Milan, May 7: AC Milan boosted their Champions League qualification hopes as Gennaro Gattuso's relationship with Tiemoue Bakayoko reached breaking point in a 2-1 home win over Bologna.
Suso and substitute Fabio Borini scored either side of half-time to lift the Rossoneri to within three points of fourth-placed Atalanta.
Much of the headlines, however, will be allocated elsewhere after the on-loan Bakayoko - recently rebuked for missing a training session - seemingly rejected the opportunity to replace the injured Lucas Biglia, prompting a terse exchange with head coach Gattuso.
Mattia Destro halved the deficit and Lucas Paqueta was sent off in five frantic second-half minutes, but Milan were not to be denied their second win in nine matches in all competitions, with two Bologna players also seeing red either side of full-time.
2 - Milan have scored two goals in a Serie A game for the first time since March, in the Derby against Inter. Reborn.— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 6, 2019
Bologna started with the confidence of a team that had won six of their previous eight matches and Riccardo Orsoli drew a good save from Gianluigi Donnarumma inside the first 15 minutes.
Gattuso's argument with Bakayoko - reportedly sparked by the midfielder's desire for more time to warm-up - seemed to blur Milan's focus and only an offside flag against Rodrigo Palacio prevented them from falling behind.
Instead, eight minutes before half-time, the hosts took the lead, Suso shimmying away from a couple of challenges and picking out the bottom-right corner.
Hakan Calhanoglu sent a shot whistling over the crossbar soon after the interval and then had to follow Biglia to the bench with a suspected muscle issue.
His replacement, Borini, gave Milan a two-goal buffer in the 67th minute, the former Liverpool forward making no mistake after Lukasz Skorupski pushed a deflected Paqueta effort into his path.
An unmarked Destro swivelled on a cute Nicola Sansone pass and replied for Bologna five minutes later, before Paqueta clashed with Erick Pulgar and received two yellow cards in quick succession - the second for slapping referee Marco Di Bello's hand upon the initial booking.
There were two more dismissals to come in the moments either side of the full-time whistle as Bologna pair Sansone and Mitchell Dijks saw red in a bizarre ending to a chaotic contest.