Milan beat Bologna 2-1 to keep their Champions League ambitions alive, but at a price, because Lucas Paqueta was sent off and Tiemoue Bakayokmo had a touchline row with Gennaro Gattuso.
This was a potentially-decisive match at both ends of the table, because the Rossoneri needed a win to keep any hopes of catching Atalanta and the Champions League spots alive, while a victory would mathematically secure the Rossoblu’s Serie A status and confirm their excellent recent form. Alessio Romagnoli was suspended with Mattia Caldara and Davide Calabria injured, but Krzysztof Piatek returned after he was dropped for the defeat to Torino. Sinisa Mihajlovic had Roberto Soriano and Ibrahima Mbaye sitting out bans.
Milan have lost only one of their last 18 Serie A meetings with Bologna, the 1-0 at home in January 2016, along with 12 wins and five draws.
Lukasz Skorupski fingertipped a long-range Hakan Calhanoglu strike out from under the bar, then Cristian Zapata and Mateo Musacchio were dangerous from two consecutive headers.
However, Gianluigi Donnarumma rushed off his line and used his chest to charge down a Riccardo Orsolini curler after Ricardo Rodriguez was left stranded, while Rodrigo Palacio and Mattias Svanberg attempted screamers from distance.
Things went from bad to worse for Milan when Lucas Biglia crumpled to the ground with a back injury, Tiemoue Bakayoko was told to warm up and did it so slowly and half-heartedly that Gattuso instead introduced Jose Mauri. The pair then seemed to exchange tense words as Bakayoko sat back down on the bench. Just days after the squad was put into a training retreat because Bakayoko turned up an hour late as he ran out of petrol, it could be the last we’ve seen of the Chelsea-owned midfielder at San Siro.
Palacio had the ball in the net moments later, but was flagged offside, then Sansone’s volley was deflected for a corner, as Bologna started to take control of a Milan side in disarray.
Just as they seemed to be really struggling, the Rossoneri took the lead. Suso gathered a Jose Mauri slide-rule pass and placed his left-foot low drive into the near bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.
Donnarumma was fortunate to get away with an error when dealing with a Franck Kessie back-pass.
Calhanoglu blasted just over after the restart and Donnarumma palmed an Erick Pulgar daisy-cutter round the near post, but the Turkey international also picked up a muscular injury.
Fabio Borini came off the bench and made an immediate impact, as when Skroupski only parried the Lucas Paqueta scorcher, he was ready to tap in the rebound.
However, Bologna got themselves back into it with their own super-sub, as Sansone floated a ball over the top for Fabio Borini to control and score on the turn from 12 yards.
Moments later, the tension got to Paqueta, who completely lost his head. He got into a row with Pulgar, who had fouled him, and was booked for the reaction. He looked up at the yellow card and slapped the referee’s hand away for an inevitable dismissal.
Bologna threw on every forward they had and Piatek was back making a decisive block at the near post on Pulgar’s in-swinging corner, then Donnarumma palmed a ferocious Simone Edera strike round the base of the upright.
The tension of not getting back on level terms then got to Bologna, as in the final seconds of stoppages Kessie and Sansone were booked for insulting each other as they prepared for a throw-in and the referee booked both, perhaps forgetting that Sansone was already on a yellow card.
After the final whistle, Dijks then seemed to be sent off for dissent.
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Sent off: Paqueta 74 (M), Sansone 95 (B), Dijks (96)