AC Milan closes gap on Inter with comfortable win at Verona

AC Milan's 2-0 victory over Verona sees the side trail Serie A table-topper Inter Milan by three points.

Diogo Dalot

AC Milan's Diogo Dalot celebrates scoring in Sunday's 2-0 win over Verona.   -  AP

Spectacular goals either side of half time earned AC Milan an important 2-0 victory at Hellas Verona on Sunday, as Stefano Pioli's side closed the gap on rival Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A standings to three points.

Without injured top corer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was watching from the stands, Milan went ahead in the 27th minute when Rade Krunic fired a stunning free kick into the net -- the Bosnian's first league goal for Milan.

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The visitor's second goal, five minutes into the second half, was just as impressive, as Diogo Dalot arrowed his first Serie A goal since joining on loan from Manchester United into the top corner.

Milan saw out just a second win in its last seven games in all competitions to move on to 56 points, three behind Inter, which is in action against Atalanta on Monday, and four ahead of third-placed Juventus, which has a game in hand. Verona stays eighth.

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With Inter hitting top gear in recent weeks, it was crucial for Milan to close the gap at the top after it dropped two points in their midweek draw at home to Udinese.

The injury-hit title-chaser looked blunt in attack early on in Verona, however, and it required something special from Krunic to edge Pioli's side in front, opening his Milan Serie A account in style.

Verona came into the contest in good form, unbeaten in its previous four league games, and continued to press, but the final pass deserted the side time and again.

There were plenty of goals in the other afternoon kick-offs in Serie A, as Fiorentina and Parma played out a thrilling 3-3 draw while bottom side Crotone boosted its confidence with a 4-2 win over fellow strugglers Torino.