Parma v Milan Match Report, 19/12/01
Theo Hernandez scored two minutes from time to earn Milan a 1-0 victory at Parma and end their three-match winless run in Serie A.
A lack of goals has cost the Rossoneri in recent weeks and their profligacy again looked as though it would haunt them in Sunday’s clash.
But Theo poked home a late winner following some calamitous defending from Parma to earn a vital triumph for Stefano Pioli’s men.
The victory for Milan – just their second in seven matches under Pioli – lifts them into 11th place, one point behind opponents Parma.
Milan have lost just one of their last 13 away league meetings with Parma and nearly opened the scoring after 23 minutes when Franck Kessie forced a save out of Luigi Sepe with his angled drive.
The visitors wasted two more chances in quick succession before half-time as eventual match-winner Theo blasted into the side-netting from a good position after Krzysztof Piatek failed to turn his header goalwards.
Suso was next to come close for Milan, the Spanish winger cutting inside and missing the target by inches with his attempt, though the breakthrough eventually arrived late on.
Parma had not lost any points to goals conceded in the final 20 minutes this term, but Theo pounced when Matteo Darmian’s clearance hit Bruno Alves and fell nicely for the left-back to earn a pressure-relieving win for Pioli.
What does it mean? Theo gets Milan back on track
Milan had collected just five points from the first 18 available since Pioli replaced Marco Giampaolo last month, leading to questions already being asked of his appointment.
The importance of Theo’s late strike cannot be overstated, with the victory ending the Rossoneri’s winless streak and moving them to within eight points of fourth-place Cagliari, who have a game in hand to play.
Bonaventura key to late winner
Giacomo Bonaventura has been directly involved in three goals in his last four Serie A games against Parma and played a big part in this match, a week on from scoring against Napoli.
While he will not be credited with an assist for Theo’s goal, it was his shot that Sepe parried before Darmian made a hash of the clearance.
3 – No other AC Milan’s player has scored more goals than Theo Hernández (3) in the current Serie A campaign (level to Piatek). Push.#ParmaMilan
A lot was expected of Piatek this season after scoring a combined 22 Serie A goals for Genoa and Milan last season.
He has just three goals so far this term, however, firing blanks in five of his last six outings, and was subbed off prior to Theo’s decisive strike.
Key Opta Facts
– All three Theo Hernandez goals for Milan have been netted in away matches in the second half.
– Theo has scored three goals in his last eight matches – in his previous 72 in the top five European Leagues he netted only two goals.
– Milan attempted 27 total shots in a single Serie A match for the first time since October 2018 versus Genoa (28 in that case).
Parma host Frosinone in the Copa Italia on Thursday before returning to Serie A action with a trip to Sampdoria next Sunday, the same day that Milan head to Bologna.