Serie A

AC Milan continues march up table

AC Milan
Stephan El Shaarawy (R) celebrates with AC Milan teamate Mario Yepes.
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AC Milan's revival shows no signs of abating as the Rossoneri claimed a fourth consecutive Serie A victory - a 4-1 triumph against struggling Pescara.

SERIE A FIXTURES

 
Saturday, December 15
Home   Road
Udinese 1-1 Palermo
Lazio 1-0 Inter
Sunday, December 16
Fiorentina 4-1 Siena
Juventus 3-0 Atalanta
AC Milan 4-1 Pescara
Parma 4-1 Cagliari
Chievo 1-0 Roma
Genoa 1-1 Torino
Catania 3-1 Sampdoria
Napoli 2-3 Bologna
More: Scores | Stats | Serie A
 

The Delfini, who have now lost five games from six, might have salvaged a point if they had not contributed two own-goals to aid Milan's bid for a Champions League place.

Antonio Nocerino proved the Rossoneri are a much-improved outfit from the side that started the season in dismal form as he found the back of the net inside 35 seconds.

Elvis Abbruscato contrived to undo much of Pescara's resilient defensive work with his own-goal before Cristian Terlizzi briefly dragged the visitors back into the game.

But Jonathas ended the game as a contest by heading into his own net in the final stages, leaving Italy striker Stefan El Shaarawy to rubberstamp the victory.

Some fans were still taking their seats when Nocerino opened the scoring with a cool tap in from El Shaarawy's slide-rule pass.

Pescara were taken aback but rallied to go close in the 13th minute, Marco Amelia palming a Romulo Togni screamer around a post.

The hosts would dominate the first half, though, Giampaolo Pazzini first driving a Robinho cross over the crossbar before El Shaarawy forced a fine save from Mattia Perin.

Pazzini went close again, his effort from Mattia De Sciglio's cross rattling out for a corner and soon El Shaarawy tried his luck from distance.

Riccardo Montolivo warmed Perin's gloves once again before the break, but Milan had failed to double their lead.

They were given a helping hand as play resumed, with Abbruscato left shamefaced in the 51st minute as he headed Robinho's cross into his own net under little pressure.

Nevertheless, there was a glimmer of hope for Pescara as Terlizzi found a way past Amelia in the 56th minute, the defender in acres of space to nod the ball home from seven yards.

The visitors were only denied an equaliser by the woodwork as Antonio Balzano fizzed a shot against a post and Cristiano Bergodi's men began to dominate possession.

But when El Shaarawy earned a corner from his ambitious curling shot from distance in the 79th minute, his resulting corner was glanced into the net by Jonathas.

If Pescara had contrived to lose the game then Milan ensured they had authored a memorable victory just one minute later.

Pazzini had the goal within his sights but chose to roll the ball across to El Shaarawy, who tapped home his 14th league goal of the season as Milan closed to within two points of sixth-placed Roma.

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