Lapadula's 4th goal in 4 matches lifts AC Milan to 2-1 win
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 04, 2016 10:35 PM
FILE - Inter Milan's Gary Medel, left, and AC Milan's Carlos Bacca fight for the ball during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Inter Milan, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
ANDREW DAMPF, AP Sports Writer
ROME (AP) — Gianluca Lapadula is getting quite comfortable in his new role as AC Milan's center forward.
Filling in for the injured Carlos Bacca, Lapadula earned a penalty and scored a late winner in a 2-1 win over visiting Crotone in Serie A on Sunday.
It was Lapadula's fourth goal in four matches — the first four of the Serie A career of a 26-year-old considered a late bloomer.
Diego Falcinelli had put Crotone ahead midway through the first half and Mario Pasalic equalized for Milan before the break.
With the score 1-1, M'Baye Niang had a penalty blocked by Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz.
Milan moved into second place, four points behind Juventus and three ahead of Roma, which was facing Lazio in a derby later.
Crotone is last with just six points from 15 matches.
Falcinelli's goal, his fifth of the season, was facilitated by poor defense from Milan that allowed him to score from the center of the area uncontested.
Pasalic, who is on loan from Chelsea, scored his first goal in Serie A with a header following a corner.
Early in the second half, Lapadula was fouled inside the area to set up Niang's penalty but Cordaz dove in the right direction to make the save.
In the 86th, Lapadula took advantage of a rebound following a free kick to win it.
Lapadula, who scored 27 goals in 40 Serie B matches for Pescara before joining Milan, recently earned his first call up to Italy's national team. He could become an even more integral member of the Rossoneri if Bacca departs as rumored in January.
Bacca was recently seen attending a match of his former club Sevilla, adding to the speculation over his possible departure.
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf