Former European champions AC Milan sent a reminder to their rivals that they are still a force to be reckoned with after a vintage performance gave them a 2-0 win at AS Roma in the Serie A standout fixture on Sunday.
|Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi believes Ciro Immobile will win the Serie A golden boot. (Photo: AFP/Tiziana Fabi) |
The win thanks to goals from Patrick Cutrone and Davide Calabria left Milan, who have 18 Italian titles and seven European Cup triumphs, seventh on 44 points from 26 games, seven behind fourth-placed rivals Inter who they meet next weekend.
Fifth-placed Roma suffered a setback in their bid to finish in the top four and earn a Champions League group stage berth after a tepid performance.
Following a dour first half, the game sprung to life when Cutrone fired Milan ahead three minutes after the break when he applied the slightest touch to steer in a lovely through ball by ex-Liverpool forward Suso.
Roma keeper Alisson Becker produced two fine saves to deny Nikola Kalinic and Franck Yannick Kessie but was powerless when Milan's right back Calabria scored his first goal for the club and one of the highest quality.
The livewire 21-year old beat Alisson with a superbly dinked finish after his one-two with Kalinic left Roma's entire defence flat-footed and sealed Milan's win.
Roma were jeered off the pitch by their fans after failing to carve out a single clear-cut chance.
The day's other big scheduled game between second-placed champions Juventus and Atalanta was called off after heavy snowfall made the pitch in Turin's Allianz Stadium unplayable.
Leaders Napoli can go four points clear of Juve if they win at lowly Cagliari on Monday.
The afternoon games produced some spectacular goals and a majestic individual performance by Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who scored twice in a 3-0 win at Sassuolo.
The 22-year old Serbian international, who is reportedly being sized up by several European giants, fired Lazio ahead with a rasping shot from 25 metres and headed home the third after striker Ciro Immobile made it 2-0 with a penalty.
Top scorer Immobile scored his 23rd league goal of the season with the spot kick awarded for handball after match officials consulted the video assistant referee (VAR) amid furious protests by the home side.
The result saw Lazio move up one place to third, one point in front of Inter and two ahead of fifth-placed Roma.
Midfielder Mattia Valoti also netted a brace as second-bottom Hellas Verona beat mid-table Torino 2-1 while 18th-placed SPAL won 3-2 at Crotone, who are 17th and one point above them.
An early Cristiano Biraghi piledriver from 25 metres gave Fiorentina a 1-0 home win over Chievo Verona, while Sampdoria edged visiting Udinese 2-1 with the home team's hitman Duvan Zapata scoring with a spectacular solo effort.
The Colombia striker started a dazzling run deep in his own half and beat three defenders before scoring with a sublime lob from 15 metres as sixth-placed Sampdoria kept alive their remote hopes of finishing in the top four.
Centre back Matias Silvestre had fired Sampdoria ahead but scored a late own goal to set up a tense finish after Zapata's stunner gave the home side a two-goal advantage.