AC Milan 2 Bologna 1: Gattuso clashes with Bakayoko as Rossoneri prevail

AC Milan boosted their Champions League qualification hopes as Gennaro Gattuso's relationship with Tiemoue Bakayoko reached breaking point in a 2-1 home win over Bologna.

Suso and substitute Fabio Borini scored either side of half-time to lift the Rossoneri to within three points of fourth-placed Atalanta.

Much of the headlines, however, will be allocated elsewhere after the on-loan Bakayoko - recently rebuked for missing a training session - seemingly rejected the opportunity to replace the injured Lucas Biglia, prompting a terse exchange with head coach Gattuso.

Mattia Destro halved the deficit and Lucas Paqueta was sent off in five frantic second-half minutes, but Milan were not to be denied their second win in nine matches in all competitions, with two Bologna players also seeing red either side of full-time.

Bologna started with the confidence of a team that had won six of their previous eight matches and Riccardo Orsoli drew a good save from Gianluigi Donnarumma inside the first 15 minutes.

Gattuso's argument with Bakayoko - reportedly sparked by the midfielder's desire for more time to warm-up - seemed to blur Milan's focus and only an offside flag against Rodrigo Palacio prevented them from falling behind.

Instead, eight minutes before half-time, the hosts took the lead, Suso shimmying away from a couple of challenges and picking out the bottom-right corner.

Hakan Calhanoglu sent a shot whistling over the crossbar soon after the interval and then had to follow Biglia to the bench with a suspected muscle issue.

His replacement, Borini, gave Milan a two-goal buffer in the 67th minute, the former Liverpool forward making no mistake after Lukasz Skorupski pushed a deflected Paqueta effort into his path.

An unmarked Destro swivelled on a cute Nicola Sansone pass and replied for Bologna five minutes later, before Paqueta clashed with Erick Pulgar and received two yellow cards in quick succession - the second for slapping referee Marco Di Bello's hand upon the initial booking.

There were two more dismissals to come in the moments either side of the full-time whistle as Bologna pair Sansone and Mitchell Dijks saw red in a bizarre ending to a chaotic contest.

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