Milan woes continue, as after leading 2-0 with Olivier Giroud and Tijjani Reijnders goals, losing Rafael Leao to injury and Giroud seeing red, Lecce came back for a thrilling 2-2 draw, only VAR and the woodwork prevented their victory.
The Rossoneri got back on track midweek beating PSG, but still had just one point from three Serie A rounds. Christian Pulisic, Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjaer, Ismael Bennacer, Marco Pellegrino and Mattia Caldara missed out, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek was not fit enough to start. Lecce had just two points from six games, fumbling a lead to lose with two stoppage-time goals at Roma, losing Pontus Almqvist to a thigh strain.
It was the worst possible start, because Rafael Leao was running on to a Tommaso Pobega through ball when he pulled up clutching his right thigh after just eight minutes.
Substitute Noah Okafor came on and immediately set up Pobega with a back-heel flick, stinging Wladimiro Falcone’s gloves at the near post.
Lameck Banda tested Mike Maignan from distance, but the deadlock was broken when Theo Hernandez completed a give-and-go with Okafor down the left and pulled back from the by-line for Giroud to get in front of his marker and bundle over the line off his stomach. It was the ideal way to mark his 100th appearance in the Milan jersey.
The Rossoneri doubled their lead with the first goal for summer signing Tijjani Reijnders. He gathered from Malick Thiaw in midfield and started the run, Giroud led the defender away to create a gap and he drilled it beneath the goalkeeper.
Reijnders clearly had his confidence boosted and almost got another moments later, this time the run resulting in a shot off the base of the upright.
However, Mike Maignan also needed an extraordinary reaction save on Lameck Banda from close range after Gabriel Strefezza had rolled across from the left.
Strefezza was also denied by a desperate Malick Thiaw sliding tackle in the box and Davide Calabria went off injured at half-time, so Yunus Musah became the right-back.
The Reijnders pull-back took a double ricochet into the grateful arms of Falcone, while Theo Hernandez failed to get the pass away in time after a counter-attack.
Those chances were wasted and Lecce hit back with a very similar goal to the once conceded against PSG midweek. Alexis Blin nodded on a corner to the back post for the unmarked Nicola Sansone to turn in. Incredibly, it was Sansone’s sixth career goal against Milan.
Just four minutes later, the hosts were on level terms as Musah was caught in possession, sparking a move from left to right from Roberto Piccoli and Sansone to Banda, who curled left-footed into the far bottom corner. Much like the 2-2 draw away to Napoli, the Rossoneri fumbled a leading situation.
A Theo Hernandez angled drive flashed across the face of goal just wide, while Sansone’s free kick struck the side-netting.
Lecce nearly turned it around completely on 85 minutes, Sansone’s header on a Valentin Gendrey cross thumping the far post and ricocheting along the empty net, but not going in.
Sansone also fired wide, but Giroud lost his head, receiving two yellow cards in a matter of seconds for dissent after claiming Marin Pongracic had handled.
Moments later, Lecce then scored for 3-2 with Piccoli controlling a long Falcone clearance and surprising Maignan off his line to fire in at the near bottom corner from 25 metres out. However, it was disallowed following a VAR on-field review, as Piccoli trod on Thiaw’s foot in order to get away from the defender.
Lecce 2-2 Milan
Giroud 28 (M), Reijnders 35 (M), Sansone 66 (L), Banda 70 (L)
Sent off: Giroud 93 (M)
(Assist: Theo Hernández)
(Assist: Samuel Chukwueze)
(Assist: Alexis Blin)
(Assist: Nicola Sansone)