AC Milan took all three points to move into the top half of the table after a deserved 1-0 win over Crotone at the Giuseppe Meazza on Saturday.
It was Rossoneri skipper Leonardo Bonucci who made the breakthrough after 54 minutes when he was in the right place at the right time to head it in from a corner. It was his first goal for the club following his high-profile move from Juventus in the summer.
Milan thought they had doubled their lead just five minutes after when Frank Kessie's low shot found the bottom corner, but the referee ruled it out after watching a video replay.
Milan managed to hold on for the win which now places them in 10th, above Atalanta who play Roma on Saturday evening.
The first knockings of the game were controlled by Milan, as they dominated possession in a somewhat tedious set of opening exchanges.
It was wave after wave of Rossoneri attack, but Crotone were resilient enough to prevent the hosts a route to goal.
The first real chance came after 25 minutes when Hakan Calhanoglu got the better of the Crotone defence and pounced on a loose ball. He created enough space for himself to get the shot away, but his effort was well saved by Alex Cordaz.
That Calhanoglu chance had seemed to revitalise the Rossoneri attack, as they went forward with a little more pace and purpose in the last 10 minutes of the first half and fashioned a chance through Frank Kessie who saw his half-volley dip just over the Crotone goal.
35' CHANCE! Kessie with a fierce shot from the edge of the box: the ball ends just high / Ci prova Franck con un tiro potente dal limite: palla fuori di poco#MilanCrotone 0-0— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 6, 2018
The heart of the action in the first period came in the 40th minute, when Lucas Biglia seemed to have acres of space met the ball with a sweet strike 20-yards from goal, however, Cordaz was there again to meet it after a fine save.
Only a minute later came the best chance of the half when Milan forward Suso found his curling effort bounce off of the inside of the left post.
Half-time#MilanCrotone 0-0— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 6, 2018
We pushed hard on the accelerator and went THIS close but it's still goalless at San Siro / Abbiamo attaccato e siamo andati vicinissimi al vantaggio ma a San Siro siamo ancora sullo 0-0 pic.twitter.com/sSpsLplx2k
The second half began just as the first ended, Milan attack against Crotone defence, and the Rossoneri finally broke the deadlock four minutes into the half after captain Leonardo Bonucci was on queue to nod in from a corner to score his first goal for the club.
The floodgates then came open and Crotone’s defence couldn’t seem to live with Milan’s attacking prowess, as Kessie found his low drive go into the bottom corner of the net, only for the referee to rule it out after consulting with VAR.
The rest of the game was a pretty even affair with Crotone having their best spell of play towards the latter stages of the match as they tried to create chances, but they remained toothless in their attack.
There were seven minutes stoppage time, but Milan saw out the game in a professional manner and managed to clinch their second win in five Serie A matches. They leapfrog Atalanta to move into the top half of the table, whilst Crotone drop into the bottom three.
#ACMilan XI: Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Cutrone, Calhanoglu— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 6, 2018
Subs | Panchina: Donnarumma A., Gabriel, Gomez, Musacchio, Zapata, Gabbia, Locatelli, Montolivo, Zanellato, Borini, Kalinic, André Silva#MilanCrotone pic.twitter.com/1b2asWDKWO