AC Milan, Italian Serie A, Lazio, Leagues, Story

Giacomo Bonaventura scored the winner as in-form AC Milan recorded a third successive Serie A victory by beating high-flying Lazio 2-1.

Midfielder Bonaventura settled a tight contest at the San Siro with a bullet header past Thomas Strakosha a minute before the break.

Italy Under-21 forward Patrick Cutrone had earlier nodded Milan ahead before they were quickly pegged back by a fine finish from Lazio midfielder Adam Marusic.

Milan, on the back of victories over Cagliari and Crotone, dominated the play in the opening stages and Hakan Calhanoglu threatened an opener with a 25-yard drive which was tipped around the post by Lazio’s Albanian goalkeeper Strakosha.

Turkey international Calhanoglu continued to cause the away team problems and he created the breakthrough goal with a quarter of an hour played.

Milan were awarded a free kick on the left-hand side of the box and midfielder Calhanoglu whipped in a cross for 20-year-old Cutrone to powerfully head home his seventh goal of the campaign in all competitions.

Lazio, the top-scorers in Serie A, were without injured 26-goal top-scorer Ciro Immobile and they had struggled to create anything until they levelled through Marusic five minutes after going behind.

The Montenegro international collected a pass from former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, cut inside his man just inside the area and then stroked a calm finish beyond Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and into the bottom left corner.

Third-placed Lazio were six games unbeaten in the league going into this one and they almost turned the game in their favour 12 minutes after their equaliser.

Forward Luis Alberto was given space 25 yards from goal and his powerful drive from distance clipped the top of the crossbar and flew behind.

Milan’s first goal had come after Lazio failed to deal with a ball into the box and the second – which proved to be the winner – came in similar style.

Full-back Davide Calabria received the ball wide on the right and, from a deep position, bent a cross into the path of Italy international Bonaventura for him to emphatically nod home.

Simone Inzaghi’s visitors were last defeated in the league at home to Torino on December 11 and they pushed hard to salvage something from the game in the second half.

Serbian Sergej Milinkovic-Savic threatened on a couple of occasions, seeing an attempt blocked by Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli, before his header was later repelled by Donnarumma.

Wing-back Senad Lulic then arguably had the best chance to ensure Lazio took a point back to the capital with five minutes remaining.

Substitute Felipe Anderson worked some space on the right and drilled across the six-yard box but, with the goal gaping, Lulic appeared to be caught unprepared and the ball struck him and rebounded into the arms of Donnarumma as Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan held on to climb to seventh in the table.

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