MILAN - Resurgent AC Milan overcame the
dismissal of Serie A debutant Mark van Bommel to seal a 2-0 win
at Catania on Saturday and power seven points clear at the top.
The combative Dutch midfielder, signed from Bayern Munich in
midweek, was sent off for his second booking nine minutes into
the second half but four minutes later Robinho had the ball in
the net after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's fierce freekick was parried.
The hosts pushed hard for an equaliser with their one man
advantage but Milan grabbed a second goal when Ibrahimovic
tucked away Robinho's cross after 85 minutes to show that the
Rossoneri's lacklustre January form is behind them.
The win put Milan on 47 points ahead of Napoli and an overachieving Lazio side also on 40
points after a 2-0 win over mid-table visitors Fiorentina.
Milan's battling victory could prove crucial in the scudetto
run-in as Catania are always tough to beat in Sicily and
demanding new coach Diego Simeone was making his home debut.
"We did really well, it's difficult to play here. This three
points is very important for us," Robinho told Sky.
"It was tough to play 10 against 11 but this is a team that
sticks together. We're playing better now than a few weeks ago."
Milan, whose resilience was all the more impressive given
they had five midfielders injured, next host Lazio on Tuesday
with both sides on a high.
Czech striker Libor Kozak bagged two second-half goals to
give the Romans victory over Fiorentina.
Kozak, who at one point looked set to leave in the transfer
window, opened the scoring from the penalty spot in a niggly
encounter after being fouled by Per Kroldrup in the 69th minute.
Soon after, the gangly forward netted a close-range header
to continue the fairytale for a modest team who narrowly avoided
relegation last term and suffered a recent wobble.
Fiorentina handed a debut to former Lazio midfielder Valon
Behrami but again lacked any bite and fans will hope top striker
Adrian Mutu's apology last week for walking out on training will
lead to his reintegration to the squad.
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