Milan suffer first league defeat at Vlahovic-inspired Fiorentina


Florence, Fiorentina inflicted a first Serie A defeat of the season on AC Milan with a 4-3 victory in Florence on Saturday, as Dusan Vlahovic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored second half braces.

Goals from Alfred Duncan and Riccardo Saponara gave La Viola a comfortable halftime lead, and the game looked over as a contest when Vlahovic made it 3-0 on the hour mark.

But Ibrahimovic had other ideas, quickly pulling one back with a powerful finish before firing home a second five minutes later.

The Swede, at 40 years and 48 days, became the oldest player to score multiple goals in a Serie A match, and the third-oldest player to score in the league behind Alessandro Costacurta and Silvio Piola, AP reported.

Vlahovic netted his second late on before Lorenzo Venuti scored a last-minute own goal.

“We must feel the pain of this defeat, but I remain convinced that I have a very strong team," Milan coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Italia.

“Losing always hurts, as does conceding four goals. Maybe we could have made a comeback without the fourth goal."

The result lifts Fiorentina into sixth with 21 points and leaves Milan second with 32 points.

"This victory means a lot for our self-esteem, we have never won a big game until now. We made some mistakes, but we did well to see it out," Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi told DAZN.

The Rossoneri, alongside Napoli, set a ferocious pace at the top of the table in the opening 12 rounds, picking up 32 points from a possible 36.

But they faced an uphill battle in Florence from the moment goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu dropped a corner into the path of Duncan for a tap-in after 15 minutes.

Milan reacted well as Sandro Tonali and Rafael Leao had efforts saved and Ibrahimovic headed a great chance wide, but they went further behind through a curling Saponara strike in first half stoppage time.

Vlahovic rounded the keeper to fire in Fiorentina’s third after the break, but Ibrahimovic responded with a quick-fire double, pouncing on a loose ball to fire home his first before meeting a low cross for his second.

Fiorentina soaked up the pressure and added a fourth with five minutes to go when Vlahovic found the bottom corner.

Ibrahimovic was again involved for Milan’s third, as his header struck the bar and rebounded off the unfortunate Venuti into his own net.

Source: Bahrain News Agency