October 17, (THEWILL) – AC Milan came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 on Saturday, claiming first place in Serie A. The Rossoneri, who had gone undefeated in their first seven league games, were 2-0 down at halftime against a team that had not won an away match against them in 29 attempts.
Verona were on their way to an unlikely three points thanks to Gianluca Caprari and a penalty from Antonin Barak before the home side produced a second-half comeback.
Franck Kessie equalised from the penalty spot after Olivier Giroud had scored his third goal in three league games, before Koray Gunter’s own goal ended a tense match.
Milan had not conceded two first-half goals in Serie A since November, when they were defeated by these opponents, but they paid the price for a lacklustre start.
After Miguel Veloso had kept Verona’s attack alive, Ciprian Tatarusanu, who had come in for the injured Mike Maignan, was powerless to stop Caprari’s precise finish seven minutes in.
Then, 17 minutes later, Alessio Romagnoli was adjudged to have fouled Nikola Kalinic as the former Milan forward darted in front of him to meet a cross. It allowed the visitors double their lead as Barak put his penalty just out of Tatarusanu’s reach.
Yet, Milan showed they were a tough team in the second period. They got a lifeline just before the hour when Giroud nodded in Rafael Leao’s expert cross from the left.
Leao backheeled the ball to Samu Castillejo, who was caught from behind by Marco Faraoni, allowing Kessie to score a confident penalty with 15 minutes remaining.
Stefano Pioli brought on Zlatan Ibrahimovic off the bench, and the veteran striker would have had a tap-in if Gunter had not scuffed an attempted clearance beneath the legs of goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo to put Milan ahead.
Milan’s comeback saw them leapfrog Victor Osimhen’s Napoli, who play Torino on Sunday, and take a one-point lead at the top of the table.