In AC Milan’s tenacious 2-0 victory against Bologna on Monday, Christian Pulisic scored one goal and assisted in setting up another, leaving a lasting impression.
After being sold by Chelsea, the 24-year-old is attempting to launch his professional career at Milan, where he was instrumental in Stefano Pioli’s team winning their season opener.
In the 11th minute, Pulisic provided the defense-splitting ball that allowed Olivier Giroud to score the game’s first goal. Ten minutes later, with an outstanding strike from the edge of the penalty area, Pulisic doubled Milan’s advantage.
According to Pioli, “We saw some really good things today, as well as some things on which we still need to work loads.”
“I never questioned Pulisic’s talent; I always recognized it. It was obvious from our conversation before he joined that he would be a wonderful addition to the club.
Following Sandro Tonali’s high-profile sale to Newcastle United, Milan added eight players to its roster during the summer transfer window.
Although they appeared weak at the back, there was evidence to suggest that the work done during the offseason had revived a club whose title defense collapsed midway through the previous season.
Rafael Leao was not performing at his peak on the left flank, and Milan was unfortunate not to score late on when a crazy run ended with the Portugal winger hitting the post. Milan had enough promising attacking chances from which a more nimble team could have made more.
At a packed and sweltering Stadio Dall’Ara, two of Milan’s newcomers superbly collaborated to set up Giroud for his first goal of the season.
With room in front of the region, left The superb Tijjani Reijnders was able to intercept a lofted pass from Pulisic and send it back across the goal for Giroud.
The France international scored his first-ever right-footed Milan goal with ease from close range.
Giroud took over as the provider after ex-Chelsea teammate Pulisic exchanged passes with him. Pulisic then charged forward and clattered in Milan’s second goal of the evening.
To their credit, Thiago Motta’s team fought back as Bologna was on the verge of collapsing under the strain and the scorching late summer heat engulfing northern Italy.
On the hour mark, Dan Ndoye did well to evade Davide Calabria, but after laying off to the wide-open Riccardo Orsolini, the Swiss forward scuffed the near post while attempting to score.
Mike Maignan unintentionally blocked Michel Aebischer’s close-range shot seconds later, giving Milan’s last major opportunity of a joyful but hot evening.
A dull goalless draw between Torino and Cagliari earlier marked Claudio Ranieri’s return to Serie A management.