AC Milan breathes better after seeing a humble SPAL in Serie A

MILAN: A.C. Milan avoided a Halloween scare by hitting A series fighters SPAL 1-0 in the San Siro Thursday to give coach Stefano Pioli his first victory since replacing the fired Marco Giampaolo.

The victory lifted Milan into the top 10 with 13 points from 10 games while Ferrara-based SPAL, who have only beaten Milan once away from home, remained second-bottom with seven.

After a first short time in the incident, the Suso end left the bench at 57 minutes and scored six minutes later with a free kick in the upper corner from the edge of the area after Krzysztof Piatek was knocked down.

The strike ended a drought of goals that goes back to May for the Spaniard, which has provoked the anger of the fans after a bad start to the season.

The Milan defender, Theo Hernández, had scored a Lucas Paqueta pass two minutes after the break, but was declared offside, while the end Samu Castillejo hit the bar from a short distance in the 13th.

Paqueta came close in the 79th when he was thwarted at close range by SPAL 's Albania goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.

Pioli had accumulated only one point in his first two games after replacing Giampaolo on October 9 and made four changes from the side that lost 2-1 to AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

I am happy for the players, for the fans and for the club, Pioli told Sky Italia.

I asked the team to show spirit and they did ... We gave little. It is a pity that we have kept the result in the balance until the end. Now we have to concentrate on the next game.

Milan is at home with fifth place of Lazio on Sunday.