Carlos Bacca and Kevin-Prince Boateng gave Milan a much-needed victory, sending Fiorentina to a second consecutive defeat.
Philippe Mexes, Jeremy Menez, Diego Lopez and Rodrigo Ely were injured for the hosts, while Milan Badelj and suspended Gonzalo Rodriguez didn’t make the trip. Mario Suarez got a surprise start in midfield. Fiorentina were unbeaten at San Siro since November 2010 and had lost only one of their last nine meetings with Milan, home and away.
It took just four minutes to break the deadlock, as Carlos Bacca gathered in midfield, sprinted forward down the left and turned inside Nenad Tomovic to drill home the right-footed angled drive.
Bernardeschi returned from suspension and forced Luca Antonelli into a tricky block, Jack Bonaventura’s mazy run wreaked havoc and Nikola Kalinic just failed to get the tap-in to a Marcos Alonso cross from six yards.
The Viola kept most of the possession and had scored in each of their previous 26 Serie A games. They piled on the pressure after the restart and had a triple chance, but Kalinic only skimmed the corner with his head, Gigio Donnarumma flapped at a cross-shot and Alex crucially stopped Astori turning in from six yards.
Kalinic horribly wasted a promising counter one-on-one, then nodded on to the roof of the net, while Luca Antonelli fired straight at the goalkeeper from close range on a Bonaventura assist. Niang got the by-line and clipped the outside of the near post with his cross-shot.
Giuseppe Rossi was thrown on for the fightback and Borja Valero drilled wide, while Juraj Kucka acrobatically cleared a Josip Ilicic free kick off the foot of Kalinic.
Keisuke Honda blasted just over the bar and Fiorentina lost Marcos Alonso to injury. Mario Balotelli made his comeback for the first game since September 27.
Moments later, Milan finished off the game, as Juraj Kucka’s cross-field pass sent Kevin-Prince Boateng clear and he showed strength to hold off a challenge, go round Tatarusanu and deposit into an empty net. It was his first goal since returning from an ill-fated spell at Schalke 04.
Balotelli hit the woodwork in stoppages, but had strayed offside anyway.
Fiorentina failed to capture third place from Inter and fired blanks after 26 consecutive Serie A games on target.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk