Pato scored twice as AC Milan increased their lead at the top of Serie A to five points with a 3-0 win against rivals FC Internazionale Milano, who played most of the second half with ten men following the 54th-minute dismissal of Cristian Chivu.
Victory would have taken Inter top, but they quickly fell behind when Pato pounced on a rebound to drill home a low shot in the first minute. Mark van Bommel then went close to stretching the Rossoneri's lead with a drive that deflected off Chivu and on to the bar after 38 minutes. Soon after, Inter's best chance fell to Giampaolo Pazzini, but Christian Abbiati saved well on his line.
Inter's hopes of getting back into the match faded shortly after the restart when Chivu received a straight red card for a foul on Pato, who put the result beyond doubt when he headed in Ignazio Abate's cross to score his 13th Serie A goal of the season. Substitute Antonio Cassano added the third from the penalty spot in the final minute and was dismissed soon after for a second bookable offence.
In the evening's other match, relegation-threatened Brescia Calcio beat Bologna FC 3-1 to climb to 18th. Third will host fifth on Sunday when S.S. Lazio travel to SSC Napoli, while Udinese Calcio will look to continue their fine run of form at second-bottom US Lecce.
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