Alberto Aquilani returned to San Siro with a goal, as Fiorentina beat Milan 3-1 after Alexandre Pato missed a penalty.
The Rossoneri are still trying to find their feet, but a 5-1 win over Chievo and 1-1 Champions League draw with Malaga boosted confidence. There’s an injury crisis in defence ruling out Ignazio Abate, Luca Antonini, Djamel Mesbah and Didac Vila, so Kevin Constant and Mattia De Sciglio were the full-backs. Fiorentina were flying high in fourth place, but lost Stevan Jovetic to a thigh injury and Michele Camporese was still sidelined.
The Viola have earned only one away win this season, but did conquer San Siro last term. This was a special game for Riccardo Montolivo and Alberto Aquilani, who were facing their former clubs.
Stephan El Shaarawy cut in from the left to fire just over the bar, but it was Fiorentina who broke the deadlock after 10 minutes.
A throw-in was flicked on twice until the unmarked Aquilani ghosted in to fire home past former teammate Christian Abbiati from 12 yards. His celebrations were somewhat muted out of respect for the San Siro crowd.
El Shaarawy set up Urby Emanuelson, denied by a crucial sliding tackle as he was pulling the trigger, while Luca Toni’s pass to send Borja Valero clear was a touch too heavy.
Facundo Roncaglia had space in the box from a quickly-taken free kick, but hesitated and was shrugged off the ball.
Roncaglia was penalised at the other end moments later, as he went elbow first on to the back of Alexandre Pato’s head and the referee considered it to be a foul. Pato stepped up to take the kick and blasted it well over the bar!
Fiorentina took advantage and made it 2-0 at San Siro, as Borja Valero went on a mazy run through the defence to place an angled drive past Abbiati, but Philippe Mexes put in a completely ineffective tackle. Milan were jeered off the pitch at half-time.
Max Allegri made a double change, introducing Bojan Krkic and ex-Fiorentina striker Giampaolo Pazzini. Boateng’s glancing header skimmed the base of the upright as Milan were pouring forward and finally got a goal back.
A corner was not cleared effectively and the Mexes cheeky backheel flick bounced off the back post into the path of Pazzini to tap in from a couple of yards.
The Rossoneri were desperate to turn this around, so threw on every forward at their disposal, but struggled against Fiorentina’s classy possession football.
In fact, Mattia Cassani could’ve added a third for the Viola, but his effort cracked against the upright with four minutes left on the clock after springing the offside trap on a ball over the top down the right.
That was only a warning, as Fiorentina did extend their lead with a stunning Mounir El Hamdaoui goal, controlling and lobbing Abbiati from the edge of the box to steer it into the far top corner. It was his Serie A debut strike.
Missed penalty: Pato 35 (M)