AC Milan 2-1 Fiorentina: Late own goal cuts Napoli's Serie A lead
A last-gasp Nikola Milenkovic own goal handed AC Milan a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina at San Siro on Sunday to cut Napoli's lead at the top of Serie A.
Rafael Leao opened the scoring after just two minutes but Fiorentina responded fiercely, finding an equaliser before the half-hour mark through Antonin Barak's deflected effort.
It appeared Milan would have to settle for a share of the points, which would have seen them sit 10 behind Napoli but a remarkable end saved the hosts.
Milenkovic diverted the ball into his own net to deny Fiorentina in cruel fashion, with their appeals for VAR to intervene being waved away.
The hosts came out of the blocks flying, Olivier Giroud flicking a pass for Leao to charge into the box and slot home into the bottom-right corner with just two minutes on the clock.
Fiorentina had a swift chance to equalise, Riccardo Saponara smashing an effort against the frame of the goal, before pulling level minutes before the half-hour mark as Barak's drive took a wicked deflection off Malick Thiaw to beat Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Milan were back on the front foot at the start of the second period, Giroud forcing a close-range save from Pietro Terracciano and Leao thumping an attempt wide of the post.
At the other end, a superb last-ditch tackle from Fikayo Tomori on Jonathan Ikone kept Fiorentina at bay, with a VAR check confirming no infringement from the England international.
Tomori was again on hand to prevent Ikone, clearing off the line, which proved to be decisive when Milenkovic sent the ball into his own net after Terracciano failed to punch the ball away.
What does it mean? Rare draw denied
Milan and Fiorentina had only drawn one of their past 14 Serie A matches at San Siro heading into the game, with the last time points were shared in the fixture coming in October 2014.
It appeared that streak would end before the dramatic conclusion, with the late own goal ensuring Milan now boast nine wins in their past 15 home matches against La Viola in the league.
Leao streak continues
Leao's opening goal against Fiorentina was his third against La Viola in four Serie A matches, with all of those goals coming at San Siro, including his very first in the competition in September 2019.
The Portugal international becomes the fourth player to score at least five Serie A goals in four consecutive seasons for Milan, after George Weah, Kaka and Alexandre Pato.
A draw for Fiorentina would have extended their unbeaten streak away from home to four, which would have seen the mark achieved for the first time under Vincenzo Italiano.
Instead, it is a third game in a row without a win for La Viola in Serie A, leaving them locked firmly in mid-table and eight points off the European spots.
Key Opta Facts:
The most recent Serie A own goal in the 90th minute before Sunday's game was scored by Lorenzo Venuti against Milan in November 2021.
Milan have won 10 of their past 11 Serie A home games, with their only defeat coming against Napoli on September 18.
Five of Leao's six goals this season have been scored in home games.
Two of the past four goals scored by Milan in the first two minutes of a Serie A game have been scored by Leao – the other coming against Sassuolo in December 2020.
Barak has scored one goal in each of his past three games against Milan at San Siro in Serie A.
Milan have to wait until January 4 for their next taste of Serie A action, away to Salernitana, while Fiorentina host Monza on the same day.