Champions AC Milan beat visitor Atalanta 2-0 in Serie A on Sunday, consolidating its position in the top four as Stefano Pioli’s side extended its winning streak to three league outings.
Milan, who has now won four consecutive games in all competitions for the first time this season, moved up to third in the standings on 47 points.
It is level with second-placed Inter Milan and three points above AS Roma, who visits bottom-side Cremonese on Tuesday.
Milan took the lead in the 25th minute through an own goal by Atalanta goalkeeper Juan Musso.
Milan defender Theo Hernandez sent a powerful first-time strike from distance which hit the inside of the post, and the ball went in off Musso’s back when he leaped to save it.
Milan forward Rafael Leao tried an individual effort in a counter-attack eight minutes later but narrowly missed the target.
The Portugal international went on to send the ball over the crossbar in the 37th minute after he was set up inside the box by Brahim Diaz.
Atalanta was under pressure for most of the first half and did not muster an attempt on goal before halftime.
It fired no shots in a Serie A first half for the first time since 2004-05 when Opta started collecting such data.
Milan managed seven shots but seemed far more focused on defending than increasing their advantage.
It kept the pressure on, though, and Musso made a brilliant save to keep out a Leao effort from distance in the 61st minute.
Moments before that, he did well to deny Olivier Giroud who, however, was offside -- and was substituted by returning striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic soon after.
Midfielder Junior Messias doubled Milan’s lead shortly before fulltime when he sent a chipped ball over Musso after receiving a neat pass from Leao.
Atalanta, who lost for third time in their last four Serie A outings, had zero shots on target throughout the game.
It remains sixth in the standings with 41 points and next host Udinese on Saturday. Milan travel to Fiorentina later that day.
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