AC Milan went 2-0 down at home to Verona in the first half, but goals from Giroud, Kessie, and Gunter (in his own net) gave them the three points they were after. AC Milan top the Serie A table after eight games, with Napoli able to step ahead if they beat Torino on Sunday.

AC Milan - Verona 3-2
Milan’s players celebrated after they beat Verona 3-2 at San Siro on Saturday to go top of Serie A. (Image: Twitter/davidecalabria2)

Caprari scored first after just seven minutes to give Verona the lead, then Barak made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 24th minute. AC Milan had Ciprian Tatarusanu in goal, with the Romanian playing his first game this season to replace the injured Mike Maignan. The Frenchman will be out for three months after undergoing surgery for a serious wrist injury.

Olivier Giroud rang the wake-up bell with a beautiful header just before the hour mark, then Franck Kessie equalized in the 76th minute from the spot. Less than two minutes after, Koray Gunter beat his own keeper with a bizarre deflection to make it 3-2 for Milan.

The Rossoneri are now top of Serie A, with seven wins and one draw in eight games.

Milan lost Theo Hernandez and Brahim Diaz to Covid-19, but also had to do without Maignan, Plizzari, Florenzi, Bakayoko, and Junior Messias. The good news for manager Stefano Pioli was that Giroud could return to the starting 11, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic was able to come off the bench in the last quarter of an hour.

Milan’s Castillejo after the game: ‘Yesterday, not even my mother wanted me’

A very emotional Samu Castillejo was caught crying by the cameras as the game finished. The Spanish winger motivated his outburst in front of Milan TV’s cameras.

“Thanks to my family, friends, and God I managed. Yesterday my own mother didn’t even want me and today I can cheer,” Castillejo said.

“I’m happy for me and my family who have lived through this difficult period with me. I am very happy to have won this match and to have shown the great family that we are,” he added.

Later talking to Sky, Castillejo said: “I was more going than staying over the summer, but in the end, I stayed. My attitude is always the same, I always train well and I aim to be ready. Today it went well and I’m happy with that.”

Manager Stefano Pioli asked for Castillejo to be taken as an example.

“He must be an example. My choices penalized him, but he continued to work. I’m really happy for him and I’m happy that whoever enters is ready,” Pioli said.

Before replacing Alexis Saelemaekers as the second half with Verona kicked off, Castillejo (26) had only played one minute for Milan this season, in the 4-1 win against Cagliari on 29 August.