AC Milan wrapped up a Europa League group stage place as Gennaro Gattuso's first season in charge ended with 5-1 thumping of Fiorentina at San Siro.
Already sure of a qualifying spot, the Rossoneri needed to at least match Atalanta's result against Cagliari in order to finish sixth in Serie A and go directly through to the main draw of Europe's second-tier continental competition.
And Milan made sure in style thanks in large part to Hakan Calhanoglu, who equalised three minutes after Giovanni Simeone's opener and then delivered the cross for Patrick Cutrone to head the hosts into the lead at the end of an eventful first half.
Nikola Kalinic added a third against his former side soon after the restart before Cutrone and Giacomo Bonaventura combined to cap off a positive last assignment for Gattuso, who will now have more time to prepare for his first full season at the helm having taken charge in November.
He will surely hope to include Gianluigi Donnarumma in those plans, with the young goalkeeper continually linked with a move away after the most difficult campaign of his short career.
Whatever the outcome, Gattuso can take some satisfaction in steering Milan into Europe.
10 - Patrick Cutrone is the second player, born after 1/1/1998, to have scored at least 10 goals in the top-5 European Leagues in 2017/18, after Kylian Mbappé. Scorer. #MilanFiorentina pic.twitter.com/s3RgR87EUn— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 20, 2018
Franck Kessie threatened to open the scoring for the second week in succession when he broke into the box in the seventh minute, but Marco Sportiello spread himself well to make the save and Cutrone turned wide on the follow-up.
Kalinic was similarly wasteful four minutes later as he shot straight at Sportiello from 20 yards and the hosts were soon made to pay for their profligacy.
Federico Chiesa threaded a pass in behind Ricardo Rodriguez that was reeled in by Simeone, who delicately dinked over the onrushing Donnarumma.
However, the lead lasted just three minutes. Calhanoglu, who scored the equaliser when these teams drew 1-1 in December, was again the man to rescue Milan, driving a low free-kick past the wall that appeared to surprise Sportiello.
Kessie's heavy touch next squandered what should have been a one-on-one, but Fiorentina's luck ran out when, four minutes from the interval, Cutrone expertly headed in Calhanoglu's cross from the right edge of the area.
8 - Since the start of 2018, Hakan Calhanoglu and Patrick Cutrone have been directly involved in more goals in Serie A than any other players for AC Milan (both eight). Duo. #MilanFiorentina pic.twitter.com/W3RAhNX1W7— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 20, 2018
Stefano Pioli had lost Vitor Hugo to injury in just the 29th minute and emptied his bench at the break, withdrawing captain German Pezzella and goalkeeper Sportiello, the latter having picked up a head knock during the first half.
And his plans were truly in pieces in the 49th minute, substitute Bartlomiej Dragowski powerless to prevent Kalinic from poking home at point-blank range after saving Cutrone's initial downward header.
Milan were oozing confidence by that stage and stretched their advantage 10 minutes later with Italy international Cutrone tucking Calhanoglu's pass through Dragowski's legs.
There was still time for Bonaventura to get in on the fun with 14 minutes to play, the midfielder driving toward goal and firing through Fiorentina's stand-in shot-stopper to put the seal on Milan's end to the season.
Key Opta stats:
- Patrick Cutrone is the second player, born after 1/1/1998, to have scored at least 10 goals in the top-five European Leagues in 2017-18, after Kylian Mbappe.
- Calhanoglu has both scored a goal and provided two or more assists during the same match for the first time in his career in the top-five European leagues.
- Calhanoglu provided seven assists in the current Serie A campaign, a record for him in a single season in the top-five European leagues.
- Since the start of 2018, Hakan Calhanoglu and Patrick Cutrone have been directly involved in more goals in Serie A than any other players for AC Milan (10 the Turkish player, 9 the Italian).
- The average age of AC Milan's starting lineup tonight is the second youngest starting XI in Serie A this season (24 years, 78 days), only behind Milan's lineup on Matchday 1 against Crotone.
23 de enero 2019
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|
|Redskins remain ´optimistic´ QB Alex Smith will play again|
|Patriots coach Belichick says Rams´ Donald is ´pretty much unblockable´|
|PSG fined €100,000 by LFP over player-recruitment practices|
|I´m not his father - Guardiola demands Mendy matures|
|Sykes record in vain as Banvit claim victory|
22 de enero 2019
|Usain Bolt calls time on football career|
|Otamendi not happy at Man City, says Guardiola|
|Workaholic Woods learning to rest as he prepares for 2019 debut|
|Henry´s Monaco dumped out of Coupe de France|
|Qatar can win Asian Cup, says Sanchez|
|Tim Howard to retire following 2019 MLS season|
|Koscielny backs Bellerin to return from injury ´stronger than before´|
|Chiefs fire DC Bob Sutton after AFC Championship loss to Patriots|
|Reyes returns to Spain with second-tier strugglers Extremadura|
|Emiliano Sala: Profile of Cardiff City striker missing after joining from Nantes|
|Messi rested for Sevilla trip, Boateng set for debut|
|Nuno fined over pitch celebration in Leicester win|
|Nadal unfazed by another Next Gen opponent in Tsitsipas|
|Ulster hand lifetime ban to spectator after Zebo abuse|
|Phehlukwayo´s career-best day inspires Proteas against Pakistan|
|Bournemouth pounce for Brentford´s Mepham|
|You say all signings are controversial – Valverde defends Boateng arrival|
|Search for missing Sala plane suspended|
|Kohli and Williamson display mutual respect as India and Black Caps prepare for battle|
|Qatar 1 Iraq 0: Al Rawi free-kick books quarter-final spot|
|Ba joins Adebayor and Robinho at Istanbul Basaksehir|
|BREAKING NEWS: Tottenham´s Alli out until March with hamstring injury|
|Fit-again Joseph added to England squad|
|It is very, very serious for us - Tuchel wants midfielder in January window|
|Lakers expect Rajon Rondo back Thursday as LeBron James continues rehab|
|Atletico Madrid boosted as Koke thigh injury revealed to be minor|
|South Korea 2 Bahrain 1 (after extra time): Kim Jin-su seals quarter-final spot|
|AC Milan confirm Zapata thigh injury|
|I miss him a lot - Guardiola confirms ´clever´ Mendy back in Man City squad|
|Tiafoe wants LeBron meeting after run to Australian Open quarters|
|Cardiff continue to ´pray´ for Sala|
|West Ham fined over Burnley clash chaos|
|Knicks star Enes Kanter frustrated by reduced role|
|Kvitova getting back to her best, says Barty|
|Kvitova revels in first semi of ´second career´|
|Messi´s the best player in every world – Boateng dismisses past Real Madrid comments|
|Thunder frustrations continue against Renegades|
|Alonso vows to clear name in tax fraud case|
|Classy Nadal downs Tiafoe to set up Tsitsipas semi|
|Hoedt leaves Southampton for Celta Vigo on loan|
|Melbourne City 4 Western Sydney Wanderers 3: Hosts edge thriller with two goals in last six minutes|
|Wilder won´t even pick up the phone - Hearn not hopeful of AJ bout|
|Sala was on board missing plane, say French authorities|
|Arsenal´s Bellerin out for season with ACL rupture|
|Gatland waiting on ´concrete´ offers|
|Ronaldo accepts prison sentence and €18.8m fine for tax fraud|
|Tsitsipas: It was vital to back up Federer win|
|Awesome Kvitova ends Barty´s home run in Melbourne|
|CA rejects Thunder appeal for full points in abandoned Heat clash|
|Emiliano Sala: Concerns grow for Cardiff striker after plane goes missing|
|Harden unimpressed with refs in Rockets´ 76ers disappointment|
|Ronaldo arrives for sentencing in tax fraud case|
|Record-breaking evening ´one of those nights´ for Warriors star Thompson|
|Hazard still interested in Real Madrid but won´t rule out Chelsea stay|
|Collins moves past Pavlyuchenkova, into Australian Open semis|
|Kohli makes history with ICC awards sweep|
|Thompson sets NBA record with 10 straight made three-pointers to open game|
|76ers hand Rockets largest loss of season, Harden scores 37 points|
|Tsitsipas overcomes Bautista Agut to continue Aus Open run|
|Barcelona move a ´dream come true´ for Boateng|
|Rams coach McVay on Gurley: I´ve got to get him more opportunities|