In the points: Pato helped Milan to a convincing win that fired them to the top of the league in Italy [GALLO/GETTY]

Alexandre Pato continued his rich vein of form with two goals in AC Milan's 3-1 win over Chievo which powered the hosts to the top of Serie A.

The 21-year-old, who scored in both of Brazil's friendly victories during the international break, owed much to strike partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic for setting up his efforts.

First Pato expertly volleyed in a delicate Ibrahimovic cross from the left after 18 minutes, sending the ball back across the goalkeeper having patiently waited for it to drop.

Ibrahimovic then took a quick free kick on the half hour with the Chievo defence asleep and Pato blasted home to send a warning to Tuesday's European Champions League opponents Real Madrid.

Ibrahimovic was unfortunate to divert a corner into his own net midway through the second half and the visitors were close to snatching a draw before substitute Robinho netted his first Milan goal by rounding the keeper in stoppage time.

Milan lead the standings on 14 points from their seven games after a third straight win but could be overhauled on Sunday when second-placed Lazio, a point behind, visit Bari.

Adrift

Champions Inter Milan and fourth-placed Napoli, who travel to Cagliari and Catania respectively on Sunday, are also just three points adrift of the Rossoneri.

Pato could easily have bagged a hat-trick in the first half before Chievo, who had made an excellent start to the campaign, came back into the game.

"I'm just doing my job, a job for the team. I'm happy with my two goals," the Brazilian, who has again struggled for fitness this term, told Sky television.

Ibrahimovic was also carrying a slight groin problem but played the full game to show he is in shape for the Bernabeu.

Brazil defender Thiago Silva, courted by Real in the close season, is highly doubtful for Tuesday though after being carried off with a painful ankle injury.

Milan's most famous Brazilian, Ronaldinho, again had a quiet game in his new position behind the strikers rather than on the left although he did have two late shots.

Struggling Roma were hosting Genoa later on Saturday.

Source: Reuters