AC Milan again dropped points from a winning position when it was held to a 1-1 draw at Empoli in Serie A on Thursday.
Milan led for an hour following Leonardo Capezzi’s own goal but Francesco Caputo leveled from the penalty spot in the 71st minute. “Mistakes can happen and at the moment we’re paying a dear price for them,” Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said. “I’m more disappointed at not closing out the match earlier, it’s becoming a problem.
“When you don’t win but you’re playing well, you start becoming nervous, you can’t hide that. The lads are giving their all … plus their goalkeeper (Pietro Terracciano) made at least five miraculous saves.” It was the second match in a row that Milan had drawn after going ahead, following Atalanta’s stoppage-time equalizer on Sunday.
Milan was also 2-0 up on Napoli earlier in the campaign before losing 3-2. The Rossoneri has six points from five matches this season, having dropped seven points from a winning position _ more than any other team. Milan took the lead in the 10th minute when Diego Laxalt’s cross wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Lucas Biglia, whose powerful effort was deflected into the top corner by Capezzi.
It was an end-to-end match and Caputo’s volley crashed off the post seconds before Terracciano made an impressive double stop, denying first Giacomo Bonaventura and then getting back up to palm away Franck Kessie’s follow up. Milan was eventually pegged back when Andrea Romagnoli scuffed a clearance and compounded his error by tripping Caputo.
The 31-year-old Caputo had never taken a penalty in Serie A but stepped up and struck it powerfully down the middle. Terracciano then pulled off a stunning save with two minutes remaining to fingertip Spanish midfielder Suso’s effort around the post.
Sassuolo won the battle of the surprise outfits in Serie A as it triumphed 2-0 at Spal to move into third place. Both teams have had excellent starts to the campaign and Spal had won its previous four home matches. Claud Adjapong broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with his second league goal and substitute Alessandro Matri made it 2-0 with his 91st strike in Serie A.
The 34-year-old Matri came on for his first appearance of the season, with three minutes remaining, and also had time to hit the post. Sassuolo could go second with victory at home to Milan on Sunday. It is two points behind Napoli and five adrift of Juventus. The top two meet in Turin on Saturday.