ROME: Gianluca Lapadula scored twice as AC Milan, shrugging off confusion over the club’s ownership, moved up to second place in Serie A with a 4-1 win at Empoli.
With Roma not in action until Sunday, the Rossoneri kept the pressure up behind leaders Juventus with a dominant second-half display at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.
The visitors went ahead on 15 minutes after Lapadula swept the ball into the bottom corner following a break down the right.
Empoli had not scored in their past five home matches, but were level just two minutes later.
Riccardo Saponara lashed the loose ball home after Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma palmed a cross back out to the edge of the box.
Milan eventually took charge of the match when they scored twice in the space of two second-half minutes just after the hour.
Defender Ignazio Abate got away down the right and cut the ball back to Spanish midfielder Suso, who guided it past Lukasz Skorupski on 61 minutes.
Before Empoli could regroup, they fell further behind.
Giacomo Bonaventura surged forwards down the left channel, and whipped a low ball through the six-yard box, where Andrea Costa could only deflect it into his own net.
After Mario Pasalic had seen a close-range goal ruled out for offside in the build-up, Lapadula made it 4-1 with 13 minutes to go when he cut back inside on to his left foot and sent a deflected shot down into the far corner.
Earlier on Saturday, Iago Falque hit a first-half double as Torino moved up into fourth place with a 2-1 win over Chievo, who finished with 10 men.
The former Tottenham winger put the home side ahead on 35 minutes, heading in a cross from Antonio Barreca at the far post.
Falque added a well-taken second just three minutes later, curling a left-foot shot past Chievo keeper Stefano Sorrentino into the top corner which set the Granata on course for a third consecutive Serie A victory.
Chievo substitute Roberto Inglese pulled a goal back with five minutes left, before Fabrizio Cacciatore was shown a red card for arguing with the referee during the closing moments to end the Flying Donkeys’ hopes of a late equaliser.
In Germany Bayern Munich bounced back from defeat to Borussia Dortmund a week ago with a 2-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen which cemented second place in the Bundesliga.
Thiago Alcantara and Mats Hummels scored the goals for Bayern, who also lost to Rostov in the Champions League in midweek.
Hakan Calhonoglu’s goal was not enough for a spirited Bayer Leverkusen, who left the Allianz Arena empty-handed and stuck in mid-table.
The result means Bayern are three points behind Leipzig, who had continued their fairytale start to life in the Bundesliga with a 4-1 win at Freiburg on Friday night.
Dortmund suffered a hangover from that win over Bayern by going down 2-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt, seeing their deficit on their rivals restored to six points as a result.
Szabolcs Huszti and Haris Seferovic scored for the Eagles, who soared three points above their opponents and into third place, three points behind Bayern.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on target once again for Dortmund, who created plenty of chances to win the game but came away from the Waldstadion empty-handed.
In France Monaco followed knocking Tottenham out of the Champions League with a 4-0 victory over rivals Marseille that moved them to the top of Ligue 1.
Leonardo Jardim’s team had booked their qualification in Europe by defeating Mauricio Pochettino’s men at home earlier in the week, and it was in that stadium where they comprehensively defeated OM.
Valere Germain scored twice after Gabriel Boschilia’s opener before Guido Carrillo’s goal in stoppage-time wrapped things up to move Monaco top, with previous leaders Nice not in action until Sunday.
The two clubs are level on points, but Monaco’s goal difference is considerably better.
Bottom-of-the-table Lorient were denied a first away of the season as Metz fought from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw thanks to Thibaut Vion’s brace.
Metz had led through Simon Falette but Abdul Majeed Waris’s equaliser was followed up by Benjamin Moukandjo’s double, only for Vion to score twice himself to earn a point.