Milan ease to four-point lead
AC Milan moved four points clear at the top of Serie A with a comfortable 2-0 win over Cesena at the San Siro.
An own goal from Maximiliano Pellegrino just before the interval helped I Rossoneri to all three points, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealing the win deep in stoppage time. Cesena tried to make a game of it, but succumbed to their second defeat in Milan in the space of four days to remain inside the bottom three.
Cesena troubled Inter Milan with their positive attitude at the San Siro in midweek and, although they were lacking the suspended Emanuele Giaccherini, they seemed to have found an equally enterprising replacement for him.
Dominique Malonga was the main threat early on as he grasped the chance given to him by Cesena coach Massimo Ficcadenti. He almost opened the scoring himself after just three minutes before creating several chances for his team mates.
Ezequiel Schelotto also went close as Cesena made a bright start. He pounced on a weak backpass from Luca Antonini, but shot straight at Christian Abbiati from a tight angle. Having weathered an unexpected early storm, Milan started to attack themselves, with Robinho and Antonio Cassano looking particularly happy with the ball at their feet.
Cassano set up Ibrahimovic for their first chance on the half-hour mark, but Francesco Antonioli thwarted him before Robinho sent the rebound over the crossbar. Antonini dragged a shot wide of the post in the 33rd minute and Ibrahimovic headed wide at the far post ten minutes later as Milan came close to scoring.
They did go ahead on the stroke of half-time when another clever pass from Cassano sent Ibrahimovic through, and Pellegrino shot past his own goalkeeper as he attempted to clear the ball before the Swede could shoot.
Milan appeared to take it a little easy in the second half and they were almost punished in the 76th minute when Sokratis Papastathopoulos had to make a clearance just ahead of Erjon Bogdani. Robinho missed two gilt-edged chances to seal the win before Ibrahimovic wrapped up the points in the third minute of stoppage time.