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HomeDomestic CupsCoppa ItaliaAC Milan 4-1 Cagliari: Jovic shines with a brace as Rossoneri make...

AC Milan 4-1 Cagliari: Jovic shines with a brace as Rossoneri make it to Coppa Italia quarter-finals

Luka Jovic scored a double, while Chaka Traore found the net in his inaugural senior start for Milan, leading them to victory over Cagliari and earning a place in the Coppa Italia quarter-final against either Atalanta or Sassuolo.

Despite numerous injuries and the strategic rest of key players, Milan fielded a completely revamped lineup featuring several teenagers, including Jan-Carlo Simic, who earned his first start, and Real Madrid loanee Alex Jimenez, who made his debut. Cagliari faced the challenge without key players such as Tommaso Augello, Leonardo Pavoletti, Gianluca Lapadula, Nahitan Nandez, Eldor Shomurodov, Alberto Dossena, and Marko Rog.

In the rare opportunity for veteran Antonio Mirante to man the goal, he displayed exceptional reflexes by thwarting Andrea Petagna’s glancing header from an early corner. Boris Radunovic also made a crucial save, denying Jovic’s angled drive after a well-executed Yacine Adli through ball. Pantelis Hatzidiakos intervened with a decisive sliding tackle to prevent Jovic from breaking through on goal.

Jovic eventually found the back of the net when Theo Hernandez delivered a floated ball from the left. Positioned between the two center-backs, the striker skillfully controlled the ball with the inside of his right boot, allowing it to bounce before executing a left-footed finish under Radunovic’s legs.

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At a moment when Cagliari was increasing their offensive efforts, Milan extended their lead. Theo Hernandez seized an opportunity when Antoine Makoumbou was caught off guard with a short pass. Hernandez quickly advanced, delivering a precise ball to Jovic from an extremely narrow angle. The finish might have been veering wide if not for a redirection off Radunovic’s ribs.

Zito Luvumbo fired over the goal after turning amidst a group of defenders, and Alex Jimenez narrowly missed the target with a half-volley from the edge of the box.

Chaka Traore, making his first senior-level start at the age of 19, capitalized on the opportunity by scoring the third goal. Despite Samuel Chukwueze mis-kicking the Jimenez pull-back, the teenager managed to fire through a crowded field of legs on the rebound.

Another headed attempt from Petagna, following a corner, posed a threat, this time narrowly sailing over the crossbar. Substitute Rafael Leao had a few attempts, firing some wide and another directly at the goalkeeper.

Cagliari managed to secure a late consolation goal when Chukwueze lost possession cheaply to Paolo Azzi on the counter-attack. Azzi’s finish was deflected past Mirante at the near post off Luvumbo.

In the end, Leao successfully found the target with one of his attempts, cutting inside Zappa to bend the ball into the far bottom corner with the inside of his right boot.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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