stoppages. 
45' Zortea gets forward and has a shot at goal from more than 20 yards out but he puts his effort at the perfect height for a clean Maignan catch.
43' GREAT SAVE! Kessie drives into the penalty area unimpeded before finding Krunic on the right. The substitute has time and space to pick out a corner but instead fires his shot centrally - which is met by a great diving parry by Belec.
41' With under five minutes left in the first half, Salernitana have simply not done enough to trouble Milan, who have looked far too comfortable. With just one chance created and 30% possession - the last-place side will need a drastic change in the second if they wish to get themselves back in the match. 
39' Lovely build-up play by Milan as Saelemaekers finds Brahim in the penalty area. The Spain international meets the pass with a lovely backheel flick for Leao, who would have had a clear sight of goal had Gyomber not desperately tracked back to make a crucial block.
37' Ribery takes a Salernitana corner from the left looking for a team-mate at the near post but again Bakayoko is able to do his defensive duties and clear the danger convincingly. 
35' The last time Milan and Salernitana met in Serie A was back on 31/01/1999 - a match won 3-2 by the Rossoneri with a Oliver Bierhoff brace and a goal netted by George Weah - this match will be played 8343 days after the one in '99.
33' Florenzi delivers the set-piece where it’s met by Bogdan, who can only put it to the edge of the area for Brahim. The forward takes it down off his chest and fires a volley towards goal but he sends it disappointingly high.
32' Impressive dribbling from Leao gets him past four Salernitana defenders en route to having a strike at goal which is deflected behind for a corner-kick.
F. Di Tacchio
Yellow Card
Salernitana
30' A frustrated Di Tacchio picks up a yellow card for bringing Krunic down from behind.
28' Hernandez loses the ball on the left which allows Ribery to drive forward on a counter-attack, but his leading pass into the penalty area for Di Tacchio is put too far ahead of the midfielder as it rolls behind for a goal-kick.
26' Bakayoko is dispossessed on the edge of Milan’s penalty area by Coulibaly but Zortea’s eventual shot is poor; Maignan is able to watch it go wide comfortably.
T. Bakayoko
Yellow Card
Milan
24' Bakayoko is shown the first yellow card of the match after catching the ankle of Simy during a battle for the ball in midfield.
23' Florenzi’s corner looks to find a team-mate at the near post but it’s sent towards Schiavone, who deals with the danger well.
21' It’s a great celebration from the winger as well, who went immediately to the bench after scoring where he was given a Kjaer kit to hold up to the supporters in tribute to the Milan centre-back who recently underwent knee surgery, keeping him out for a minimum of six months.
A. Saelemaekers
Goal
Milan
18' IT’S TWO IN 20 FOR THE ROSSONERI! It’s a lovely strike from Saelemaekers, who receives a leading pass from Brahim on the right before cutting inside and curling a well-placed strike to the far corner with his weaker left foot!
Brahim Díaz
Assist
Milan
18' Brahim is again the man to pull the strings for Milan, finding an open Saelemaekers on the right flank which is credited as the assist! 
17' It looks as though Milan will operate with a fluid two-man attack as Brahim and Krunic will interchange - with one always staying behind the other. Leao and Saelemaekers will continue to operate as traditional wingers - though the former is certainly capable of coming inside and occupying central positions.
R. Krunić
P. Pellegri
Milan
16' Krunic is the man chosen to replace Pellegri as Pioli opts against introducing a more orthodox striker.
15' Pellegri has gone down off the pitch after picking up an apparent injury during an attempt to avoid a falling defender. The oft-injured young striker looks disappointed as he heads towards the bench, with Pioli forced into an early change.
13' SO CLOSE TO A SECOND! Bakayoko drives forward on a counter-attack and plays a lovely curled pass to the far post for the run of Brahim - who is unable to turn the ball goalwards despite sliding at full-stretch. 
11' Ribery takes a Salernitana corner from the left flag but Bakayoko is first to the ball - clearing the danger from the penalty area with his head.
9' Pioli has taken a risk using a number of fringe players in the starting XI today - ahead of a crucial midweek Champions League tie against Liverpool. The coach has been rewarded for his boldness early on, with Milan in full-control 10 minutes into the match.
7' Hernandez fires in a corner from the left looking for Pellegri but the cross is floated just above the head of the striker before rolling out of the penalty area on the other side.
F. Kessié
Goal
Milan
5' MILAN OPEN THE SCORING AFTER JUST FIVE MINUTES! Leao drives down the left wing and cuts a pass back into the penalty area near the byline for Kessie, whose first-time shot goes between the legs of Ranieri and past Belec! 1-0 to the Rossoneri!
3' Salernitana get the ball forward from inside their own half which causes some confusion between Tomori and Maignan 20 yards from the Milan goal - but the centre-back manages to sort out the problem and avoid an early mistake, putting it out for a throw-in.
1' Milan get the match underway from the kick-off! 
Salernitana make four changes from their 2-0 loss to Juventus on Tuesday. Bogan replaces Riccardo Gagliolo in defence while two alterations in midfield see Shiavone and Di Tacchio get the start ahead of Capezzi and Kechrida. The last change sees Champions League winner Ribery return to action - ahead of Bonazzoli.
Stefano Pioli makes six changes to the Milan XI that beat Genoa 3-0 in midweek. Two changes in defence see Romagnoli cover for the injured Simon Kjaer and Florenzi get the start ahead of Kalulu. Bakayoko steps into midfield giving Tonali a rest while Leao and Saelemaekers are preferred to Krunic and Messias on the wings. One final alteration comes at the top of the pitch, where Ibrahimovic starts the match from the bench - giving Pellegri a start.
SALERNITANA SUBS: Federico Bonazzoli, Edoardo Vergani, Milan Djuric, Leonardo Capezzi, Grigoris Kastanos, Pawel Jaroszynski, Joel Obi, Vincenzo Fiorillo, Filippo Delli Carri, Guido Guerrieri, Wajdi Kechrida.
SALERNITANA XI (3-5-2): Vid Belec; Frederic Veseli, Norbert Gyomber, Luka Bogdan; Nadir Zortea, Andrea Schiavone, Francesco Di Tacchio, Lassana Coulibaly, Luca Ranieri; Franck Ribery, Simy.
MILAN SUBS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Fode Ballo-Toure, Rade Krunic, Pierre Kalulu, Junior Messias, Antonio Mirante, Matteo Gabbia, Andrea Conti, Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer, Ciprian Tatarusanu, Daniel Maldini.
MILAN XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Theo Hernandez, Alessio Romagnoli, Fikayo Tomori; Alessio Florenzi; Tiemoue Bakayoko; Franck Kessie; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Alexis Saelemaekers; Pietro Pellegri.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let's take a look at how the two sides will line up - starting with our hosts! 
Salernitana are in a very poor run of form, securing just one point from their last five matches, mustering a single goal in that time: Federico Bonazzoli’s 90th-minute equaliser against Cagliari. Last in the league but only three points back of safety, today’s visitors could get themselves out of the relegation zone entirely should they win - and results elsewhere go their way.
Milan responded well on Wednesday after a 3-1 loss to Sassuolo at the weekend, beating Andriy Shevchenko’s Genoa by a comfortable 3-0 scoreline. Just a point back of first place, a win would put the Rossoneri temporarily top - ahead of Napoli’s match with Atalanta later today. 
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Serie A fixture between Milan and Salernitana!