AC Milan moved back level on top of the Serie A as they overcame Roma 2-1 at the Stadio Olimipico in a match where VAR was a factor.
Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Franck Kessie ensured that the three points would head home northwards with the visitors, as Roma rarely threatened the Rossonieri's back line.
Theo Hernandez was sent off in a ding-dong affair that saw numerous yellow cards and plenty of aggression, and the Frenchman's ongoing battle with the returning Nicolo Zaniolo offered a prime example of this.
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Milan threatened early, going close through their eventual goalscorers Ibrahimovic and Kessie, and the Swede would eventually find the target on 25 minutes, arrowing a free kick into the bottom corner with laser-like accuracy to give Rui Patricio in the home net no chance.
Franck Kessie doubled the advantage after the restart from the penalty spot; Ibrahimovic, a constant thorn in the side of the home defence, was felled by Ibanez, and VAR confirmed the awarding of the intiial spot-kick was correct.
Stefano Pioli's side could have had four goals: two were chalked off for offside, with one either side of half time.
Leao would nod into an unguarded net after a sensational chest flick from Ibrahimovic sent him away, and the 40-year old striker finished with great precision after controlling an excellent, clipped ball into the right half-space from Simon Kjaer with flawless chest control.
Roma netted a consolation through Stephan El Sharaawy after an injury time penalty box melee, but the ten men held strong to eek out the three points.
Jose Mourinho's unbeaten run at home in the league comes to an end, but Milan march on relentlessly as they press on with their title charge.
TALKING POINT - MOURINHO OUTMASTERED?
We've seen it all too often in recent years with Jose Mourinho sides: they start too cautiously, and are ultimately desperately chasing the game in the dying embers after going behind early.
In the first half, Roma had some lively moments, driven predominantly by the brilliant captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, but otherwise, they struggled to break out of their own half with the pressure the visitors were putting on them.
Theo Hernandez and Davide Calabria bombed on down the flanks to pin Rick Karsdorp and Matias Vina back, whilst Ismael Bennacer quietly dictated the tempo from deep, with Kessie working tirelessly to add an extra number in the transitional phase.
The home side struggled to register a single shot on target before the hour mark, and then suddenly burst into life as Hernandez was sent for an early bath.
But it was too little, too late for them, as Mourinho's preference for defensive solidity cost him his Serie A home invincibility at the hands of an astute coach in Stefano Pioli.
Zlatan Ibrahimović, «AC Milan»
Image credit: Getty Images
Roma: Patricio 6, Karsdorp 6, Mancini 6, Ibanez 6, Vina 6, Cristante 6, Veretout 6, Zaniolo 7, Pellegrini 7, Mkhitaryan 5, Abraham 5, A-Gyan 6, El Sharaawy 6, Perez 6, Shomurodov 5.
Milan: Tatarusanu 7, Calabria 6, Kjaer 7, Tomori 6, Hernandez 6, Kessie 7, Bennacer 7, Saelemaekers 6, Krunic 6, Leao 7, Ibrahimovic 8.
MAN OF THE MATCH - ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC, MILAN
The star of the show, as he very often is.
The Swede's wonderstrike from the free kick as well as his all-round interplay and leadership gave Milan the springboard they needed to make it five wins in a row and take them back level with Napoli at the top of the table.
Bennacer was brilliant and should get more plaudits than perhaps he will get, but Ibrahimovic, without doubt, was the man of the match, despite coming off on 57 minutes.
What a player, what a man.
Image credit: Getty Images
25': GOALLL!!!! Who else? Absolutely fantastic from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The wall was no issue, it fizzed through it, into the bottom right-hand corner, no chance Patricio. 1-0.
38': No goal! Leao is offside after an incredible chest flick from Ibrahimovic, and the Portuguese does all the right things, flicking it over Patricio and nodding it into the unguarded net, but it won't count.
50': GOALLL!! He's made it two, Ibrahimovic yet again. It was a hopeful punt foward from Kjaer, slotting into the far corner across Patricio. 2-0. // It's ruled out, offside.
56': PENALTY! What a counter from Milan after the initial shot from Abraham was so well blocked! Hernandez drove forwards, fed Ibrahimovic, who is felled by Ibanez, but the replay shows that the centre-back got a touch on the ball! VAR checking, the referee is going to have a look at it. // GOALLL!!! Now they double their cushion; Franck Kessie makes no mistake from 12 yards, Patricio was unsighted. 2-0.
66': RED CARD! Theo Hernandez is sent off, felling Lorenzo Pellegrini on the edge of the area, although he may have slipped.
90': GOALLL!! El Sharaawy!! He's lashed it in! Is there any chance for Roma?
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