Football: Milan rescued by stoppage-time own goal against struggling 10-man Spal in Serie A

Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action in Ferrara, Italy, on July 1, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MILAN (REUTERS) - AC Milan were rescued by an extraordinary own goal from Francesco Vicari as they fought back to draw 2-2 against lowly 10-man Spal on Wednesday (July 1), after 38-year-old Sergio Floccari scored one of the goals of the Italian football season for the hosts.

Spal, playing the second half of the Serie A game with a man down, were on the brink of an unlikely win until Alexis Saelemaekers sent a harmless ball into the area and Vicari, under no pressure, stuck out a leg and diverted it into his own goal.

It was heart-breaking for Spal after they defied Milan with a courageous rearguard action for the whole of the second half.

The hosts had stunned Milan by taking a 2-0 lead in half an hour with Floccari getting on the scoresheet with an audacious volley over Gianluigi Donnarumma from 35 metres.

Milan, who brought on 38-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic during the second half following his recovery from a calf muscle injury suffered during the coronavirus stoppage, stayed seventh with 43 points and Spal one off the bottom on 19.

"There was disappointment," said Spal coach Luigi di Biagio. "It's normal after giving so much and running so much - it leaves a lot of bitterness in the mouth. We're alive. Let's try to continue because I couldn't ask more of the boys. I'm really proud of what they've done."

Spal went ahead in the 13th minute thanks to shambolic Milan defending. A corner was launched into the goalmouth and it bounced off three Milan players before falling to Mattia Valoti who turned it into the net.

The second was a masterpiece, as Bryan Dabo headed the ball forward in midfield and it bounced to Floccari, who spotted Donnarumma off his line and volleyed it over the startled goalkeeper.

Hakan Calhanoglu had the ball in the net for Milan but it was chalked off for offside against Ante Rebic in the build-up.

Just before the break, Spal midfielder Mirko Valdifiori flew in recklessly on Theo Hernandez and was initially booked but his studs were dangerously high and it was changed to a red card after a Video Assistant Referee review.

Milan, who had 25 shots on goal and 16 corners, pulled one back through Rafael Leao with 11 minutes left, before the hapless Vicari came to their rescue.

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