Date: 15th February 2018 at 8:53pm
Written by:

AC Milan will take a 3-0 lead back to Italy, after victory over Ludogorets in their Europa League Round of 32 first leg tie.

Cutrone bagged his fourth Europa League goal of the season just before half time, then Ricardo Rodriguez doubled the advantage from the penalty spot with an hour gone. Fabio Borini wrapped up the win in time added on.

The result keeps Gennaro Gattuso’s men unbeaten in 2018 and in a good position to progress with the second leg in a week’s time.

In the opening period of the game, Ludogorets were well on top and had Milan pinned in their own half, but poor finishing and final balls lacking in quality nullified the home side’s threat.

It took Milan almost 20 minutes to get their first sight of goal as Cutrone fired wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Giacomo Bonaventura skipped into the Bulgarian box beating several defenders before firing his shot over the crossbar.

Then just before the break, Cutrone glanced a header in at the far post from a pinpoint Hakan Calhanoglu cross.

Ludogorets came out in the second half determined to get an equaliser and Marcelinho forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into a save.

Svetoslav Dyakov then shuffled through the Milan defence and unleashed a long-range drive which crashed off the crossbar.

Things went from bad to worse for he Bulgarian side as Cosmic Moti fouled Cutrone, pushing him in the back and conceding a penalty.

Substitute Ricardo Rodriguez stepped up and side-footed past the goalkeeper to double Milan’s lead.

Despite having most of the ball, Ludogorets were unable to fashion any real goalscoring chances with Milan defending well.

The tie was all but wrapped up as Franck Kessie crossed in from the right, Andre Silva missed the initial chance, but Borini smashed home at the back post.