Chievo had no answer for an impressive AC Milan team on Saturday afternoon, as the 2010-11 Serie A champions recorded their biggest win of the season with a 5-1 drubbing of the Verona side.
Urby Emanuelson, Ricardo Montolivo and Bojan were all on target in the first half before Stephan El Shaarawy sealed the triumph with a close-range finish, while Flying Donkeys captain Sergio Pellisier briefly threatened to challenge the Rossoneri dominance with a header in the opening minutes.
Further pain was inflicted by Giampaolo Pazzini, who made it five in the dying seconds and completed the rout.
Looking to continue the recovery after such a disappointing start to the Serie A season, Milan quickly went onto the front foot against Chievo and dominated possession, albeit with few opportunities created during the opening exchanges. With 16 minutes played, however, and in one of their first forays into opposition territory, Massimiliano Allegri's men found themselves in the lead.
Marco Andreolli was caught out by a cross from Kevin Constant that looped in from deep on the left, and failed to get enough on the ball to clear it from danger. Urby Emanuelson was ready to punish the defender and executed a left-foot half-volley with power and precision to put the home side in front, leaving Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino apoplectic at his faltering backline. The response though would not take long to arrive.
Two minutes after the Netherlands international had opened the scoring, the Flying Donkeys were given a chance to strike back from a corner. Luciano's delivery to the near post was not picked up by any player in red and black and it was club legend Sergio Pellisier who was the beneficiary, as he stole in front of Christian Abbiati to nod home. The equaliser was a blow for a Milan team that had looked assured and comfortable across the pitch, and there was a noticeable drop in tempo as the Rossoneri tried to find their way once more.
Some 10 minutes before half-time, San Siro exploded when its heroes retook the lead in the most exquisite fashion. A patient passing move through Bojan and Pazzini ended up at the feet of Emanuelson, who had options in the area. The winger nevertheless decided to play the ball back for Ricardo Montolivo, and was rewarded when the midfielder released a stunning effort that gave Sorrentino no chance from outside the area. Bojan extended the advantage to two with his own low stunner from deep, and Chievo looked in disarray trudging back down the tunnel 3-1 down.
The away team entered the second period with more ambition, pressing forward in their efforts to cut the deficit. Luciano was the focus of their attacking efforts, but they struggled to make headway against a solid Milan defence as the hosts withdrew into a game based more on the counter. Cyril Thereau had tested Abbiati in the first half with a shot from wide, and was aggrieved to not be awarded a penalty after compatriot Philippe Mexes manhandled him in the Milan area.
The half developed with few chances for either side, although Giampaolo Pazzini had one of the better opportunities to fall to Milan. Stephan El Shaarawy opened up the Chievo defence on the left with strong running and launched a dangerous cross into the area; the striker was played in by Bojan's stepover, but could not keep a cool head and blazed the ball safely over the crossbar. El Shaarawy also had the goal at his mercy following excellent work from Constant, but the youngster looked away in anguish as he dragged his shot wide.
The game was finally ended as a contest 15 minutes from the end. With the Chievo backline in severe disarray, Abate's low cross was picked up expertly by El Shaarawy who was left with a simple tap-in to add the fourth. The icing on the cake was provided by Pazzini, who met El Shaarawy's cross with a diving finish to add another and send the home support into raptures.
The three points temporarily move Milan into eighth place in Serie A, with nine games of the 11th round still to play. Chievo, meanwhile, stay in 15th, and could drop further should other results go against them at the foot of the table.