Milan pull away atop Serie A
AC Milan extended their lead at the top of the Serie A table to four points after easing past Lecce at the San Siro today. Antonio Nocerino's early goal set Milan on their way and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the win midway through the second half with a superb strike as the league leaders took full advantage of Juventus' draw at Genoa to pull further clear at the summit.
Milan dominated throughout after Nocerino's seventh-minute strike put them ahead and the only surprise was that they only added one more goal to their tally against relegation-threatened Lecce. Nocerino slotted in Ibrahimovic's pass and Milan created three more decent chances in quick succession soon after, but Urby Emanuelson and Robinho were denied by Massimiliano Benassi in the visiting goal before Sulley Muntari fired wide.
Lecce briefly stemmed the tide with a Luis Muriel shot that went just over before normal service was resumed towards the end of the first half, with Robinho going close and Benussi keeping out shots from Nocerino and Ignazio Abate.
Milan continued their quest for a second goal after the break with a long-range Robinho effort, although that went high and wide. Lecce then gave their hosts a major scare in the 52nd minute when Valery Bojinov fired in a left-footed shot from outside the box that Milan keeper Christian Abbiati did well to save diving to his right.
Milan ensured Lecce would not get another chance to draw level as they finally made it 2-0 in the 65th minute following a well-worked move that was finished off with a brilliant Ibrahimovic finish. Robinho's ball into the area with the outside of his foot picked out the run of Emanuelson, whose header back to the edge of the box fell perfectly for Ibrahimovic to lash an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
That goal settled the match in Milan's favour but i Rossoneri will feel their final winning margin should have been greater, with Benassi finding himself overworked in the closing stages to save efforts from Ibrahimovic (twice), Emanuelson and Stephan El Shaarawy, while Alberto Aquilani saw two shots fizz just wide.