Milan might’ve found their breakthrough in a 5-1 victory over Chievo, including Bojan Krkic’s first goal for the Rossoneri and Stephan El Shaarawy on target again.
Massimiliano Allegri was under fire for tactical changes against Palermo, so shelved the three-man defence in favour of a new 4-2-3-1 with Giampaolo Pazzini and Bojan stepping in. Daniele Bonera was suspended and Luca Antonini injured, so Kevin Constant was used as a make-shift left-back, while Christian Abbiati returned in goal after a respiratory infection. Chievo missed Bostjan Cesar, Alberto Paloschi and Lorenzo Squizzi, but Sergio Pellissier was fully fit and Paul Papp thrown into a very defensive line-up.
Chievo had lost their last 11 consecutive Serie A meetings with Milan, failing to score more than a goal per game.
Pazzini ballooned an early opportunity well over after a Chievo defensive error, while El Shaarawy’s long-range effort was too weak to trouble Stefano Sorrentino.
Milan broke the deadlock with Urby Emanuelson, as Marco Andreolli cleared a deflected cross on to his feet and the Dutchman wasted no time smashing an angled drive from the edge of the box into the far bottom corner. He was helped by a slight deflection off Boukary Drame’.
However, the celebrations had barely died down when Chievo were back on level terms. Milan again confirmed their poor defending from set plays, as Sergio Pellissier got in front of El Shaarawy for a glancing header at the near post.
A smart idea was ruined when Emanuelson rolled the free kick to the edge of the area, where the totally unmarked Philippe Mexes hit a fresh-air shot.
Perparim Hetemaj drilled wide from distance, but Cyril Thereau’s daisy-cutter was on target and Abbiati got down well to palm it round the upright. Mexes handled in the box, but it clearly bounced off his ankle and on to his arm, so was not a penalty.
Chievo were putting pressure on, but were caught out on the counter at San Siro. Emanuelson pulled back for Riccardo Montolivo, who picked his spot and placed the low right-foot angled drive into the far bottom corner from a couple of metres outside the area. It was the summer signing’s second goal in as many games.
It was still wide open, as Thereau sprung the offside trap and was one-on-one with Abbiati, who parried using his feet at the near post.
Milan extended their advantage with Bojan Krkic’s first goal in a Rossoneri jersey. He scored from roughly the same position as Montolivo, striking a precise finish with the inside of his right foot that took a slight deflection off Dario Dainelli to slip past Stefano Sorrentino’s fingertips at the near stick.
It is also the first time Milan have managed to score three at San Siro this season and El Shaarawy nearly added a fourth on Montolivo’s long pass, but Papp was crucial in charging down the shot from point-blank range.
Massimo Ambrosini blasted off target from distance after the restart. Drame’ was felled by a powerful Ignazio Abate cross that hit him full on in the face, leaving the defender semi-conscious. There were several minutes of treatment before he was stretchered off with a neck brace. It was later confirmed he lost consciousness for 40 seconds and was taken to hospital for a check-up.
Pazzini fired well over from a promising position, then El Shaarawy fired just wide of the upright after a pull-back from the by-line went beyond Kevin-Prince Boateng. Pazzini hit the side-netting at the end of a long passing move.
El Shaarawy celebrated his eighth Serie A goal of the season and confirmed his Capocannoniere status. The striker who turned 20 last week was in the right place to tap in an Abate cross at the back post from a couple of yards, as the Chievo defence did not cut it out.
El Shaarawy tried to set up Boateng too with an inspired cross-field pass from the centre-circle, but the Ghanaian volleyed over the bar. Constant also tested Sorrentino at the near post after a mazy run, then threaded through for Pazzini to set up Bojan and Sorrentino parried with an outstretched foot.
Pazzini got in on the celebration with the last kick of the game, prodding in from a couple of yards after El Shaarawy flashed the assist across the face of goal.