Milan got their season back on track with Hakan Calhanoglu and Theo Hernandez goals, but pushed Pippo Inzaghi’s Benevento towards relegation.
Both teams were desperate for points, as the Rossoneri slipped from second to fifth after back-to-back defeats, while Le Streghe were in the drop zone alongside Cagliari and Torino. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alessio Romagnoli returned, but Inzaghi missed Marco Sau, Gaetano Letizia, Alessandro Tuia, Daam Foulon and Gabriele Moncini.
It took just six minutes to break the deadlock, as Franck Kessie and Hakan Calhanoglu combined, Alexis Saelemaekers went to lay it back off for the Ivorian, whose dummy let the pass through for Calhanoglu to fire in from 12 yards.
Benevento threatened an equaliser when Gianluca Lapadula sprung the offside trap to flick the ball wide of the far post.
Alexis Saelemaekers and Rafael Leao both fired straight at Lorenzo Montipò, while Gianluigi Donnarumma fingertipped an Artur Ionita scorcher wide.
Lorenzo Montipò made an excellent flying one-handed save on the Theo Hernandez screamer, while a Fabio Depaoli cross-shot was deflected wide.
Ismael Bennacer risked a second yellow card, then went on a counter-attack from his own half, which saw both his and Calhanoglu’s efforts charged down.
Ibrahimovic thought he’d scored the second on the stroke of half-time when springing the offside trap, but Montipò managed to stick out a foot for the slightest deflection to turn it wide of the empty net.
Ibra forced another save at the near post from Calhanoglu’s assist after the restart, while Theo Hernandez charged down an acrobatic Lapadula bicycle-kick with his face.
Bryan Dabo’s right-foot curler skimmed the far top corner, as did a Iago Falque screamer, but Montipò again used his leg to deny Ibrahimovic after a sensational shimmy through defenders.
Milan did finally get their second goal when Theo Hernandez threaded through for Ibrahimovic, Montipò made another great save, but could do nothing on the Theo rebound.
Benevento continued to threaten, Roberto Insigne not far off target, while Ibrahimovic performed an acrobatic assist for Samu Castillejo, juggling with the ball and flicking it backwards mid-air.
Castillejo got himself booked in stoppages and will be suspended against Juventus.
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