Serie A

Milan opens four point Serie A cushion

Antonio Nocerino (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Midfielder Antonio Nocerino celebrates after scoring AC Milan's opener.
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ROME (AP)

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AC Milan bounced back from its loss to Arsenal by beating Lecce 2-0 Sunday, as the Rossoneri opened up a four-point lead atop Serie A after Juventus was held to yet another draw, 0-0, by Genoa.

Italy midfielder Antonio Nocerino put Milan ahead seven minutes in at the San Siro and Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled the lead in the 65th with his league-leading 19th goal of the season.

''It's another positive day but we haven't won anything yet,'' said Milan vice president Adriano Galliani. ''Let's not trick ourselves, because we're at a disadvantage head-to-head.''

While it still managed to advance in the Champions League, Milan was beaten 3-0 by Arsenal on Tuesday after allowing three first-half goals.

Against Lecce, which remained third from the bottom, Milan immediately took control when Nocerino took a pass from Ibrahimovic and had a shot deflected in off a defender.

It was the ninth goal this season for Nocerino, who Milan acquired from Palermo on the last day of the preseason transfer market for the relatively low fee of €500,000 ($660,000).

''I congratulated Nocerino, he's having a fantastic season,'' Galliani said. ''He really plays in synch with Ibra.''

In the 19th, Ibrahimovic just missed a delicate chip shot from a near impossible angle along the end line but the Sweden international then found the target with a powerful shot from beyond the area after taking a pass from Urby Emanuelsson.

Ibrahimovic was highly critical of Milan's performance against Arsenal, telling Swedish media that manager Massimiliano Allegri used him out of position, but he was at the center of all the action Sunday.

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