AC Milan held to 1-1 draw at home by spirited Verona

Sofyan Amrabat was sent off for Hellas Verona in the second half, but Milan failed to capitalise as they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli   -  Getty Images

Milan failed to extend its recent resurgence with a fourth successive Serie A win as it slumped to a 1-1 draw at home against 10-man Hellas Verona.

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing due to illness and Krzysztof Piatek sold to Hertha Berlin, Milan was short of options in attack and that was telling on Sunday, as it created significantly fewer clear-cut opportunities than Verona with Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao the pair leading the line.

Perhaps suffering from a hint of over-confidence after its recent form, Milan lacked lustre early on and fell behind to Marco Davide Faraoni's neat finish, though the Rossoneri did manage to recover to equalise through Hakan Calhanoglu's fortuitous free-kick.

 

Milan was second best for much of the second half and only remained on level terms due to the frame of the goal sparing Milan twice, and it was then unable to make the most of Sofyan Amrabat's dismissal.

Stefano Pioli's desperation led to a first-team debut for Paolo Maldini's 18-year-old son Daniel, but the visitor dug deep and just about did enough to earn a draw, despite Samu Castillejo hitting the post in stoppage time - Milan passing up the chance to go sixth.

Verona was rewarded for a purposeful start as it opened the scoring in the 13th minute – Faraoni turning in Mattia Zaccagni's teasing left-wing delivery after proving more alert than the Milan defence.

But it could only keep Milan at bay for another 16 minutes, as Calhanoglu's free-kick took a significant deflection off Valerio Verre and beat Marco Silvestri.

Milan should have got a second soon after, Rebic ultimately trying too much after a devastating counter-attack left the host with a one-man advantage on the edge of Verona's box.

Fortune smiled on Milan at the back just after the break, though, as Darko Lazovic floated an inviting cross in from the left and Matteo Pessina's glancing header struck the right-hand post.

The opposing upright came to Milan's rescue just past the hour – Zaccagni the one denied this time after goalmouth scramble.

Verona's chances took a massive hit 22 minutes from time as key midfielder Amrabat was shown a straight red card after a VAR review for a high challenge on Castillejo, but it just about managed without him.

 

What does it mean? Milan short in attack

It is fair to say that Milan's January transfer dealings have raised a few eyebrows. The departure of Piatek leaves it with a single natural striker in Ibrahimovic – who is 38 years old – and it was hardly blessed with creative options on the bench after seeing Suso leave as well.

It was lucky to come out of this with a point in the end, with Rebic and Leao often struggling to impose themselves in central positions.

What's next?

There is the small matter of the Derby della Madonnina in a week's time for Milan, as it faces bitter rival Inter. Verona goes to high-flying Lazio on Wednesday, with Simone Inzaghi's men aiming to go second.

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