Patrick Crutone Brace Leads AC Milan to Victory Against Struggling SPAL

AC Milan extended its unbeaten run to eight games after it came out 0-4 winner against a struggling SPAL side at the Paolo Mazza on Saturday.
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AC Milan extended its unbeaten run to eight games after it came out 0-4 winners against a struggling SPAL side at the Paolo Mazza on Saturday.

The Rossoneri took the lead after just 90 seconds when they won a corner which SPAL initially cleared, but it went straight to former Liverpool forward Suso, who sent in a cross for Patrick Cutrone to pounce on, smashing his effort into the SPAL net.

The 20-year-old forward then got his second of the game, allowing Milan to take control of the game when he got a slice of luck as he hit the post with his first effort, but it bounced back into his path for the forward to tap home from close range.

Lucas Biglia put the game beyond any doubt when he was on queue to capitalize on a SPAL mistake and calmly curl it into the net from just outside the penalty area.

Fabio Borini came on from the bench and made it 4-0 when he expertly guided it home with his left foot from an acute angle, leaving Meret with no chance.

Milan were going into this game on the back of three straight league wins, whilst SPAL's sat in the bottom three and had only won once in their last 12 Serie A outings.


It was the away side who had the brighter start to the game, as they looked like a team that wanted nothing but three points. This told because just after 90 seconds they took the lead after Patrick Cutrone was there to pounce on a loose ball following a corner, and he saw his effort fly past a helpless Alex Meret in the SPAL goal.

However, SPAL wanted to show that they were no pushovers, and nine minutes into the match they showed dangerous signs of their own when Manuel Lazzari collected Antenucci's deep cross from the left. He worked the ball back towards Grassi in the box and the midfielder controlled it before firing at goal on the turn, firing just wide of Gianluigi Donnarumma's post.

From then on SPAL were seeing the majority of possession and were showing some purpose when attacking in the Milan half. There were chances for SPAL forward Mirco Antenucci and defender Bartosz Salomon to bring the home side on level terms, but they both squandered their opportunities. 

The Rossoneri's next clearcut chance came 10 minutes before the interval when Simic blocked Cutrone's attempted header, but Giacomo Bonaventura latched on to the loose ball and hammered a volley into the ground, but Meret was there to smartly turn the effort over the bar.

The final opportunity of the half came when SPAL won a free-kick which Viviani took. The striker curled his effort over the wall with enough dip to send it towards the bottom corner. However, it struck the outside of the post and bounced out for a goal-kick.

Both teams seemed to have taken their foot off the gas after the second-half got underway, as the pace of the game had extensively slowed down. The intensity from the home side seemed to have fizzled out and the aggression and desire that the Rossoneri showed in the first 45 minutes looked to have disappeared. 

However, just after the hour mark, Milan managed to double their lead against the run of play. Suso was involved once again when he carved open the SPAL defence with a mazy run before taking a shot which Meret saved. But Cutrone was in the right place at the right time when he pounced on the rebound to double Milan's lead.

Just eight minutes later, Lucas Biglia put the game to bed when he capitalized on a mistake from Meret, who intended to roll the ball to Viviani. However, Biglia dispossessed the midfielder and coolly curled the ball past the SPAL keeper into the bottom right-hand corner.

Second-half substitute Fabio Borini decided to rub salt into the SPAL wounds when he was put through on goal by Ricardo Montolivo and finely finished with an effort out of Meret's reach.

AC Milan temporarily move into seventh in the Serie A table, just a place outside of the European places, while SPAL’s struggles continue, as they sit in the relegation zone, three points from safety.