Ibra, Boateng keep Milan top of the pile
Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng kept AC Milan at the Serie A summit with victory at Atalanta. The Swedish international striker scored a first-half penalty, after Alexandre Pato was fouled, and then set up Boateng's clincher in the closing stages.
With Juventus, level on points with Milan, winning at Lecce, and Udinese having done so against Cesena earlier in the day to temporarily nudge ahead, the victory was vital to keep i Rossoneri on top of the pile. The hosts had the better of the opening stages and could have taken the lead in the first minute, when Ezequiel Schelotto failed to unduly extend goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.
Simone Padoin then had two chances to put Atalanta ahead, but fired wastefully over from good positions in the away penalty area. But when the breakthrough came in the 22nd minute, it was at the other end. Thomas Manfredini brought down Pato and Ibrahimovic calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
Schelotto shot just wide from long distance as the first half came to a close and there was again an encouraging start for Atalanta in the second period. First Luca Cigarini forced a good low save from Abbiati, who then easily held Carlos Carmona's weak effort. A superb header from German Denis then struck the upright, but it proved to be the closest Atalanta would come to a goal.
Milan's Antonio Nocerino and Ibrahimovic went close with efforts from outside the area before their side extended their lead in the 82nd minute. Ibrahimovic picked out Boateng in the centre of the penalty and the Ghanaian midfielder found the roof of the net.
Substitute Robinho shot wide from outside the area and Ibrahimovic drew a save from home goalkeeper Andrea Consigli at close quarters as the match ended 2-0.