AC Milan Triumph Over AS Roma in Serie A Clash Despite 10 Men
AC Milan secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday, despite playing with ten men, to claim a provisional three-point lead at the top of Serie A. The win marked Romelu Lukaku's debut for Roma but didn't bring them the desired result.
AC Milan continued their strong start to the season, maintaining a perfect record with nine points. In contrast, Roma's struggles persisted as they remained winless in their first three league games, a feat not seen since the 2011-12 season.
Milan's coach, Stefano Pioli, expressed his satisfaction with both the result and the team's performance, emphasizing the importance of continuity.
Milan's impressive form continued from their previous 4-1 victory against Torino, following their opening season 2-0 win against Bologna.
The match's early moments saw Milan seize the initiative when Olivier Giroud calmly converted a penalty in the ninth minute. The penalty was awarded after goalkeeper Rui Patricio fouled Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Giroud's goal marked his sixth consecutive appearance with a goal in the major European leagues, replicating his feat from 2015 when he played for Arsenal.
Roma faced defensive vulnerabilities as Milan pressed for a second goal, but Patricio's impressive reflexes denied U.S. forward Christian Pulisic a close-range attempt.
Milan extended their lead three minutes into the second half when winger Rafael Leao skillfully volleyed Davide Calabria's lofted cross into the net off the post.
Despite going down to ten men in the 61st minute due to defender Fikayo Tomori's second yellow card, Roma struggled to capitalize on the numerical advantage.
Roma's manager, Jose Mourinho, made a triple substitution, introducing Lukaku, who had received a warm welcome from about 4,000 Roma fans upon his arrival from Chelsea on a season-long loan.
Lukaku had a near-immediate impact, almost scoring a minute after coming on, but his first-time shot from outside the box narrowly missed the target.
Roma managed to pull a goal back in stoppage time, courtesy of Leonardo Spinazzola, and had a chance to equalize with Nicola Zalewski late in the game. However, their efforts came too late to salvage a point.
Mourinho, who returned to the touchline after serving a 10-day ban for his comments criticizing a referee at the end of the previous season, chose not to attend the post-match press conference.