Maldini scores on full debut as AC Milan go top

AC Milan’s Daniel Maldini (second from right) heads home against Spezia in the Serie A on Saturday. — Reuters
AC Milan’s Daniel Maldini (second from right) heads home against Spezia in the Serie A on Saturday. — Reuters

Milan - The 19-year-old followed in the footsteps of his father Paolo and grandfather Cesare, two Milan greats



By Reuters

Published: Sat 25 Sep 2021, 8:14 PM

One of Italian football’s most famous names returned to a Serie A scoresheet on Saturday when Daniel Maldini netted in a 2-1 win for AC Milan over Spezia on his first league start for the club.

The 19-year-old followed in the footsteps of his father Paolo and grandfather Cesare, two Milan greats, by scoring in Italy’s top flight with a 48th-minute header, which sent the Rossoneri top of the table.

Daniele Verde’s heavily deflected strike drew the home side level at the Stadio Alberto Picco, but a late goal from substitute Brahim Diaz restored Milan’s lead.

Milan climbed to first place with 16 points ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. Spezia are 17th with four points.

Stefano Pioli opted to hand Maldini his first start after a gruelling run of four games in 10 days for his side.

The coach’s decision paid off when the teenager got in front of his marker to head in Pierre Kalulu’s cross after the break, following a first half lacking in chances.

Maldini became the third generation of his family to score for the club after his grandfather Cesare and father Paolo, both former Italian and European champions with the Rossoneri.

The goal came 13 years and 179 days after Paolo’s last Serie A strike in 2008, while Cesare last achieved the feat 60 years and 22 days ago in 1961.

A beaming Paolo Maldini, who is now technical director at Milan, was in the stands to celebrate his son’s achievement.

Rafael Leao was inches away from doubling Milan’s lead when his looping shot hit the inside of the post, while Giulio Maggiore squandered a glorious chance for Spezia by firing over from four yards.

Thiago Motta’s side drew level on the 80th minute when Verde’s shot hit Sandro Tonali to wrong-foot the goalkeeper and go in, but Alexis Saelemaekers picked out Diaz on the edge of the six-yard box for the Spaniard to net the winner four minutes after coming on. — Reuters


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