Milan: AC Milan moved into the top half of the Serie A table with a 5-1 rout of Chievo Verona on Saturday, boosting manager Massimiliano Allegri's chances of holding onto his job. Urby Emanuelsson opened the scoring for Milan in the 16th minute at the San Siro and while Sergio Pellissier equalized for Chievo two minutes later, the Rossoneri got two more goals from Riccardo Montolivo and Bojan Krkic before halftime. Stephen El Shaarawy added another in the 75th for his league-leading eighth goal of the season, and Giampaolo Pazzini found the target in added time.
Milan moved into a tie for seventh place with Roma and Cagliari, 14 points behind Serie A leader Juventus, which was hosting second-place Inter Milan later in a top-of-the-table clash. "I think Milan is back," club vice president Adriano Galliani said. "I just spoke with the president (Silvio Berlusconi) and we both said the same thing, 'We seemed like Milan tonight.' He really liked Bojan and he told me to compliment the coach. "We're a bit calmer now with the seven points from the last three matches, which have given us a bit of a jump. We've got a squad that can't not finish in the top places."
Milan lost five of their opening eight matches and Allegri has been fending off speculation that he could be fired for several weeks. This week, Milan needed two late goals to rally for a 2-2 draw at Palermo. "Any other club in our situation would have changed coaches," Galliani said. "I've got a great relationship with Allegri." Emanuelsson's opener came with a deflected shot from the edge of the area and Montolivo's and Bojan's goals were also deflected. Pellissier's goal came with a header following a corner kick. El Shaarawy, who turned 20 a week ago, scored from close range, redirecting a cross from Ignazio Abate, then provided the cross for Pazzini's goal. "El Shaarawy is more than a prodigy now," Galliani said. "He's a little champion."