AC Milan 2-0 Benevento: Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez take the crucial victory for the Rossoneri in the race for Champions League football … but the visitors remain in the dreaded drop zone
- Due to the victory over Benevento, AC Milan is temporarily in second place
- Hakan Calhanoglu gave Milan the perfect start, scoring within six minutes
- Theo Hernandez then sealed the hour victory in the San Siro
AC Milan climbed to second place in Serie A with a 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Benevento on Saturday in San Siro thanks to goals from Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez.
Stefano Pioli’s side were under pressure to score a result after consecutive defeats to Sassuolo and Lazio, and a goal in each half delivered a deserved victory that exacerbated the visitor crisis.
Milan climbed to provisional second place with 69 points before their top-four rivals Atalanta (68 points), Napoli (66) and Juventus (66) play on Sunday.
Theo Hernandez and Hakan Calhanoglu got on the scoresheet when AC Milan won 2-0
Hernandez is betting home for Milan’s second of the night against Benevento on Saturday
This year’s tally is already the Milan club’s highest point total in a Serie A season since 2012-13, when they finished with 72 points, and they have four games to play.
‘It was essential to win. In Rome (against Lazio) we didn’t do well and we knew it. Now there are four games left and we have to do more and more, ” Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli told DAZN.
The result extended Benevento’s profitless league run to six games and Filippo Inzaghi’s squad remained 18th with 31 points.
Milan was boosted by the return to fitness of top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who missed his side’s last three league games through injury and suspension, and they looked a lot more dangerous with the talisman Swede on the field.
Calhanoglu fired a shot into the bottom corner after a well-executed pass after six minutes, and Hernandez threatened a second but was knocked off by a flying save from Lorenzo Montipo.
Hakan Calhanoglu had given Milan the perfect start, putting them ahead within six minutes
Ibrahimovic came close on either side of the break, but on both occasions his finishes were blocked by the legs of the impressive Benevento goalkeeper, before Iago Falque fired a fierce shot just wide of the visitors.
Montipo seemed determined to frustrate Ibrahimovic when he attacked another attempt by the 39-year-old.
But Milan eventually doubled their lead when Montipo was only able to parry Ibrahimovic’s shot into Hernandez’s path, who fired the rebound.
Gianluca Lapadula’s looking header was just wide for the visitors, but Milan held on for an important win ahead of their visit to Juventus next Sunday.
Calhanoglu hits the goalkeeper’s left at home and Milan has to start at the start