Mario Balotelli bagged a brace along with Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini to thrash bottom of the table Pescara 4-0.
The Delfini were already relegated at the weekend, so had only pride to play for, while the Rossoneri sought points to secure third place. Kevin-Prince Boateng was suspended, joining the injured Riccardo Montolivo, Luca Antonini, Bojan Krkic and Daniele Bonera. Among the home side’s absentees were Juan Fernando Quintero, Vladimir Weiss, Gianluca Caprari and Ivan Pelizzoli.
Mario Balotelli almost had the perfect start, as he smacked a shot against the bar after 116 seconds when a corner came to him in the six-yard box.
Uros Cosic clumsily tripped Antonio Nocerino on the edge of the area for a clear penalty. Balotelli stepped up and coolly sent Mattia Perin the wrong way to slot into the near bottom corner, maintaining his 100 per cent record from the spot. This was SuperMario’s 10th goal in 11 appearances for Milan, already a new personal best in Serie A.
M’Baye Niang had a rare start and flashed an angled drive across the face of goal to skim the back stick.
Sulley Ali Muntari doubled the advantage when a free kick was curled to the Ghanaian unmarked, his volley into the ground went in off the underside of the bar.
The second half started in similarly comfortable fashion. Balotelli sent Robinho down the left after Luciano Zauri’s slip, so the Brazilian whipped in the cross for Mathieu Flamini to tap in from six yards.
SuperMario added a fourth. Flamini controlled a Muntari cross-field pass down the right and pulled back for Balotelli, who turned on the edge of the six-yard box to fire under the bar.
Giampaolo Pazzini came off the bench and failed to make it 5-0, as he passed it straight to Perin when sent clear on goal by Balotelli. Perin then rushed off his line to push the ball off Stephan El Shaarawy’s feet before he could pull the trigger, while both strikers combined to force a corner in another opportunity created for them by Balotelli.
Giuseppe Rizzo was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card for going through the back of El Shaarawy in the final stages.