There was a sensational and highly controversial four-goal thriller, as Milan and Bologna were furious at the referee.
The Rossoneri aimed to continue their fine Serie A form, though Antonio Nocerino joined the injury list with Alessandro Nesta, Christian Abbiati, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Gennaro Gattuso and Antonio Cassano. Nico Pulzetti was suspended for Bologna, who gave Jorge Crespo a rare start in defence.
Within three minutes Zlatan Ibrahimovic had unleashed a ground to air missile of a free kick from the left flank that rattled the crossbar. It was absolutely ferocious and kept the woodwork wobbling for some time.
However, it was Bologna who took the lead with a moment of magic from Marco Di Vaio. He broke on his own from the centre-circle on a long ball and as Marco Amelia came sprinting out of the box, Di Vaio brilliantly and bravely lobbed into an empty net.
The situation did not last long, as Clarence Seedorf gathered from Kevin-Prince Boateng just outside the D and smacked a stunning right-foot curler into the near top corner, where Jean-Francois Gillet had absolutely no chance.
Moments later Ibra burst on the counter down the left, but nobody was ready to tap into an empty net. Di Vaio drilled just wide of the near stick and Gillet had his palms stung by Ignazio Abate’s volley.
Milan had penalty appeals for a Gaby Mudingayi shove on Alberto Aquilani just 30 seconds after the Bologna midfielder had been booked. Aquilani had another great chance on 35 minutes, but Andrea Raggi got a toe to the cross to put him off from six yards and force a corner.
Ramirez went from end to end on the counter, but was too tired by the end to really trouble Amelia with his shot.
There was huge controversy in first half stoppages, as Seedorf blocked a Diamanti free kick with his outstretched arm. It was a blatant penalty, but the referee waved away protests and even booked the protesting Bologna players.
Within 90 seconds of the restart, Di Vaio had curled a splendid right-foot effort round Amelia and on to the base of the far post!
Diamanti also swung a simiar attempt just wide, then Ramirez slipped as he was pulling the trigger under pressure from Mario Yepes. Aquilani’s diving header from a corner whistled wide.
There was further controversy when the referee did point to the penalty spot. Ibra tried to pass to Alexandre Pato, who was offside, but it didn’t reach him and the ball returned to the Swede’s feet as he was kicked by Raggi. Ibrahimovic buried the spot-kick by sending Gillet the wrong way.
However, moments later it was 2-2, as Diamanti hit a daisy-cutter from distance that slipped off Amelia’s hand into the bottom near corner of the net. The goalkeeper committed a howler there, as it was within his grasp.
There were yet more penalty appeals as Ibra’s cross for Aquilani clearly struck Archimede Morleo’s arm, but the referee again waved play on.
An Urby Emanuelson snapshot flashed across the face of goal, then Di Vaio’s counter-attack was charged down in the box by Daniele Bonera, as the game remained end-to-end stuff.