Soccer-Hernandez penalty gives Milan win over Fiorentina, Camarda makes history

Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan v Fiorentina - San Siro, Milan, Italy - November 25, 2023 AC Milan's Theo Hernandez applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) -French defender Theo Hernandez's first-half penalty gave AC Milan a 1-0 win at home over Fiorentina on Saturday, their first victory in five Serie A matches.

Hernandez broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in first-half stoppage time after a late challenge from Fabiano Parisi.

Milan's Francesco Camarda made history when he came on as a substitute for Luka Jovic in the final minutes, becoming, at 15 years, eight months and 16 days old, the youngest debutant in a Serie A match.

"Francesco is a good lad; he is working well and we also need his freshness. He is very young but also very mature. We were all very happy for him. I could be his grandfather," Milan's 58-year-old manager Stefano Pioli told Sky Sports Italia.

Milan are third in the table with 26 points, five behind leaders Inter Milan. Fiorentina are sixth with 20 points.

Pioli said his side had made progress after their lacklustre run of matches.

"We had a good first half, then mentally it couldn’t be our best performance and yet we made progress there by suffering, holding out and bringing home the points," he said.

"I am sure that when we get results a bit more consistently, we can then get back to playing our beautiful style of football. There are moments where you have to do things this way."

Christian Pulisic had an opportunity for Milan with a strike from the edge of the area that forced Fiorentina keeper Pietro Terracciano to make a flying save.

Tommaso Pobega had come close to putting Milan ahead late in the first half with a header towards the near post but Terracciano managed to get a hand to it.

Fiorentina nearly equalised around the hour mark when Nico Gonzalez's cross deflected off a Milan defender and clipped the far post.

Jovic tried to double Milan's lead but his attempt to beat Terracciano ended with the shot hitting the outstretched boot of the Fiorentina keeper.

Deep into stoppage time Milan keeper Mike Maignan saved a close-range shot from Rolando Mandragora with his face.

Milan's next match is the UEFA Champions League fixture at home against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, followed by hosting Frosinone in Serie A next Saturday.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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