AC Milan 2-2 Lecce: Pioli denied winning start by spectacular late strike

By Sports Desk October 20, 2019

Stefano Pioli's reign as AC Milan coach got off to an underwhelming start as Marco Calderoni's stunning late equaliser secured struggling Lecce a 2-2 draw in San Siro.

Krzysztof Piatek had seemingly secured former Inter boss Pioli – who replaced Marco Giampaolo during the international break – a debut win with his 81st-minute goal, but Calderoni struck in stoppage time to ensure Milan dropped points for the fifth time in eight games this season.

The impressive Hakan Calhanoglu powered Milan into the lead with a fine strike following Lucas Biglia's pass, but they struggled to maintain their lively start and faded towards half-time.

Khouma Babacar found the net from close range after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved his penalty in the second half, and then Piatek's strike was cancelled out by Calderoni's long-range drive to prevent Milan from moving back into the top half of the table.

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    "I do not think [qualifying explains a poor performance] and I hope not because it's not enough to be qualified," he said. "The possibility of finishing first remained with a victory.

    "We conceded the goal on an error, but our first half was insufficient. I am not satisfied with the attacking play in the first period.

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    "There is so much potential in this team that, when I do not see what I want to see, I say it."

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