AC Milan came from behind to beat 10-man Catania 3-1 on Friday, securing back-to-back wins in Serie A for the first time this season.
Nicola Legrottaglie opened the scoring on 11 minutes but Pablo Barrientos’ red card turned the game on its head as Milan netted three unanswered goals in the second half, two of those coming from in-form striker Stephan El Shaarawy.
Confident from their victory over defending champions Juventus last weekend, Milan instantly took hold of possession during the early exchanges and they had their first shot on target pushed away from Mariano Andujar after six minutes.
But five minutes later they surprisingly fell behind. Some painfully static defending enabled Legrottaglie to stroll into the box and send a bullet header home from Francesco Lodi’s corner.
More shoddy defensive play from Milan presented the hosts with a fantastic chance to double their advantage soon after, however, Sergio Almiron’s header lacked conviction and went wide of the goal.
Milan’s forwards were extremely isolated, with Riccardo Montolivo’s efforts to link up with the front three being hindered by a lack of movement and support.
The onus was on Allegri’s men as they emerged for the second half but they were offered a helping hand within five minutes of the restart.
Barrientos took a wild and unnecessary swipe at Antonio Nocerino which earned him a second yellow card and reduced his side to 10 men.
It did not take long for Milan to make the most of their numerical advantage, as El Shaarawy restored parity by lifting the ball over Andujar from Kevin-Prince Boateng’s cross in the 53rd minute.
The turnaround was completed just three minutes later as Boateng turned Lodi with ease at the top of the box before bending a shot into the corner of the net.
El Shaarawy and Robinho both wasted fantastic chances to enhance upon their side’s lead, while substitute Urby Emanuelson also failed to finish following a melee in the area as his shot came back off the post.
Boateng was dismissed in the final minute of normal time for a challenge from behind but El Shaarawy put the result beyond doubt with his 12th goal of the campaign.
Victory moves Massimiliano Allegri’s Milan above Catania and into seventh place, though that can change depending on the weekend’s results.