Carlos Bacca and an M’Baye Niang penalty allowed Milan to sweep Lazio aside 2-0, extending the winless streak in this fixture to 27 years.
The Rossoneri brought Carlos Bacca back to the starting XI following a row with Coach Vincenzo Montella, but Luca Antonelli, Mati Fernandez, Andrea Bertolacci, Cristian Zapata and Jose Sosa were sidelined. Juraj Kucka’s two-match ban was also over. Lazio lost goalkeeper Federico Marchetti in the warm-up to a calf injury, so gave 21-year-old Albanian Thomas Strakosha his Serie A debut.
Strakosha wasn’t even born the last time Lazio won this Serie A fixture in September 1989, when Paolo Maldini scored an own goal, followed by 11 draws and 15 defeats.
Filip Djordjevic had the first shot on target after two minutes, comfortably smothered by Gigio Donnarumma. M’Baye Niang fell when clear on goal, as he felt his heel clipped, but it appeared to be accidental as his leg trailed behind him for Bastos to run across.
Donnarumma had to parry a Sergej Milinkovic-Savic header from six yards, set up by a huge Senad Lulic throw.
Niang wasted another golden opportunity by springing the offside trap only to scuff a weak finish straight at Strakosha.
The visitors began to control the game, but Marco Parolo and Senad Lulic finishing left a lot to be desired. The same cannot be said of Bacca, who confirmed his sniper-like tendencies in front of goal.
Bacca gathered sprinted away from defenders when gathering inside his own half and kept his cool to stroke the finish into the near bottom corner. It was his first attempt of the game and for the 12th out of 21 Serie A matches on the scoresheet, he broke the deadlock.
Moments later Bonaventura stung Strakosha’s gloves at the near post, then the debutant almost had a nightmare when letting Jack’s effort squirm away from him, but managed to stop the loose ball going over the line.
There was bedlam on the stroke of half-time in the Lazio box, as Suso ran riot and his cross was almost back-heeled into the net by Bastos, denied by a stunning Strakosha save, then the Bonaventura follow-up was charged down in front of an open goal by Dusan Basta.
On the resulting corner, Kucka nodded into the net, but it was disallowed for his push on the goalkeeper.
Simone Inzaghi made a double change at half-time, introducing the sheer pace and energy of Keita Balde Diao and Felipe Anderson, moving to four at the back.
Milan somehow failed to double their lead on 55 minutes, as Davide Calabria rolled across and Niang only had to tap into an empty net from two yards, but incredibly missed the ball completely.
Moments later Keita went clear until a perfectly-timed Gabriel Paletta tackle just as he was pulling the trigger. It was not Niang’s night, as an effort was so wide it went for a throw-in, but he did eventually unleash a screamer to sting Strakosha’s gloves.
Donnarumma also got down well to block Felipe Anderson’s effort towards the near bottom corner.
Milan did double their lead eventually, as Niang’s pull-back was intercepted by a hand as Stefan Radu came sliding in, inevitably leading to a penalty. Despite his earlier misses, Niang insisted on taking the penalty and converted it successfully.
Strakosha did well to keep out a missile of a Kucka free kick from 25 metres out, but Felipe Anderson and Keita blasted solo efforts over. The last move of the game saw Immobile's diving header into the side-netting from a corner.
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