El Shaarawy fires Milan, Boateng sent off
AC Milan recovered from a goal down to win 3-1 at 10-man Catania in Serie A on Friday thanks to a second-half double from Stephan El Shaarawy and a strike by Kevin-Prince Boateng who was sent off late on.
The win, which came courtesy of one controversial goal and two phenomenal strikes, moved Milan up to seventh place on 21 points, 11 adrift of leaders Juventus who host Torino in the Turin derby on Saturday.
Catania took the lead in the 10th minute through ex-Milan defender Nicola Legrottaglie, who thumped a header past Marco Amelia from a Francesco Lodi corner.
Massimiliano Allegri's Milan side huffed and puffed through a scrappy first half but did not create one decent chance. Had his shaky defence faced a more incisive attack, Milan could easily have conceded more goals.
The first 10 minutes of the second period had more action than the first half, with Catania's Pablo Barrientos helping Milan's cause four minutes after the break when, having already been booked, he kicked out at Antonio Nocerino and was sent off.
Milan took advantage of the extra man with a controversial goal from El Shaarawy, who tapped home a Robinho flick-on from an offside position after 52 minutes for his 11th league goal of the season.
Catania were rocking and could have been behind a minute later when El Shaaraway looked to have been tripped in the box only to be booked for simulation.
Boateng did put Milan in front in the 57th though with a spectacular long-range strike that curled past the stationary Mariano Andujar after the midfielder was left free to shoot.
The result should have been beyond doubt with 11 minutes left when a quick break from a Catania corner saw Boateng presented with a golden chance to double his tally but he smashed the ball high over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Allegri's team could have made it three in an eventful last minute in which Urby Emanuelson hit the post and Boateng was given a straight red card for ungentlemanly conduct.
It was left to El Shaarawy to curl home a phenomenal goal in added time with his 12th league goal of the season.