AC Milan forced their way back into the Serie A top four with a 2-0 victory over second-place Lazio on Saturday in a timely boost ahead of their Champions League semi-final clash with city rivals Inter next week. Ismael Bennacer pounced on a loose ball in the Lazio area and thrashed his shot home to give the hosts the lead in the 17th minute. After 29 minutes, wingback Theo Hernandez collected a roll-out from goalkeeper Mike Maignan on the edge of the Milan box. After shrugging off an early challenge the Frenchman ran unhindered deep into the Lazio half before thumping a dipping 30-metre shot past Ivan Provedel.
Lazio did not manage a shot on target, although Toma Basic scuffed a close-range chance in the dying seconds.
Milan overtook Inter, who visit the other Rome team in the evening, to retake fourth place in the table.
The two Milan clubs meet in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Milan seemed to have one eye on that match when they withdrew Rafael Leao after 10 minutes. The winger indicated to the bench that he had a thigh problem and, after a discussion, was replaced.
Lazio stayed second behind newly-crowned champions Napoli but could drop to third if Juventus win away to Atalanta on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Genoa ensured an immediate return to the top flight when they beat visiting Ascoli 2-1 in Serie B.
With two rounds of games left, Genoa moved eight points clear of third-place Bari who drew 1-1 at Modena.
Leaders Frosinone, who had secured promotion the previous week, won 3-1 at Pisa.
The third promotion place will be determined in a playoff involving six teams.
Genoa, coached since December by 40-year-old ex-international Alberto Gilardino, could replace neighbours Sampdoria who are bottom of Serie A and 10 points from safety.
Genoa won the first two Italian league titles in 1898 and 1899 and the last of their nine crowns almost a century ago in 1924.
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