Milan Beat Frosinone To Close Gap On Leaders Juve
Umer Jamshaid Published December 03, 2023 | 12:00 PM
Milan, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 3rd Dec, 2023) AC Milan bounced back from Champions League disappointment with Saturday's 3-1 win over Frosinone which moved them to within four points of Serie A leaders Juventus.
Goals either side of half-time from Luka Jovic and Christian Pulisic, and Fikayo Tomori's close-range finish in the 74th minute gave injury-hit Milan the three points to relieve some pressure after being beaten by Borussia Dortmund midweek.
Key attackers Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao were among those unavailable, while the situation in defence was so desperate that France full-back Theo Hernandez played alongside Tomori in the centre of Milan's defence.
"It was also his idea. He told me that if needed, he can play that position," said coach Stefano Pioli to Sky.
Milan are third, trailing Juve and three points behind second-placed Inter Milan, who will reclaim the summit in Italy's top flight as long as they don't lose at fourth-placed Napoli in Sunday's big match.
"It's a little step forward, but there is a long way to go and we need to be more consistent if we're going to challenge for the top spots," added Pioli.
"The sooner we can get players back, the more options we'll have, meaning we can rotate more or turn to the bench to change things when needed."
Under-fire Pioli was boosted both by the return of Algeria midfielder Ismael Bennacer and Jovic scoring his first goal for Milan since arriving in the summer, the Serbian lashing the hosts ahead in the 43rd minute just after Marvin Cuni wasted a glorious chance to give Frosinone the lead.
- Milan bounce back -
Pulisic doubled Milan's lead four minutes after the break with a sumptuous piece of play, brilliantly controlling goalkeeper Mike Maignan's boot upfield before carefully dinking home his fifth goal of the season.
And Tomori ended the match as a contest when he poked home Jovic's knockdown, making Marco Brescianini's late free-kick no more than a consolation goal.
Frosinone dropped down to 11th following their sixth defeat of the campaign, two points and places behind Lazio whose 1-0 win over 10-man Cagliari was greeted by loud disapproval from frustrated supporters.
Lazio, who finished second last season, are ninth after veteran Pedro's eighth-minute winner but the manner of their slender victory enraged the home crowd who unleashed a volley of boos and whistles at the end of the match.
But the away side went close to equalising twice in stoppage time as Ivan Provedel pulled off a magnificent save to deny Leonardo Pavoletti's powerful header.
And just before the final whistle Manuel Lazzari nearly handed Gaetano Oristanio the leveller, leading to a barrage of boos for a team who on Tuesday reached the knockout stages of the Champions League for just the third time in the club's history by beating Celtic.
"We won a difficult match, we're more pleased with the result than we are with the performance, but the game with Celtic took a lot out of us," said Lazio assistant manager Giovanni Martusciello.
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