Parma 1-3 AC Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is SENT OFF for abusing the referee but visitors manage to cut the gap to eight points on Serie A leaders Inter
- Milan eased into a two-goal lead at the break with goals by Rebic and Kessie
- Ibrahimovic was given a straight red card for dissent just after the hour mark
- Gagliolo gave Parma a lifeline six minutes later but Leao sealed victory late on
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for dissent as his side earned a 3-1 win at Parma in Serie A on Saturday.
Milan eased into a comfortable two-goal lead at the break thanks to goals from Ante Rebic in the eighth minute – a strike that was brilliantly set up by Ibrahimovic – and a fine Franck Kessie finish on the stroke of halftime.
Milan’s task became much more difficult just before the hour mark, however, as out of the blue, Ibrahimovic was given a straight red card for something he said to the referee, much to the Swede’s bemusement.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given a straight red card for something he said to the referee
Ibrahimovic and Milan coach Stefano Pioli were left bemused by the Swede’s red card
Milan were battled by the decision as Ibrahimovic had been a fair distance away from the ref
Riccardo Gagliolo got Parma back into the match six minutes later, but Rafael Leao added a late third for second-placed Milan as Stefano Pioli’s men closed the gap to Inter Milan to eight points, with the league leaders facing Cagliari on Sunday.
Parma remain in trouble down in 19th in the standings, four points from the safety zone.
A run of just one win in their previous five matches in all competitions was threatening to unravel Milan’s season, but the visitors raised their game early on against Parma, scoring a fine opener.
Ibrahimovic set up Ante Rebic for the opening goal in the eighth minute on Saturday
Ibrahimovic was involved in both Milan goals in the first-half against Parma on Saturday
Croatian winger Rebic turned provider for Kessie as the visitors doubled their lead, with the Ivorian netting his 10th goal of the campaign to seemingly steer Milan towards a comfortable victory.
What Ibrahimovic said to receive his eighth dismissal in Europe’s top-five leagues is unclear, as he did not even appear to be close to the referee when he brandished the red card, but it changed the complexion of the game.
Veteran striker Graziano Pelle then brilliantly set up Gagliolo to get Parma back in it, and Milan all of a sudden looked vulnerable.
But as Parma committed bodies forward for a leveller, Milan broke clear in stoppage time, with Diogo Dalot setting up Leao for the substitute’s first goal since early January which sealed the visitors their 13th Serie A away win this season.
The visitors doubled their advantage with a fine Franck Kessie finish on the stroke of halftime
Portuguese forward Rafael Leao added a third in stoppage time for second-placed Milan