6′ Saelemaekers didn’t wait, hitting an incisive pass back into the penalty area immediately, playing Calhanoglu through on-goal. It’s the assist for Milan’s opener!
6′ GREAT WORK FROM MILAN MAKES IT 1-0! Kessie and Calhanoglu work it between them in midfield before a pass to the flank for Saelemaekers spreads the play. The winger immediately puts it back in the box, where Kessie’s dummy allows Calhanoglu the space needed to dispatch a shot into the bottom corner! Goal Hakan Çalhanoğlu
5′ Tomori wins the ball just outside of his penalty area but slips on the slick surface, allowing Improta to walk into the 18-yard box unimpeded. The forward takes it wide and chips it across Donnarumma’s goal, but Hernandez is there to win back the ball.
3′ Benevento look to have switched to a back four, with Falque and Improta either side of striker Lapadula. An homage to his mentor, it seems Inzaghi is employing the same Christmas tree formation Carlo Ancelotti used to so much success with Milan in the 2000s.
1′ Hernandez is down on the pitch within seconds after receiving an elbow in the back from Depaoli. It’s poised to be a physical contest in the rain as the visitors impose themselves early. The left-back will be able to continue, which is good news for the Rossoneri.
1′ Benevento get the match underway from the kick-off!
Milan make four changes from their 3-0 loss to Lazio last time out. Kjaer and Calabria are replaced in defence by Romagnoli and Dalot, while Rebic is dropped for Leao and Mario Mandzukic makes way for the return of Ibrahimovic.
Milan make four changes from their 3-0 loss to Lazio last time out. Kjaer and Calabria are replaced in defence by Romagnoli and Dalot, while Mario Mandzukic and Rebic makes way for Ibrahimovic and Leao in attack.
BENEVENTO SUBS: Andres Tello, Giuseppe Di Serio, Amadou Diambo, Pasquale Schiattarella, Roberto Insigne, Nicolo Manfredini, Christian Pastina, Gianluca Caprari, Siriki Sanogo, Adolfo Gaich, Igor Lucatelli, Perparim Hetemaj.
BENEVENTO XI (3-5-2): Lorenzo Montipo; Kamil Glik, Federico Barba, Luca Caldirola; Fabio Depaoli, Bryan Dabo, Nicolas Viola, Artur Ionita, Riccardo Improta; Gianluca Lapadula, Iago Falque.
MILAN SUBS: Samu Castillejo, Matteo Gabbia, Jens Hauge, Simon Kjaer, Ante Rebic, Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu, Sandro Tonali, Brahim Diaz, Rade Krunic, Soualiho Meite, Ciprian Tatarusanu.
MILAN XI (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Alessio Romagnoli, Diogo Dalot; Franck Kessie, Ismael Bennacer; Rafael Leao, Hakan Calhanoglu, Alexis Saelemaekers; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides are lining up – starting with the hosts!
Winless since an unbelievable 1-0 victory over Juventus over a month ago, Benevento still have hopes of remaining in the Italian top-flight. Tied on 31 points with Cagliari and Torino, it’s last years’ Serie B winners who occupy the final relegation spot. Former Milan player and coach Filippo Inzaghi will be looking to poach something at the San Siro one more time, and give his Benevento squad some breathing room ahead of a tight finish to the year.
Milan are on the outside looking in with five matches to go, as two consecutive defeats have dropped the Rossoneri to fifth place in the table. It isn’t all doom and gloom for Stefano Pioli’s side though, as they remain level with both Napoli and Juventus – only behind due to an inferior goal differential. The hosts will be desperate for a win today that keeps them in touching distance of the rest of the Champions League pack, with crucial matches against both Atalanta and Juventus still to come before the season’s end.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the Serie A fixture between Milan and Benevento!