The Rossoneri needed a victory to stay joint top with Napoli, who beat Salernitana earlier this evening, and had Theo Hernandez and Brahim Diaz back in the squad after COVID. Ante Rebic, Samu Castillejo, Mike Maignan, Alessandro Florenzi, Junior Messias and Pietro Pellegri missed out. Jose Mourinho picked the same XI for the fourth Serie A game in a row.
Lorenzo Pellegrini drilled wide from eight yards on a Matias Vina pull-back in the opening minutes, while Rafael Leao shinned a Davide Calabria cross over.
It was end-to-end stuff, Pellegrini firing wide after a chaotic move and Zlatan Ibrahimovic over from a tricky angle.
The deadlock was broken when Ibrahimovic smashed a ferocious free kick through the wall into the far bottom corner, despite there being a player lying down behind it. That was his 400th goal in domestic league competitions.
Rafael Leao had a shot charged down, then Ibrahimovic also chested down the ball for Rafael Leao to flick it over Rui Patricio and nod into an empty net, but it was disallowed for the Swede’s offside position.
Pellegrini’s free kick took a deflection to flash all the way across the face of goal, nobody getting the final touch, while Rui Patricio plucked a Theo Hernandez set play out of the air.
Ibrahimovic had the ball in the net again on 50 minutes when chesting down a ball over the top, letting it bounce and firing in with his right foot, but was marginally offside.
It was end-to-end stuff, as Abraham had a shot charged down by Simon Kjaer, Milan immediately went on the counter with Ibrahimovic brought down by Roger Ibanez. The defender got a bit of the ball, but arguably only after he went through the Swede’s ankle, which is the conclusion the referee also reached after viewing it on the VAR monitor. Franck Kessie sent Rui Patricio the wrong way to convert and double the Rossoneri’s lead.
However, just as the Rossoneri were looking comfortable, Theo Hernandez received his second yellow card for flinging himself in the path of Pellegrini just outside the box. That reduced Milan to 10 men and means he’ll be suspended against Inter.
Pellegrini’s free kick flashed inches past the far post and Zaniolo’s head and Roma began to pin the visitors back, Simon Kjaer practically clearing a Zaniolo header off the line after a well-worked free kick routine.
Tatarusanu had his gloves stung by an absolute rocket from Gianluca Mancini, but in stoppages Roma did get one back, as Stephan El Shaarawy gathered a poor clearance and smashed it into the roof of the net from 12 yards.
It still wasn’t over, a late siege seeing Tatarusanu at full stretch to palm away the Carles Perez strike and more penalty appeals for Kjaer’s challenge on Pellegrini.
Roma 1-2 Milan
Ibrahimovic 25 (M), Kessie pen 57 (M), El Shaarawy 93 (R)
Sent off: Theo Hernandez 66 (M)