By 90Min
November 23, 2017

AC Milan confirmed their place in the knockout stage of the Europa League in style by convincingly beating Austria Vienna 5-1 on Thursday night.

They did not take the opponents they beat by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture lightly, selecting a very strong squad with only Spanish star Suso and Alessio Romagnoli missing out.

Both sides struggled to fashion any real chances in the opening exchanges, with Patrick Cutrone's looping header onto the roof of the net the best effort of very few.


However, a Milanese defending horror show in the 21st minute gifted Austria Vienna a shock lead.

Gianluigi Donnarumma misjudged how far he had to come to close down Christoph Monschein, who flicked it round the keeper and passed the ball into an empty net despite Leonardo Bonucci's attempted slide which appeared easier to clear than to nutmeg himself.

But the Rossoneri were level just six minutes later as Ricardo Rodriguez lingered at the back post and volleyed Cutrone's deep cross into the back of the net.

All of summer signing Andre Silva's goals this season have come in the Europa League - and he made it five goals in five matches as Rodriguez's free-kick fell kindly to him, allowing him to power the ball past Patrick Pentz.

Milan then took control of the game three minutes before half time as Fabio Borini refused to give up a lost cause and put in a cracking cross for Cutrone to head in with ease - the teenager who is really starting to make a name for himself in his breakout season.

Vienna's marking at a corner shortly after the restart was so amateur that Bonucci was allowed a free run to the penalty spot but he could only power his volley over the bar.

Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Their defending seemed to get progressively worse as the match went on - first Andre Silva's loose touch denied Milan from capitalising on a four on two situation and then a repeat of the poor corner marking forced Pentz to save with his feet.

It was so easy for Milan that they appeared to get a little complacent and took their foot off the gas, but they added to the scoreline once more in the 69th minute as Andre Silva turned smartly and squeezed the ball into the bottom corner for his second goal of the game


It was Cutrone's turn to get his brace with the last kick of the game, beautifully taking the ball round the onrushing Vienna goalkeeper and passing the ball into the open net to apply added gloss to an already flattering scoreline.

The game turned into something resembling a training exercise during the final third of the match, leaving many empty seats as the final whistle was blown.

Whilst Milan have been criticised for their lacklustre displays this season after their sumptuous summer spending, they remain unbeaten in Group D and the Europa League might be a competition Vincenzo Montella could look at to kick this undoubtedly talented group of players on for the future.

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