February 19, (THEWILL) – On Saturday, Ante Rebic came off the bench to save a 2-2 Serie A tie for leaders Milan against bottom-placed Salernitana, who were on the verge of a massive upset in the Serie A.
Junior Messi had put the Rossoneri ahead early at Stadio Arechi, but they went down to a shock comeback as goals from Federico Bonazzoli and Milan Djuric drew the hosts level and put them ahead in the second half. Rebic, who had been out of action since September, had to come to the rescue, tying the game 13 minutes from time with his first goal since September.
It was a result that set Stefano Pioli’s side back in the title battle, as they missed a chance to pull four points clear of Inter, who have two games in hand.
Salernitana had barely got into the game when a marauding Theo Hernandez surged forward and picked Messias out with a brilliantly weighted pass, the latter scored with his left foot to put the Rossoneri ahead just five minutes in.
With a stinging free-kick that forced a fantastic save from Luigi Sepe, Ismael Bennacer almost increased Milan’s lead, but the leaders gifted Salernitana an equaliser in the 29th minute.
Mike Maignan was horribly at fault, flapping at a cross that he had no need to come for, and Bonazzoli punished him by volleying in with a magnificent scissor kick from six yards.
Franck Kessie replaced Bennacer at halftime before Rafael Leao came agonisingly close to restoring Milan’s advantage with a rasping acrobatic shot that flew beyond the right-hand post early in the second half.
With 18 minutes remaining, Djuric met Pasquale Mazzocchi’s cross with a powerful downward header into the bottom-left corner, putting the home side ahead.
Fortunately for Milan there was enough time for an equaliser thanks to a long-range strike from Croatian forward Rebic, and before long, the final whistle sounded leaving both teams to settle for a point apiece.
When Salernitana hosts Bologna in their next tie, they will be looking to make it four games in a row without a loss. Milan will play Udinese on Friday in the hopes of getting back on track.