Roma errors hand AC Milan a 3-1 win in Serie A

Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan in action during the Italian Serie A football Championship match AC Milan vs AS Roma at San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy on January 6, 2021. 

Jose Mourinho was left gesticulating in apparent disapproval after two grievous errors from his Roma players handed AC Milan a 3-1 win in Serie A on Thursday. 

First, striker Tammy Abraham stuck out his arm to block a shot that resulted in a penalty for Milan, then defender Roger Ibañez made an errant back pass that was intercepted by Olivier Giroud, which led to the Rossoneri’s second goal just 17 minutes in. 

Giroud converted the penalty and Junior Messias scored Milan’s second on a rebound after Giroud’s effort hit the post. Abraham then pulled one back for Roma with a deflection but Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan maintained the Rossoneri's advantage with a series of difficult saves. 

Milan also hit the goalframe twice, while Roma finished with nine men when Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini each picked up their second yellow cards — which will mean they'll be suspended for Sunday's game against Juventus.

With Roma down to 10 men, Rafael Leão restored Milan's two-goal advantage after being set up with a chested pass from fellow substitute Zlatan Ibrahimović to sprint in alone toward goal. 

Ibrahimović then had a penalty attempt saved by Rui Patrício. The match at the San Siro was one of only six of 10 matches that was played following a two-week break, with four games scrapped because of rising coronavirus cases. 

Milan moved within one point of Serie A leader Inter Milan, whose game at Bologna was among postponed after the hosts were ordered into quarantine. The other games affected were Atalanta vs. Torino, Salernitana vs. Venezia and Fiorentina vs. Udinese.

Napoli’s match at Juventus was still scheduled to go ahead later despite Napoli reporting seven players positive and three staff members, including coach Luciano Spalletti. Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini is also out with COVID-19. 

Thursday’s matches were held on a national holiday in Italy, the Epiphany. Another full slate of 10 matches is scheduled for Sunday. Stadium capacities have been reduced from 75% to 50% following a government decree aimed at combatting the latest outbreak, and spectators must now wear FFP2 masks. 

Hellas Verona won 2-1 at relegation-threatened Spezia despite missing eight players who had tested positive. Gianluca Caprari scored twice for Verona before Martin Erlić pulled one back for Spezia. 

The result could cost Spezia coach Thiago Motta his job. Also, Sergej Milinković-Savić scored twice — including a stoppage-time equalizer — for Lazio in a 3-3 draw with Empoli. Ciro Immobile opened the scoring for Lazio with his 14th of the season but also had a late penalty kick saved. 

Sassuolo earned a 1-1 draw with Genoa as Domenico Berardi responded to Mattia Destro’s opener. Cagliari earned its second win of the season by beating Sampdoria 2-1 with goals from Alessandro Deiola and Leonardo Pavoletti.

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