MILAN (AP) — Youngster Pierre Kalulu helped AC Milan maintain its unbeaten league record as his late equalizer snatched a 2-2 draw at Genoa in Serie A on Wednesday.
Milan appeared to be heading for its first league defeat since March after a double from former Rossoneri forward Mattia Destro had put Genoa 2-1 up. But the 20-year-old Kalulu, who was making his first start for the club, netted the equalizer seven minutes from time.
“This is a Milan team which never gives up,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “The quality of our performances has been very high, you just need to look at the standings.”
Milan remained top but saw its advantage cut from three points to one over Inter Milan, which beat 10-man Napoli 1-0.
Juventus is third, four points below Milan after drawing 1-1 against Atalanta in a match where Cristiano Ronaldo had a tame penalty attempt saved.
Milan hasn’t won the Serie A title since 2011.
“It’s right to dream and to be ambitious,” Pioli said. “The results show that we are a competitive team and that we can play for the title, but then you can’t not consider Juventus and Inter favorites.
“However, we want to be ambitious, we are doing something unexpected, that maybe only we dared dream of.”
Milan was without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimović. The 39-year-old Ibrahimović has been out for almost a month but the Rossoneri had still managed to win four of its six matches without its star forward, drawing the other two.
However, Milan appeared to struggle more in Genoa although Ante Rebić almost gave it the lead at the end of the first half only to be denied by a great save from Mattia Perin.
Genoa broke the deadlock two minutes after the interval. Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved Eldor Shomurodov’s swiveling effort but Destro tapped in the rebound.
Destro spent half a season at Milan in 2015.
Davide Calabria put Milan back level just five minutes later with a powerful effort from outside the area into the bottom left corner but Destro headed in what looked to be the winner on the hour mark.
However, Kalulu scored from close range after a corner had been headed on by Alessio Romagnoli.
Genoa threatened to win it in a frantic finale but Donnarumma saved Gianluca Scamacca’s acrobatic effort.
Álvaro Morata had a golden opportunity to give Juventus an early lead in Turin but his decision to try to backheel the ball into an empty net backfired as the effort went wide.
Federico Chiesa did give Juventus the lead in the 29th minute when he curled into the top right corner. It was a first goal in a Juventus shirt in Serie A for Chiesa, who joined from Fiorentina in the offseason. The 23-year-old scored against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League this month.
Atalanta had chances to level and it did so in the 57th. Atalanta captain Alejandro “Papu” Gómez was only a substitute after a falling out with coach Gian Piero Gasperini but was brought on eight minutes into the second half and had an immediate impact as he picked out Remo Freuler for an absolute rocket in off the underside of the bar.
Ronaldo could have restored Juve’s lead four minutes later but his weak penalty was straight at Pierluigi Gollini after Chiesa had been fouled by Hans Hateboer.
Romelu Lukaku converted a penalty for Inter after Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina had fouled Matteo Darmian.
Napoli also had to play the remaining 19 minutes with 10 men after Lorenzo Insigne was sent off for dissent but continued to dominate and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanović came to his side’s rescue several times.
Sassuolo moved level on points with fourth-place Napoli after drawing 1-1 at Fiorentina.
Bologna came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Spezia, Sampdoria won 2-1 at 10-man Hellas Verona and Parma drew 0-0 against Cagliari.
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