AC Milan defeated relegation threatened Cesena 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to return to the top half of the table in the Serie A and keep head coach Filippo Inzaghi’s job intact.
The legendary striker’s job had been on the line after a dismal run since Christmas, but goals from Giacomo Bonaventura and substitute Giampaolo Pazzini helped secure just their 2nd win in nine league games and buys the 41-year-old more time.
The Rossoneri find themselves in eighth place now but are still nine points away from the last Champions league place with Napoli on 42 points having a game in hand against Sassuolo on Monday night.
Due to a plethora of injuries as well as suspensions limiting them, Milan fielded an unfamiliar back four of Luca Antonelli, Adil Rami, Salvatore Bocchetti and Daniele Bonera.
The visitors meanwhile are seven points away from safety and this was their 14th defeat of the season.
Andrea Poli put the ball into the back of the net three minutes into the game only for it to be ruled offside because Mattia Destro was ruled to be blocking the goalkeepera s line of vision.
It was Jeremey Menez who provided for the opener after an excellent run and Bonaventura was at hand to provide a cool finish before inadvertanlty tripping over the advertising hoardings while celebrating.
Nigel de Jong was on the top of his game as he broke up play several times with the home side failing to impose themselves on the game. The goalscorer almost doubled his tally only for his volley to hit the woodwork with Menez once again the provider with a delightful cross.
Mattia Destro came off for Pazzini who had a couple of attempts before scoring from the spot for his first league goal of the season. The penalty came as a result of Carlos Carbonero fouling Luca Antonelli and the former Inter Milan striker delivered with aplomb.
Having dropped 16 points from winning positions already this season, Milan were successful in closing out the game without too much pressure.
It wasn’t the best of displays from the home side though as they did not dominate in any specific areas but they will take the three points all day long. They failed to keep possession and were vulnerable on the counter attack but a certain 30-year-old Dutchman proved to be a rock in midfield.
Upcoming games against Chievo and Hellas Verona are must win if Inzaghi’s men aspire to make a late charge for the final Champions League spot.