MILAN (AFP) – AC Milan’s six-match unbeaten run in Serie A came to an end in spectacular fashion as promoted Palermo ran out deserved 2-0 winners at a stunned San Siro on Sunday.
Following two consecutive draws, Filippo Inzaghi’s men had been looking for the win that would have hoisted them up to joint third place alongside Sampdoria.
But they were stunned by two goals in the space of three first-half minutes and, despite battling for the equaliser, were left with a second defeat of the season which kept them in seventh place.
Milan are nine points behind leaders Juventus but only three points off the last Champions League qualifying spot now occupied by Sinisa Mihajlovic’s high-flying Samp.
“Hats off to Palermo,” Inzaghi told Sky Sport.
“I take full responsibility for the defeat. We’re still growing and so there can always be bumps along the way but maybe we deceived ourselves.”
Milan welcomed ‘keeper Diego Lopez back to the starting line-up following several weeks on the sidelines and midfielder Riccardo Saponara returned after a six-month injury absence.
But Lopez found himself beaten when defender Cristian Zapata, who replaced Alex due to an injury after just three minutes, turned the ball into his own net from a corner on 23 minutes.
An already enterprising Palermo grew in confidence and moments later Lopez did well to stop a shot from striker Paolo Dybala with a trailing leg.
However the ‘keeper was left clutching at thin air when the diminutive Argentinian muscled his way past Zapata on the left and fired a fine left-footed strike inside the far post on 26 minutes.
Milan saw several chances go amiss, notably when Andrea Poli’s attempted chip trailed wide of the target after Stefano Sorrentino came rushing out of goal, while Fernando Torres saw a glancing header skim the post.