Lecce remain unbeaten, as they held out under pressure down to 10 men for a point in Monza, in a game with two red cards and Nikola Krstovic’s third goal in as many rounds.
The Salentini came into this after a win over Lazio and draw with Fiorentina. The hosts lost two of the opening three games in a tough fixture list. Michele Di Gregorio and Danilo D’Ambrosio were injured, so new signing Lorenzo Colombo made his Monza debut against his old club.
It was a nightmare start for the hosts, because Luca Caldirola was distracted and ended up kicking Almqvist rather than the ball, giving away a penalty. Nikola Krstovic was rewarded for his great start to the season with a place in the XI and converted a great spot-kick into the top corner. It was his third goal in as many games.
Monza drew level when Caldirola won it back, Colombo laid it off for Andrea Colpani to sweep in from the edge of the area.
That seemed to wake them up, as moments later Roberto Gagliardini’s effort was deflected inches wide, then Patrick Ciurria grazed the upright, but Gianluca Caprari went off with a sprained ankle.
Lecce went down to 10 men on 55 minutes amid controversy. Federico Baschirotto went in on the ball first, it bounced awkwardly and he lunged forward to knock it beyond Colombo, in so doing catching the striker on the top of the boot with his studs. The referee opted for a straight red card and stuck by the decision even after he was called for a VAR on-field review.
Dany Mota Carvalho had a double chance, firing the first at Wladimiro Falcone and blasting the rebound wide.
Monza thought they had taken the lead on 69 minutes after a chaotic move when Gagliardini’s cross was deflected onto the crossbar, Mota Carvalho’s effort from 12 yards was parried and eventually Andrea Carboni scored with an acrobatic overhead kick from six yards. However, Carboni was offside when the Mota Carvalho shot was made, so the goal was disallowed.
Monza also went down to 10 men, as Caldirola received his second yellow card for tripping Roberto Piccoli from behind.
Nonetheless, the hosts pushed to the bitter end, Gagliardini’s header into the ground bouncing back up and over the bar from Colpani’s cross.
Monza 1-1 Lecce
Krstovic pen 3 (L), Colpani 24 (M)
Sent off: Baschirotto 55 (L), Caldirola 85 (M)
(Assist: Lorenzo Colombo)