Fourth win on the bounceA little piece of magic from Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped AC Milan defeat Fiorentina 1-0 at San Siro on Saturday evening.
The Rossoneri picked up their fourth league victory in a row and in turn extended their lead at the top of the table to four points ahead of Sunday’s matches in Serie A.The Diavoli have been quick starters of late and wasted no time testing Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc as Daniel Bonera’s wicked drive forced the Polish international into making an acrobatic save before the match was even a minute old.
Not to be outdone, Cristian Abbiati made an equally impressive save moments later as Gaetano D’Agostino’s curling effort looked destined for the top corner until the Italian shot-stopper’s glove got in the way.
The wet conditions didn’t seem to bother the two sides as Abbiati was called into action again when he tipped Per Kroldrup’s header over the bar.
Kroldrup’s poor pass near his own penalty area gifted Gennaro Gattuso an opportunity but Boruc did well to sprint off his line and make the save.
The goalkeeping duel continued when Boruc batted away Clarence Seedorf’s thunderous effort in the 28th minute as Milan started to come alive.
Robinho then put the ball in the back of the net after Seedorf had played him through but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
Milan had the ball in the back of the net again in the 44th minute and this time the goal stood. Ibrahimovic took down a pass, flicked the ball into the air and acrobatically volleyed it past Boruc to give the hosts the lead in sensational fashion.
It was a cruel blow to the visitors who played well in the first half but still went into the interval a goal down.
Zlat's the way | Ibrahimovic stylishly volleys Milan into the lead
Ibrahimovic looked to have injured himself in the celebration after the goal but came out for the start of the second half.
Milan had a few chances to double their lead, the best coming in the 56th minute when Alessandro Nesta failed to direct a free header past Boruc.
The home side then had a penalty claim turned down when Mathieu Flamini powered his way to the byline and sent in a cross that struck Marco Donadel's hand but the referee wouldn't budge despite the Frenchman's protests.
The Rossoneri almost put the match to bed in the 78th minute when substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng unleashed a low shot that forced Boruc into making a diving save.
Fiorentina had a wonderful opportunity to level matters five minutes later when Alberto Gilardino slid the ball across to Adem Ljajic but the Serbian's first-time shot was palmed away by Abbiati.
The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser but were unable to beat Abbiati and will have to return to Tuscany empty-handed despite a spirited display against the league leaders.