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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Pa Sport Staff

Serie A leaders AC Milan held to draw by Bologna


Even a bloodied Zlatan Ibrahimovic could not rescue Serie A leaders AC Milan as they were held to a goalless draw by Bologna.

Milan, who had won each of their last three games 1-0, could not repeat the feat despite launching a late flurry as the visitors, addressed via video link in the run-up to the game by coach Sinisa Mihajlovic from his hospital bed as he undergoes another round of treatment for leukaemia, held firm at the San Siro.

After an enterprising start by Bologna, Milan flexed their muscles with Rafael Leao, Olivier Giroud and Brahim Diaz all going close, but it took a fine save by keeper Mike Maignan from Musa Barrow’s 26th-minute piledriver to prevent Mihajlovic’s men from taking the lead.

Davide Calabria fired wastefully over and Theo Hernandez just wide as the home side responded, and Lukasz Skorupski produced a fine save in first-half stoppage time to keep out Giroud’s powerful header.

Calabria shot across the face of goal and substitute Ante Rebic blazed over on the half-volley as the home side became increasingly desperate, prompting the introduction of 40-year-old Ibrahimovic with 20 minutes remaining.

The Sweden international and Bologna skipper Gary Medel ended the game in bandages after a clash of heads, and although Ibrahimovic headed just over and Skorupski saved from Rebic in stoppage time, the visitors scrapped their way to a creditable draw with left Milan just a point clear of second-placed Napoli.

Giovanni Simeone’s early goal was enough to ended Verona’s three-game wait for a victory in a hard-fought encounter with Genoa.

The home side got off to the perfect start with just five minutes gone when defender Johan Vasquez failed to prevent Simeone from toe-poking home from close range.

Substitute Roberto Piccoli should have levelled for the visitors with 21 minutes remaining, but mishit his attempt and allowed midfielder Darko Lazovic to stab clear.

Verona substitute Martin Hongla saw a powerful 77th-minute strike turned away by keeper Salvatore Sirigu, but Simeone’s strike ultimately proved decisive.

In LaLiga, Alexander Isak converted a last-gasp penalty to hand Real Sociedad a 1-0 win over Espanyol.

The frontman struck in the sixth minute of added time after substitute Mikel Merino had been fouled by Fernando Calero.

Leandro Cabrera had earlier gone close for the visitors with a 17th-minute header, but keeper Alex Remiro had to save from Isak and David Silva in quick succession as Real responded in determined fashion.

Alexander Sorloth saw a 51st-minute strike ruled out after a VAR review and Martin Zubimendi, Diego Rico and late on, Nais Djouahra threatened for the home side, but it was left to Isak to win it at the death.

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