AC Milan beat Empoli 3-0 in Serie A on Friday night at the Stadio San Siro, cementing fourth place in the Serie A table and going just one point behind Inter.
It was business as usual for the Rossoneri, as Krzysztof Piatek broke the deadlock at the start of the second half. Franck Kessie scored the second moments later, then Samu Castillejo sealed the win for Gennaro Gattuso’s team.
Milan get their third win in three matches, as Piatek made it 18 Serie A goal for the season, equalling Oliver Bierhoff’s 1998 record of scoring in his first four starts for the Rossoneri.
The match had a slow start, with Rossoneri controlling possession, and Empoli tried to hit on the counter.
On nine minutes Lucas Paqueta’s headed goal was ruled out for offside thanks to VAR.
Then, Castillejo went in full on Suso mode, testing Barliomej Dragowski with a lovely left footed curler. Minutes later, it was the Spanish winger again to find the Empoli keeper ready.
The second half started with a bang. Rade Krunic had a massive opportunity to score for Empoli, but was unable to get the shot on target.
A minute later, Piatek made no mistake and gave the Rossoneri the lead, firing home from close range a pin point perfect Hakan Calhanoglu cross.
Not even another minute went by, and Kessie doubled the hosts’ lead with a fine chip over Dragowski.
Castillejo sealed the three points with a lovely first touch finish to turn home a perfect Andrea Conti pass.
Milan climbed up to 45 points, just one behind Inter, making it three wins in three matches.
PUM PUM PIATEK
“I score all the time,” is what he says, and he literally just cannot stop scoring. Piatek had scored his first Serie A goal against Empoli, and did it again on Friday night, breaking the deadlock in a difficult evening for the Rossoneri. His tally has reached 18 goals in Serie A, 26 for the season. Simply unstoppable. With this goal, he’s scored in each of his first four starts with AC Milan, equalling Bierhoff’s 1998 record. The standing ovation when he came off was inevitable – he is now the fan favourite at the San Siro.
THE RETURN OF CONTI
He was back, 544 days after the last time. Andrea Conti started his first match since Milan-Cagliari back in September 2017, and did it very positively. He was proactive going forward, with a couple of great dribbles, and the assist for Milan’s third. All this combined with solidity at the back. He was never scared to get stuck in with a tackle, showing he is fully back to his best. A great option for Gattuso in the run in during the last part of the season.
MAKING IT LOOK SIMPLE
It was all smiles for Milan, everything seemed nice and easy. But it wasn’t. Empoli play good football and make teams look bad, usually. The Rossoneri made it look very simple, controlling the game in the first half and then demolishing their opponents in the second. Their level of confidence is really high, and everything they try works out. So different to just a couple of months ago.