AC Milan beats Fiorentina to remain top, unbeaten

AC Milan's Alessio Romagnoli, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal with AC Milan's Ante Rebic during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Fiornentina. (Luca Bruno/AP)

MILAN — Despite the absence of its coach and star striker AC Milan maintained its unbeaten start to the Serie A season by beating Fiorentina 2-0 on Sunday to ensure it would end the weekend at the top of the table.

An Alessio Romagnoli header and a Franck Kessie penalty in the first half secured the victory in front of the watching Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was injured but cheering his teammates on from the stands.

Milan coach Stefano Pioli was also still absent after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The Rossoneri moved five points clear of Inter Milan and Sassuolo, which both played on Saturday. Roma can move into second, three points below Milan, if it wins at Napoli later in what will be an emotional match. It is Napoli's first Serie A game since former player Diego Maradona died on Wednesday in his native Argentina.

There was a tribute to Maradona at San Siro, as there was in all the Serie A matches this weekend. That included a minute's silence for the former Napoli player, while his image was also projected on the stadium screens again in the 10th minute, in honour of his shirt number.

Milan took the lead in the 17th minute when Romagnoli was left unmarked to head in a corner at the back post.

Du?an Vlahovic almost equalized shortly after but his effort was tipped onto the post by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Instead, it was Milan that doubled its lead in the 28th when Kessie converted a penalty after Alexis Saelemaekers was tripped by German Pezzella.

Kessie had another penalty saved by Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski five minutes from time following a foul by Martin Caceres on Theo Hernandez.

Milan could have extended its lead early in the second half but Hakan Calhanoglu's strike came off the post.

OTHER MATCHES

Udinese was missing a number of players because of the coronavirus but managed to win 3-1 at Lazio.

Tolgay Arslan, Ignacio Pussetto and Fernando Forestieri scored for Udinese before a late Ciro Immobile penalty.

Bologna beat bottom club Crotone 1-0. Cagliari was playing Spezia later.

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