ROME (AP) Gennaro Gattuso’s debut as AC Milan coach ended in nightmarish fashion when goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli equalized in the fifth minute of stoppage time to earn Benevento its first ever point in the top division with an improbable 2-2 draw Sunday.
Ten-man Milan was protecting a lead when Brignoli came forward for the final play of the match and scored with a long, leaping header following a free kick.
”It’s difficult to describe,” said Brignoli, who is on loan from Juventus. ”I was thinking, `It’s 2-1, the 95th minute, we have nothing to lose.’ I went up there, closed my eyes and jumped.”
The last goalkeeper to score in Serie A was Massimo Taibi back in 2001 with Reggina.
Benevento had lost all 14 of its matches for the worst start to a season in modern history among Europe’s five major leagues. If Benevento had lost again, the southern club would have matched Brescia in 1994-95 for the longest losing streak in Italian league history.
”It would have been terrible to lose this, as we’ve lost so many at the last second that we really didn’t deserve to,” Brignoli said. ”Today we got some of that (luck) back. We’ve shown that we can play against anyone and just need the incidents to go our way.”
Gattuso, a former stalwart in midfield for Milan, was hired to replace the fired Vincenzo Montella on Monday.
”We conceded a strange goal and at the moment that’s just what our luck is,” Gattuso said. ”We have a long way to go and a lot to improve.”
Milan opened strongly and Giacomo Bonaventura scored one goal – his first since January – and set up another for Nikola Kalinic after George Puscas’ temporary equalizer for Benevento.
But Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli was sent off in the 75th after picking up his second yellow card for tripping an opponent.
Milan remained seventh, only one point above four other clubs, two of which were playing later.
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