AC Milan returned to the top of Serie A after a hard-fought victory away to Benevento at the Stadio Ciro Vigorito.
10-man AC Milan did just enough to beat their opponents as they secured a 2-0 win over Benevento on Sunday afternoon.
The Rossoneri started the game in second place after Inter temporarily went top following their 6-0 demolition of Crotone in an earlier fixture.
Milan were missing a number of first-team players with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ismael Bennacer, Alexis Saelemaekers, Matteo Gabbia, and suspended Theo Hernandez all unavailable.
Regardless, they made a bright start to the game after Benevento gifted the opener with a poor back-pass which led to a clumsy challenge from Alessandro Tuia’s on Ante Rebic in the area while trying to clear his lines.
Franck Kessie was back after his ban stepped up to score the resulting penalty to put his side in the lead after 15 minutes.
Stefano Pioli’s men were in the ascendency for a good spell until a rash moment from Sandro Tonali saw him deservedly get a straight red card in the 34th minute.
Despite being a man down, it was Milan who got the next goal of the game once again. Rafael Leao beat the Benevento goalkeeper with some good footwork and scored a stunning goal via a curler from a difficult angle.
Milan survived a scare of their own when Benevento were awarded a penalty on the hour mark but Caprari missed the resulting spot-kick that could have seen tense final minutes.
Milan held on to their lead and start 2021 on a good note as they return to the top of the table.
Stefano Pioli and company remain unbeaten this season and are the only side in Europe’s top five leagues to do so at this stage of the season.
Benevento: Montipo (6), Letizia (6), Tuia (6), Glik (6), Barba (7), Ionita (6), Schiattarella (6), Hetemaj (5), R Insigne (5), Caprari (4), Lapadula (5)
AC Milan: G Donnarumma (6), Calabria (6), Kjaer (6), Romagnoli (7), Dalot (6), Tonali (4), Kessie (8), Brahim Diaz (6), Calhanoglu (7), Rebic (7), Leao (8)
Feel free to make your pick on player’s ratings and performances using the widget below.