MILAN, Italy, February 16 – A late strike from Mario Balotelli was enough to secure a 2-1 victory for Milan over Parma and a jump up to fourth place in Italy’s Serie A on Friday.
Milan, who host Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie next week, took a 39th-minute lead when Argentine defender Gabriel Paletta put into his own net.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side virtually secured all three points when Balotelli scored from a freekick in the 78th minute.
Parma came fighting back in the dying minutes and were rewarded when Nicola Sansone beat Cristian Abbiati in the Milan net from Biabiany’s delivery on the right.
However it was too little too late for Roberto Donadoni’s men, who remain 10th on 32 points.
Milan’s 13th win of the campaign moved them up one place to fourth at the expense of city rivals Inter, who have a tough away trip to Fiorentina on Sunday.
Juventus, with a five-point lead on Napoli, are away to Roma on Saturday.