AC Milan sent out a powerful message to fellow Serie A title contenders SSC Napoli with a 3-0 victory against their third-placed opponents at San Siro.
A win for the visitors would have drawn them level with the Rossoneri at the top of the standings but second-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimović, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Pato instead lifted Massimiliano Allegri's men five points clear of closest challengers FC Internazionale Milano.
Napoli appeared nervous in the opening 45 minutes and were fortunate to make it to half-time on level terms but the home side were more clinical in the second period. Mark van Bommel saw an early effort pushed away by Morgan De Sanctis but moments later Salvatore Aronica was penalised for handball in the area and Ibrahimović (49) swept in the penalty.
Pato, a constant menace all evening, was denied from the edge of area by De Sanctis with the goalkeeper then thwarting Robinho's point-blank effort. Substitute Boateng finally claimed the second after 77 minutes after being teed up by Pato, and the Brazilian rounded off a resounding victory with a sumptuous third from 20 metres two minutes later.
In the meeting of Spain's bottom two, Málaga CF came from behind to beat Andalusian rivals UD Almería 3-1 and climb off the bottom – dumping Almería there in their place. Although Sofiane Feghouli struck first for Almería, second-half goals by Enzo Maresca, José Rondón and Juanmi turned the match Málaga's way against opponents who lost José Ulloa and Antonio Luna to late red cards but also hit the woodwork twice.
In the night's Premier League game, West Bromwich Albion FC climbed out of the bottom three with a 1-1 draw at Stoke City FC after Carlos Vela stepped off the bench to equalise Rory Delap's opener with two minutes remaining.
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|Last updated: 28/06/2011 14:49 CET|
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