Ref apologizes for apparent error in AC Milan loss to Spezia

AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts after Spezia scores against Milan during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Spezia, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Monday, Jan.17, 2022. (Luca Bruno/AP)

MILAN -- Little went AC Milan's way in a dispiriting 2-1 home loss to Spezia as the Rossoneri wasted a chance to move back atop Serie A on Monday.

Emmanuel Gyasi was left unmarked to finish off a counterattack and score a stoppage-time winner for Spezia, which moved six points clear of the drop zone.

That came moments after a potential winner from Junior Messias was disallowed for Milan because the referee whistled a foul on Rossoneri forward Ante Rebic in the buildup just as Rebic was passing the ball to Messias.

Referee Marco Serra quickly held his hands up in an apparent apology to Milan's protesting players but still refused to allow the goal, assigning Milan a free kick instead.

Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel then made a leaping save to stop the free kick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Seconds later, the 'keeper again denied Ibrahimovic by deflecting the 40-year-old forward's header away off the crossbar.

Kevin Agudelo equalized for Spezia midway through the second half following an opener from Rafael Leao just before the break.

Leao's goal came moments after Theo Hernandez missed a penalty kick for Milan with a poor effort that went wide right.

Milan remained two points behind city rival Inter Milan, which has a game in hand, and was only two points ahead of third-placed Napoli, which beat Bologna 2-0.


Hirving Lozano scored twice for Napoli at Bologna.

First, Lozano used one touch to redirect a pass in the center of the area despite being closely marked. Then the Mexico international finished off a counterattack from close range.

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen went on in the second half to mark his return from a cheekbone injury two months ago and a case of COVID-19 that kept him out of Nigeria's African Cup of Nations squad.

This is one of two rounds in Serie A with a maximum attendance of 5,000 fans at matches in a measure aimed at containing the coronavirus.


Cristiano Biraghi scored twice from free kicks and Fiorentina beat relegation-threatened Genoa 6-0.

Dusan Vlahovic had a chipped penalty attempt saved before scoring his 17th goal of the season to return atop the league chart alongside Lazio's Ciro Immobile.

The Viola moved up to sixth place.

It was Genoa's first game since firing Andriy Shevchenko as coach.

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