The Rossoneri were torn between preparing for the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, having lost 2-0 to Inter on Wednesday, and focusing on a top four finish. Options were limited anyway, as Malick Thiaw was suspended with Rafael Leao, Ismael Bennacer, Rade Krunic, Junior Messias, Alessandro Florenzi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic out. The hosts were increasingly desperate after sliding into the bottom three for the first time this season, plus Daniel Maldini, Joao Moutinho, Jacopo Sala, Emil Holm and banned Kevin Agudelo unavailable. The good news was that star striker M’Bala Nzola was finally fit enough to start.
Just days after doing the same thing against Inter, Sandro Tonali thumped the base of the near upright again from the edge of the area.
The Alexis Saelemaekers half-volley flashed just past both the far post and Simon Kjaer’s attempts to redirect, then Bartlomiej Dragowski flew to fingertip a Theo Hernandez screamer over the bar.
Kelvin Amian was wasteful with a free header over from 12 yards on Arkadiusz Reca’s cross, then Fikayo Tomori flung himself in the way of a Reca strike.
Dragowski parried a Tommaso Pobega strike with difficulty, while Brahim Diaz was booked for dissent after a small but obvious Sebastiano Esposito push in the box.
Moments later, Brahim Diaz was sent down the right by Tonali’s slide-rule pass, but his finish clipped the outside of the near post. Pobega also nodded a corner over, but Mike Maignan needed a sensational reaction save on Albin Ekdal at the near post after a dummy towards the far stick.
Spezia found the breakthrough on a corner, as first Amian’s free header came off the frame of the goal, then Przemyslaw Wisniewski was quickest to react on the rebound for his debut Serie A goal.
Milan poured forward, but went 2-0 down to a wonderful Salvatore Esposito free kick that floated over the wall and dipped into the near top corner from just outside the penalty area. Like Wisniewski, it was his debut goal at this level.
Spezia 2-0 Milan
Wisniewski 76 (S), Esposito 85 (S)