Match - Fri 15 February, 21:45, San Siro
|29. (39’) [OG]||0. (90 + 3’)|
Balotelli equals record to give Milan victory
AC Milan's Mario Balotelli
With Milan set to play Barcelona next week, Massimiliano Allegri rung in a few changes ahead of the clash.
In defence, Philippe Mexes was replaced by Mario Yepes, along with Ignazio Abate making way for Mattia De Sciglio.
In addition, Stephan El Shaarawy, who had been suffered from tendonitis in the knee, was rested for the clash, while Antonio Nocerino returned to the position which has been occupied by Mathieu Flamini.
Milan came out of last weekend with a 1-1 draw to Cagliari, and they still looked equally tired in the opening stages of the encounter against Parma.
The first chance of the game arrived in the 24th minute when Amauri swung in a glancing header towards goal, but it caused no problems for Christian Abbiati.
Milan wanted a penalty on the half hour mark when Mbaye Niang was brought to ground inside the box, however, the referee deemed it a clean challenge and allowed play to continue.
Gabriel Paletta had been getting away with poor challenges all evening long, and karma finally got the better of him when he turned the ball into the back of his own net, in the 39th minute, handing Milan the lead.
Threatening moments of attack were few and far between and Milan finally caused Parma to panic when Kevin-Prince Boateng struck a shot which sprung across the face of goal.
On the hour mark, Mario Balotelli tried his luck from range when he struck a free-kick which hit the Parma wall, only to attempt a second shot off the rebound which went wide of goal.
The game was in need of a moment of brilliance and it was only fitting that it came from their latest arrival, Balotelli, who struck the back of the net, in the 77th minute, with a stellar free-kick.
The goal marked his fourth in his first three games with the Rossoneri, equaling the record set by Oliver Bierhoff in 1998.
Cristian Zapata cleared a Parma ball off the line, while Bakaye Troare was given a four minute run out when he replaced Niang.
A consolation goal did arrive for Parma when Nicola Sansone capitalised on a sleeping Milan backline to tap-in an effort in the final minute of stoppage time.
The win meant that Milan moved equal on points with Inter, who play Fiorentina on Sunday evening, in third place.