With the game finely poised at 1-1 in stoppage time, Milan pushed for victory and came within inches of taking the lead with Ante Rebic slipped the ball through to Junior Messias inside the box.

But as Messias curled the ball into the net, Serra blew his whistle and called for play to be brought back following a foul on Rebic before the ball was played to Messias.

Milan’s players furiously swarmed the match official, who immediately put his hands up to apologise for his huge blunder, leaving the score to stay at 1-1 and Milan without a late go-ahead goal.

Only around two seconds passed between the foul and the shot, but no advantage was played, with the controversy multiplying when Spezia went up the other end to score a 96th-minute winner.

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And now, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Serra is facing a ‘lengthy suspension’ for his performance at the San Siro.

The report from the Italian news outlet goes on to claim that the chiefs of the referee association (AIA) have apologised to Milan for the mistake and have pointed out how Serra made a number of errors, including a clear missed penalty for Milan in the first half, which VAR then spotted.

While a usual suspension for a poor prerformance from referees is two games, Gazzetta dello Sport are claiming Serra could be handed a bigger punishment.

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli revealed Serra apologised to him and his players after the game.

Speaking to DAZN after the game, Pioli said: ‘I tried to calm my players down, but I didn’t manage as Spezia’s goal proves.

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‘We knew it was an injustice, we have ourselves to blame, but we share responsibility with the referee. I am sorry to say that. He even apologised, maybe that wasn’t even a fault. It’s a shame.

However, we should have scored more goals in the first half, it’s a bad night and we must react now.’

It was a damaging defeat for Milan, who would have gone top with a win but instead remain two points behind leaders Inter Milan, who have a game in hand.

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