Milan moved back to the top of Serie A as Sandro Tonali’s stoppage-time goal sealed a deserved 2-1 victory over Lazio on Sunday.
Stefano Pioli’s side had been usurped at the summit by local rivals Inter after their 3-1 win over Roma on Saturday, but victory at the Stadio Olimpico means the Rossoneri regained their two-point lead at the top.
Ciro Immobile had given Lazio an early lead with his 25th league goal of the season, but Olivier Giroud pulled the visitors level shortly after the interval.
Tonali then poked home two minutes into stoppage time to seal a dramatic three points and spark jubilant scenes among the travelling supporters.
Lazio started superbly and went ahead in the fourth minute when Immobile steered home Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s right-wing cross from six yards.
Milan responded well to that early setback, with Giroud heading wide and Rafael Leao slamming into the side netting before the half-hour mark.
Pioli’s men finished the first half having had 12 shots to Lazio’s four, yet they could not find the leveller they deserved before the interval.
Their pressure finally told in the 50th minute when Giroud prodded home from six yards after fine work down the left by Leao.
Junior Messias clipped agonisingly wide of Thomas Strakosha’s right-hand post after a surging run, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw a low effort saved by the Lazio goalkeeper shortly after being introduced for Brahim Diaz.
Ibrahimovic was the provider for Tonali’s dramatic late intervention, the midfielder controlling the Swede’s header and stabbing past Strakosha from inside the six-yard box to seal a precious win.
What does it mean? Milan pressure finally tells
Milan had a whopping 25 shots to Lazio’s seven so there can be few complaints that Pioli’s men deserved to take maximum points back to Milan.
The result meant they have won three games against Maurizio Sarri’s men in a single season (two in Serie A, one in the Coppa Italia) for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign.
Immobile in elite company
Immobile’s goal saw him become the fourth player in the big five European leagues, after Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, to score more than 25 goals in a single season at least three times since the 2016-17 campaign.
Leao’s litany of misses
Milan’s chief culprit when it came to missed chances was Leao. The Portugal international had six shots – two of which were on target – but he could not find the back of the net. He will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when Tonali stepped up to do his job for him.
Key Opta Facts
Giroud has scored nine goals in Serie A this season, his most in a single campaign in the top-five European leagues since 2016-17, when he netted 12 goals with Arsenal in Premier League.
Immobile has overtaken Fabio Quagliarella as the top Serie A scorer among active players (181 goals).
Milinkovic-Savic is one of the three midfielders to have delivered more than 10 assists in the top-five European leagues this season (alongside Christopher Nkunku and Benjamin Bourigeaud).
Immobile and Milinkovic-Savic have combined for more goals than any other duo in Serie A this season (seven).
Lazio travel to Spezia on Saturday, while Milan welcome Fiorentina to San Siro a day later.
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