Luka Jovic nets late leveller to secure AC Milan draw at bottom club Salernitana

By Sports Desk December 22, 2023

Luka Jovic spared AC Milan’s blushes as his 90th-minute leveller secured a 2-2 draw against Serie A’s bottom club Salernitana.

Jovic volleyed home in a crowded goalmouth after Federico Fazio and Antonio Candreva had wiped out the Milan lead provided by Fikayo Tomori’s third goal of the season.

The late equaliser was rough justice on Salernitana, who are managed by Milan striking great Filippo Inzaghi and had won only once in the league, at home to Lazio last month.

Third-placed Milan trail league leaders and city rivals Inter by eight points having played a game more, and the Rossoneri have now failed to win any of their last four away matches in Serie A.

Salernitana survived a second-minute VAR penalty check for handball against Fazio, the Argentina defender getting in the way of Rafael Leao’s effort when possibly moving his arm towards the ball.

Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan reacted well to save from Boulaye Dia after Domagoj Bradarc’s drive had veered across goal.

But Christian Pulisic volleyed the ball just over before the visitors took a 17th-minute lead.

Tijjani Reijnders’ free-kick reached Leao at the far post and the Portuguese sent it back across the six-yard box, Tomori adjusting well after a double deflection to head home.

Salernitana responded well to that setback and Maignan showed excellent reflexes to push away a ball that had skimmed off the head of team-mate Ismael Bennacer.

Milan were then cut apart by an excellent home move which ended with Candreva crossing and Grigoris Kastanos stretching to force another fine stop from Maignan.

But Salernitana were not to be denied and Fazio produced a prodigious leap from Candreva’s corner, rising above Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Simon Kjaer, to equalise with a thumping header.

Loftus-Cheek almost restored Milan’s lead, breaking forward from midfield to sting the palms of Benoit Costil in the Salernitana goal.

But Loum Tchaouna nearly pounced at the far post before Candreva sent the home fans wild.

Tomori went down clutching his hamstring but Salernitana correctly played on and the veteran Italy international’s angled 20-yard drive slipped through the fingers of an embarrassed Maignan at the near post.

Maignan was far more accomplished to turn over Pasquale Mazzocchi’s powerful drive from distance and Milan pressed for an equaliser in the final quarter.

Costil produced a brilliant double save from Jovic, but the Serbia substitute broke Salernitana hearts after Olivier Giroud had directed the ball into his path with a clever header.

The game finished in controversy with a mass pitchside melee and Salernitana substitute goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo was shown a red card for pushing Alessandro Florenzi.

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