Calhanoglu shines as Milan sink Lecce 4-1

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The result lifted Milan two places to seventh on 39 points from 27 games (Reuters)

AC Milan kept alive their hopes of snatching a Europa League qualifying berth after Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu had a hand in all of their goals in a 4-1 Serie A win at relegation-threatened Lecce on Monday.

The result lifted Milan two places to seventh on 39 points from 27 games, with sixth-placed Napoli ahead of them on goal difference. Lecce stayed 18th on 25 points as they failed to climb out of the drop zone.

Samuel Castillejo fired Milan ahead in the 26th minute when he turned in a sharp Calhanoglu cross from the right flank as Milan dominated the opening half, with Giacomo Bonaventura coming close in the opening exchanges.

The home side levelled with a Marco Mancosu penalty in the 54th minute after halftime substitute Khouma Boubacar was fouled but their joy was short-lived as Milan hit back with two goals inside three minutes.

Bonaventura restored Milan's lead barely 40 seconds later when he stabbed in a close-range rebound after Lecce keeper Gabriel parried Calhanoglu's shot and Ante Rebic made it 3-1 after he raced clear from inside his own half.

Second half substitute Rafael Leao added the fourth in the 72nd minute with a diving header from three metres after Calhanoglu released Andrea Conti and the right back delivered an inch-perfect cross from his flank.

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