AC Milan beats Chievo, ends 4-match winless streak
VERONA, Italy (AP) -- AC Milan held on for a 1-0 win at Chievo Verona on Tuesday to end a four-match winless streak and take the provisional Serie A lead, although the defending champions were far from dominant.
Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari scored eight minutes in at the Bentegodi stadium with a shot from 25 meters (yards) that appeared to surprise Chievo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino.
Chievo created several chances but couldn't finish, even with Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati slowed by a foot injury.
Milan moved two points clear of Juventus, which hosts third-place Lazio on Wednesday.
"If we hadn't won, we could have definitively dropped out of the title race,'' Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri said. "We didn't play well but we played with heart and determination and we got the result.''
Chievo remained ninth, 25 points back.
"It's important to keep the pressure up on Juventus. Chievo is having a good season and it was a difficult match,'' said Milan defender Mario Yepes, who formerly played for Chievo. "Now we can watch tomorrow, but we've got to win all of our remaining matches.''
Milan had slumped to a 1-1 draw with Catania and a 2-1 loss at home to Fiorentina in its last two league matches, and split those with a defeat to Barcelona that eliminated it from the Champions League quarterfinals.
Under a driving rain, Milan quickly got back on track with Muntari's goal, but then settled back to defend its lead.
Chievo forward Alberto Paloschi had a goal annulled for offside in the 24th and French striker Cyril Thereau missed wide on two more chances for the hosts before the break.
Milan forward Robinho dribbled by a defender in the 37th but shot wide.
In the 50th, Abbiati stopped a dangerous shot from Paolo Sammarco and Zlatan Ibrahimovic curved a shot wide in the 76th to conclude a counterattack in one of Milan's few second-half chances.
Chievo argued for penalty after a handball by Alessandro Nesta in the 81st, although offside had already been whistled.
Milan next hosts Genoa at the San Siro on Saturday.
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