Empoli boss Aurelio Andreazzoli admitted his side’s 1-1 home draw with AC Milan “feels almost like a victory for us”.
Lucas Biglia’s deflected strike had put the Rossoneri ahead after only 10 minutes, but Empoli grabbed a share of the spoils thanks to some awful defending from Alessio Romagnoli in the 70th minute.
The Milan centre-back scuffed his clearance straight at Levan Mchedlidze moments before Francesco Caputo was brought down by Biglia.
The Empoli striker converted the spot-kick for his third goal of the season and a crucial point which lifts the minnows to 17th in the Serie A standings and still only one point behind Milan in 13th.
“When you go behind to Milan, a side of that level and capacity when we were missing a lot of important players, then clearly you’re happy at getting a result,” Andreazzoli told DAZN.
“I wanted to play more aggressively in the last 15 minutes of the match, but overall I’m satisfied with the result. For us it is akin to victory. We showed our maximum, but, given it wasn’t our strongest line-up, we can be proud of ourselves.”
Andreazzolli paid tribute to Empoli goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano, who made a couple of crucial late saves to deny Suso a winner for Milan.
He added: “I gave him a pat on the back. We need a strong goalkeeper like him, but I think Gianluigi Donnarumma also had work to do this evening.”