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AC Milan 3 Chievo 2: Silva spares Rossoneri once more

18 March 2018 16:57

Andre Silva proved AC Milan's hero for the second time in as many Serie A matches with a late winner in a rollercoaster 3-2 victory over Chievo at San Siro on Sunday.

A week after making the difference at Genoa, the Portugal international came off the bench to rescue his side again by completing a vital comeback in the 82nd minute.

The Rossoneri had appeared set for a shock defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Chievo after the visitors struck twice in as many first-half minutes through Mariusz Stepinski and Roberto Inglese.

That stunning spell overturned Hakan Calhanoglu's earlier opener, but Patrick Cutrone celebrated his maiden Italy call-up with a close-range equaliser soon after the interval.

And Silva eventually completed the turnaround to cut the deficit to fourth-placed Inter back to five points, although there was still time for Franck Kessie to see a penalty saved in stoppage time.

Gennaro Gattuso's men remain in the hunt for a Champions League place courtesy of a fifth successive Serie A victory, with that run set be tested by a trip to Juventus after the international break.

Calhanoglu gave Milan the lead in their 3-1 Europa League defeat at Arsenal in midweek and did the same here in the 10th minute, turning in the simplest of finishes after Stefano Sorrentino had pushed Kessie's squared pass into his path.

The Turkey international's third league goal looked to have his side set for a serene stroll to three points until, out of nowhere, Chievo came to life.

​Emanuele Giaccherini got around Fabio Borini with a fabulous cushioned touch and put the 33rd-minute equaliser on a plate for Stepinski.

And the incredible turnaround was complete just over a minute later when Inglese lashed an unstoppable effort into the top right corner, the ball having broken kindly on the edge of the area.

Suso curled an attempt at an immediate response around the far post before Kessie was shown a yellow card for simulation as Milan welcomed the chance to regroup at the interval.

​Gattuso's half-time talk clearly had its desired effect. Cutrone buried the follow-up from Lucas Biglia's initial shot and, after originally being ruled offside, the VAR intervened to award the equaliser.

Cutrone and Silva, on as a substitute for Borini, both failed to make the most of headers as the home side pressed for an all-important third.

And, after a nervy 30-minute wait, the home side eventually found a fortuitous way through with Calhanoglu's corner bouncing off Pawel Jaroszynski and into Silva's lap for a tap-in.

The margin of victory should have been extended in the third minute of added time after the VAR adjudged Nenad Tomovic to have handled in his own area, but Sorrentino moved well to his right to parry Kessie's tame spot-kick.

It mattered little, though, with Milan seeing out a crucial victory that keeps them in touch with the top four.

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