Antonio Nocerino’s deflected effort and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic moment of magic saw Milan sweep Lecce aside 2-0.
The Rossoneri found themselves two points clear at the top of the table and survived a midweek Champions League scare when qualifying despite the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Philippe Mexes’ ban added to the lengthy injury list of Alexandre Pato, Maxi Lopez, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alexander Merkel, Rodney Strasser, Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Antonio Cassano and Gennaro Gattuso.
Lecce would be fourth if the season had started at the halfway mark, so on fine form under Coach Serse Cosmi (suspended for this match). He was banned along with David Di Michele, Nenad Tomovic and Gennaro Delvecchio, joining the injured Carlos Grossmuller, Julio Sergio, Juan Cuadrado and Edward Ofere, so Valeri Bojinov got a rare start.
Antonio Nocerino opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Zlatan Ibrahimovic flicked a Robinho ball back to the edge of the box, where the midfielder’s shot took a decisive deflection off Leonardo Miglionico to loop past a helpless Massimo Benassi.
There was chaos in the Lecce box as Robinho, Urby Emanuelson and Ibra all had shots charged down during the same move. A long-range Sulley Muntari strike was deflected out for a corner and a Robinho lob was easily plucked out of the air by Benassi.
Ibrahimovic’s audacious chip from the tightest of angles skimmed the far post by a matter of inches with the goalkeeper out of action.
Lecce threatened an equaliser, though, as Luis Muriel ran on to a Bojinov long ball and got between two defenders, but his spectacular volley was just over the bar.
A fierce Robinho angled drive from a tight angle went close to the crossbar and before half-time Ignazio Abate had an attempt from distance.
Straight after the restart Muriel hit a free kick into the wall and Bojinov’s screamer forced Christian Abbiati into a difficult flying save that stung his palms.
Lecce were putting pressure on the Rossoneri, who seemed increasingly tired as the game wore on. However, Ibrahimovic took that pressure off with a moment of magic to make it 2-0.
Robinho knocked it down on the edge of the box for the Swede’s fierce shot on the volley that flew past Benassi under the bar.
A powerful Ibra free kick whizzed through the defensive wall only for Benassi to smother. Emanuelson also tested the Lecce goalkeeper, with Miglionico clearing off the line during the same move. Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench and his shot was blocked at the near stick.