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Milan, a night of leader thanks to Leao and Castillejo

Milan, a night of leader thanks to Leao and Castillejo

Great performances by Portuguese Rafael Leao and Spaniard Samu Castillejo, who started as substitutes, rescued Milan at the San Siro and allowed them to come back from an adverse 0-2 to beat Hellas Verona 3-2 and seize the momentary lead in the Series Italian.

In an emergency night, with the casualties of French goalkeeper Mike Maignan, his compatriot Theo Hernández and Spaniard Brahim Díaz, positive for coronavirus, Milan achieved an epic comeback against Verona and, after going to rest losing 0-2, he came back with goals from Frenchman Olivier Giroud, Ivorian Frank Kessie and an own goal from Turkey’s Koray Gunter.

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But the great stars of the San Siro night were Leao and Castillejo, who took the field at the most difficult moment for Milan, when Ante Rebic of Croatia also retired due to an ankle injury.

Leao took to the field after half an hour and Castillejo did so after the break. They gave rhythm and changed in the face of a Milan that closed the gap thanks to a Leao cross sent to the bottom of the head tights by Giroud.

The French veteran has three goals in four games as a starter and restored hope to a Milan in which he increased the revolutions of the Castillejo engine, until he got the penalty at 75 that Kessie safely scored for 2-2.

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Coach Stefano Pioli then gave way to Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, after more than a month off, and a few seconds later Castillejo hung up a cross in search of “Ibra” himself, who ended it 3-2 due to an unfortunate deviation from Gunter.

At the end of the duel, San Siro dedicated a heartfelt ovation to Castillejo, who was visibly moved.

Epic victory for the Milan team, who beat Napoli in the table to give themselves a night as Calcio leader. AFP (HN)

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