Ricky Kaka scored twice to mark his 300th Milan appearance in a confidence-boosting 3-0 victory over Chievo.
The Rossoneri seemed to turn the crisis around, as after four straight defeats in all competition they held Lazio to a draw and won 2-0 at Fiorentina midweek. Philippe Mexes and Kevin Constant sat out bans with Riccardo Montolivo, Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Marco Amelia, Andrea Petagna and Stephan El Shaarawy injured. Chievo had Luca Rigoni suspended, Matteo Rubin and Roberto Guana sidelined.
The Flying Donkeys had never won at San Siro against Milan, managing two draws from 11 previous attempts. It was a special day for Ricky Kaka, who marked his 300th appearance in a Rossoneri jersey.
It took just three minutes for the hosts to break the deadlock, as Mario Balotelli got on the end of an Adil Rami cross from the right for a volley off the inside of his left boot from six yards.
Moments later Adel Taarabt stung Michael Agazzi’s gloves at the near post with a powerful strike, but after 15 minutes Chievo came out of their shell. A dreadful Urby Emanuelson clearance risked an own goal and as the move continued Simone Bentivoglio’s shot was beaten away by Cristian Abbiati.
Milan-owned Alberto Paloschi volleyed over the bar from just inside the area, but Kaka marked his 300th appearance in style by doubling the Rossoneri’s lead.
He snuck round the back to surprise the Chievo defence, who were focused on Balotelli, and left totally unmarked to chest down and turn in a Keisuke Honda cross from the right.
Honda should’ve made it 3-0 on 38 minutes when Balotelli generously rolled across for the unmarked Japan international, but he incredibly ballooned over an open goal from seven yards.
Sulley Muntari was strethcered off just before half-time to make way for Michael Essien due to a calf problem.
After the restart a free kick found Honda’s header, beaten away by Agazzi from point-blank range. However, as the move continued Kaka curled a magnificent right-foot finish from the left side of the box in off the far post to leave the goalkeeper helpless.
Chievo hit the woodwork with a very strange Bentivoglio corner, as it dribbled along the by-line and through Victor Obinna’s legs to surprise Abbiati and clip the outside of the near post.
Kaka was substituted and given a standing ovation on his 300th official appearance in a Milan jersey. Bostjan Cesar prevented a fourth goal with a crucial sliding tackle to block off Balotelli as he was pulling the trigger.
Taarabt had a shot charged down in the box, but his penalty appeals for a handling offence were waved away.
In the final minute Cyril Thereau took down a cross for Ivan Radovanovic’s daisy-cutter to skim the upright.
In stoppages Cristian Zaccardo’s first touch let him down and he tripped Thereau on the follow-through for a penalty. Thereau went to take it himself, but a powerful spot-kick cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and back out off the ground.
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Missed penalty: Thereau 92 (C)