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Kessie on target as AC Milan stretch Serie A winning streak against Roma

The 24-year-old Ivorian midfielder helped the Rossoneri grab their seventh straight win in the Italian top-flight

Franck Kessie scored a penalty as AC Milan defeated AS Roma 2-1 in Sunday’s Serie A encounter.

Kessie stepped forward to double the visitors’ lead at the Stadio Olimpico, three minutes before the hour-mark.

The effort made two goals for the combative midfielder after playing in eight league matches this season.

Earlier in the encounter, Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for Stefano Pioli’s men by netting a free-kick in the 25th minute.

In the second half, AC Milan were reduced to 10 men following Theo Hernandez’s expulsion for receiving a second yellow card in the game.

Roma then halved the deficit in the 93rd minute, thanks to Stephan El Shaarawy’s goal.

Kessie played the entire duration while Algeria’s Ismael Bennacer was replaced in the 76th minute and Senegal’s Fode Ballo-Toure came on as a 68th-minute substitute for the visitors.

AC Milan remain joint-top of the league table, along with Napoli, with 31 points after 11 games, while Roma are sitting fourth with 19 points.

Before the Milan derby on November 7, Kessie and his Milan teammates will shift their attention to the Uefa Champions League with a fixture against Porto scheduled for Wednesday.

At the end of the game, Pioli was full of praise for his team’s performance that stretched their unbeaten Serie A run to 11 games.

“We played with character, with our ideas and approach,” Pioli told DAZN, via Football Italia. “Roma are a quality side, we did very well with 11 against 11, kept trying to score more goals and that is the character we need in such important games.

“We’re going through a positive period of form, so we’ve got to ride this wave, be courageous and confident, so I am very happy.

“Honestly, I have five excellent midfielders who are finally achieving fitness, so I can rotate them a little more now. Playing with this tempo, and so often, is not easy.

“There are moments in a match where you control, where you suffer, where you have to hang on. Roma surprised us at the start of the second half, but that makes the victory even more important against a side that was unbeaten at home.

“The club deserves credit for giving a sense of consistency to this project, combining the experienced players with young and more promising ones. We’ve got to know each other and it’s still early days, but it’s a strong squad.”

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