Milan kept themselves in the race for a top four finish with Hakan Calhanoglu’s glancing header, but sent Fiorentina to a fifth straight defeat.
The pressure was on the Rossoneri, as Atalanta beat Genoa 2-1 earlier this afternoon, so a win was needed to stay within three points of the Champions League spots. Lucas Paqueta started his three-match ban for slapping the referee’s hand away, while Lucas Biglia, Davide Calabria, Mattia Caldara, Ivan Strinic and Jack Bonaventura were injured. Alessio Romagnoli returned from suspension and Tiemoue Bakayoko started, as he was ‘forgiven’ after a touchline row with Gennaro Gattuso.
The Viola were still looking for their first victory under Vincenzo Montella, as they were without a win in 11 Serie A rounds, 13 in all competition. Jordan Veretout was suspended with German Pezzella and Marko Pjaca on the treatment table.
In the opening five minutes, Gianluigi Donnarumma had to get down and push a Luis Muriel angled drive round the far post. At the other end, Suso scuffed his shot straight at Alban Lafont from 12 yards when relatively undisturbed and the goalkeeper made a tougher save on Hakan Calhanoglu’s toe-poke.
The deadlock was eventually broken when Suso’s cross found Calhanoglu for a glancing header into the far bottom corner. It was his second season in a row scoring at the Stadio Franchi.
After the restart, Federico Chiesa’s powerful right-foot curler skimmed the crossbar as it dipped viciously, then Kevin Mirallas cut inside from the right and tried to squeeze it under Donnarumma at the near post, but ‘Gigio’ got down quickly for a one-handed save.
The Viola were far more attacking than in the first half and Franck Kessie almost scored a bizarre own goal, as he blasted his clearance from eight yards towards the near bottom corner, forcing Donnarumma into a reaction save.
There was a huge double Fiorentina chance on 76 minutes, as first Chiesa skinned Mateo Musacchio to test Donnarumma, then Romagnoli’s desperate clearance stopped Dusan Vlahovic tapping in the rebound from six yards.
Milan substitute Patrick Cutrone could’ve sealed it when sent clear by Fabio Borini, but the daisy-cutter skimmed the far post. Borini eventually had to go off after a clash of heads left him with a cut to his eyebrow.
It’s another disastrous result for Fiorentina, who go 12 rounds without a win for the first time since November 1989-February 1990.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk