While Giuseppe Iachini kept his expected XI together, Stefano Pioli introduced Andrea Conti and Matteo Gabbia into the defense, while Hakan Çalhanoglu was fit enough to start. Ex-Fiorentina winger Ante Rebić and noted Viola killer Zlatan Ibrahimović also got the nod. The former Viola boss got a warm welcome from the Curva, too.
Banner in the Curva Fiesole for Stefano Pioli:— Chloe Beresford (@ChloeJBeresford) February 22, 2020
“A real man and great leader...
Stefano forever one of us” pic.twitter.com/3rXtCHaTf7
Zlatan was deeply unlucky not to open the scoring for AC Milan with a tremendous solo effort, the sort that you wouldn’t think he’s got in those 38-year-old legs, but was pinged for a negligible-looking handball in the buildup.
di sini jelas bola kena dada/tangan Ibra karena ia didorong oleh pemain Fiorentina, dan jelas tangan Ibra rapat ke badannya. kalo tim tertentu yang ngegolin mah ini gak akan nyampe ke VAR segala pasti ditetapkan gol.— Lambe Milan (@rossonerifreak) February 22, 2020
On the plus side, the advertising boards were perfect.
My favorite part of the first half between Fiorentina and Milan was when the electronic advertising boards showed three straight ads for three different Italian meats.— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) February 22, 2020
Mortadella, Salamini, Prosciutto. You can’t get more Italian than that. pic.twitter.com/qCTAx1JG8m
Rebić naturally got a goal against his former employer, although some Benny Hill defending from Germán Pezzella and Martín Cáceres made it comically easy.
IL GOAL DI ANTE REBIC— #LMR 7️⃣ ⚫La Milano Rossonera 7️⃣ ⚫ (@la_rossonera) February 22, 2020
Moments later, Dalbert got himself a straight red for a last man foul on Ibrahimović, putting the Viola in a serious hole.
But Patrick Cutrone managed to dig them out by winning this (very soft) penalty after some contact with Alessio Romagnoli.
Manco è andato a rivederlo.— MAZINHO (@dan_maze) February 22, 2020
Una schifezza senza senso.pic.twitter.com/1HmVzlykWL
And Erick Pulgar, as ever, put the spot kick away, even though substitute goalkeeper Asmir Begović got a hand to it.
Goals: Pulgar 85’ (pk), Rebić 56’
Cards: Dalbert red card 62’ (sent off), Cáceres 76’, Bennacer 12’, Çalhanoglu 24’, Hernández 85’