AC Milan continued their impressive start to the Serie A season by beating Cagliari 4-1 on Sunday.
First-half goals from Sandro Tonali, Raphael Leao and Olivier Giroud gave the San Siro side a deserved win over the visitors who could not contain a rampant Milan side.
The win ensured that Milan head into the international break with two wins from two games to stay within the top four as they look to wrestle the title from Juventus and Inter Milan this season.
The home team started the game well and were in total control from the beginning.
They scored their first goal of the evening in the 11th minute when Sandro Tonali curled home a free-kick from the edge of the box.
The visitors responded quickly through Alessandro Deiola, who latched onto a Joao Pedro’s lofted pass to score Cagliari’s equaliser.
However, the goal was whipped out two minutes later and Milan restored their lead. This time Raphael Leao was the scorer. His shot from range took a deflection off teammate Brahim Diaz on its way into the net, completely deceiving Radunovic in the Cagliari goal.
Giroud, who was making his home debut for Milan, then added further misery to the away team by scoring two goals just before halftime. The first came through a counterattack while his second was scored from the penalty spot after Kevin Strontian had handled the ball in the box.
Content with the result and without any threat from Cagliari, Stefano Pioli’s side ended without registering another shot on target in the second half.
Giroud shines for Milan
Summer signing Giroud proved why AC Milan were willing to take him from Chelsea despite the talk about his age and ability waning. He was no longer seen as an elite striker and was expected to play a minor role in Pioli’s side.
But the French international showed on Sunday that he still has a lot of quality. His first goal was a well-taken finish and proved that with the right services, he will score.
The San Siro side really rate him highly after handing him the number 9 shirt and based on his performance, it is easy to see why they do.
Pioli will be hoping he continues in this rich form when they meet bigger opponents like Lazio and Liverpool after the international break.
Milan a thorn in Cagliari’s flesh
The visitors would have been happy when they drew level in the 15th minute of the game and would have loved to end the match that way and hold on to one point.
But again, they could not stay organised at the back for long and were outdone by a rampant Milan side who have proven time and again to be too good for them.
Cagliari have lost more Serie A games against AC Milan than against any other side – 43 in total. The last time the Sardinians’ won against the Rossoneri was in May 2017. Since then, they have lost six and drawn two. Their loss on Sunday extended that winless run to nine games.
They will hope for better luck next time when the two teams meet next year.
Milan looking like title contenders
This year’s Serie A title is heating up nicely with Ac Milan joining Lazio, Roma Napoli and holder Inter Milan on six points.
With traditional favourites Juventus currently struggling, Milan are looking to pick up as many points as possible early in the season. They have begun the season in the best possible way and look ready to go the distance.
Their performance on Sunday had the marks of a team ready to use the disappointment of the previous season as a springboard for bigger things.
Although they played against a Cagliari side who couldn’t really trouble them, it would be foolish to ignore their quality and make light of their chances of winning the Scudetto this year.