It was the first home game of the new 15-16 Serie A season for AC Milan, hosting Empoli F.C, and even before the match had begun, Milan fans, more specifically, the Milan Ultras group made their discontent with the club transfer policy known by planning protests against club director Adriano Galliani.
AC Milan boss Mihajlovic made a few changes to the team that lost 2-0 vs Fiorentina last week, replacing Keisuke Honda, Bonaventura, and the suspended Rodrigo Ely with Suso, Nocerino and Cristian Zapata. Recent signings Mario Balotelli and Juraj Kucka were both available on the bench.
The match started rather well for Milan with the Rossoneri making several threatening chances, but most of the shots were well wide and the Empoli defense was up to the challenge. As the match went on, it was clear once again that the Milan midfield was not up to par with Bertolacci looking as though he was still unsure of where exactly he fits in the Milan line-up.
As such, it was up to De Jong alone to provide midfield support for the defense which would not be enough as the Empoli forwards were able to continuously take advantage of the space afforded to the by the Milan midfield.
It was not until some excellent work between Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca that an opening goal was found when Luiz Adriano made a perfect through ball for his Colombian strike-partner to run onto and slot it home after rounding the keeper.
It was not long before Empoli answered back however, as a poorly executed headed pass from Mattia De Sciglio gave possession back to Empoli, allowing Maccarrone to set former Milan player, Ricardo Saponara through on goal to get the equalizer.
The game continued with Milan’s midfield struggling to create chances for the strikers and Empoli were able to dominate the match, however, with Mihajlovic’s decision to bring on Bonaventura, Milan were able to create a bit more, though it was only until the 69th minute that Milan was able to score the match-winner through a headed goal by Luiz Adriano from Bonaventura’s corner kick.
The match ended in a 2-1 victory for the Rossoneri, though, as stated by coach Mihajlovic, it still feels like a loss considering the poor performance. Some big changes, especially in midfield, will be needed fast before they will face Inter Milan in after the international break.
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