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Sublime Suso gives ex-Inter boss Pioli first win at struggling AC Milan

Stefano Pioli dropped Suso to the bench and he responded by coming on to score the winner against SPAL.

AC Milan forward Suso.
AC Milan forward Suso.

SUSO CAME OFF the bench to emphatically answer his critics with a stunning free-kick and give AC Milan a much-needed 1-0 win over Serie A strugglers SPAL.

The Spanish forward has become a focus of ire for a section of the Rossoneri faithful amid a wretched start to the season and recently appointed head coach Stefano Pioli dropped him to the bench on Thursday.

It had the desired effect, too, as Suso curled in a majestic 63rd-minute free-kick after his replacement Samu Castillejo hit the crossbar during the first half.

The enterprising Theo Hernandez had a goal disallowed for offside before Suso broke the deadlock, setting up a result that edges Milan into the top half of the table while SPAL remain second bottom.

Source: CALCIO MEDIA/YouTube

Lucas Paqueta tested visiting goalkeeper Etrit Berisha when he caught a third-minute drive sweetly, before Pioli’s big selection call almost paid a swift dividend.

Castillejo rattled the crossbar from close range in the 13th minute after Paqueta found left-back Hernandez to cross.

Another man called back into the starting XI, Krzysztof Piatek, sent a speculative first-time effort from range zipping narrowly over, although the hosts lost impetus during an increasingly turgid first period.

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Hernandez briefly thought he had given Milan the lead, slotting in first time from Paqueta’s throughball, but the playmaker delayed his pass a fraction too long and the flag was raised.

Suso was introduced for Castillejo in the 57th minute and he quickly made his presence felt – leaving Berisha with no chance after Francesco Vicari was booked for fouling Piatek.

Paqueta failed to lift a finish over Berisha for the goal his endeavours deserved after being played in by Hakan Calhanoglu – wastefulness he almost regretted when Jasmin Kurtic headed over a glorious chance to equalise five minutes from time.

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