Zlatan Ibrahimovic has missed a penalty but AC Milan still won 2-1 at Bologna, bouncing back from a disappointing week to maintain their lead at the top of Serie A.
Second-placed Inter Milan’s 5-0 thumping of Benevento left them two points adrift of their city rivals while champions Juventus jumped to third after winning 2-0 at Sampdoria.
Ante Rebic fired home the rebound after Ibrahimovic’s penalty kick was saved and Franck Kessie doubled Milan’s lead early in the second half.
Former Milan midfielder Andrea Poli came of for the hosts and fired home nine minutes before the end to trigger an intense finale at the Dall’Ara stadium but Milan held on.
“Today we showed our will to win,” Milan striker Rafael Leao said.
“At times we slowed down but games are like this and you also have to suffer. We have a long way to go and for now we think about holding on to first place.”
Milan had lost their past two matches, including a midweek defeat to Inter in the Italian Cup quarter-finals in which Ibrahimovic was sent off.
Ibrahimovic has missed five of his past 10 penalties for Milan.
Inter took an early lead courtesy of an own goal by Riccardo Improta as Christian Eriksen curled a free-kick in the box.
After the break Lautaro Martinez struck clinically and Romelu Lukaku netted twice with Inter’s suspended coach Antonio Conte watching from the San Siro stands.
Belgian ace Lukaku is now one goal behind Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who tops the chart on 15.
In rainy Genoa, 23-year-old Federico Chiesa opened the scoring as Juventus accounted for mid-table Sampdoria before late second-half substitute Aaron Ramsey sealed the result with a goal in stoppage time.
“Chiesa has brought energy, freshness and hunger,” Juve coach Andrea Pirlo said about the former Fiorentina forward, who signed with the champions in October and has now netted six league goals.
“He is a young player who arrived in a big team and has adjusted to great champions and international (Champions League) matches.
“Now he is doing fine and his mind is free.”