With an assured 2-0 victory over Fiorentina, Milan made light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury absence to regain their five-point lead at the top of Serie A.
As his brace sparked a 3-1 victory at Napoli, Evergreen forward Ibrahimovic achieved 10 goals in six top-flight matches this season, while he limped off in the final stages with a hamstring injury.
But without their talisman, Stefano Pioli’s side marched towards struggling Fiorentina, with Franck Kessie netting a first-half penalty and missing a second after Alessio Romagnoli opened the scoring.
The outcome meant that Milan was able to hold Inter at arm’s length in what is shaping up to be an exciting title battle, their city rivals on Saturday having dispatched Sassuolo 3-0 in third place.
In the 17th minute, when Milan Captain Romagnoli was left unmarked at the back post to nod in Kessie’s flick-on from the right-wing corner of Hakan Calhanoglu, Fiorentina undid a promising starting.
As Cesare Prandelli’s men were looking for an equalizer, Dusan Vlahovic thumped against the close post of Gianluigi Donnarumma as they were left with a mountain to climb when German Pezzella clumsily brought down Alexis Saelemaekers in the field.
Kessie coolly sent Bartlomiej Dragowski the wrong way, but after Martin Caceres bundled into the marauding Theo Hernandez, the Fiorentina goalkeeper leveled their personal battle in the 40th minute, springing to his left to keep out a badly hit spot-kick.
Before half-time, Calhanoglu fizzed a fabulous half-volley into the side netting and came even nearer in the 53rd minute, reaching the base of the left post.
Two minutes later, Franck Ribery almost reduced the arrears, but Donnarumma was equal to the dinked contribution of the seasoned campaigner-a squandered opportunity that summarized a Fiorentina show riddled with moments of self-sabotage.