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Sassuolo gatecrash San Siro to deny Milan top spot


Milan (AFP) – AC Milan missed the chance to move top of Serie A on Sunday after crashing to a shock 3-1 home loss to Sassuolo which gives Napoli the opportunity to move clear at the summit.

Sassuolo emerged worthy winners at the San Siro after recovering from Alessio Romagnoli’s 21st-minute header through a superb Gianluca Scamacca strike, Simon Kjaer’s own goal and  a solo effort from Domenico Berardi.

Milan, who finished with 10 men after Romagnoli completed a miserable afternoon by being shown a straight red card for taking out Gregoire Defrel, are level on 32 points with league leaders Napoli who host Lazio in Sunday’s late match.

Two straight league defeats for Milan mean that city rivals Inter Milan are now only a point behind in third, with Atalanta a further three back after beating Juventus in Turin on Sunday.

Coach Stefano Pioli, who on Friday signed an extension to his Milan contract until June 2023 with an option for another year, made a raft of changes to the side that earned a superb 1-0 Champions League win at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Injuries to Olivier Giroud and Ante Rebic led to Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing up front with a strong support line of Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz and Alexis Saelemaekers, with Tiemoue Bakayoko making his first start of the season in midfield alongside Ismael Bennacer.

And Bakayoko was at fault for Sassuolo’s leveller which came just three minutes after Milan had taken the lead, lazily giving the ball away to Giacomo Raspadori who then fed Scamacca the chance to smash in off the bar.

Scamacca was also at the heart of the goal which put Sassuolo in front in the 33rd minute, belting a close range effort which returning Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan could only push off Kjaer and into his own net.

And Berardi put the icing on the cake 20 minutes into the second half by making a fool of Romagnoli, putting the Italy defender on his face with some nifty dribbling, before calmly finishing the third goal.

Earlier Andriy Shevchenko earned his first point as Genoa coach with a largely uneventful goalless draw at Udinese.

Genoa have been without key striker Mattia Destro for a month and the away side lacked firepower despite having more of the ball at the Dacia Arena.

On Wednesday his team host Milan, where the former Ukraine striker scored 175 goals and won one Serie A title and the 2003 Champions League.

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