Roma put another dent in Vincenzo Montella’s Milan project with a 2-0 victory at San Siro thanks to Edin Dzeko and Alessandro Florenzi.
It was a crossroads for Montella, under pressure after two defeats in the opening six Serie A games and a hard-fought 3-2 Europa League win over Rijeka midweek. With Andrea Conti and Luca Antonelli out, Fabio Borini was turned into a right wing-back, with Andre Silva getting his second Serie A start alongside Nikola Kalinic. The Giallorossi missed Diego Perotti, Gregoire Defrel, Patrik Schick, Rick Karsdorp and Emerson Palmieri, so Alessandro Florenzi moved to his old role on the right of an attacking trident.
The Giallorossi have now won their last four meetings with Milan and extended their club record run to 10 consecutive away victories.
Kevin Strootman went for an empty net from 30 metres out after a poor Gianluigi Donnarumma pass, but it whistled just wide, and Edin Dzeko’s attempt was deflected following a Mateo Musacchio back-pass.
Donnarumma smothered a scuffed Florenzi volley at the near post from Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross and Franck Kessie volleyed wide.
Strootman limped off with a muscular problem, replaced by Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Hakan Calhanoglu narrowed the angle too much from the edge of the box and Dzeko’s cross-shot from a Kolarov free kick flashed across the face of goal.
There were a lot of mistakes from both sides in a scrappy first half, as Alisson and Fazio failed to communicate on a cross, Lucas Biglia not taking advantage of the loose ball.
Pellegrini dribbled into the box only for a weak finish into Donnarumma’s arms.
The second half was increasingly tense, as Dzeko was booked for dissent and Andre Silva came sliding in just unable to meet a deflected Ricardo Rodriguez cross.
An inspired Pellegrini through ball sent Florenzi clear, but he panicked and tried to toe-poke it, denied by the on-rushing Donnarumma.
At the other end, Bonucci’s half-volley from 10 yards was beaten off the line by Alisson. Andre Silva turned Bruno Peres inside out, but had no support to meet his pull-back.
A deflected Calhanoglu effort turned into an assist for Kalinic, who spun round and forced Alisson to parry from 12 yards.
The deadlock was finally broken by a stroke of luck on 72 minutes, as Dzeko’s strike from the edge of the box took a deflection off Alessio Romagnoli’s shin to loop up and surprise Donnarumma.
Andre Silva’s scorcher from distance whistled just wide, but it was Roma who doubled their lead. Donnarumma did all he could on a Nainggolan powerful finish, but Florenzi turned in the rebound with his first goal since April 2016, a gap of 546 days.
Things got even worse for Milan, as Calhanoglu was already on a yellow card when he scythed down Nainggolan and will also be suspended for the derby with Inter.
Sent off: Calhanoglu 80 (M)