Milan, Feb. 8: Zlatan Ibrahimovic broke the 500-mark for career club goals with a brace on Sunday as AC Milan held top spot in Serie A with a 4-0 win over lowly Crotone.
"It's difficult to be surprised by Ibrahimovic," said Milan coach Stefano Pioli of the 39-year-old who is powering his team's bid for a first 'Scudetto' since 2011.
Milan moved back two points in front of city rivals Inter Milan who had pulled ahead after a 2-0 win over Fiorentina on Friday.
Champions Juventus are a further five back in third after beating Roma 2-0 on Saturday.
The capital side dropped to fourth equal on points with city rivals Lazio who beat Cagliari 1-0.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring on the half hour at the San Siro after combining with Rafael Leao for his 500th strike with nine different clubs.
And the Swede brought his tally to 501 in the 64th minute, finishing off a Theo Hernandez cross for his 83rd Milan goal.
"To hold up at this level means you're an exceptional professional and he's helped by a physique that few have," continued Pioli.
"He's a champion, an athlete who has great motivation, he takes care of his body scrupulously. Sometimes he's tired, but he never fails."
Ante Rebic turned the game into a comprehensive win with a quick-fire brace of his own past Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz.
The Croatian headed in a Hakan Calhanoglu corner in the 69th minute and then seconds later turned in a rebound after Cordaz kept out an Ibrahimovic strike.
"The Scudetto? The decisive matches will come later, now we have to withstand all the pressures which is a privilege to have," continued Pioli.
"The top seven are all capable of fighting for the title and the first four places.
"It's not yet time to look too much at the table, a challenging period will come with many matches and the Europa League is about to start again."-Agencies