AC Milan are starting to escape from the pack after winning for the tenth time in 12 league games in Sunday's 3-0 success at Bologna. I Rossoneri went six points clear at the top of Serie A as goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic eased them to a comfortable victory.
Lazio can close the gap back to three points if they win at Juventus later this evening but if they fail to do so, Milan will be guaranteed top spot in a week's time when Serie A shuts down for its winter break. Ironically it was the same three players who hit the net in last week's 3-0 defeat of Brescia as Milan are proving to be increasingly ruthless in despatching so-called smaller teams.
Ibrahimovic said the 12.30 kick-off time had presented a new challenge. "We won 3-0, it was a hard game, it's the first time we've played at midday, it wasn't easy but we won and that's the most important thing," he said.
"Everything's possible, we're in the running for all the trophies (league, cup and UEFA Champions League), we have to keep going, don't relax, there's still lots of games left so we'll talk about the title another time."
With Ghana midfielder Boateng playing in the holding role between midfield and attack, Milan were totally dominant. Bologna had the first chance with a speculative effort from distance from Gaston Ramirez that Christian Abbiati tipped around the post.
Thereafter it was all Milan and they went ahead on nine minutes as Ibrahimovic hit an inswinging cross from the left and Boateng burst into the box between two defenders to stretch out his right leg and prod the ball home from six yards.
On 18 minutes Andrea Pirlo - playing alongside fellow old-timers Gennaro Gattuso and Massimo Ambrosini in midfield - fired just over from distance. The second came on 35 minutes as Robinho shot between goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano's legs after a Boateng flick slipped him in on goal.
It could have been worse for Bologna as Robinho then played in Ibrahimovic who also shot between Viviano's legs but this time the ball clipped the inside of his foot to be diverted wide of the goal.
Then deep into injury time inexplicable hesitancy in the Bologna defence allowed Gianluca Zambrotta to win the ball in the box and fire a shot off the crossbar.
Viviano came to his side's rescue from an Ibrahimovic shot just after the restart but then Abbiati almost gifted Bologna a goal. The shot-stopper ran out wide to prevent a corner but was then dispossessed outside his box before he could clear his lines but Ramirez's snap-shot hit the side-netting.
The game was over on the hour mark as Pirlo's inch-perfect pass picked out Ibrahimovic and the big Swede did the rest.
There was still time for Milan to concede what was incredibly the first penalty against them this season, although it was generous to say the least as Marco Di Vaio flung himself to the ground after the slightest contact with substitute Clarence Seedorf. Justice was done though as Abbiati plunged to his right to stop Di Vaio's spot-kick.