Muntari the man for Milan
Allegri's side make hard work of defeating Chievo
Last Updated: 10/04/12 10:41pm
Sulley Muntari: Won the match
A Sulley Muntari goal moved AC Milan back to the top of the Serie A table after a gritty 1-0 win at Chievo.
The midfielder scored in the eighth minute at the Stadio Bentegodi and it was enough for the Rossoneri move above Juventus, although it was far from easy.
Milan did the bare minimum to beat a Chievo side who were unfortunate not to equalise in the first half, but then tired in the second half in driving rain.
Massimiliano Allegri left Philippe Mexes out of his starting XI as a reaction for his mistake in their 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina at the weekend.
Former Chievo defender Mario Yepes took his place, but the Milan defence did not have any work to do until after Muntari gave the visitors the lead.
His powerful left-foot shot from outside the penalty area beat Stefano Sorrentino low into the bottom corner.
Chievo responded with former Milan striker Alberto Paloschi scoring in the 24th minute, but a borderline offside decision ruled out his effort.
The home side continued to dominate proceedings as Milan seemed to struggle physically to keep up with them. Cyril Thereau went close before Sergio Pellissier missed a good opportunity from Paloschi's assist.
At the end of the half, Luca Rigoni missed the target and Milan somehow managed to hold out and defend their lead to the interval.
Chievo's failure to score in a dominant first-half performance proved costly as they were unable to summon the energy to carry on attacking in the second 45 minutes.
Milan had long since decided to preserve their lead, although they still had the best chance of the half when Zlatan Ibrahimovic's shot was saved.
The Rossoneri were successfully able to play down the clock to earn the three points which take them two clear of Juventus, who host third-placed Lazio tomorrow night.
Italian Serie A