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Leao, Tonali help AC Milan open 2023 with 2-1 win at Salernitana

SALERNO (Sporting Aler, January 4) — AC Milan kicked off their 2023 fixtures with a win over Salernitana on Wednesday, January 4 in the Italian Serie A in a lively game.

  1. AC Milan defeat Salernitana 2-1 to start 2023 fixtures with a win
  2. Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali score in first half
  3. “Guillermo Ochoa shines in goal on debut for Salernitana in defeat”
  4. Federico Bonazzoli’s late goal not enough for Salernitana

The match, played at Stadio Arechi, saw Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali score in the first half for Milan. Federico Bonazzoli scored for Salernitana in the 83rd minute, but it wasn’t enough to push his team toward securing a win today.

Leao opened the scoring in the 10th minute, breaking away from the defense and finishing well from a difficult angle. Tonali provided the assist on the goal. Leao has now scored 8 goals in all competitions and 7 goals in Serie A this season. 

Central midfielder Tonali added to Milan’s lead in the 15th minute, shooting home from inside the penalty box after his initial shot was blocked by Salernitana’s goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa.

Bonazzoli came off the bench for Salernitana and scored a well-placed goal at the far post in the 83rd minute, beating Milan’s goalkeeper Ciprian Tătărușanu from a cross by Lassana Coulibaly. Despite Bonazzoli’s goal, Salernitana was unable to come away with the win.

“We had a good game, but there are many situations in which we can still improve”, AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Sport after the match. “We started well but we weren’t able to kill the match earlier.

“It was important to win, though. We knew we had been working well, although some friendlies didn’t go the way we wanted. But it is just a little step we needed to take to move toward bigger goals.”

Outstanding Guillermo Ochoa

Mexican goalkeeper Ochoa, who made nine total saves today, had a standout performance in goal for Salernitana, making a series of saves to keep the deficit at just one goal on his defeat for the club. His efforts included a double-save effort on successive shots by Olivier Giroud and Charles De Ketelaere.

The win sees Milan move up to 35 points in the Serie A table, sitting in second place after 16 games. Salernitana remains in 13th place with 17 points, level with 12th place Empoli, who have played one game less. Napoli continues to lead the standings with 41 points. Napoli will face Inter today, hoping to go 8 points clear at the top of the league.

Salernitana made 313 passes, with 242 being accurate, for a 77% accuracy rate. Milan made 396 passes, with 316 being accurate, for an 80% accuracy rate in the win.

Walter Hoyos joins SportingAlert as contributor for Spanish football and the Spain national team. I like to travel, one of the favourite things on my list, but I also like to just spend time with family and friends when I am not covering football games. Hope to dump into some of my readers some day.

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