Ibrahimovic was on target as AC Milan ended a run of four league games without victory with a 3-0 win against Genoa.
Simon Kjaer suffered an injury and was forced off after only five minutes, adding to Milan’s defensive woes in recent weeks.
But Milan broke the deadlock within ten minutes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic converting a free-kick from 25-yards out.
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Junior Messias doubled Milan’s lead on the brink of half-time in his first start for the club. He latched on to a deflected ball that had cannoned into the air, and cleverly looped his header towards the far post and above Sirigu.
Milan had a third after an hour, and Diaz was right at the centre of it like he had been all night. He picked up the ball just inside the box and laid it off to the right for the oncoming Messias, who cleverly slotted it across goal into the bottom left corner.
TALKING POINT - Milan back on track
Without a win in four league games, Milan retain their place in second with a convincing win at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and have a grip back on their title challenge, especially after league leaders Napoli slipped up at home to Sassuolo.
They leapfrog rivals Inter Milan and are currently just one point off top spot as the top three begin to break away from the rest of Serie A.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Brahim Diaz (AC Milan)
Absolutely everything Milan threw at Genoa was through Diaz. He constantly drove at the Genoa back three and caused them problems all night, especially in the first half. He grabbed the assist for Messias second goal with a neat flick on to the oncoming goalscorer.
He was probably unlucky not to have found the back of the net himself but controlled the game for the majority before being replaced on 77 minutes.
GENOA: Sirigu 6, Vanheusden 4, Vasquez 5, Ghiglione 4, Sturaro 5, Badelj 5, Rovella 6, Cambiasco 6, Junior Bianchi 5, Ekuban 4. Subs: Portanova 4, Pandev 5, Hernani 6, Bani 4, Galdames 4
AC MILAN: Maignan 7, Kalulu 6, Kjaer N/A, Tomori 7, Hernandez 6, Tonali 6, Kessie 6, Messias 7, Diaz 8, Krunic 6, Ibrahimovic 6 Subs: Bakayoko 5, Gabbia 4, Florenzi 5, Saelemaekers 6, Pellegri 5
5’ There's an early injury here and it doesn't look good for Milan. Simon Kjaer is stretchered off after a strong challenge on the half-way line.
10’ GOAL! Genoa 0-1 AC Milan (Ibrahimovic) - That was far too easy for Zlatan! He gets the shot on target and that's all he needed to do. Genoa didn't make much attempt to block the shot, and the goalkeeper was rooted to the spot. The easiest free-kick he'll ever score, 1-0!
18’ Milan chance! Junior Messsias puts in a dangerous ball towards Ibrahimovic whose shot is blocked and out for a corner.
37’ What a run from Diaz! The Milan midfielder takes on four Genoa players as he drives at the defence, but loses control of the ball at the crucial moment.
43’ Chance Milan! Diaz with more sensational footwork! He's beaten the Genoa defence but can't quite keep his bending shot under the bar. Sirigu was beaten!
45’+2 GOAL! Genoa 0-2 AC Milan (Messias) - The ball cannons up in the air after a blocked shot, and Messias latches onto the loose ball which loops over the goalkeepers head. A goal for Messias on his first start for the club!
47’ WHAT A SAVE! Genoa almost have one back, but Maignan denies them with a strong hand before Tomori clears the rebound with an acrobatic bicycle kick!
56’ Chance Milan! Krunic drives into the central areas from the left flank and has a shot just outside the 18-yard box, but it's a weak one and trickles wide.
76’ Great save Maignan! He tips a speculative long-range effort over the bar!
- Prior to Junior Messias, the last Brazilian player to have scored at least two goals in a Serie A away game for AC Milan was Ronaldinho in 2010 vs Juventus. (Source: Opta)
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