Olivier Giroud grabbed a last-ditch winner as AC Milan leapfrogged Atalante to second place with a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Spezia.

Fikayo Tomori had a wonderful chance as Rafael Leao set him up with a wonderful pass. But the English defender’s sluggish effort did not pose an imminent threat to the opponent’s keeper. Theo Hernandez then came up with a superlative display as he controlled Ismael Bennacer’s ball beautifully before drilling a shot into the far post.

Milan loanee Daniel Maldini then had a redemption moment against his parent club as he curled a beautiful one to defeat Ciprian Tatrasanu whose outstretched hand could not reach the ball. Olivier Giroud’s brilliant athleticism again proved to be a pivotal moment as the French international met Sandro Tonali’s cross to net his fifth goal of this season.

The result lifted AC Milan over Atalanta to second on the Serie A table. And The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Stefano Pioli’s men.

Ciprian Tatrasanu: 6/10

The goalkeeper had a decent day between the sticks, making a couple of good saves to deny the relegation strugglers any moment. Tatarusanu could not have done anything at the time of the goal but misjudged on a few occasions.

Pierre Kalulu: 6/10

Kalulu almost had a heart-stopping mistake as his error could have gifted a goal to the visitors. The youngster worked hard in both halves and provided a good platform for himself.

Fikayo Tomori: 7/10

The English defender is getting better and better with each passing game and produced another standout performance in the backline. Tomori could have added one more goal just after the start, but overall, he was neat in his defending.

Matteo Gabbia: 6/10

The young Italian defender rubbed the shoulders with the Spezia attackers in a very efficient way and complemented his partner very well. Gabbia was rusty in some moments but did not rush anything and kept his composure on the ball.

Theo Hernandez: 7.5/10

The French defender tormented Spezia with his usual bombing runs down the flank and scored a brilliant goal to open the scoring. Hernandez’s brilliant second touch outsmarted his excellent first touch as he received the ball from Ismael Bennacer and poked the ball into the far corner.

Rade Krunic: 6/10

Krunic should have buried the ball into the net at least once as he wasted chances. The Bosnian midfielder hould have stepped up as Daniel Maldini was quick to curl the equaliser despite Krunic hauling his back.

Ismael Bennacer: 7/10

The Algerian midfielder was right on the money with his dominating display in the middle of the pitch. And Bennacer’s assist for Theo Hernandez was an excellent act of masterpiece.

Junior Messias: 6/10

Messias combined well with the attackers in the attacking third but could not find that final product despite toiling hard.

Brahim Diaz: 5/10

Diaz tucked on the pitch without having any major influence on the game. He was replaced by Charles De Ketelaere. after a sub-par outing.

Rafael Leao: 6/10

Leap set up Tomori with a brilliant layoff as he outmuscled through the Spezia lines to keep the ball at his feet. Another energetic performance from the Portuguese attacker.

Divock Origi: 5.5/10

Origi did not have the desired impact as he barely had any connection in the attacking third. With Olivier Giroud now suspended, Stefano Pioli will hope his other striker performs heavily in the next match.

SUBSTITUTES

Charles De Ketelaere: 6/10

Charles De Ketelaere tried fancy things but could not really match the pace of the game.

Ante Rebic: 5/10

A very poor performance from the Croat, who made no impact whatsoever on the proceedings..

Olivier Giroud: 7/10

Giroud came up with a goal in the dying moments as he flew high to shoot in Sandro Tonali’s infectious cross. But after excessive celebrations, he earned a second yellow card in a bizarre ending to the game.

Sandro Tonali: 6/10

The Italian midfielder floated a teasing cross which was efficiently converted by Giroud at the far post

Malick Thiaw: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

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