Jovic completes Milan comeback at Frosinone

AC Milan Italian Portugese forward #10 Rafael Leao (R) fights for the ball with Frosinine Italian midfielder #14 Francesco Gelli during the Italian Serie A football match between Frosinone and AC Milan at the Benito-Stirpe stadium in Frosinone on Febuary 3, 2024. AFP

Luka Jovic fired AC Milan to a comeback 3-2 victory at Frosinone on Saturday with a late winner which moved his team to within five points of Serie A leaders Inter Milan.

Serbia forward Jovic lashed home an instinctive finish with nine minutes remaining to continue his recent good scoring form and consolidate Milan’s hold on a top four spot.

Jovic’s winner was his seventh goal in 10 matches in all competitions and came nine minutes after defender Matteo Gabbia drew Milan level with his first ever goal in Italy’s top-flight.

“He’s a decisive player. He’s not getting that many minutes but he makes the most of the time he does get to help the team,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli of Jovic.

“He’s a quality player, I’ve always thought so. I push him as much as I can every day because I believe in him.”

Pioli’s side have played two games more than Inter, who host second-placed Juventus in a huge title clash at the San Siro on Sunday.

Milan have also played a game more than Roma in fifth, over whom they have a 14-point advantage in the race for a spot in the Champions League.

Pioli has been consistently subject to speculation over his future this season, with rumours surfacing this week that Milan were trying to recruit Antonio Conte.

“The important thing is that I, the team and the club are all concentrated on the here and now,” said Pioli who has been in charge of Milan since October 2019.

“I’ve been around too long for these rumours to bother me… I’m not just happy at Milan, I’m extremely happy… I’ve felt that way from the first moment I set foot in (Milan’s training ground) Milanello.”

A painful defeat for Frosonine, who led in the 65th minute through Matias Soule’s first-half penalty and a Luca Mazzitelli strike, leaves the promoted outfit five points above the relegation zone.

Olivier Giroud opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a trademark header, nodding home Rafael Leao’s inviting cross from six yards to take his league goal tally to 11 for the season.

However six minutes later Leao gifted Frosinone the chance to level when he handled inside his own box, and Juventus loanee Soule made no mistake from the penalty spot.

And when Mazzitelli squeezed his fourth goal of the season past Mike Maignan it looked like Milan would crumble.

However in the 72nd minute Gabbia headed home Giroud’s knockdown to level the scores, allowing Jovic to steal the show with his late winner.

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