AC Milan secured a much needed three points on Monday night as they survived late adversity to beat Bologna 2-1 at San Siro.
After a tentative opening period it was the Rossoneri who took the lead through Suso just before the break, and substitute Fabio Borini doubled it with around a quarter of the game remaining.
There was to be no let up though, as Lucas Paqueta was shown red not long after the second goal, and Mattia Destro halved the deficit moments after that, but Gennaro Gattuso’s side negotiated a tricky last 20 minutes.
Milan were the first side to have a meaningful opportunity as the ball fell to Hakan Calhanoglu around 20 yards out, and the Turkey international saw his half-volley tipped over well by Lukasz Skorupski.
Suso began to wreak havoc down the right side, whipping in two wonderful in-swinging crosses from set pieces; the first one headed wide from Cristian Zapata via a deflection, the second finding Mateo Musacchio at the far post with a seemingly open net to head into.
At the other end the Rossoneri were cut open by a ball over the top, and Gianluigi Donnarumma was forced into a smart save to deny Riccardo Orsolini from close range.
The wide-open nature of the first 20 minutes continued when Donnarumma was then forced into a low save to thwart former Inter man Rodrigo Palacio, who had been found in space inside the box.
The dangerous Mattias Svanberg then bent an effort narrowly wide from distance before Gennaro Gattuso was forced into a change; the injured Lucas Biglia was replaced not by Tiemoue Bakayoko, but by Jose Mauri.
Palacio thought he had given the visitors the lead when he beat Donnarumma by slotting home one-on-one, however the goal was quickly and correctly ruled out for offside by VAR.
Eight minutes before the break though it was Milan who took the lead, through a somewhat forgotten man. Substitute Mauri found Suso on the edge of the box with a neat pass, and the Spaniard trickily navigated a number of opposition players before slotting neatly into the bottom right corner past a motionless Skorupsi.
SUSO WITH A BRILLIANT GOAL! pic.twitter.com/W9ZwoJgObN
— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) May 6, 2019
Krzysztof Piatek had an opportunity to make it 2-0 not long after when a loose ball fell to him inside the area, however the Rossoneri No.19 shot straight at the keeper.
While there was controversy surrounding the conduct of Bakayoko, Milan began to assert dominance in the game as Calhanoglu fizzed an effort over from just outside the box.
Donnarumma was called into action up the other end not long after as holding midfield Erick Pulgar let fly from 25 yards producing a fingertip save.
In the 67th minute Milan did get the second goal to settle the nerves, and it came through Fabio Borini. The forward had just been subbed on for Calhanoglu, who was struggling with cramp, and he reacted quickest to a big rebound from Skorupski after a deflected Paqueta strike to slot home from close range.
BORINI DOUBLES THE LEAD! pic.twitter.com/JnL8oKm42I
— MilanGifs (@MilanGifs) May 6, 2019
The two-goal advantage was short lived though, as five minutes later former Milan man Mattia Destro was allowed to bring down a cross in acres of space and finish to halve the deficit.
A bad few minutes was compounded when Paqueta was shown two yellow cards in quick succession; the first for reacting to a Pulgar tackle, the second for dissent. It seemed harsh on the Brazilian upon replay.
Donnarumma made a good late save on Edera, but despite the man disadvantage the Diavolo did well to see out the remaining period with little difficulty, and thus secure a vital three points.