League leaders AC Milan are now five points clear in Serie A following Saturday’s 3-0 derby win over second-placed Inter Milan.
Alexandre Pato put Milan ahead less than a minute into the clash between the league’s top two at the San Siro.
Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar foiled an attempt by one Brazil colleague Robinho, but he spilled the ball in the process and was unable to prevent international teammate Pato from making it 1-0 after just 45 seconds.
Milan had a strong penalty appeal turned down in the ninth minute, before Giampaolo Pazzini had Inter’s first real chance on 19 minutes.
A deflected Mark van Bommel effort struck the crossbar for Milan, while Inter had a close-range Christian Chivu header saved on the line by Christian Abbiati in an entertaining first half.
Samuel Eto’o passed up another chance for Inter to equalise, somehow missing an open goal early in the second half.
And his team were reduced to 10 men when defender Chivu was sent off for bringing down Pato with the forward through on goal.
The resulting free-kick came to nothing, but Milan doubled their lead shortly afterwards, with Pato heading home Ignazio Abate’s cross to make it 2-0 on 62 minutes.
Substitute striker Antonio Cassano scored a third from the penalty spot in the 90th minute after being fouled by Javier Zanetti inside the area.
But Cassano’s match would end on a sour note.
The striker was booked for removing his shirt in celebration and then earned a second yellow for impeding Ivan Cordoba, with the subsequent red ending his involvement after just 10 minutes on the pitch.
But the dismissal will matter little to Milan, who are now five points ahead of their cross-city rivals with seven matches of the season remaining.
Elsewhere, Brescia climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win at home to Bologna.
Perparim Hetemaj and Davide Zoboli had Brescia 2-0 ahead within nine minutes of kick-off.
Veteran Marco Di Vaio pulled one back for the visitors, but striker Andrea Caracciolo made sure of all three points with a penalty on 65 minutes.
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