Empoli vs Milan: Kessie shined at Carlo Castellani
- Empoli: Bajrami N., Cutrone P., Henderson L., Luperto S., Parisi F., Pinamonti A., Ricci S., Romagnoli S., Stojanovic P., Vicario G., Zurkowski S.
- AC Milan: Bennacer I., Florenzi A., Giroud O., Hernandez T., Kessie F., Maignan M., Messias J., Romagnoli A., Saelemaekers A., Tomori F., Tonali S.
This season, Empoli showed up as the rookie with a promotion from Serie B. Obviously, they are considered a weaker club compared to AC Milan, the club that are standing second in the 2021-22 Serie A table, as well as finished as the runner-up in last campaign.
However, in fact, they are bringing surprises to this top-notch football competition in Italy. They have had five consecutive unbeaten games since late November, with three wins and two draws, standing ninth in the league table with 26 points.
Milan, on the other hand, have just suffered a home loss to Napoli earlier this week. However, this didn’t really affect their standing as well as their performance. They are chasing the table-leading club, Inter Milan. But in the most important stage of the competition, it seems that Milan are not playing as well as they used to be in the first period.
Their 19th round would be played at Stadio Carlo Castellani, the home venue of Empoli. So it might be hard to say that Milan would be the winner for sure.
Milan remains top rank with a 2-4 win against Empoli
The visitors were quite calm and easily scored the opening goal in the 12th minute thanks to the midfielder from Ivory Coast, Franck Kessie. In the previous match against Napoli, he should have been the hero, but his goal wasn’t recognized. But this time was different. Kessie made a far shot with the pass from Alexis Saelemaekers and the involvement from No.9 Frenchman Olivier Giroud.
A moment in the match between Empoli and Milan
AC Milan couldn’t keep their sheet clean for more than five minutes. Bajrami from the home club had a very nice far shot from the left corner to the right corner of the net to equalize the score in the 18th minute.
In the 37th minute, Empoli almost increased the score to two with a narrow shot from Pinamonti. But the goalkeeper from the away team just timely touched the ball to deflect the ball.
Milan players raised their squad for the next counter-attack, and they nailed it. It was Kessie again to complete his first brace in Serie A in the 42nd minute. His unbelievable narrow shot defeated Vicario and helped Milan take the lead before the first half ended.
Franck Kessie shined with two goals for Milan
Two clubs had several shots on target after that, but they both couldn’t find another goal until the second half.
Right in the first minute of the second half, the home club had a really good chance to equalize the score. Empoli not only missed this opportunity but also had paid for it. In the 62nd minute, Simone Romagnoli from Empoli was booked for a yellow card, and Milan players were awarded a free-kick. Alessandro Florenzi was responsible for this kick and he made it right from the first touch to the ball and brought the third goal for AC Milan after almost three years of not scoring in Serie A.
This result seemed to affect the home team and they lost another goal just six minutes after that. Theo Hernandez waited for the ball to fall to the ground after it touched the Empoli player’s hand and he proactively scored immediately to triple the difference.
In the 84th minute, Empoli was fortunately awarded a penalty shot. The goalkeeper from the away team was completely tricked by Pinamonti and the result ended up 2-4, with the victory for the visitors.
Pinamonti nailed the penalty shot
Updated 2021-22 Serie A table
With this result, Milan successfully climbed up to second place with 42 points, which is very close to the leading club Inter Milan with 46 points. Empoli secured their ninth standing.