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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

AC Milan end 11-year wait for Serie A title with Sassuolo win

AC Milan celebrate title

AC Milan ended their 11-year wait to win their 19th Serie A title on Sunday as Olivier Giroud bagged a brace and Franck Kessie struck in a spectacular first half to send them on their way to a 3-0 win away to Sassuolo.

The Rossoneri headed to the Mapei Stadium knowing that a draw would be enough to claim their first Scudetto since 2010/11, and they flew out of the blocks as Giroud struck twice inside the opening 32 minutes.

Kessie added a third before half time, with Rafael Leao setting him up to bag a hat-trick of assists, and the second half turned into a festival for the jubilant travelling fans as the Rossoneri closed out an impressive victory

This was only an away game in name, as a vast army of Rossoneri fans travelled south to dwarf the home support in the hope of seeing history made, and it soon became clear that they were going to get their wish.

Milan tore out of the blocks in search of an early goal, only to be denied repeatedly by Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli; he palmed away a dangerous Giroud header, blocked an Alexis Saelemaekers finish one-on-one and had his gloves stung by a Leao shot.

But the breakthrough arrived thanks to the superb Leao, who twice pinched the ball off dozing Sassuolo defenders and set up Giroud for simple finishes, and the Frenchman’s brace Rossoneri on the brink of the title.

The Scudetto was all-but assured on the 38th minute when Kessie smashed a left-footed shot into the net – again from a Leao assist – and things almost got even better in the second half when substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic headed home a cross, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

As the full-time whistle blew the fans flooded onto the pitch, waving banners, flags and flares, as the title party began in earnest.

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