Sport Milan 2-0 Benevento: Calhanoglu and Hernandez lift Rossoneri back up to second
Man United old boy Hernandez ruins Beckham and Neville's MLS opener
Javier Hernandez was an un-invited guest to Inter Miami's Manchester United reunion on Sunday, gatecrashing Phil Neville's debut to secure LA Galaxy victory in their MLS opener. Neville was appointed in January to lead the team co-owned by former Old Trafford United team-mate David Beckham - but it was another of Alex Ferguson's former stars who stole the show, bagging a double for the visitors. It was also the first game at Miami's DRV PNK Stadium, with seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady among the spectators.
Milan returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Benevento at San Siro that moves them back up to second place in Serie A.
The Rossoneri dropped to fifth following defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio, but they battled to a much-needed win in Saturday's clash with Filippo Inzaghi's struggling Benevento.
Hakan Calhanoglu picked out the bottom-right corner inside six minutes to give Milan the lead and Theo Hernandez added a second from close range with an hour played.
That proved enough as Milan moved a point in front of Atalanta and three ahead of Napoli and Juventus, but all three sides have a game in hand to play on Sunday.
Maldini knew nothing about Milans Super League plans
Paolo Maldini has spoken against the game against US Sassuolo, which lost a very uninspired Milan with 1: 2, about the plans of the Super League. For great amazement, the technical director of the Rossoneri did not know anything about Milans for the EliteLiga. © Provided by 90min Paolo Maldini says Sorry | Claudio Villa / Getty Images opposite Sky, Maldini realized that he had never been "never involved in the discussions about the Super League".
Milan have scored the most goals of any Serie A side in the opening half-hour of games this term, while Benevento have conceded the most, and this contest followed the script.
Calhanoglu exchanged passes with Franck Kessie, played the ball out to Alexis Saelemaekers and got on the end of the return pass to steer a shot past Lorenzo Montipo.
The Benevento keeper did well to save a powerful strike from Rafael Leao soon after and also denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic with his outstretched leg from a one-on-one.
Ibrahimovic was thwarted again by a couple more Montipo saves early in the second half, either side of Iago Falque firing one inches wide at the other end.
However, the next Montipo save on Ibrahimovic paid dividends for Milan as attacking left-back Hernandez was in the right place to turn in the rebound.
Lazio 3-0 Milan: Correa at the double as Rossoneri top-four hopes suffer another blow
Milan find themselves out of the top four in Serie A with Lazio scenting a Champions League return after a deserved victory.Correa scored after only 77 seconds and struck again in the second half to seal a deserved victory for Lazio in head coach Simone Inzaghi's first game back on the touchline since recovering from coronavirus.
Benevento would have moved out of the bottom three with a point, but they could not offer much in response as Milan saw out a deserved victory.
What does it mean? Milan back to winning ways ahead of tough run-in
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Stefano Pioli challenged his Milan players to show their fighting spirit on the back of successive losses and they did exactly that with a fairly routine victory on home soil.
This win – just their second in nine home matches in all competitions – moves them into second place and puts pressure on the chasing pack to win their games on Sunday.
With a trip to Juventus next weekend, and a visit to fellow top-four rivals Atalanta also still to come, Pioli's men need to use this win as a platform to rebuild some momentum.
Hakan at it again
AC Milan in free fall
With the worst seasonal performance in one of the most important games of this season, AC Milan went on Monday evening with 0: 3 at Lazio Rome. The defeat was completely deserved at this level, no actor from the pioli eleven also reached only approximately normal form.
The midfielder created and finished off a well-worked Milan opener, with Kessie also deserving of praise for dummying Saelemaekers' pass for his team-mate to convert.
Calhanoglu, who became the fourth Turkish player to score 50 goals in the top five European leagues this century, ended the contest with a game-high 48 passes in the opposition half.
The veteran striker missed Milan's last three games through suspension and injury but was deemed fit enough to start against Benevento.
He had a few good opportunities to score but could not find a way past inspired keeper Montipo from any of his seven shots, five of which were on target.
Key Opta Facts
- Milan have picked up 69 Serie A points this season, their highest tally since 2012-13 (72 points at the end of the campaign).
- Benevento have won only one of their ast 18 Serie A games (D7 L10).
- Milan had their joint-most shots on target in a Serie A game this season (11 also against Crotone last February).
- Calhanoglu found the net after five minutes and 36 seconds, the fastest goal scored by Milan in a Serie A match in 2021.
- Hernandez is the first Milan defender to have scored at least goals and delivered at least assists in a single Serie A season since Opta started to collect this data (2004-05).
Milan have that huge showdown with soon-to-be-dethroned champions Juventus a week on Sunday, while Benevento host Cagliari in an equally important clash the same day.
Milan Cartonne, Bergamo assures, Juve maintains hope .
© Panoramic The 36th Series A day, marked by the victories of the first five of the rankings, gave rise to an absolute status quo in the race at the next League Champions. Naples was temporarily mounted on the second March on Tuesday night by having Udinese (5-1), history of putting a small pressure supplement on Juventus. All eyes were steeped on the old lady, always 5th and visiting Sassuolo, with in the cages the return of his guardian fetish, Gianligi Buffon.