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AC Milan

Kessie equals Kaka’s 12-year AC Milan mark with Parma strike

The Brazilian football icon was the last Red and Blacks midfielder to score at least 10 goals for the San Siro giants in an Italian top-flight season

Franck Kessie has equalled a 12-year-old AC Milan feat last achieved by Kaka after finding the net in Saturday’s Serie A clash with Parma.

Ante Rebic had given the Red and Blacks an eighth-minute lead at the Stadio Ennio Tardini courtesy of an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

A minute before half-time, the Ivorian doubled the visitors lead. Receiving a pass from Theo Hernandez inside the Crusaders’ goal area, he fired past goalkeeper Luigi Sepe.

The 24-year-old’s latest strike in the competition has seen him emulate the former AC Milan midfielder, who is widely referenced as one of the best players to ever play for the club.

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Kessie now has 10 goals to his name in the Italian elite division this season, having featured in 29 league matches for Stefano Pioli’s men.

The Cote d’Ivoire international is the first midfielder to achieve that feat since the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner way back in the 2008-09 season. There, the Brazilian scored 16 times in 31 matches.

Milan’s aspiration of picking up an away win suffered a huge blow as Sweden international Ibrahimovic was given his marching orders by the referee.

Profiting from the visiting side’s numerical disadvantage, manager Roberto D’Aversa’s men pulled a goal back in the 66th minute through Riccardo Gagliolo.

Sadly, a 90th-minute effort from super-sub Rafael Leao dented their ambitions of picking up at least a draw in the keenly contested affair.

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Gervinho started for Parma, albeit, he was replaced at half-time by Andreas Cornelius. His countryman Drissa Camara was not listed for action. Elsewhere, 16-year-old youngster Chaka Traore was thrown into the fray for Andrea Conti with five minutes left on the clock.

For the San Siro giants, Kessie was in action for every minute alongside Fikayo Tomori. Algeria international Ismael Bennacer started the match, but he was substituted for French midfielder of Ivorian background, Soualiho Meite.

Following this defeat, Parma languish in the relegation zone after accruing 20 points from 30 games. AC Milan occupy second spot with 63 points from the same number of matches – eight short of leaders Inter Milan who have played a match less.

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