Sandro Tonali celebrated his 22nd birthday with a brace that brought Milan closer to winning its first Serie A title in 11 years.

The Rossonero claimed a 3-1 victory away to Hellas Verona on Sunday thanks to goals from Tonali in stoppage time in the first half and then in the 49th minute. Davide Faraoni put the local team ahead. Rafael Leão assisted in both goals of his young teammate.

Alessandro Florenzi came off the bench and sentenced the result at 86.

Stefano Pioli’s team regained the leadership of the Italian league, two points above their hometown rival Inter. The defending champion defeated Empoli 4-2 on Friday. There are two dates left to play in the season.

Verona opened the scoring after some good team play, culminating in Davide Faraoni’s header into Darko Lazovic’s cross.

Milan equalized just before the break when Leão overflowed from the left and put in a cross that Tonali pushed towards the far post.

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Leão caused anxiety during the game and appeared again with a run from well his own half to the baseline, leaving the ball served for Tonali to push it deep.

DECLINE

Defender Giorgio Altare could have saved Cagliari from relegation with his first Serie A goal.

Altare headed in a corner kick in the ninth minute of extra time as Cagliari salvaged a 1-1 draw at Salernitana, another club battling for permanence.

Salernitana looked set to win for the fifth time in their last six games after Simone Verdi’s penalty kick in the second half.

Colista for almost the entire course, Salernitana remains one point above Cagliari and the last three in the table.

The late goal also keeps Venezia alive for at least another week. Venezia fell five points behind Salernitana after beating Bologna 4-3 to snap a 10-game losing streak.

EUROPE

Atalanta strengthened its chances of qualifying for the European cups with a 3-1 victory against Spezia, which still does not ensure its permanence.

Berat Djimsiti headed in his first Serie A goal in the 73rd minute to restore Atalanta’s lead after Daniele Verde leveled in the 30th. Colombian striker Luis Muriel had opened the scoring in the 16th.

Muriel also assisted in the goal that put definitive figures, the work of Mario Pašalic three minutes from time.

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