Furious rally keeps AC Milan in Inter Milan's wake
AC Milan squandered a penalty and fell behind to visiting Genoa before rallying to clinch a 5-2 win late Wednesday that kept them second behind Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A, dpa reported.
As the season resumed with an unusual lunch-time game after a two- week winter break, Inter snatched a minimum-effort 1-0 win at Chievo that pushed them onto 42 points from 18 games.
The champions won thanks to a first-half goal by Mario Balotelli, who wrapped up a counterattack triggered by Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, scoring in the 11th minute after goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino managed to block his first attempt.
On 34 points from 17 games, Milan played a convincing game despite a blunder from the spot by Brazilian Ronaldinho, who then levelled through another penalty after Giuseppe Sculli put Genoa ahead.
Massimo Ambrosini reversed the score before the break, and Marco Borriello added a brace against his former club in a game that saw the return of English veteran David Beckham with the Devils.
Borriello's second goal was a superb overhead kick that pushed him onto six goals in his 11 games.
Halfway through the second half, coach Leonardo chose to save Borriello's energies for late Sunday's classic match at Juventus and replaced him with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
The young Dutch substitute was given a chance to take a further spot kick that he converted past Marco Amelia on 74 minutes, shortly before Genoa's new Honduran arrival David Suazo set the score on 5-2.
Third-place Juve resumed winning after two defeats but remained nine points behind Inter as an early header from veteran Hasan Salihamidzic and an own goal gave the 10-man Turin side a hard-fought 2-1 win in Parma.
Elsewhere, Roma blew a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw at Catania, Alberto Gilardino scored a brace for Fiorentina in a 5-1 crushing of bottom side Siena, and Lazio new arrival Sergio Floccari scored twice as the Rome side rallied to a 4-1 win over Livorno.
Napoli moved to fourth as they won 2-0 at Atalanta for a run of 11 unbeaten games, Sampdoria talent Antonio Cassano levelled in a 1-1 draw with Palermo, Bari beat Udinese 2-0, and Catania edged Bologna 1-0.