AC Milan vs Benevento – Football Match Report – May 1, 2021
AC Milan climbed to second in Serie A with a 2-0 win over relegation Benevento at San Siro on Saturday thanks to goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN + (US only)
– ESPN + spectator guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
Stefano Pioli’s side were under pressure to get a result after back-to-back defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio, and a goal in each half earned a deserved victory which deepened the visitors’ crisis.
Milan climbed to provisional second place with 69 points before their top four rivals Atalanta (68 points), Napoli (66) and Juventus (66) played on Sunday.
This year’s tally is already the Milan club’s biggest points total in the Serie A season since 2012-13, when they finished with 72 points, and have four more games to play.
“It was essential to win. In Rome (against Lazio) we did not do well and we knew it. Now there are four games left and we have to do more and more,” said the Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli at DAZN.
The result extended Benevento’s winless run to six games and Filippo Inzaghi’s side remain 18th with 31 points.
Milan were boosted by the return to form of top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed his side’s last three league games with injuries and suspension, and they looked much more dangerous with the talismanic Swede on field.
Calhanoglu led a shot into the bottom corner after a well-worked passing move after six minutes, and Hernandez threatened a second but was denied by a flying save from Lorenzo Montipo.
Ibrahimovic came close on either side of the break, but on two occasions his arrivals were blocked by the legs of the impressive Benevento keeper, before Iago Falque delivered a fierce shot right next to the visitors.
Montipo appeared determined to frustrate Ibrahimovic as he blamed another effort on the part of the 39-year-old.
But Milan eventually doubled their lead when Montipo could only parry a shot from Ibrahimovic on the way to Hernandez, who shot home on the rebound.
Gianluca Lapadula’s header was wide for the visitors, but Milan held on for an important win ahead of their visit to Juventus next Sunday.