Olivier Giroud scored the only goal in AC Milan’s 1-0 win over Turin on Tuesday to bring his side to the top of Serie A despite a disappointing performance at San Siro.
French striker Giroud has scored his fourth league goal since arriving from Chelsea this summer in the 14th minute of a largely dismal game to give Milan a three-point lead in first place.
Napoli can, however, regain first place on Thursday with a home win against Bologna.
“I’m very happy, we played well at the start of the game and then Turin didn’t create a lot of chances,” Giroud told DAZN faltering in Italian before switching to English.
“We have the three points, which is the most important. We play every third day and it is very difficult for the body, so everything was not perfect but we are very happy with tonight’s victory.”
It was a sixth straight Serie A victory for Stefano Pioli’s side on the day Milan announced they had halved their losses to â¬ 96.4m ($ 111.8m).
However, with a long list of injuries slowly shrinking, it was far from a vintage performance against a Turin side who played their part and could have won at least one point with a sharper finish.
Andrea Belotti was substituted in the 54th minute, seconds after the Italian striker missed a presentable opportunity after being well set up by Karol Linetty.
Antonio Sanabria wasted Torino’s best opportunity with 14 minutes remaining, recovering Dennis Praet before hitting his shot from close range too close to Ciprian Tatarusanu.
And Praet left home fans with his heart in their mouths 11 minutes later when his shot massively deflected Fikayo Tomori and cut the top of the crossbar.
Torino pushed for an equalizer but Milan held on for the win with a frenzied defense.
– The red card enraged Venezia –
Venezia lost 2-1 at home to Salernitana after Ethan Ampadu’s bizarre expulsion left the hosts 10 men for more than 20 minutes.
Andrea Schiavone brought home the winner for Salernitana in the 95th minute in Venice to complete a win from behind in the clash between the struggling promoted teams.
The away team left the bottom of the standings with seven points but are still in the relegation zone despite their first away win of the season.
They are tied with Genoa, third from the bottom, who drew 1-1 at Spezia thanks to a Domenico Criscito penalty in the 85th minute.
“We have to keep this rhythm because it’s important. We played well, we were all together, today you saw a group that wanted to win and the three points were very important,” Franck RibÃ©ry told DAZN.
Salernitana had a male advantage from the 67th minute, with the score tied thanks to goals from Mattia Aramu and Federico Bonazzoli.
Welsh midfielder Ampadu, 21, made what appeared to be a perfect tackle to dispossess Ribery, but referee Marco Di Bello withdrew his red card.
The Venezia players surrounded Di Bello in protest and the match official then went to the pitch screen to verify his decision after being invited by VAR.
However, Di Bello inexplicably confirmed his decision to expel Ampadu, on loan from Chelsea to Venezia.
“We had a referee who was the worst performing on the pitch,” Venezia coach Paolo Zanetti told DAZN.
“These are important games that we fight for our survival in, they can’t be influenced by things like that.”
td / iwd