STADIO SAN SIRO (Milan) – Christian Pulisic was back on the scoresheet as his opener paved the way for AC Milan to earn a 2-0 win over Lazio in Matchday 7 of Serie A. The USMNT star struck from inside the box, before substitute Noah Okafor netted late on to seal the Rossoneri’s third consecutive Serie A victory.
Lazio‘s resistance was only broken in the second half by Pulisic‘s third Serie A goal of the season following a smart team move, but the Biancoceleste will have regrets after struggling to muster chances in the game.
Okafor‘s goal, his second in as many games, piled more misery on Lazio as their awful start to the season continued with a fourth defeat from seven Serie A matches.
AC Milan frustrated by Lazio in first-half without thrills
Although the Rossoneri tried to put some early pressure on the visitors, Lazio‘s compactness made it hard for them to find gaps to exploit, resulting in a slower pace than the hosts would’ve probably wished.
The Biancocelesti were careful to keep the distances between their lines tight and move as a block, which seemed enough to disrupt Milan‘s offensive plan.
Lazio also had the first chance of the match, which was wasted by Felipe Anderson slicing wide, but that was the only thrill of an opening 20 minutes that saw neither side able to move the ball quickly enough.
Minutes after Yunus Musah replaced the injured Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rafa Leao produced Milan‘s first shot on target as he was allowed to aim at the near post, with Ivan Provedel ready to parry it away.
The greatest opportunity of the first-half eventually fell to Tijjani Reijnders seconds from the break – Provedel was tested again as he saved a first-time shot from Olivier Giroud and presented the Dutchman with the chance to pounce on the rebound, but his attempt from point-blank range was denied by the outside of the post.
Pulisic and Okafor capitalise on AC Milan’s supremacy
The second-half script seemed to remain mainly unvaried, with Lazio looking comfortable moving the ball around in defence in an attempt to trigger pressure from Milan, a risky approach against an increasingly aggressive Rossoneri side.
Yet, the hosts’ inability to rack up clear chances prompted the home fans to raise their voices, sparking an almost immediate reaction from the players. Set up by Reijnders‘ through pass, Leao sent in a low cross that was met by Pulisic, whose first-time shot went in despite Provedel‘s unsuccessful attempt to keep it out.
Lazio‘s ball circulation became quicker shortly after coach Maurizio Sarri brought on Daichi Kamada and Matias Vecino, but it was Provedel again who was forced to make more saves from Musah and Pulisic respectively.
With the spaces left by the Biancocelesti in their final assault, it was too easy for Leao to surf down the left flank and perfectly tee up Okafor from the byline to make it 2-0 and fire Milan to 18 points, with Inter needing to respond to their city rivals later today at Salernitana.