AC Milan 2-2 Lecce: Pioli denied winning start by spectacular late strike
AC Milan were held to a dramatic 2-2 draw at home to Lecce in Stefano Pioli’s first match in charge at San Siro.
Stefano Pioli’s reign as AC Milan coach got off to an underwhelming start as Marco Calderoni’s stunning late equaliser secured struggling Lecce a 2-2 draw in San Siro.
Krzysztof Piatek had seemingly secured former Inter boss Pioli – who replaced Marco Giampaolo during the international break – a debut win with his 81st-minute goal, but Calderoni struck in stoppage time to ensure Milan dropped points for the fifth time in eight games this season.
The impressive Hakan Calhanoglu powered Milan ahead with a fine strike following Lucas Biglia’s pass, but they struggled to maintain their lively start and faded towards half-time.
Khouma Babacar found the net from close range after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved his penalty in the second half, and then Piatek’s strike was cancelled out by Calderoni’s long-range drive to prevent Milan from moving back into the top half of the table.
The game ends in a draw
— AC Milan (@acmilan) October 20, 2019
A fast start from Milan saw them go close twice inside the first two minutes through Rafael Leao, who was denied by goalkeeper Gabriel and then found the side netting.
Calhanoglu was more clinical, however, giving Milan the lead in 20th minute when he emphatically found the roof of the net from an acute angle inside the penalty area.
It was nearly 2-0 soon after, but Gabriel did well to push Suso’s low curling effort around the post.
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Lecce capitalised on previous let-offs just past the hour – Babacar netting despite seeing his initial penalty saved by Donnarumma following Andrea Conti’s handball.
Piatek thought he had secured victory nine minutes from time when steering home after Calhanoglu’s clever run and cutback.
But after six minutes of time was added on, Calderoni let fly from 25 yards and his ferocious effort left Donnarumma with no chance, denying Pioli a victorious maiden outing with Milan.