Friday, June 14, 2024
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Boateng inspires stunning Milan win

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ROME: Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the fastest hat-trick in 10 years and Mario Yepes notched a late winner as AC Milan came back from 0-3 down to beat Lecce 4-3 on Sunday.

Milan were in disarray during a calamitous first 45 minutes and came into the break 3-0 down following goals from Guillermo Giacomazzi, a Massimo Oddo penalty and Carlos Grossmuller.

But Boateng came off the bench to fire a 14-minute treble and Yepes headed home seven minutes from time to earn Massimiliano Allegri’s team an unlikely victory.

The champions were without centre-back Thiago Silva and had Philippe Mexes on the bench having played just a few minutes since his return from a knee injury following six months on the sidelines.

And the champions could not have missed the pair more as they were a defensive shambles in the first period.

Milan’s backline was nowhere to be seen after just four minutes as Giacomazzi managed to head home Grossmuller’s cross from inside the six yard box, beating hesitant goalkeeper Christian Abbiati to the ball.

Lecce were more than matching their listless visitors and soon extended their advantage.

The second came from the penalty spot after Abbiati was adjudged to have brought down Daniele Corvia as Milan failed in their attempts to clear a corner. Television replays suggested the referee got that decision wrong as Corvia was on his way down before any contact with Abbiati happened.

But up stepped Oddo, who was released by Milan in the summer, to smash the spot-kick high past his former teammate on the half hour.

Milan looked to respond and Massimiliano Benassi had to tip a dipping volley from Antonio Nocerino over the bar.

And yet Milan’s defence still could not shut up shop and Lecce added a third before half-time.

First Mark van Bommel lost out in a 50-50 challenge, then Yepes dived in when he should have stayed on his feet and finally Luca Antonini inadvertently teed up Grossmuller, who would otherwise have been in an offside position, to prod the ball past Abbiati. (Agencies)

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