In a week of turbulence for the Rossoneri, Milan slumped into a 2-1-Serie A defeat to relegation-threatened Genoa.
Milan suffered a damaging defeat for coach Stefano Pioli as Genoa claimed a shock 2-1 Serie A win in an empty San Siro on Sunday.
Together with the Rossoneri’s famous home absent of audiences following a decree that all sporting events in Italy happen behind closed doors until April 3 as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak, Milan turned into a drab performance.
At the end of a week which saw Milan sack chief football officer Zvonimir Boban but state support for Pioli, they were second best throughout against a Genoa side battling relegation.
Milan fell behind in the seventh minute as Pandev was supplied with the easiest of tap-ins to break the deadlock after Antonio Sanabria had dispossessed Theo Hernandez and delivered a low right-wing delivery throughout the face of goal.
Mattia Perin exhibited excellent reactions to keep out Ibrahimovic’s header from point-blank range after a clever ball from Hakan Calhanoglu as Milan sought an equaliser.
But, Genoa continued to look the more threatening in the last third and a sublime team movement made it 2-0.
Sanabria was involved again as he spread out the play to right-winger Davide Biraschi, whose cross was automatically flicked on by Lasse Schone for Cassata to slide the ball home at the far post.
Milan seemed to be running out of steam at a low-key second half, but Ibrahimovic reduced the deficit with a wise volley on the turn 13 minutes from the end of normal time.
Genoa had little difficulty seeing the win out, however, as Pioli’s side remained well below their best.
If Pioli was heartened by the backing he received 24 hours earlier, this operation should give the Milan boss reason to worry about his long-term future at the club.
Former Barcelona youth player Sanabria, on loan from Real Betis, set in motion a superb win for Genoa when he robbed Hernandez of the ball and seemed the visitors’ most likely threat to score a third in the second half.
Ibrahimovic’s arrival coincided with the upturn in fortunes Milan experienced at the turn of the year. However, the 38-year-old looked every bit a participant in the twilight of his career on Sunday. He should have beaten Perin with Milan’s best chance of the game and, though he did finally give his side hope, a wayward overhead kick in the second half encapsulated his tough day.