Roma and AC Milan went into this fixture as the two Serie A teams who’ve scored the most penalties this season, with AC Milan having dispatched 10 penalties to Roma’s 6. More importantly for AC Milan, however, is the fact they’ve scored twice as many penalties than any other Serie A club during the 0-0 phase of league games. This evening followed that trend for the visitors.
After an opening half hour that saw untold losses of the ball from Roma, and 5 Milan interceptions of the ball to compound the Giallorossi’s deer-in-headlights performance during that period, came a Franck Kessie penalty just before half-time for Milan. While the penalty was technically correct on paper, it was frustrating to see Fazio commit a foul on Davide Calabria after Roma had spent the last ten minutes finally getting into the game and attacking Milan’s end of the pitch.
But Roma couldn’t afford to dwell on their frustrations, going into the half-time break 1-0 down on the evening, and nor did they when the second half came about. Paulo Fonseca’s men reacted well in the second half, capped off by midfield dynamo Jordan Veretout registering a gorgeous and clinical equalizer, in the 50th minute, that gave this Roma side the parity that they barely deserved on the night. But fret not, AC Milan, as Roma aren’t the kind of side to stay level with Top 6 rivals for long.
Only eight minutes went by before Pau Lopez passed the ball directly to the opposition, when Roma were trying to build out of the back, and saw his side immediately punished for it. Gianluca Mancini has been on absolute top form lately, but tonight was not his night. Especially when you see Mancini turned like a double-decker bus by Ante Rebic, and then Mancini giving up on any chance of closing down Rebic’s shot - such was the ease of the Milan forward’s winning goal scored in the 58th minute.
The final 2-1 scoreline barely told the full story of this game. There was the frantic opening, tense finish and plenty of contentious refereering and video-refereeing decisions mixed into this game.