Jack Bonaventura and Giampaolo Pazzini’s late penalty allowed Milan to get the better of Cesena.
This looked like a Last Chance Saloon for Pippo Inzaghi, who won just one Serie A game in 2015. Diego Lopez, Gabriel Paletta and Philippe Mexes were suspended with absentees including Ignazio Abate, Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio, Cristian Zapata and Pablo Armero. Cesena were in penultimate place, but in recent weeks had beaten Lazio and held Juventus to a 2-2 draw. Gabriele Perico sat out a ban with injured Riccardo Cazzola, Giudo Marilungo, Nico Pulzetti and Emmanuel Cascione.
The Sea Horses had never won this fixture and scored only once in 11 visits, back in 1975-76. Andrea Poli had the ball in the net from a corner after two minutes, but it was flagged offside due to two players surrounding the ‘keeper.
Milan poured forward and left gaps for Cesena to counter, so Salvatore Bocchetti crucially charged down the Milan Djuric finish. Franco Brienza also rolled across with Ze Eduardo just unable to tap in.
The Rossoneri did break the deadlock after 22 minutes when Giacomo Bonaventura unleashed a fierce strike from the edge of the box that went in despite Nicola Leali getting fingertips to it.
Leali kept out a Menez angled drive and Nigel de Jong’s crunching tackle blocked off Ze Eduardo’s shot, causing him to go off injured, so Gaby Mudingayi made his Cesena debut.
Deep into first half stoppages, Christian Abbiati showed he’s still got quick reflexes with his fantastic one-handed save on a Giuseppe De Feudis volley from close range.
It was almost a brace for Bonaventura after the restart, but this time his volley from a Menez assist was kept out by the frame of the goal.
Giampaolo Pazzini nodded a Menez ball over the top off target, then fired at the side-netting, but Cesena pushed hard in the final minutes at San Siro.
However, Pazzini secured the victory in stoppages with a penalty after Carlos Carbonera was rather harshly adjudged to have pushed Luca Antonelli.
It could’ve been 3-0, but nobody was able to get the final touch on a ball flashed across the face of goal.