Milan 0-0 Empoli: Frustrated Rossoneri held to goalless draw

By Sports Desk April 07, 2023

Milan missed the opportunity to further boost their top four hopes as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Empoli on Friday.

The Rossoneri went into their Serie A clash at San Siro looking to take advantage after rivals Inter could only draw with Salernitana earlier in the day.

But Stefano Pioli's side ultimately also had to settle for a point as Paolo Zanetti's visitors stubbornly kept them at bay despite Milan fashioning a number of opportunities, while Olivier Giroud saw a late goal disallowed for handball.

It marked a disappointing lead-in for the hosts as they prepare to face league leaders Napoli in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Milan wasted little time pursuing an opener, and back-to-back attempts from Ante Rebic and Theo Hernandez in the 13th minute forced a pair of saves from Samuele Perisan, while Sandro Tonali also went close six minutes from the interval.

Empoli continued to be besieged at the back following the break, with defender Tyronne Ebuehi eventually surviving a penalty call that had been given for handball, overturned after a VAR check on the hour mark.

The arrival of Giroud and Rafael Leao added fresh life into Milan's attack, with the latter going close in the 73rd minute following Alessandro Florenzi's cross.

It looked as if Giroud might have spared his side's blushes when he had the ball in the net in the 89th minute, only for the VAR to rule it out for handball against the French striker, ultimately ensuring the hosts were kept at deadlock.

Related items

  • Rublev battles past Daniel to reach French Open second round Rublev battles past Daniel to reach French Open second round

    Andrey Rublev booked his place in the French Open second round after battling past Taro Daniel in four sets at Roland Garros.

    The sixth seed, who is a two-time quarter-finalist at the season's second major, prevailed 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-5 in just over three hours on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

    Rublev triumphed on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this month and dominated the opening set, though his Japanse opponent pegged him back in a second-set tie-break.

    However, the 26-year-old was not to be denied, taking the next two sets to book a showdown with either Pedro Martinez or Thiago Agustin Tirante in the second round.

    Data debrief

    It is now 10 years since Rublev was crowned the boys' singles champion at Roland Garros, while he reached the first of his two men's quarter-finals in 2020.

    One of the most consistent players in recent years, he has now won 223 ATP matches since the start of the 2020 season, with only Daniil Medvedev (225) registering more during that time.

  • Osaka sets up potential French Open meeting with Swiatek after downing Bronzetti Osaka sets up potential French Open meeting with Swiatek after downing Bronzetti

    Naomi Osaka returned to the French Open with a bang after overcoming Lucia Bronzetti to set up a potential meeting with Iga Swiatek.

    Former world number one Osaka made her Paris comeback after a 15-month maternity break, battling to a 6-1 4-6 7-5 first-round victory over Bronzetti on Sunday.

    Now ranked 134th in the women's standings after her long lay-off, the four-time major winner had little trouble in finding her feet and did not face a break point during a dominant first set.

    World number 48 Bronzetti responded by holding three consecutive serving games in the second set on Court Philippe-Chatrier, staving off two break points to clinch a 4-3 lead.

    Osaka managed back-to-back breaks to seize a 4-0 advantage after the Italian forced a deciding set, though was forced to hold off a late comeback to triumph in the French capital.

    Returning to Roland-Garros for the first time in two years, Osaka could now meet Swiatek in the second round if the defending champion overcomes Leolia Jeanjean on Monday.

    Data Debrief: Osaka hot on Swiatek's tail

    Among active players, Osaka (75.3%, 58-19) now only trails her potential next opponent, Swiatek (81.4%, 70-16), for winning percentage in women’s singles matches at major events.

    Now 5-3 on clay at WTA events in 2024, Osaka has claimed five seasonal match wins on clay for the first time since 2019, when she held the WTA's number-one ranking.

  • Messi absence forces Martino apology for disappointed Vancouver crowd Messi absence forces Martino apology for disappointed Vancouver crowd

    Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez all did not travel for Inter Miami's 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps, leading head coach Gerardo Martino to apologise.

    The former Barcelona trio were expected to feature for the Eastern Conference leaders on Sunday, but were rested as Martino's side triumphed thanks to goals from Robert Taylor and Leonardo Campana.

    Vancouver's BC Place was expecting a larger than usual home crowd to greet the global superstars, though Whitecaps Axel Schuster apologised once the hosts got wind of Messi's absence.

    With Martino subsequently leaving Messi and his former Blaugrana stars at home, the Miami boss felt it necessary to offer his apologies to the expectant Vancouver crowd.

    "Obviously it is very important for us because of the absences we had," Martino said after the victory that made it 10 unbeaten games for Miami. 

    "The expectation that people have. I really don't think I have to apologise, but in some ways we are very sorry for not being able to travel with our stars.

    "There is a question, we have or have come without our great players. Leo, Luis, Busi, Diego Gomez and still we have competed very well."

    Schuster and the Whitecaps had previously echoed Martino's apologetic sentiment on Thursday when news emerged of their absence.

    "We know that there will also be a lot of disappointed fans," Schuster said in a statement released by Vancouver.

    Disappointment followed on the pitch as Vancouver slipped to six straight MLS matches without victory.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.