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Serie A: Milan 3 Chievo 0

A lively start at the San Siro on Saturday saw Milan take the lead through Mario Balotelli's close-range volley, before captain Kaka got on the end of Keisuke Honda's wonderful cross and applied a cool finish.

Kaka added a third just after the break, rolling back the years to brilliantly curl home from just inside the box. 

Chievo had the chance to respond when Cristian Zaccardo brought down substitute Cyril Thereau in the box, only for the striker to send the resulting spot kick against the crossbar. 

The result comes as a significant boost to Milan’s slim hopes of European qualification, while Chievo remain just three points away from the relegation zone.

Clarence Seedorf's side were buoyed by a hard-fought 2-0 win at Fiorentina in midweek and wasted no time in asserting their dominance.

The hosts were ahead within four minutes when a teasing Adil Rami cross found Balotelli, who expertly guided the ball past Michael Agazzi.

An all-action start from Milan was nearly rewarded with a second goal just a minute later, after Adel Taarabt shook off several defenders to sting the palms of the keeper.

The visitors had not tasted victory over Milan in the last 14 league meetings and nearly pulled one back through Simone Bentivoglio, who forced a smart save from Christian Abbiati after Urby Emanuelson's mistake on the 15-minute mark.

Milan looked to have taken their foot off the gas as the first half wore on, but doubled their lead after 27 minutes, when Honda's exquisite chipped pass found Kaka, who produced a great first touch before rolling into the net.

Honda should have got on the scoresheet himself just before the break, after Balotelli squared to the Japan international, who inexplicably fired high and wide from close range.

A slow start to the second half was brought to life after 10 minutes, when Honda's powered header was well saved by Agazzi, before a poor defensive clearance found Kaka, who curled a stunning effort into the top corner.

Chievo nearly pulled one back in bizarre circumstances after 62 minutes, as the Milan defence failed to deal with Bentivoglio’s low corner, which was allowed to run before coming back off the post with Abbiati scrambling.

Balotelli and Adel Taraabt both had chances to extend the home side's lead late on, before Chievo were handed the chance to pull one back when Thereau was brought down by Zaccardo. 

The substitute dusted himself off to take the resulting penalty, only to send it cannoning off the bar and away, completing a miserable night for the visitors.