ROME — Three days after beating Juventus, the inexperience of AC Milan’s young squad showed in a 3-0 loss at Genoa on Tuesday that saw the 10-man Rossoneri waste a chance to take the Serie A lead.
Nikola Ninkovic put the hosts ahead 11 minutes in after being left unmarked inside the area for a header. Milan centre back Gabriel Paletta was sent off in the 56th minute and his teammate Jurak Kucka scored an own-goal late in the second half before Genoa substitute Leonardo Pavoletti sealed the result in the 86th.
"I think the loss tonight could teach us a lot," Milan midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura said. "As a young squad we might concede something to a craftier team. These are steps we’re going to have to take to grow as a squad.
"We don’t have the strength of Juve or Roma yet."
Milan remained third, level on points with second-place Roma, two points behind leader Juventus.
On Wednesday, Juventus hosts Sampdoria and Roma visits Sassuolo.
Milan hasn’t been in first place in more than four years.
Genoa, which beat Inter Milan on Sunday, moved up to seventh.
Ninkovic scored his first career Serie A goal after Tomas Rincon easily evaded Manuel Locatelli — the 18-year-old who scored in the 1-0 win over Juventus — to provide the cross.
Paletta, one of Milan’s more experienced players at age 30, was shown the red card for a late, sliding tackle on Luca Rigoni.
Kucka then redirected a cross into his own net and Pavoletti used a clever feint to free himself from 21-year-old defender Alessio Romagnoli and blast a shot past Milan’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Milan’s unbeaten streak ended at six matches.