Milan ran riot with a 3-1 victory at Lazio that puts them in joint fifth place, only five points off the Serie A leaders.
There was also a scare for defender Alex, who was knocked unconscious after an accidental collision with Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The Biancocelesti had to recover from a midweek defeat at Atalanta, but hoped to maintain their 100 per cent home record this season with only one goal conceded. Stefan de Vrij, Marco Parolo and Keita Balde Diao were unavailable, while the Rossoneri missed Mario Balotelli, Jeremy Menez and Ignazio Abate.
Lazio had won only three of their last 34 Serie A meetings with Milan, home and away, but last season this fixture ended 2-1 with Philippe Mexes sent off.
Jack Bonaventura’s screamer sailed just over the bar, but the deadlock was broken after 25 minutes.
Alessio Cerci’s curling strike was palmed only as far as Andrea Bertolacci to turn in the rebound. Federico Marchetti might’ve been distracted by Carlos Bacca, who pulled out of making contact with the Cerci effort.
Bertolacci wasn’t celebrating for long, as soon after he gave himself a muscular strain while attempting a back-heel flick on the touchline and had to be substituted.
Gianluigi Donnarumma might only be 16, but he ran a huge risk with a dummy on Felipe Anderson.
Milan went very close to a second, as Cerci’s first touch on a long ball took him away from Senad Lulic and the curling finish from the tightest of angles smacked off the inside of the far post.
Felipe Anderson couldn’t get enough power to his shot at the near stick after dribbling past Alessio Romagnoli.
After the restart there was real concern, as Donnarumma jumped into the crowd to punch a set play clear and in doing so accidentally kneed Alex in the side of the head. The impact was terrible and the defender out cold before he even hit the ground.
Philippe Mexes was brought on in his place and incredibly scored with his first touch just 68 seconds later, a huge leap to nod in a Bonaventura free kick anticipating Marchetti. It was a remarkable story, especially as the lowest point of his career was in this fixture last season, when sent off and attacking Stefano Mauri. It wasn’t only his first touch of the game, but of the entire campaign.
Lazio’s left side was wide open and Juraj Kucka turned Santiago Gentiletti inside out before his cross for Bacca was intercepted.
At the other end Donnarumma stood tall to prevent Lulic lobbing him on a loose ball, then at full stretch the 16-year-old got fingertips to a Felipe Anderson angled drive, but by the time Ricardo Kishna turned in the rebound he was offside.
Just as Lazio were piling forward and Mauricio nodded a free kick wide, they were caught out by a classic counter-attack. Bonaventura’s through ball sent Bacca clear through the middle and his dummy allowed him to go round Marchetti, depositing into an empty net.
Kishna had his earlier goal disallowed, but did get one eventually, surprising Donnarumma with a shot that squirmed past him at the near post.
Bonaventura received a late booking and will be suspended for the next match against his old club Atalanta.
This is the first time since April 2014 that Milan have won three Serie A rounds on the bounce.
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