Ten-man AC Milan beat Benevento to reclaim top spot

Franck Kessie of AC Milan celebrates with his team mates after scoring his penalty goal ,during the Serie A match between Benevento Calcio and AC Milan at Stadio Ciro Vigorito on January 3, 2021 in Benevento, Italy.

AC Milan ensured city rivals Inter's stay at the top of Serie A was a brief one despite playing much of their win at Benevento with 10 men.

Franck Kessie's penalty put Milan ahead before Sandro Tonali's knee-high lunge on Artur Ionita was changed from yellow to red by the video assistant referee.

However, Rafael Leao curled in a second to move unbeaten Milan a point clear.

Benevento's Gianluca Caprari also missed a spot-kick, firing wide after being fouled by Rade Krunic.

The hosts, managed by Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi, registered 25 shots, but somehow failed to turn prolonged second-half pressure into a goal.

Keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma made a string of saves to keep last season's Serie B champions at bay as the visitors extended their undefeated start to the league season to 15 games before they host Juventus at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Kessie's penalty found the top corner after Alessandro Tuia's foul on Ante Rebic, who later provided the through ball for Rafael to draw keeper Lorenzo Montipo off his line and curl in from a tight angle.

Both sides hit the woodwork, Milan twice through Hakan Calhanoglu and Kessie, while Roberto Insigne struck the post for Benevento, as the visitors responded strongly to Inter's 6-2 win over Crotone which had lifted them top of the table for a couple of hours.

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