Week 29 was a squandered chance. Dropping points against a team at the bottom of the table is not new for Milan but it is always a lost opportunity. SPAL did not look comfortable on the ball or show much at all but the Milan 11 once again showed toothlessness and lack of ideas and penetration. The hectic schedule and knocks meant some changes but Gabbia and Calabria struggled and only Paqueta showed some form and motivation. In light of all this SPAL were the one to open the scoring. A corner pinballed in the box and was finally shot in by Mattia Valoti. Almost immediately after Castillejo had to limp off with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Saelemaekers. The pattern did not change and it was 38 years old Sergio Floccari who scored next. He doubled SPAL’s lead with a great looping ball over Donnarumma. VAR disallowed a Calhanoglu goal as Rebic was judged to have been offside in the build up. A life line was given when Marco D’Alessandro’s yellow was changed to a red after the referee reviewed his tackle on Theo. The second half was therefore available for Milan to tie or even get the three points. Leao and later Ibra were brought on but little changed. The sub did score when a low cross got to him and he beat Karlo Letica in SPAL’s goal. The game did seemed destined for a 2-1 loss until Francesco Vicari diverted a late cross into his own net.
A point at SPAL makes the subsequent games even more important if European football is on the cards. The schedule gets very difficult with Lazio the week 30 opponent.
Lazio are missing Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo through suspension. If this is to turn out to be a positive for Milan it depends wholly on the 11 players starting. The surprise title challengers will not be easy to beat of course but the absences do take away a big portion of Lazio’s firepower.
Conti and Kjaer are expected to reclaim their spots on the right of Theo and Romagnoli. Bannacer and Kessie are to remain starters but further up Castillejo’s absence will force a change. The Spaniard could be back soon but further tests will be done in about a week. Saelemaekers, Bonaventura and Calhanoglu will be behind Ibra. Ibra playing for a tired Rebic could be expected but Paqueta’s absence as he was gaining form is disappointing.
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