Serie A: Christian Pulisic goal helps AC Milan beat Empoli

The goal came in the 40th minute

AC Milan AC Milan's Christian Pulisic celebrates scoring | Reuters

A Christian Pulisic goal was enough to give AC Milan a 1-0 home win over struggling Empoli on Sunday, and move provisionally into second place in Serie A.

The goal came in the 40th minute when Noah Okafor picked up a pass from Ismael Bennacer down the left wing and his cross was met first time by Pulisic on the edge of the area. The game offered little in the way of entertainment as a lacklustre Milan laboured to see off the visitors, but Stefano Pioli's side recorded their second consecutive 1-0 league win after their victory at Lazio last weekend.

Milan broke the deadlock after a dour first half with Empoli content to sit back and the home side unable to create any clear cut chances despite having the lion's share of possession. Pulisic's shot was deflected by Sebastiano Luperto past the keeper, and although the flag was raised for an offside on Okafor, after a VAR check, the American was awarded his eighth league goal of the season.

The second half brought little improvement, with Milan again struggling to find an opening, but Empoli did manage to gain more possession and create some danger on the counter.Substitute Mattia Destro had a late chance with a header from a corner but Mike Maignan got down well to save and the game ended with Milan on the attack and Empoli keeper Elia Caprile making a decent save from a Samuel Chukwueze shot. ACMilan now prepare for their second leg in Prague on Thursday, while Empoli continue their relegation battle at home to Bologna on Friday. 

AC Milan are on 59 points, two ahead of Juventus who host Atalanta later on Sunday, with Inter Milan top on 75 points. Empoli are 16th on 25 points, one point clear of the relegation zone.

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