AC Milan crisis deepens with 3-0 defeat at Verona in Serie A
By DANIELLA MATAR
MILAN (AP) AC Milan's crisis deepened as it was humiliated 3-0 at struggling Hellas Verona in Serie A on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Juventus won 3-0 at Bologna to leapfrog Inter Milan into second spot, a point behind Serie A leader Napoli.
"We have to apologize and understand why these things happen. We were embarrassing," Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said. "I think that until Verona doubled its lead, we did well and even deserved to score. Then, as often happens, we collapsed after the first moment of difficulty.
"We don't manage to react or if we do, we seem confused and messy. I don't like this. The embarrassment remains, now we have to look forward."
It has been a difficult month for Milan, which has won just two of its five matches since Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella as coach.
Milan also had its bid for an agreement to end a financial fair play investigation rejected by UEFA on Friday.
One of the few positive notes was its progression to the quarterfinals of the Italian Cup with a 3-0 win over Verona on Wednesday.
However, Verona was to avenge that defeat at the Stadio Bentegodi and move one point from safety.
Andrea Caracciolo broke the deadlock in the 24th minute when he headed in a corner off the crossbar.
Milan had several chances to equalize but was denied by an imperious Nicolas in goal for Verona.
The hosts doubled their tally 10 minutes after the interval when Daniel Bessa burst down the left and pulled back for fellow substitute Moise Kean to slot past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Milan tried to get back into the match but Verona sealed the result in the 77th with a rapid counterattack as Romulo raced down the right side before crossing for Bessa to tap in.
Milan's misery was complete in stoppage time when forward Suso was shown a straight red card after a video review of his stamp on Verona midfielder Daniele Verde.
Miralem Pjanic inspired Juventus to a comfortable victory 3-0 win at Bologna, despite the absence of key players through injury, including captain Gianluigi Buffon.
Paulo Dybala was dropped for the second successive match because of poor form.
Bologna started brightly but Juventus took the lead in the 27th when Pjanic curled a trademark free kick into the top left corner.
Pjanic turned provider nine minutes later with a precise ball over the top for Mario Mandzukic to control on his chest and fire into the far side of the net.
Blaise Matuidi scored his first goal in Italian football shortly after the hour. Alex Sandro's cross was headed away by Filip Helander but only as far as Matuidi and the France midfielder drove the ball into the bottom left corner.
Sassuolo missed several chances and had a penalty saved but managed to snatch a 1-0 win at Sampdoria.
The visitors went close four times in the space of a minute shortly before halftime, including hitting the woodwork, and also had a goal ruled out for offside shortly after the restart.
There was a moment of controversy in the 82nd minute. Matteo Politano's penalty was saved by Emiliano Viviano but, as play continued, Sampdoria midfielder Lucas Torreira clearly blocked the rebound with both hands.
However, video review was not used and Sassuolo was not given a second penalty.
Sassuolo has now missed five penalties this season but on each occasion has gone on to win the match, and so it proved in Genoa as substitute Alessandro Matri acrobatically volleyed in Antonino Ragusa's cross in the final minute.
Walter Zenga got his first win in charge of Crotone as Ante Budimir scored to secure a 1-0 win over Chievo Verona.
It was Zenga's second match and saw Crotone snap a five-game losing streak and move a point above Genoa and Spal, which beat bottom-side Benevento 2-1.
Fiorentina drew 0-0 against Genoa.
Atalanta hosts Lazio later.
More AP Serie A coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/SerieA
Updated December 17, 2017