Zlatan Ibrahimovic shows his skill to power AC Milan into a dominant position at the top of the league [GALLO/GETTY[

A touch of genius from Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped AC Milan strengthen their grip on the top spot in Italy's Serie A thanks to a 1-0 win over Fiorentina on Saturday with Ronaldinho finding himself on the bench again.

One week after he had sunk his former teammates at Inter Milan, Ibrahimovic once again proved the match winner. On the stroke of half time at a rainy San Siro, the Swede flicked the ball up to execute an acrobatic bicycle kick which sailed past Fiorentina keeper Artur Boruc, the ball thudding into the top far corner.

Faltering champions Inter Milan, ravaged by injury, visit Chievo in Sunday's main programme of games as they desperately try to keep on the tails of great rivals Milan.


Ronaldinho was kept on the bench for last weekend's derby win over Inter for tactical reasons but the Brazilian remained in the dugout again against Fiorentina following news he had left a bar after 2am on Thursday.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, fast winning plaudits from pundits who thought the ex-Cagliari boss was too green for such a big job, said Ronaldinho's behaviour did not befit an athlete.

Even with Filippo Inzaghi out for the season and fellow forward Alexandre Pato also injured, Ronaldinho was only called upon with four minutes left given Ibrahimovic's immense form.

Serie A results

Saturday November 20

 Roma 2-0 Udinese
 AC Milan 1-0 Fiorentina

Sunday November 20

 Genoa v Juventus
 Brescia v Cagliari
 Catania v Bari
 Cesena v Palermo
 Chievo v Inter Milan
 Lecce v Sampdoria
 Parma v Lazio
 Napoli v Bologna

Milan furiously appealed for two handballs in the box as they sought a killer second goal and nerves showed at the end when the visitors pushed hard for a leveller.

Fiorentina's Per Kroldrup was sent off for swearing.

Earlier, a Jeremy Menez-inspired Roma beat Udinese 2-0 to move into provisional third place ahead of the remainder of the weekend's action.

Menez scored a superb solo goal in the 24th minute before setting up Marco Borriello for Roma's second in the 56th minute to wrap up the points for the capital club.

The France international's key interventions enabled Roma to notch up their fifth victory from their last seven games in the Italian top flight.

Roma's reward was to move up three places into third, on 22 points. 

Source: Agencies