An early Mario Balotelli strike and a brace from Kaka in a 3-0 victory over AC Chievo, who missed a late penalty, kept ailing AC Milan’s Serie A revival on track Saturday.
Milan coach Clarence Seedorf has been under pressure to produce results recently following a run of three consecutive defeats.
“I’m happy for the team and for everyone associated with Milan, especially the fans,” Seedorf told Sky Sport after the game.
Milan’s 11th win moved them up to ninth, six points adrift of city rivals Inter.”
Chievo, who sit three points above the drop zone, appeared intent on marking Balotelli out of the game at the San Siro.
However, the visitors made the mistake of leaving the striker unmarked in front of goal in the fourth minute, and Balotelli rose to volley Adil Rami’s delivery from the right past goalkeeper Michael Agazzi to claim his 13th goal of their campaign.
Just before the half hour, Kaka was sent through by Taarabt’s smart pass on the left of goal, but the Brazilian’s cutback for Balotelli met traffic.
Moments later Kaka doubled Milan’s lead when he ran in to chest down Keisuke Honda’s delivery from outside the area and sweep it past Agazzi.
Milan forged a great chance for a third before the interval when Balotelli broke down the left wing and squared for the unmarked Honda on the right.
However, the Japan international spurned the chance when he fired Balotelli’s bobbling pass well over the crossbar.
Honda came close again shortly after the restart when Agazzi reacted late to the forward’s header from Kaka’s probing free-kick, but Milan were soon 3-0 up.
The ball immediately found its way back out to the Brazilian, and he had time to curl a superb strike past Agazzi and in off the ‘keeper’s far post.
Chievo were given a chance for a late consolation when Cristian Zaccardo fouled Cyril Thereau in the area as they tussled for possession., but Thereau saw his spot kick shake the crossbar before it was cleared.
Earlier, Atalanta BC continued their run toward the Europa League places with a 2-0 win against Bologna.