AC Milan secures second place finish in Serie A with win over Cagliari

With the home victory against Cagliari, the Rossoneri secure second place in Serie A.
Christian Pulisic scored a brace
Christian Pulisic scored a brace / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Not exactly an exciting situation for AC Milan, who failed to win their last few league games, despite keeping second place in the standings intact.

In fact, the last home victory for the Rossoneri occurred a month ago against Lecce.

For its part, Cagliari, coached by the legendary Claudio Ranieri, showed up at San Siro with the aim of getting a result as they are hunting for precious points that can guarantee automatic survival in the championship.

Surprisingly, coach Stefano Pioli decided not to start Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leao.

In any case, the match started with a slow rhythm, with the Rossoneri trying to continuously turn the ball from one side of the pitch to the other in search of an opening in the offensive zone. But the slowness of the maneuver certainly did not facilitate this purpose, also due to the well-placed defensive lines of the visiting team.

However, the first tricky shot for the home team was made by Alessandro Florenzi, finding a reactive response from the opposing goalkeeper Simone Scuffet.

Shortly after, Cagliari had an interesting opportunity on the counterattack with their rapid striker Zito Luvumbo who won a physical tackle against the opposing defender and launched himself into the open field, but wasted everything with an imprecise pass.

The match continued without any particular ups and downs until the first half hour of play.

Only in the 35th minute did another shot on goal arrive with the Rossoneri who, at the end of an insistent action on the left side of the pitch, found the net with a precise touch from Algerian midfielder Ismael Bennacer.

Thus, a first half characterized above all by many passing errors and not particularly high pace, ended with a score of 1-0 for the hosts.

Ismael Bennacer
Ismael Bennacer celebrates his goal by displaying his mother's surname on his shirt / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Before the second half restarted, Pioli decided to field Fikayo Tomori, Rafael Leao and Noah Okafor.

Leao immediately made himself dangerous by hitting the crossbar from a few steps away, following a cross from Christian Pulisic who, in the meantime, moved to the right side of the pitch after playing the first half on the left.

Cagliari reacted with a long-range shot from midfielder Matteo Prati which was blocked by goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

In the 59th minute, Leao triggered a counterattack in the central area and then served a deep assist for Pulisic who found himself face to face with the opposing goalkeeper and with cool blood scored the 2-0 goal.

Cagliari tried to react again.

First, with a powerful, but central, free kick from Alessandro Deiola which was blocked by the goalkeeper.

Subsequently, in the 63rd minute, the guests found the net to make it 2-1 with a central insertion by the Uruguayan Nahitan Nandez, not followed by the defense, who hit Gabriele Zappa's cross with skillful coordination.

Shortly afterwards, Alessandro Florenzi came out and left the field for Theo Hernandez.

In the 74th minute, the Rossoneri found another goal with a fine shot from distance by Dutch midfielder Tijjani Reijnders.

After the aforementioned goal, the Rossoneri risked conceding another goal following a corner kick taken by substitute Gaetano Oristanio.

This trajectory proved to be particularly treacherous, so much so that it hit the post and then confusion was created right in the center of the penalty area where the intervention of German defender Malick Thiaw proved invaluable.


In the last minutes of the match, due to the fatigue accumulated by the less fresh players as well as the distance between the defense and midfield lines of the guests, the Rossoneri were able to exploit the speed of their attackers by finding two more goals.

In the 83rd minute, it was Rafael Leao, well served in speed by a splendid pass from Bennacer, who appeared in front of the opposing goalkeeper and dribbled past him to score.

As a result, it was all too easy for the Portuguese to deposit into an empty net.

A few minutes later, in the 86th minute, it was again Pulisic's turn to score his brace with a precise shot on which Yerry Mina was unable to intervene promptly before the ball itself crossed the goal line.