AC Milan defeated Torino 2-0 in Saturday’s Italian top-flight encounter with Franck Kessie finding the net.
The Cote d’Ivoire international’s effort from the penalty mark helped the Red and Blacks maintain their lead at the summit of Italy’s elite division log.
Stefano Pioli’s men came into the game on the back of their 3-1 home loss to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus, while the Maroons played out a 1-1 draw versus Hellas Verona.
The Red and Blacks dominated the early stages of the game which led to them recording five corner kicks within the first 20 minutes. Their first real opportunity to find the net came in the 18th minute but it was Armando Izzo, who stopped Davide Calabria's cross to prevent Jens Hauge from firing home.
Seven minutes later, AC Milan took the lead through Rafael Leao, who was teed up by on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Brahim Diaz.
The visiting side almost responded immediately through Ricardo Rodriguez, whose acrobatic effort missed the target.
Nine minutes before the half-time break, Kessie doubled the lead from the penalty mark - sending goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu the wrong way – after Andrea Belotti had brought down Brahim, who skipped into the visitors’ penalty area.
With that strike, the 24-year-old has now scored his sixth goal of the 2020-21 Italian top-flight campaign – one short of his personal record of seven goals achieved during the 2018-19 season.
Another scare from Marco Giampaolo’s side came in the 41st minute, thankfully, Rodriguez’s free-kick rattled the crossbar. Before the half-time break, Kessie had the chance to score a third but Sirigu was well-positioned to make a fine save.
In the 50th minute, referee Fabio Maresca awarded Torino a penalty after Sandro Tonali was adjudged to have brought down Simone Verdi, but the decision was reversed after VAR replays.
With no more goals scored at the San Siro, AC Milan cruised to their 12th win of the season to move four points clear of second-placed Inter Milan after accruing 40 points from 17 outings.
Kessie was in action from start to finish while Algeria’s Ismael Bennacer remains out of action due to a thigh injury. For Torino, Cote d’Ivoire’s Wilfried Singo played every minute but his compatriot Ndary Adopo and Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou were unused substitutes.