Massimiliano Allegri did his chances of clinging onto his job no harm whatsoever as his AC Milan side cruised to a thumping 5-1 victory over Chievo at the San Siro and their eleventh on the trot against the Flying Donkeys.
First half goals from Urby Emanuelson, Riccardo Montolivo and Bojan Krkic gave the hosts a comfortable 3-1 lead at the break after Sergio Pellissier had levelled for the visitors.
An eighth of the season for the prolific Stephan El Shaarawy added to their lead midway through the second half and the striker then turned provider for Giampaolo Pazzini to complete the rout in stoppage time.
Milan, employing a 4-2-3-1 in favour of the 3-5-2 used in the 2-2 draw against Palermo, dominated the early possession with Massimo Ambrosini and Riccardo Montolivo seeing plenty of the ball in midfield.
The first chance fell to the home side in only the third minute, Bojan ghosting past his marker and getting to the byline before whipping in a dangerous cross to Pazzini, Marco Andreolli doing just enough to put him off his shot.
But Milan continued to press and were rewarded with the opening goal on the quarter hour mark, the ball falling to Emanuelson off Andreolli’s misdirected header and the Dutch winger rifled home past Stefano Sorrentino and into the corner of the net.
The lead lasted all of a minute, however, as the home side switched off from Chievo’s first corner of the game. Sergio Pellissier stole a march on El Shaarawy at the near post and planted his header past Christian Abbiati.
The lively Emanuelson almost put Milan back in front, just failing to get a touch on Ignazio Abate’s cross before Abbiati kept the scores level with a fine save from Cyril Thereau at the other end. Just as Chievo were beginning to gain parity in possession, great build-up play led to Milan’s second.
El Shaarawy started the move, feeding Bojan wide on the left. His pass across the box found Emanuelson who cut back to Montolivo who rifled a fierce shot home from the edge of the box.
The goal seemed to take the wind out of Chievo’s sails a little and despite a decent effort from Thereau, the home side were two goals clear just before the break. The Chievo defence backed off Bojan and allowed him the space to shoot, his effort taking a deflection off Dario Dainelli and leaving Sorrentino with no chance. Again, it was the excellent Emanuelson with the assist.
Milan picked up where they left off in the second half, dominating possession and creating further chances before the match was halted for four minutes after a serious looking incident that saw Boukary Dramé knocked unconscious from an Abate cross, the defender caught square on the temple from close range before being stretchered off still clearly the worse for wear.
On resumption, El Shaarawy went close to notching his eighth goal of the season and really should have scored instead of putting his shot just wide from Kevin Constant’s cross.
He did not have long to dwell on his miss, however, as five minutes later he was on the scoresheet, sidefooting home from Abate’s pinpoint cross.
Bojan should have made it five in the final minute of normal time but Sorrentino denied him with a fine reaction save. But Milan were not done yet, and Pazzini scored the fifth with the final kick of the game as this time El Shaarawy turned provider.
Victory for Milan puts them eighth in the table above Cagliari on goal difference and will have boosted Allegri’s chances of clinging onto his position after unquestionably their finest performance of the season to date.
- Sports & Recreation
- Stephan El Shaarawy
- Riccardo Montolivo
- Bojan Krkic
- Urby Emanuelson
- Massimiliano Allegri
- Sergio Pellissier