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Milan 3-1 Genoa (aet): Leao and Saelemaekers seal Coppa Italia progress

By Jonathan Davies

Milan, January 14: Milan struck twice in extra time as they came from behind to defeat Genoa 3-1 and advance to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

Leo Ostigard's first-half header gave the visitors the lead on Andriy Shevchenko's return to San Siro.

However, Milan's persistence after the break paid dividends as Oliver Giroud nodded home an equaliser with 16 minutes remaining, and substitutes Rafael Leao and Alexis Saelemaekers completed the turnaround in the additional half-hour to send Stefano Pioli's side through.

Genoa had lost each of their 13 previous matches at this stage of the Coppa Italia, last reaching the quarter-finals in 1991-92.

Nevertheless, the visitors took the lead in the 17th minute as Ostigard rose to head home Manolo Portanova's corner.

Milan then lost Fikayo Tomori to injury midway through the first half, the former Chelsea centre-back limping off to be replaced by Alessandro Florenzi.

Things almost got worse for the hosts before the break when Portanova squandered a great opportunity by shooting wide from inside the six-yard box.

The Rossoneri had never been beaten by Genoa on home soil in this competition and they turned up the pressure after the restart, enjoying well over 70 per cent of the possession.

They were finally rewarded in the 74th minute as Giroud brilliantly headed past Adrian Semper from Theo Hernandez's inviting cross.

It continued to be one-way traffic in extra time, Leao drawing a smart save out of Semper, while Sandro Tonali's vicious long-range drive was inches wide of the target.

But Genoa's resistance was finally broken by Leao in the 102nd minute – albeit in fortunate circumstances – as the Portugal international's attempted cross looped over Semper and in off the far post.

Saelemaekers then sealed the deal five minutes after the restart, turning home from Hernandez's square ball.

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Story first published: Friday, January 14, 2022, 4:10 [IST]
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