MILAN, Sept 27, (AFP): AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic slammed the stuttering Serie A giants after a third defeat of the season left the Rossoneri six points adrift of leaders and bitter city rivals Inter Milan.
Milan travelled to Genoa’s Luigi Ferraris Stadium looking to make it three wins in a row following 3-2 successes against Palermo and Udinese.
But the visitors were a goal down after 10 minutes when Blerim Dzemaili beat Diego Lopez with a deflected free-kick and Milan were reduced to 10 men when Alessio Romagnoli was sent off on the stroke of half-time for a second bookable offence.
On what was Mario Balotelli’s second start since returning to the club and in the presence of Italy coach Antonio Conte, the on-loan Liverpool striker flattered to deceive, missing the target from a free-kick while hitting an angled drive straight at goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna.
Milan’s third reverse of the season dropped them to 10th place, six points behind Inter ahead of their later top-of-the-table clash at home to Fiorentina.
“In every game we play we’re only playing for one half, and that’s not good enough,” said Mihajlovic.
“We played better when we were down to ten men, we had two or three chances but just couldn’t score.
“In these kind of games it’s not enough to rely on the fact we’re called Milan. We have to dig deep and be a bit more ruthless.
“If we had won today we’d have jumped a few places up the table.”
Fiorentina, three points behind Inter, dropped one place to third as 10-man Torino went the other way following a 2-1 win at home to Palermo.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men 16 minutes after the restart when Cristian Molinaro saw red for a second bookable offence, but the damage had already been done.
Torino took a 44th minute lead when Giancarlo Gonzalez got the final touch to Maxi Lopez’s strike for a Palermo own goal.
Only four minutes after the restart the Stadio Olimpico erupted to celebrate a spectacular candidate for goal of the season so far, Marco Benassi firing a looping volley over the head of Stefano Sorrentino from the right side of the area following Lopez’s cross-field ball from the left wing.
When Molinaro fouled Aleksander Trajkovski on the hour, he was sent off. Palermo capitalised 11 minutes later when Gonzalez rose high to meet a deep cross from midfield and send a looping header over Daniele Padelli in the Torino goal.
It made amends for his earlier blunder, but it wasn’t enough for the Sicilians, who saw Aljaz Struna fire a header from Oscar Hiljemark’s cross off post and crossbar in the dying minutes.
Torino are two points behind Inter and Lazio are only one further adrift in fifth spot after a precious come-from-behind win at Verona.
Verona, still without injured striker Luca Toni, took the lead on the half hour thanks to Filip Helander only for Lazio to complete a stirring second-half comeback.
Second half substitute Keita Balde won a penalty on the hour when he was chopped down in the area and Lucas Biglia made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Lazio were reduced to 10 men 10 minutes from the final whistle when defender Mauricio was cautioned for a second bookable offence but minutes later the visitors pulled in front.
Lazio won a free-kick on the edge of the area and when Biglia hit a short pass to Parolo, unsettling the defensive wall and leaving Parolo to fire low through several bodies to beat Rafel at his near post.
Roma, who humiliated league new boys Carpi 5-1 on Saturday, sit six points behind Inter in sixth place while champions Juventus are down in 15th place already 10 points off the pace after a 2-1 defeat at Napoli left them with just one league win all season.