A dramatic, last-gasp winner from midfielder Sandro Tonali earned Milan a crucial 2-1 comeback victory at Lazio on Sunday, as Stefano Pioli’s side climbed back to the top of the Serie A standings.
Champions Inter Milan had gone top with a convincing 3-1 win over AS Roma on Saturday – their third league victory in a row – putting pressure on Milan to respond in a tricky-looking trip to the capital to take on the unpredictable Lazio.
They soon found themselves behind, when Italy striker Ciro Immobile poked home in the fourth minute to give the home side the lead.
Milan had plenty of chances to equalize in the first half, firing 12 shots on Lazio’s goal in the opening period, but they couldn’t make one count.
The visitors kept coming after the break, with the pressure telling as French striker Olivier Giroud fired Milan level in the 50th minute.
Veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench in search of a winner, with the Swede turning provider for Tonali right at death to spark wild scenes of celebration among Milan players and staff.
Come the end of the season, this may prove to be a crucial success should Milan win their first Scudetto since 2011, with Pioli’s side now back top, two points clear of second-placed Inter, who have a game in hand. Lazio stay seventh on 56 points.
Rayo Vallecano forward Álvaro García netted an early goal to give his side a surprise 1-0 win against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, moving rivals Real Madrid another step closer to sealing their 35th LaLiga title.
Garcia sealed the game for the visitors when he opened the scoring in the seventh minute, receiving the ball inside the box and rifling it past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to a wave of whistles at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona failed to convert a number of golden chances despite going agonizingly close to an equalizer. They have now lost three consecutive home games for only the second time in their history.
Real Madrid now need only one point from their last five games to secure the title, while Barcelona are second on 63 points, 15 behind Real and level with Sevilla in third.
“I leave angry, disappointed, because today was … a repeat of what happened against Eintracht [Frankfurt], as well as Cádiz, ”said Barcelona’s coach, Xavi Hernández. “We lacked a lot of effectiveness.”
He added: “We have complicated our own qualification for the Champions League. If we want to hear the music of the Champions League next season, we have to match [the Champions League teams] in their enthusiasm. ”
Marseille took another step towards securing direct qualification for the Champions League when a late Gerson goal earned them a 1-0 win at Reims. Gerson struck seven minutes from time with an angled shot from Dimitri Payet’s pass to put second-placed Marseille on 65 points with four games left.
They lead Stade Rennaiswho destroyed Lorient 5-0 earlier on Sunday, by six points. Monaco, in fourth place, are also on 59 points after their 4-1 win at St Etienne on Saturday. The top two qualify directly for the Champions League group stage and the third-placed side will play in the third qualifying round.