AC Milan were dealt a major blow in their hopes of retaining their title as they were held to a 2-2 draw against newly promoted Lecce.

The Rossoneri had a terrible start to the game falling behind by 2-0 in the opening 23 minutes before Rafa Leao and Davide Calabria scored in the second half to rescue a point in a highly entertaining game at the Stadio Via del Mareon Saturday evening.

Consecutive 2-2 draws

This was Milan’s second consecutive 2-2 draw with Roma last week, a result that now leaves the defending Champions nine points adrift of table toppers Napoli who thrashed Juventus 5-1 on Friday.

It took Lecce just three minutes to open the scoring on the night in front of their vociferous home fans as Federico di Francesco’s cross from the left was bundled home into his own net by Milan left back Theo Hernandez.

Di Francesco should have made it 2-0 for the hosts minutes later but the 28-year-old Italian winger flashed Gabriel Strefezza’s cross field straight across the face of goal.

Giroud misfires

Olivier Giroud then spurned a golden opportunity to restore parity when the Frenchman ballooned a rebound over the bar following Tommaso Pobega’s shot which came off Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone’s face.

Federico Baschirotto made it 2-0 for the home side following a short corner it was Milan who looked lackluster all across the pitch. Stefano Pioli made changes at half time, and which paid off as the traveling side showed class in the second half. Leao scored in the 58th minute to beat Falcone from a tricky angle to halve the deficit before Calabria restored parity in the 70the minute with a looping header.

Lecce who were undefeated in their last four outings in the Serie A including wins over Lazio and Atalanta could have won the game at the very end but a ricochet off Fikayo Tomori went inches wide of the net.

The home side sit 12th in the standings with 20 points from 18 games while Milan who are second will now hope that Napoli drop points in their upcoming matches to rekindle their hopes of defending their Scudetto.  

Photo credit: IMAGO / LaPresse