Lucas Biglia’s magnificent free kick and a Krzysztof Piatek tap-in proved just about enough to give Milan a 2-1 victory away to Chievo, their fifth consecutive Serie A win.
The Rossoneri had Ricardo Rodriguez suspended, but took the opportunity to rest Hakan Calhanoglu, Davide Calabria and Tiemoue Bakayoko, with Andrea Conti and Lucas Biglia returning after injury. Chievo had Nicola Rigoni banned, Sergio Pellissier, Nenad Tomovic and Ezequiel Schelotto side-lined.
Milan have now won 22 of their last 25 Serie A encounters with Chievo and are unbeaten since December 2005.
Franck Kessie drilled wide from a promising position, as did Samu Castillejo, but Lucas Paqueta had his heels clipped as he was about to pull the trigger from the edge of the D.
Biglia stepped up and curled the resulting free kick into the near top corner with a wonderful set play, as it went up and over the wall to dip into the near top corner. Stefano Sorrentino had no chance and it was the perfect way to mark his first start since October, but Biglia’s only previous Serie A goal for Milan was in February 2018.
However, Gennaro Gattuso was sent to the stands for dissent soon after, complaining at the treatment received by Paqueta.
Unexpectedly, Chievo got back on level terms with their first genuine opportunity. Medhi Leris whipped in a cross from the right, Perparim Hetemaj anticipated Andrea Conti and sent the glancing header into the far bottom corner.
The hosts kept pushing after the restart, Gianluigi Donnarumma at full stretch to palm away a Hetemaj cross-shot from the edge of the box, Diego Laxalt charging down the Riccardo Meggiorini follow-up.
Milan got back in front in a chaotic move. Piatek at full stretch got his toe to a Suso cross, forcing Sorrentino to parry with a leg from point-blank range. Piatek then attempted an overhead kick, but caught Federico Barba instead, the move continued and substitute Hakan Calhanoglu’s cross-shot nodded on by Castillejo and redirected by Piatek. The VAR booth looked at the incident, but decided it was not dangerous play or a foul, nor did the referee look at it again himself. There was also confusion, as the linesman raised his flag for a moment and then put it down again.
This was Piatek's 19th Serie A goal of the season and ended a two competitive game 'drought'.
Kessie scuffed a very good opportunity wide from just inside the penalty area, while Alessio Romagnoli flicked a Calhanoglu free kick past the far post.
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