Milan escaped an extremely nervy tie at San Siro with a 1-0 win, thanks to Leao’s tidy finish with just eight minutes left in the match.
The Rossoneri came out of the half-time interval determined to find the breakthrough. Still, a lack of clinical finishing and lousy luck condemned Pioli’s side to a lacklustre and disappointing draw.
Things worsened before they got better as Cabral’s close-range header should have put the Viola in front if not for a world-class stop by Maignan on his goal-line.
The hosts would continue to suffer but finally managed to find what they needed after Terracciano’s poor kick allowed Leao to regain possession and drive forward before an excellent finish from eight yards out beat the goalkeeper.
The win puts Milan five points ahead of Inter, who kick off shortly after the conclusion of this match. With the loss, Fiorentina stays seventh.
MILAN XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu, Davide Calabria; Franck Kessie, Sandro Tonali; Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Junior Messias; Olivier Giroud.
MILAN SUBS: Ciprian Tatarusanu, Ismael Bennacer, Fode Ballo-Toure, Samu Castillejo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic, Alessio Romagnoli, Rade Krunic, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Mattia Gabbia, Alexis Saelemaekers, Antonio Mirante.
FIORENTINA XI (4-3-3): Pietro Terracciano; Lorenzo Venuti, Nikola Milenkovic, Igor Julio, Cristiano Biraghi; Joseph Duncan, Sofyan Amrabat, Youssef Maleh; Nicolas Gonzalez, Arthur Cabral, Riccardo Saponara.
FIORENTINA SUBS: Bartlomiej Dragowski, Antonio Rosati, Lucas Martinez Quarta, Riccardo Sottil, Aleksa Terzic, Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Torreira, Matija Nastasic, Jonathan Ikone, Jose Callejon, Aleksandr Kokorin, Krzysztof Piatek.
LEAO FINALLY BREAKS THE DEADLOCK! 1-0 MILAN! It’s a moment to forget for Terracciano, who mishits his kick out of the penalty area, presenting it to Leao on the left flank. The Portugal international slaloms his way back into the 18-yard box before curling an effort over the goalkeeper and in.
So, what’s next?
Milan will look closer to the Scudetto on Thursday when they travel to play Verona.
Meanwhile, Fiorentina gets a chance to bounce back on the same day against Roma.
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