Daniel Maldini made history with his first Serie A goal and Brahim Diaz came off the bench to seal a 2-1 Milan victory away to Spezia.
Olivier Giroud returned and Daniel Maldini got his debut Serie A start, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Simon Kjaer, Rade Krunic, Alessandro Florenzi and Tiemoue Bakayoko were still out of action, with Davide Calabria not fully fit. Spezia had taken the lead against Juventus midweek before capitulating 3-2, but started M’Bala Nzola, as Kevin Agudelo, Ebrima Colley, Martin Erlic, Leo Sena, Victor Kovalenko and Arkadiusz Reca were injured.
Mike Maignan had to parry Nzola’s angled drive at the near post and Theo Hernandez turned a free kick off target.
There were promising runs that fell apart at the end, from Ante Rebic picking the wrong pass for Alexis Saelemaekers to a Spezia three-on-three move seeing Nzola tackled by Fikayo Tomori.
Milan were toothless in attack, so threw on Pietro Pellegri and Rafael Leao for the second half. However, it was Daniel Maldini who broke the deadlock with a header on Pierre Kalulu’s cross from the right, the third generation of Maldini to score in the Milan jersey, with proud father Paolo celebrating in the stands.
Spezia should’ve equalised, Giulio Maggiore turning over from point-blank range on Simone Bastoni’s cross.
Serie A Liveblog: Spezia-Milan, Inter-Atalanta, Genoa-Verona
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Leao almost had a second moments later, his curling cross-shot bouncing off the inside of the far post and into the goalkeeper’s grateful arms.
Spezia drew level when Daniele Verde cut inside from the right and had a shot, which took a massive deflection off Sandro Tonali to completely wrong-foot Maignan at the near post.
Leao drilled a powerful finish inches wide and Milan restored their advantage when Alexis Saelemaekers pulled back from the by-line down the left for substitute Brahim Diaz to nutmeg the goalkeeper, under five minutes after coming off the bench. The Spaniard tried to take off his shirt to celebrate, but was prevented from doing so by teammate Davide Calabria.
Spezia 1-2 Milan
Maldini 48 (M), Verde 80 (S), Brahim Diaz 86 (M)