An own goal Gabriel Paletta and a Mario Balotelli free kick either side of half time ensured AC Milan secured all three points in a hard fought 2-1 Serie A win against Parma, despite a late Nicola Sansona strike
The defender inadvertently turned Kevin-Prince Boateng's cross past goalkeeper Nicola Pavarini, five minutes before the end of the first half, before the Rossoneri striker fired into the top corner to earn all three points for the hosts, regardless of the late consolation from the Parma striker.
The hosts enjoyed the better of the early possession after Kevin Constant broke through the Parma midfield. He played into Mario Balotelli, but the Italian saw his effort deflected behind for a corner.
Milan continued to press to net an early opener at the San Siro as Kevin-Prince Boateng saw a low drive held comfortably by Parma goalkeeper Pavarini before Rossoneri center back Mario Yepes forced a save out of Christian Abbiati having inadvertently turned a header towards his own goal.
Parma looked to take advantage of the shaky Milan defense after a poor Cristian Zapata clearance was capitalized upon by Paletta. The defender skipped past Yepes, but dragged his effort past Abbiati's goal.
The game slowed until the 25th minute as Amauri managed to beat Yepes to a Marco Marchionni corner and head goalbound, only to see his effort well saved by Abbiati, before Marchionni attempted a spectacular half volley from 30 yards that drifted over the bar on the half hour mark.
At the other end, Balotelli played in a Boateng on the left of the 18 yard box with a perfectly weighed reverse pass as the Milan midfielder played across the box, but couldn't pick out the outstretched M'Baye Niang at the far post before the creator almost turned goalscorer after Mattia De Sciglio's cross is header into the path of the Ghanian by Djamel Mesbah, but his effort was weak and saw Pavarini gather easily.
Milan took the initiative with five minutes remaining of the first half as Paletta mistakenly turned Boateng's low cross past Pavarini and into the back of the net.
Sully Muntari should've doubled the hosts' advantage just five minutes after the restart after some good work by Niang on the right, but the midfielder couldn't guide the cross past Pavarini. Balotelli then picked out Boateng moments later with a perfect low pass, only for the midfielder to sidefoot his effort just wide of the Parma goal.
Balotelli saw a free kick blocked by the wall with half an hour remaining, before launching a venomous half volley towards goal that drifted wide for a goal kick.
Amauri failed to turn a Jaime Valdes ball over the top goalbound, while at the other end Antonio Nocerino looked to capitalise on a poor Pavarini clearance, but fired his speculative effort wide.
With 15 minutes remaining, Balotelli ensured the points were secured after firing a free kick from 30 yards out past Pavarini and into the top corner to double Milan's advantage.
Riccardo Montolivo came close to adding a third in the dying embers of the encounter after Pavarini from distance, only for the Parma goalkeeper to deny the Milan midfielder, before Balotelli tested the Crociati man inside the 18 yard box.
Parma netted a late consolation through Sansone, but it was too little to late as Milan hung on for all three points.
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