AC Milan secured their place in the Coppa Italia quarter-final after an enthralling 3-1 win against Genoa in extra time.
The Rossoneri were extremely underwhelming in the first half, and the visitors quickly capitalised on their poor play.
In the 17th minute, Manolo Portanova’s cross found Leo Østigård, who sent a powerful header past Mike Maignan to score on his Genoa debut.
Milan’s problems increased just four minutes later as centre-back Fikayo Tomori dropped to the floor after appearing to suffer pain in his knee.
The Englishman, who returned to the starting line-up after recovering from COVID-19, was subbed off for Alessandro Florenzi.
This forced his side to reshuffle their backline as Florenzi took over at right-back and Pierre Kalulu moved to centre-back.
There was an apparent lack of urgency from Milan for the rest of the first half as Genoa stayed on top going into the break.
The Rossoblù continued to threaten Milan’s defence after the break, but their inability to be clinical in the final third saw them fail to double their advantage.
As Genoa was beginning to show signs of fatigue, Stefano Pioli’s side began to hold the bulk of possession and assert themselves as they continued their search for an equaliser.
After receiving the ball just outside the left of Genoa’s 16-yard box, Theo Hernández quickly sent in a cross that found the head of Olivier Giroud, who perfectly placed his header in the top left corner to level the scoreline.
Giroud’s equaliser put the Rossoneri at ease. Milan took complete control of the game and continued to press until the final whistle, sending them into extra time for the third year in a row in the competition’s round of 16 fixture.
As extra-time progressed, Genoa did well limiting Milan’s chances in their box. However, Rafael Leão’s cross in the 102nd minute caught Genoa goalkeeper Adrian Šemper off guard and made its way into the back of the net.
Genoa lost all hope of making an unprecedented comeback as Hernandez’s cutback into the box was slotted home by Alexis Saelemaekers to seal the victory for the Rossoneri.
With a few minutes left, Stefano Pioli sent on 18-year-old forward Emil Roback to make his Milan debut, and the Swede showed great confidence in his short-lived appearance.
The job of Genoa coach Andriy Shevchenko remains uncertain after just ten games in charge. It is unclear whether this will be his final match in charge of the Ligurians, who are currently 19th in the Serie A table.
Milan advance to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia where they will face the winner of Lazio against Udinese, who play next Tuesday.
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