AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores his side's opening goal during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Crotone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. (Spada/LaPresse via AP)

Ibrahimovic nets 500th club goal as Milan beats Crotone 4-0

MILAN — Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his tally to more than 500 club goals as he scored twice to help AC Milan beat Crotone 4-0 and move back top of the Serie A standings on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic fired Milan ahead in the 30th minute with his 500th club goal and extended that tally in the second half. Ante Rebic scored two goals in less than a minute shortly after.

“Looking at how he (Ibrahimovic) prepares himself and how he trains, it’s hard to be surprised. He’s a champion,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “It’s difficult to keep doing what he does, when he’s fit he almost always scores two goals. That’s who he is.

“He has helped and he continues helping the team to grow.”

Milan moves two points above second-place Inter Milan, which won 2-0 at Fiorentina on Friday. The two Milan teams meet in two weeks.

Lazio can move into the top four with a win at home to struggling Cagliari later.

Crotone came into the match rock bottom having lost five of its previous six matches.

Milan thought it had taken an early lead but Davide Calabria’s goal was disallowed as Ibrahimovic had been offside in the buildup.

It did break the deadlock when Ibrahimovic played a one-two with Rafael Leão before placing an angled drive into the far side of the net.

Ibrahimovic’s 501st club goal was perhaps the easiest he’s ever scored as he was left unmarked, six yards out, to tap in Theo Hernández’s low cross.

That was in the 64th minute and Crotone then fell apart.

Rebic headed in Hakan Çalhanoglu’s corner in the 69th and then moments later fired in the rebound after Ibrahimovic’s effort had been parried by Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz.

LATE GOALS

Udinese left it late before beating Hellas Verona 2-0 to boost its survival hopes.

It took Udinese until seven minutes from time to take the lead, when Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri turned the ball into his own net as he attempted to save Gerard Deulofeu’s attempt.

Deulofeu got on the scoresheet himself in stoppage time to seal the result, which saw Udinese move nine points above the relegation zone.

Benevento is a point further back after drawing 1-1 against Sampdoria.

Relegation-threatened Parma was playing Bologna later.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Daniella Matar, The Associated Press

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