Ibrahimovic salvages late point after missing penalty as Milan draw with Verona


Zlatan Ibrahimovic recovered from another missed penalty to score in stoppage time and salvage a 2-2 draw for Milan against Hellas Verona.

Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni put Ivan Juric's visitors 2-0 up inside 20 minutes before an own goal from Giangiacomo Magnani gave the hosts hope.

Ibrahimovic then failed from 12 yards for the third time this season - his fourth miss in six attempts going back to last term - and Davide Calabria saw an effort ruled out in the first minute of second-half stoppage time after the Swede had handled in the build-up.

Milan's talisman had the final say, however, heading home Brahim Diaz's cross two minutes later to snatch a draw that moves Stefano Pioli's side two points clear of second-placed Sassuolo at the Serie A summit.

Gianluigi Donnarumma denied Nikola Kalinic from close range after five minutes, but the Milan goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Verona taking the lead from the resulting corner. 

Federico Ceccherini's header crashed back off the crossbar and Barak reacted quickest to prod over the line from inside the six-yard box.

The visitors doubled their advantage in the 19th minute as Zaccagni's volley from the edge of the penalty area found the back of the net courtesy of Calabria's sliced attempted clearance. 

But Milan - beaten by Lille in the Europa League in midweek - pulled a goal back eight minutes later when Franck Kessie's flick from an Alexis Saelemaekers cross was deflected past Marco Silvestri by Magnani.

Moments after Silvestri's superb 64th-minute stop from Theo Hernandez, the Rossoneri were handed the opportunity to pull level as Matteo Lovato fouled Kessie inside the area. As against Inter and Sparta Prague earlier this season, though, Ibrahimovic failed to convert from 12 yards. 

The striker then thundered a powerful header against the post before Calabria's late effort was ruled out as his team-mate was deemed to have controlled with his arm. 

Yet Ibrahimovic had the last laugh, climbing highest to nod in his eighth league goal of the campaign just as it appeared it would not be his day, with Diaz crossing after the 39-year-old had seen a shot on the turn well saved.

What does it mean? Dominant Milan have to settle for a point

Pioli said his side "must be ready to step it back up again" against Verona following their 3-0 defeat to Lille on Thursday. He did not get the result he was after, but there was no shortage of effort from his players. They had a whopping 34 shots – although only eight were on target – and enjoyed 66 per cent possession in what was a largely dominant performance despite the scoreline.

Calhanoglu pulls the strings

How Hakan Calhanoglu did not end up with an assist will remain a mystery for some time. The Turkey international created 11 chances - eight more than any other player - and delivered 17 crosses, eight of which found a team-mate.

Mixed fortunes for Ibrahimovic

The veteran striker was in the thick of the action throughout and cancelled out his missed penalty with a dramatic late leveller. He would have expected to score earlier, though, given he had 14 shots on goal. His problem? Only three were on target. 

Key Opta Facts

- Milan conceded twice within the first 20 minutes of a Serie A match for the first time since January 2017 - at home to Napoli.
- This was the first time Milan had trailed in a game this season, having taken the lead in each of their previous six league matches this term.
- Ibrahimovic became the first Milan player to score in seven consecutive Serie A appearances since the change to three points for a win (1994-95).
- But Ibrahimovic has also now missed more penalties in all competitions this season than any other player in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

What's next?

Milan visit Napoli - led by former boss Gennaro Gattuso - following the international break, while Verona host in-form Sassuolo.

Source Omnisport