AC Milan beat Salernitana to move top of Serie A

Milan (AFP) – A much-changed AC Milan saw off bottom side Salernitana 2-0 on Saturday to take top spot in Serie A ahead of previous leaders Napoli's match against Atalanta.


Milan coach Stefano Pioli made six changes to his starting XI from the midweek victory at Genoa, with the crucial Champions League match against Liverpool in mind.

But Franck Kessie and Alexis Saelemaekers both scored inside the first 20 minutes to ensure a straightforward victory for the hosts at the San Siro.

Milan have given their bid for a first Serie A title since 2011 a boost this week after bouncing back from two straight defeats with successive victories.

Pioli's men sit two points clear of Napoli, who host fourth-placed Atalanta later on Saturday, with reigning champions Inter Milan two points further back in third before their game against Roma.

The seven-time European champions have to beat already-qualified Liverpool in their final group game in Milan on Tuesday to have a chance of reaching the last 16.

They made the perfect start against struggling Salernitana, as Kessie tapped in a fifth-minute opener.

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic rested and Olivier Giroud part of a lengthy injury list, 20-year-old Pietro Pellegri was handed a full league debut for the club.

But the youngster, a close-season loan signing from Monaco, hobbled off after less than 15 minutes.

Milan doubled their advantage in the 18th minute, though, as Brahim Diaz slipped in to Saelemaekers whose shot found the bottom corner.

Rade Krunic, Diaz and Junior Messias were among the players to miss chances for Milan, but Salernitana never threatened a comeback.

Salernitana remain rooted to the foot of the table after taking just one point from their last six matches.