AC Milan beat SPAL to break out of slump

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Milan (Italy), Dec 30 (IANS) Gonzalo Higuain scored for the first time in two months to help AC Milan defeat SPAL 2-1 and emerge from a five-match winless streak in the Serie A.

The victory here on Saturday allows Milan to head into the winter break in 5th place, with 31 points from 19 matches. They trail 4th-place Lazio by just a point, reports Efe.

After going without a goal in their last four games, the hosts got off to a poor start Saturday at the San Siro, conceding in the 13th minute to SPAL’s Andrea Petagna, a product of the Milan youth division who made his Serie A debut with the Rossoneri in 2013.

Spanish winger Samu Castillejo put Milan back on level terms in the 16th minute, exploiting a blunder by SPAL defender Filippo Costa to get his first goal since Sept. 30.

The home side pressed hard in search of more goals, yet Higuain continued to struggle, drawing jeers from some in the stands.

Twenty minutes into the second half, the jeers were replaced by applause when the Argentine international blasted the ball into the SPAL net with a great assist from Hakan Calhanoglu.

But SPAL weren’t ready to give up. Petagna hit the post in the 85th minute and Mohamad Fares forced a stop from Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in stoppage time.

The hosts played the final minutes with 10 men, as Suso Fernandez was sent off with a minute left in regulation after picking up a second yellow card.

–IANS

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