By 90Min
December 03, 2017

Gennaro Gattuso has failed his first test in Serie A as AC Milan's manager as his side were tied in a 2-2 draw against Benevento. 

The Milan outfit had to deal with the expulsion of Alessio Romagnoli in the second half and struggled with the bottom of the table side, who recorded their first point of the campaign. 

Milan opened the scoring with Giacomo Bonaventura, who scored a marvellous header for the Rossoneri in their toughest moment of the game.  

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Yet his effort was worthless as Benevento showed some courage and evened the score thanks to Romanian striker George Puskas.

Milan clearly did not accept the temporary result and counter-attacked seven minutes later thanks to another stunning header by Nikola Kalinic. 

However, Milan retaking the lead wasn't to be the end of the drama. A brilliant equaliser for the home side came from goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli, who sensationally headed home the most important ball of the season for Benevento.

Gattuso succeeded Vincenzo Montella earlier this week after the Italian was sacked for failing to bring the club back to its original glory. 

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The new manager, who had never coached a Serie A side before, made a generally positive debut with the Rossoneri on Sunday, though there is still plenty to work on. 

The importance of this game was quite clear. Ahead of the clash, Gattuso reportedly told his men to close their eyes and pretend it was a Champions League final, but they did not put into practice his advice as much as they could have.

The guests were tactically much more prepared than their hosts and this was clear from the first minute, although they initially struggled to edge past Benevento's good defensive wall. 

Milan attempted to orchestrate the game from the opening minutes, with wingers Rodriguez and Borini running high and cooperating with the attacking trio. 

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Ten minutes into the game, the Rossoneri wasted an interesting opportunity to take the lead as Kalinic took the ball away from an unfocused Letizia, approached the goal, but couldn't bend his shout past goalkeeper Brignoli.

Benevento fought back, but often lacked precision and concentration. The southerners had a good chance to turn the result around with Memushaj, who tried to surprise Donnarumma with a decent stroke from the left, but the ball rolled out. 

Yet despite Milan's almost total dominance, it was Benevento again who deserved to take the lead around the half-hour mark, D'Alessandro played a tricky cross inside the box as Parigini jumped higher than the defenders, but headed the ball to the sideline by inches.

Bonaventura finally broke the deadlock for the visitors with a beautiful diving header. The action took place in a matter of seconds during which Kalinic tried to head home too, but Brignoli parried away, Bonaventura was there to pick up the rebounded ball and, this time, didn't miss the target. 

But a speechless Gattuso saw his defence being humiliated by Puscas as Benevento scored their seventh game of the season and levelled the result in the opening five minutes of the second half. 

Letizia initially swung a stunning shot towards Donnarumma's goal, but the youngster parried away. Unfortunately for him, Puscas was there to pick up the rebound and curled the ball home for the hosts.

The joy didn't last more than seven minutes, as the guests took the lead again with Kalinic, who was left alone in the small box and headed home Bonaventura's cross. The hosts protested the legitimacy of the corner, but nothing could be done.

The equaliser seemed to boost the home side, who realised that they could break Milan and tried to do it towards the 70th minute. D'Alessandro made a good effort in finding space inside Milan's box, but his shot was too central and Donnarumma saved comfortably. 

Milan were down to ten in the last 15 minute of the game after Romagnoli was sent off for a double yellow card for a foul on Letizia. 

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Benevento enjoyed the shift of balance and gave everything to draw in the final moments of the game. With five minutes to go, Massimo Coda fired from outside the box, but the ball went wide.

But with the very last moment of the game, Benevento's stadium burst with joy as keeper Brignoli headed home for the hosts, giving them a well-deserved first point in the league.

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