Sandro Tonali’s red card in the first half complicated their evening’s work after Franck Kessie had put them ahead, but Rafael Leao scored another which gave the hosts too much to do in the second half.
It didn’t take long for Milan to get themselves in front and they had a penalty inside the opening 15 minutes as Ante Rebic was fouled by Alessandro Tuia. Franck Kessie stepped up and, as if there was ever any doubt, converted emphatically to open the scoring.
Gli Stregoni weren’t to be beaten so easily though, and they pressed for an equaliser. They came closest through Roberto Insigne, whose volleyed effort had Gianluigi Donnarumma beaten before bouncing back off the post.
The Rossoneri’s task was made all the more challenging when Sandro Tonali saw red. Initially booked for a nasty challenge on Artur Ionita, VAR was consulted and the punishment was upgraded to a straight red for the 20-year-old.
Having made it to the break with their lead intact, Rafael Leao doubled it shortly after the restart. Benevento were looking to push for an equaliser but Milan were ruthless on the counterattack, and Leao excellently finished from a tight angle over Lorenzo Montipo, who left his goal but couldn’t get to the ball in time.
Benevento pushed again though and were handed a penalty of their own. Gianluca Caprari stepped up and, unlike Kessie, was unable to make his effort count as he dragged a poor attempt wide of goal, having sent Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way.
Far from disheartened, Filippo Inzaghi’s side persisted and pressed higher, but Milan’s backline stood relatively firm, while Donnarumma was alert when called upon and did well to deny former teammate Gianluca Lapadula.
Hakan Calhanoglu and Kessie both came close to adding a third for the table-toppers only to see their shots come back off the post.