ROME (AP) — Jan-Carlo Simic had a debut to remember for AC Milan, scoring 17 minutes after he came on for an injured teammate in a 3-0 win over neighboring Monza at the San Siro on Sunday.
The 18-year-old center back was mobbed by his teammates after redirecting in a cross from Rafael LeÃ£o late in the first half, having been unexpectedly thrust into action following an injury to Tommaso Pobega.
Tijjani Reijnders and Noah Okafor also scored for third-place Milan, which moved within five points of second-place Juventus, which was held to a 1-1 draw at Genoa on Friday. Serie A leader Inter Milan, which is a point ahead of Juventus, visits Lazio later.
In a solid performance for the Rossoneri after getting eliminated from the Champions League, United States international Christian Pulisic also rattled the crossbar with a long-range shot and goalkeeper Mike Maignan made a difficult save on a shot from Monza standout Andrea Colpani.
It was the first time the two clubs met since the death in June of Silvio Berlusconi, the longtime Milan president who then bought Monza, which is still run by former Milan vice president Adriano Galliani.
Reijnders dribbled through Monza’s defense before slotting in to give Milan an early advantage. The Netherlands midfielder also set up Okafor’s goal midway through the second half.
Okafor then also exited with an apparent injury.