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Milan 2 - 1 Fiorentina: Milan dispatch Fiorentina to gain European lifeline

A first goal from Deulofeu gives Milan the foundation for a Europa League fightback

AC Milan v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Montella’s Rossoneri earned a stay of execution as they injected life into their season with a solid win over Fiorentina.

Juraj Kucka’s header thrust Milan into the lead before Kalinic equalled the score for the Viola. Fiorentina’s goal was rather dubious as Kalinic was in an offside position when he stroked the ball past Donnarumma.

It would be Everton loanee Gerard Deulofeu that would star in the first half as he tore through Aston Villa’s Carlos Sanchez (on loan at Fiorentina) on multiple occasions before finding the net with a stunning effort.

Milan’s press ensured that the Viola found no room during the match, especially so during the first half.

The first incident of the second half came about five minutes after the break. Nikola Kalinic was brought down on the edge of the box with Gomez being booked after clashing with the Fiorentina player. The Viola players surrounded the referee and demanded that Gomez be sent of (as Kalinic was the last man), however - it was not a clear cut chance for the Fiorentina man and a booking was the correct decision. Vecino of Fiorentina was booked for dissent during the run-up to the eventual free-kick, but you can’t blame Fiorentina for asking the question.

From the 70th minute onwards, Milan dug trenches into the San Siro and played behind the ball while Fiorentina started to push forward for another equaliser. As both teams departed into extremities of urgency the referee struggled to control the game as both teams stuck their foot into the other off the ball. Desperation shone through on many occasions and Milan were fortunate enough to reduce Fiorentina to longer shots, which were no issue for Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Milan did experience a poor second half and this is likely due to their consistent pressing throughout the first half. Still, Milan had a number of breaks through Bacca and Abate most notably - although they came to nothing.

Fiorentina were unable to threaten as the match drew to a close and it will be a well-earned three points for Vincenzo Montella’s Rossoneri - who need to use this victory to provide the momentum for a real fight - because that is what will be needed if they want European competition next season. Milan stay in 7th place, but will be grateful for the four point gap that separates them from the rest of the table.