Giroud sent off as Milan blow two-goal lead

AFP , Saturday 11 Nov 2023

AC Milan let slip a two-goal lead at Lecce on Saturday but sighed in collective relief as a last-gasp wonder goal for the hosts was disallowed in a 2-2 draw in Serie A.

AC Milan
AC Milan's French forward #09 Olivier Giroud receives a red card during the Italian Serie A football match between Lecce and AC Milan at the Ettore Giardiniero stadium in Lecce, on November 11, 2023. Photo: AFP


Even worse for Milan was the loss off Rafael Leao to injury and the sending-off of goalscorer Olivier Giroud.

Giroud opened the scoring on 28 minutes before Tijjani Reijnders doubled the lead, just four days after Milan's crucial Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Down in 14th place in Serie A, Lecce looked buried but came out in the second half with great intent, pulling a goal back at a corner through Nicola Sansone on 66 minutes while Zambian Lameck Banda levelled not long after.

Stefano Pioli lamented his Milan charges had failed to learn their lesson.

"We conceded a goal on a corner that was identical to the one scored by PSG, so we keep making the same very costly errors," he said.

"We got too stretched out, too frenetic and did not win a game that we should have won."

In a dramatic late incident Roberto Piccoli controlled a long-distance clearance from his 'keeper, turned and shot past Mike Maignan to send the Lecce fans into raptures.

The goal was however disallowed because Piccoli had trodden on a rival's foot before turning to shoot.

Milan may have felt relief, but with Giroud's two bookings seeing him sent off for dissent and a four-match Serie A run without a win, their third place in Italy is under threat Sunday from champions Napoli.

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