Milan ended their Serie A campaign with a disappointing 3-3 home draw against relegated Salernitana on Saturday in what was the last game at the club for coach Stefano Pioli and striker Olivier Giroud.

The Rossoneri looked set to cruise to victory when Davide Calabria put them 3-1 up in the 77th minute at San Siro.

Rafael Leao, who may well be on the move in the upcoming transfer window, had put Milan ahead after capitalising on a dreadful mistake from Salernitana goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo in the 22nd minute.

Giroud doubled the advantage five minutes later, volleying home from an Alessandro Florenzi corner to mark his farewell appearance in style before he joins MLS club Los Angeles FC.

Salernitana pulled a goal back through forward Simy in the second half before Calabria restored the hosts' two-goal lead, with Pioli seemingly sailing towards a victory in his last match.

Yet Junior Sambia and Simy levelled with two quick-fire goals in the dying moments to deny second-place Milan a victory to end the season.

Data Debrief: Giroud heads off into the sunset in style

Giroud finished the Serie A season with 23 goal involvements (15 goals and eight assists); only twice in his career has he managed a better tally in a single season in the big five European leagues: 24 in 2013-14 with Arsenal and 30 in 2011-12 with Montpellier.

Indeed, the 37-year-old is the oldest player among those with at least 23 goals involvement in the big five European leagues this season.

Christian Pulisic grabbed an assist, meanwhile, to become only the second Milan midfielder to be involved in 20+ goals (12 goals, eight assists) in a single Serie A season, after Kaka (20 in 2005-06, 26 in 2007-08, 25 in 2008-09) in the last 20 seasons.

Milan defender Simon Kjaer will leave the Serie A club at the end of the current campaign, he announced on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Denmark captain arrived at the San Siro in January 2020 on loan from Sevilla before signing a permanent deal at the end of that season.

In a video shared on Milan's page on the social media platform X, Kjaer said: "This is my club. It's my place. It always will be.

"My time here was the pride and dream that gave me great joy and a lot of satisfaction in my career and life.

Kjaer played 120 matches for the club and won the Serie A title in 2022, but has struggled with injuries this season, managing just 24 appearances in all competitions.

Milan suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat at mid-table Torino in Serie A on Saturday after being punished for a slow first-half performance.

Torino dominated the first 45 minutes, scoring with two headers; Duvan Zapata picked out the bottom corner after 26 minutes before Ivan Ilic doubled their advantage by throwing himself onto Raoul Bellanova's cross before the break.

Former Milan player Ricardo Rodriguez needed only 18 seconds in the second half to unleash a fierce left-foot shot from distance into the top corner of the net for Torino's third.

Ismael Bennacer converted a penalty for Milan in the 55th minute after a foul on Christian Pulisic, but the visitors, seemingly focused on their final match against relegated Salernitana, never threatened to get back into the game.

Torino are ninth in the standings on 53 points, while Milan will finish second in the standings behind local rivals Inter.

Data Debrief: Home comforts

Torino have lost just two of their home games in Serie A this season, finishing on a high against second-place Milan in what is possibly Ivan Juric's final game in charge. 

Zapata proved an influential figure for Torino once more, and has scored the joint-most headed goals in the top five European league this season: eight (level with Harry Kane).

Olivier Giroud will join Los Angeles FC once his contract with Milan expires.

It was confirmed on Monday that Giroud would be leaving Milan to head to Major League Soccer.

And LAFC have now been revealed as the 37-year-old former Arsenal and Chelsea striker's destination.

Giroud has signed a one-year deal with LAFC, with the option to extend his stay through to 2026.

"His championship ambition and his qualities as a man and as a player directly align with ours as a club," LAFC general manager John Thorrington said.

Giroud, who has scored 14 Serie A goals this term, is France's record goalscorer, and is set to appear for Les Bleus at Euro 2024.

He will link up with his long-time international team-mate, Hugo Lloris, at LAFC.

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has come under scrutiny in recent weeks but lauded his side's determination after snapping their four-game winless run in Serie A on Saturday.

The Rossoneri hammered Cagliari 5-1 as Christian Pulisic was twice on target, along with goals from Rafael Leao, Tijjani Reijnders and Ismael Bennacer at San Siro.

That victory marked their first in the league since April 6 against Lecce and also ended a six-game winless run across all competitions.

Milan have already watched fierce rivals Inter lift the title but secured second place in the table after moving seven points clear of Bologna with two games remaining.

Despite a frustrating, stop-start season, Pioli was at least satisfied to see his team respond to their concerning run of form.

"It was very important to return to winning ways, we were not used to being so long without victories. We suffered this situation, well done to the guys for their determination," coach Pioli told Sky Sport.

"No team has managed to maintain the level of Inter and we were not able to have continuity to stick with them.

"Ours is a strong team, but one that failed to overcome decisive moments at a certain time during the season."

Nahitan Nandez pulled a goal back in the 63rd for Cagliari, who remain in 15th place with 33 points, three points above the relegation zone.

"It hurts to have conceded five goals, in the first half we did well defensively, but we were timid," Cagliari coach Claudio Ranieri said.

"Coming here to San Siro against an angry Milan side after the last results was difficult ... the last two matches will determine whether it will be salvation or relegation.

"Now we cancel everything and think about the next ones."

Milan snapped a six-match winless run in all competitions with a crushing 5-1 victory over relegation-threatened Cagliari in Saturday's Serie A clash at San Siro.

The win moves Stefano Pioli's side closer to securing second place, sitting on 74 points and seven ahead of third-placed Bologna and eight clear of Juventus, who host Salernitana on Sunday.

Ismael Bennacer opened the scoring after 35 minutes, pouncing on a loose ball in the centre of the box before Christian Pulisic extended their advantage after a fast break in the 59th minute.

Tijjani Reijnders scored a third for Milan with a superb long-range effort in the 74th minute and Rafael Leao got on the scoresheet seven minutes from time before Pulisic sealed the rout three minutes later with his second of the game and 12th league goal this season.

Nahitan Nandez had pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute for Cagliari, who remain in 15th place with 33 points, three points above the relegation zone.

Head coach Stefano Pioli wants Milan to end the season on a high note even though the Serie A title race is lost and their place in the Champions League is already secured.

Milan are winless in their last six matches in all competitions, a dismal run that included a 2-1 loss to Inter which sealed a 20th Serie A title for their city rivals.

Second-placed Milan have 71 points, five ahead of third-placed Juventus with three matches to go.

"We want to get back to winning ways for us, for the club, for the fans," Pioli told reporters ahead of Saturday's match against 15th-placed Cagliari.

"Second place is an important goal and we are motivated to play this game.

"The squad is doing well, at the end of the season it is normal for some players to be more or less in form than one another and this will factor into my lineup.

"It would bother me if the squad weren't to bring all their energy to finish this season in the best way possible.

"No one has said they want to take it slow before the end of the season, the whole squad is ready and available."

Pioli said losing at Roma last month, which ended their Europa League campaign in the quarter finals, was his biggest regret of a trophyless season.

"We could have gone further," he said. "Losing the derbies also weighed heavily on us. We hoped to do better, in general, but I don't think the group ever lacked in their reaction."

A section of Milan fans have been holding protests at matches, demanding clarity from the management regarding the club's future plans after two seasons without silverware.

"My position and position of others will be spoken about after the games. We will see," said Pioli, who has been at the club since 2019 and won the Serie A title in 2022.

"In these years, the club has shown they know how to work and be ambitious.

"I believe that the highs and lows of a season are always shared between club, coach, and players."

Sandro Tonali has been given a suspended two-month ban by the Football Association (FA) after admitting to breaching gambling rules.

The sanction means the Newcastle United midfielder will be eligible to return to action on August 27, 2024, when his 10-month suspension issued by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) expires.

FIFA ratified that ban, causing it to become applicable worldwide, after Tonali admitted to placing bets on matches as part of an investigation into unregulated betting platforms in Italy.

In March, the FA charged Tonali with breaching English football's gambling rules 50 times between August and October last year, leading to fears his spell out of the game could be extended. 

However, on Thursday it was confirmed that the FA had suspended Tonali's punishment for the duration of the 2024-25 season, meaning he can return in August if he does not reoffend.

In a statement, Newcastle said: "Sandro Tonali has been given a suspended two-month ban from competitive football by an independent regulatory commission after self-declaring breaches of FA betting rules.

"He has also been fined £20,000 and warned by the FA as to his future conduct.

"Provided that he does not commit any further breach of the FA betting rules during the suspension period, Sandro will not serve any part of the two-month sanction.

"As acknowledged by the FA in the independent regulatory commission's written reasons, the level of assistance Sandro has provided by self-referring and fully cooperating with a subsequent investigation is extraordinary and unprecedented. 

"Sandro is continuing to follow a therapeutic plan and educational programme with the club's full support and will continue to train with his team-mates."

Tonali's initial ban has limited him to just eight Premier League appearances since he joined Newcastle from Milan in a £55million deal, while he will also miss Italy's Euro 2024 campaign.

Roma’s 10 men held out to see off Serie A rivals AC Milan 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico and secure a place in the Europa League semi-finals.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, early goals from Gianluca Mancini and Paulo Dybala put the Giallorossi firmly in control of the tie.

Roma defender Zeki Celik was shown a straight red card after 31 minutes for sliding in on Rafael Leao, but AC Milan could not make their advantage count despite a late consolation goal from Matteo Gabbia.

Ahead of the match, Roma had confirmed head coach Daniele De Rossi would remain in charge for “the foreseeable future”, the former midfielder having overseen an upturn in fortunes since taking over in January after Jose Mourinho was sacked.

Mancini – whose goal had settled the first leg at the San Siro – opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini collected the ball just outside the box and curled a shot against the far post. Mancini was first to the rebound, knocking it in from 10 yards.

AC Milan went in search of a way back as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s angled drive bounced up off the ground and deflected onto the crossbar.

Roma doubled their lead in the 22nd minute.

Romelu Lukaku showed great strength to barge past Gabbia and into the left side of the penalty area. Although the Milan defender recovered to stab Lukaku’s cross away, the ball fell to Dybala, who curled it into the far bottom corner.

Belgian forward Lukaku then sustained an injury and was replaced by Tammy Abraham in the 29th minute.

Roma found themselves down to 10 men just after the half-hour mark when Celik slid in on Leao as the Portuguese forward sprinted away down the left and was shown a straight red card by Polish referee Szymon Marciniak.

The visitors were soon claiming a penalty when the ball bounced around a crowded penalty area and looked to have hit Mancini on the hand.

However, after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor, the referee ruled the ball had struck Olivier Giroud’s hand first.

Dybala was also forced off through injury just before half-time, with Diego Llorente coming on.

Roma, who have climbed from ninth to fifth in Serie A under De Rossi, were content to allow Milan plenty of possession but without really stretching the home defensive line.

The Giallorossi looked to hit Milan on the counter, with Leonardo Spinazzola played clear down the left but his low angled drive was pushed away by Mike Maignan.

On the hour, Leao then cut inside to pull the ball back for Luka Jovic but his shot from 10 yards was straight at Roma goalkeeper Mile Svilar.

Roma winger Stephan El Shaarawy got away down the right and sent in a cross which Abraham first tried to flick goalwards with a backheel – and then blazed the loose ball over.

Milan continued to struggle to down Roma before eventually scoring a late consolation when defender Gabbia headed in from Leao’s cross with five minutes left.

In stoppage time, Milan defender Theo Hernandez was initially sent off for a foul on El Shaarawy – only for the referee to overturn his decision after taking another look on the monitor and show a yellow card instead.

Rafael Leao is determined to silence his critics when AC Milan seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Roma.

Leao came in for criticism after last week’s first match, but showed a much better version of himself as Milan fought back from two goals down to take a 3-3 draw at relegation-battling Sassuolo on Sunday.

The 24-year-old forward, who scored Milan’s first goal, recognises he needs to bring more consistency to his game.

“I hope to help my team,” Leao told Milan TV.

“If I don’t score a goal, I hope to play well and win. This is the most important thing, to move forward.

“After the first leg, where I didn’t do very well, I was disappointed and with Sassuolo I wanted to give the right answer. If I make a mistake, I always try to come back even stronger, to learn from my mistakes.

“I found the joy of doing well and helping my team-mates. I want to play better now. We know the comeback is possible. We have to start strong, try to score in the first few minutes and then play like a final.”

Goalkeeper Mike Maignan is expected to return in goal after sitting out Sunday’s match as a precaution, but Simon Kjaer is a doubt after suffering a muscle injury in that match. Both he and fellow defender Pierre Kalulu missed training on Wednesday.

Gianluca Mancini struck in the 17th minute as Roma took an impressive 1-0 victory at the San Siro last week, carrying on their good form since Daniele De Rossi replaced Jose Mourinho in the hotseat.

The 2022 Europa Conference League champions came ever so close to making it back-to-back titles after they were defeated on penalties in last year’s Europa League showpiece and are 90 minutes away from another semi-final.

But De Rossi knows AC Milan are far from beaten as they prepare for the second leg in Rome.

As quoted on romapress.net, he said: “Milan? They will fight with everything they have. This is their last resort, they want to win and achieve one of their objectives for the season. It will be difficult.

“There are characteristics of the opponent that must always be respected and you need to think about the opponent’s coach’s moves. The first leg with Milan was quite balanced, perhaps it went a little better for us. Milan won’t change their tactics too much, but we must not overthink our own gameplan.

“We will prepare the match to win it, to try to score a goal which would be a blow for them even if it might not be decisive.

“Milan are a very strong team, they are better than us, but in the first leg we showed that we are not that much inferior and I told my team that we can play for it. We are one step away from an important milestone such as a European semi-final.”

Stefano Pioli knows AC Milan face a “steep climb” to rescue their season as reports the Rossoneri boss could soon be replaced continue to gather steam.

Milan have won their last five Serie A games and next face relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Sunday but Thursday’s 1-0 home defeat by Italian rivals Roma in the Europa League quarter-finals did nothing to help dispel talk of Pioli’s potentially-imminent departure.

Reports suggest former Real Madrid and Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui is being lined up to succeed Pioli, whose contract at San Siro does not expire until June 2025.

It has been claimed the Parma-born manager has the next three games to save his job: at Sassuolo this weekend, the return leg at Roma and then crucially the derby against Inter Milan on April 22.

With the Nerazzurri 14 points ahead as the domestic campaign enters its final seven games, losing to Inter could effectively end the title race and leave Milan looking over their shoulder at Juventus – while their European adventure could already be over if they fail to remove Roma’s advantage, earned by Gianluca Mancini’s first-half goal at San Siro.

Pioli told reporters after the Europa League clash: “The climb is steep because the level has risen, but I’m convinced the team can play at a higher level and if we play at that level, we have every chance of playing.

“That’s what I told the team after the game.”

Midfielder Tommaso Pobega and defender Pierre Kalula are unavailable for Sunday’s Mapei Stadium showdown due to injury, with Theo Hernandez and Filippo Terracciano’s involvement in the balance. Tijjani Reijnders is more likely to be involved than English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

In the Sassuolo camp, winger Domenico Berardi’s season is already over thanks to an Achilles tear and Norway defender Marcus Holmgren Pedersen is at least a few weeks away in his recovery.

The Neroverdi are two points from safety after being denied victory by Salernitana at the death last time out, Giulio Maggiore scoring a last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw to deny the Emilia-Romagna club their first away win since late November.

Well-travelled veteran boss Davide Ballardini took over in Sassuolo at the beginning of March and has taken six points from his five games so far.

The Watermelon Peel can perhaps take heart from one of the shock results of last term when they stunned Milan 5-2 at San Siro, but they have not won the home version of this match-up since March 2016, losing six of the seven subsequent editions.

Gianluca Mancini’s first-half header was enough to give Roma a slim lead in their Europa League quarter-final tie with rivals Roma.

Milan had previously won both Serie A clashes between the two sides this season but it is Roma who take a 1-0 lead into the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Last season’s beaten Europa League finalists will fancy their chances of reaching a semi-final against either West Ham or Bayer Leverkusen after edging to victory at the San Siro.

The visitors started the quicker of the two teams but it was Milan midfielder Tijjani Reijnders who had the first meaningful effort of the contest as he forced a decent save out of Mile Svilar.

At the other end, Mike Maignan made a terrific stop to keep out a deflected Stephan El Shaarawy strike, although Romelu Lukaku appeared offside in the build-up.

However, Roma would take the lead from the resulting corner as Mancini slipped his defender to head in Pablo Dybala’s set-piece.

Having scored the winning goal in the derby clash with Lazio last week, the Italy defender is proving a handful at the other end of the pitch.

Milan went in search of a leveller and Olivier Giroud came close only to see two quick-fire efforts both cleared off the line by Lukaku.

An acrobatic overhead kick from Rafael Leao was off-target with Reijnders again testing Svilar before the break.

The Netherlands midfielder was again thwarted by Svilar in the Roma goal soon after the interval.

Roma skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini flashed a shot wide of the target on the hour-mark, with Bryan Cristante following suit shortly after.

Theo Hernandez and Reijnders came close for Milan as they pushed for a leveller, Svilar on hand to tip a cross-cum-shot from Yacine Adli onto the crossbar.

The hosts’ goal never came as Giroud also hit the woodwork with a marvellous late chance.

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli believes now is the time for his players to show their strengths heading into the defining period of the campaign, starting with an all-Italian Europa League quarter-final against Roma.

The Rossoneri are on a run of seven straight wins in all competitions and sit second in Serie A, six points clear of Juventus.

However, with hopes of the Scudetto all but over given the healthy lead of rivals Inter at the top of the table, Pioli knows all of that hard work will count for nothing if his squad do not last the distance in Europe.

“We are in a good moment, but now comes the most important moment of the season which will decide the balance of our season, what we have done, our positive or negative path,” Pioli told a press conference.

“This is the moment which we must demonstrate our strength, demonstrate that the journey we have had through ups and downs has improved us. It depends on us.”

Pioli added: “We have to play the whole match with attention, quality, intensity and maximum minute by minute.

“We want to win, we will try. For me we are not that far from the level of the best in Europe – we play modern football and we are competitive”

Milan will be without defender Fikayo Tomori through suspension, but Simon Kjaer and Malick Thiaw have returned to training with the rest of the squad.

Roma head to San Siro on the back of a derby win over city rivals Lazio, which left them fifth in the table and three points behind Bologna in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Milan have beaten Roma in both of their Serie A fixtures this season.

The 3-1 defeat at San Siro in January saw Roma part ways with manager Jose Mourinho and install former player Daniele De Rossi until the end of the season.

Pioli is expecting a stern test from the Giallorossi, who knocked out English side Brighton to reach the last eight.

“I think De Rossi is doing an excellent job,” the Milan boss said.

“It wasn’t easy to overcome a team that defended with many players when Mourinho was there, probably tomorrow we will find a different opponent with different characteristics.

“We know what Roma are about and their important players, but we don’t know what we will face tomorrow.

“However, we are prepared and mature enough to be able to read what they concede to us and then also make the most of our own skillsets.”

What the papers say

West Ham will join Liverpool, Tottenham and AC Milan in the hunt for 26 -year-old Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo, according to the Guardian. The former Manchester City player will be a free agent in summer, but Fulham are hoping to retain his services.

Football Insider says Chelsea are trying to secure the signature of Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams for £43million. The 21-year-old Spain international has scored six goals and had 14 assists for Athletic in all competitions this season.

Former Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos is set to leave Real Madrid for rivals Atletico Madrid as he struggles for game time at the LaLiga leaders, the Sun reports. The 27-year-old Spain midfielder has played just 14 games for the Real Madrid in the league this season, mostly as a substitute.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mohamed Salah: The 31-year-old Liverpool striker is set to be targeted once again by Saudi Pro League clubs this summer with Al Ittihad reportedly set to offer £70million for the Egypt star, Talksport says.

Lucas Paqueta: French media outlet L’Equipe says Manchester City have agreed to terms with the 26-year-old West Ham midfielder.

AC Milan extended their winning Serie A run to five matches with a routine 3-0 home victory over 10-man Lecce.

Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud gave the Rossoneri control inside the first 20 minutes at San Siro, before the visitors had Nikola Krstovic dismissed just before half-time.

Rafael Leao wrapped up a comfortable success in the second half as Milan consolidated second place with seven matches of the season remaining.

It was a chastening afternoon for Lecce, whose survival hopes had been boosted by four points and two clean sheets from Luca Gotti’s first two matches in charge prior to this contest.

The visitors were the first to threaten, with Joan Gonzalez firing just wide with a low shot from the edge of the area in the third minute.

However, the hosts opened the scoring three minutes later when Pulisic received the ball from Samuel Chukwueze and found the corner of the Lecce net with a powerful left-footed shot from 20 yards.

Goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone saved a Pulisic close-range header soon after, before Leao’s 11th-minute effort was deflected wide for a corner by defender Lorenzo Venuti, following a good run by Chukwueze.

It was 2-0 in the 20th minute when Giroud’s flicked header from Yacine Adli’s corner went in at the far post.

Lameck Banda and Alexis Blin both tried their luck for Lecce – who fought back from two goals down to claim a point when the teams met in Puglia in November – before Gonzalez headed against the crossbar in the 29th minute.

However, the visitors’ hopes of an unlikely repeat were further damaged a minute before half-time when striker Krstovic was dismissed for a high boot on Chukwueze.

Lecce’s afternoon was summed up by the 57th-minute incident which saw Milan increase their lead to 3-0.

Pontus Almqvist went down in the penalty area under a strong challenge from Theo Hernandez but play was waved on and within seconds Leao had received an incisive through-ball from Adli and provided a cool finish through Falcone’s legs for a goal which was allowed to stand after a VAR check.

Hernandez struck the crossbar for Milan in the 64th minute, before Almqvist and fellow substitute Santiago Pierotti brought good saves out of Mike Maignan inside the final 15 minutes.

However, there was no further scoring and Milan were able to see out a comfortable victory – the ninth time in the last 10 meetings they have won this fixture, with the other drawn.

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