AC Milan moved joint second in Serie A temporarily with a 2-0 win over Lazio at San Siro on Tuesday night.
Carlos Bacca’s first half goal gave Milan a somewhat fortuitous half-time lead on the balance of play, before M’Baye Niang’s second half penalty proved to be the nail in the coffin.
Lazio began the game well as they looked to end a drought of San Siro wins against the Rossoneri stretching back to 1989, when a Paolo Maldini own goal was remarkably the separator.
Ciro Immobile, believed to be a Milan target over the last year, should have done better as he fired closed to Donnarumma in space inside three minutes.
A controversial moment happened in the sixth minute as M’Baye Niang was played through, and after he appeared to be clipped by Bastos the referee waved play on.
Lazio got joy down the Diavolo‘s right hand side, and Cataldi should have done better when he fired over before the ten minute mark. A header from Milinkovic-Savic was then saved well down low by Donnarumma.
The frantic start continued as Niang found space inside the box just before the quarter-hour mark, but the French #11 failed to get any power and subsequently it was an easy save for the Lazio debutant goalkeeper Strakoshka.
After a relative lull in proceedings, the next chance did not come until the 34th minute when Juraj Kucka found Bonaventura in the area, but he failed to fire at goal under defensive pressure and the ball ricocheted for a goal kick.
It was no secret that Carlos Bacca was the most dangerous player on the park, and he made the visiting Aquile pay in the 37th minute.
Kucka capitalised on a slip and played a wonderful ball to dissect the Lazio back-line, before Bacca dribbled until he was inside the area and slotted into the far corner to boost home spirits and give Montella’s men a 1-0 lead.
A 15th home league goal in 22 games for the former Sevilla man was nearly follow up by a goal from Bonaventura five minutes later, with Strakosha just about catching his long range effort at the second time of asking.
Chaos ensued in added time as Bastos almost turned Suso’s low cross into his own net, before a follow-up by Bonaventura after a scramble was heroically blocked by Basta.
Kucka had the ball in the net again moments later, but was adjudged to have fouled the Lazio ‘keeper as he rose to nod home.
The visitors made a double change at the break, bringing on the influential Balde Keita (a rumoured Milan target) and Felipe Anderson.
Niang had the first half-chance of the second period as he dragged an effort wide after shaky defending.
The Frenchman then made a glaring miss in the 56th minute as he failed to latch on to Calabria’s close-range cross, which would have given him a two-yard tap-in.
The ever-dynamic Niang then turned and fired a rocket from 25 yards towards the Lazio goal, before his cross a minute later earned Milan a 73rd minute penalty as it struck the arm of Stefan Radu.
Rather than Bacca adding to his tally for the night, it was Niang who got up and sent Strakosha the wrong way to seal the victory for the Rossoneri.
Juraj Kucka sent a piledriver from a free-kick in the closing stages that was well saved in what proved to be a comfortable conclusion to a game that was anything but.