AC Milan came from a goal behind to thrash Fiorentina 5-1 on the final day of the Serie A season, which saw the Rossoneri guarantee their place in the group stage of next season's Europa League.
Fiorentina took the lead midway through the first half, after Giovanni Simeone lofted in a delicate finish. Gennaro Gattuso's side hit back just four minutes later, via a perfectly placed free kick from Hakan Çalhanoğlu. Milan took the lead just before half time, via a Patrick Cutrone diving header.
Milan scored their third of the evening early in the second half, after Kalinić tapped home a poacher's finish following a goalkeeping error. Cutrone then scored his second of the afternoon, with a cool finish at the back post. Giacomo Bonaventura then made it five, nutmegging the keeper after a mesmeric forward run as the hosts cruised to a sublime victory.
The hosts started the game strongly, with Bonaventura weaving his way through midfield as his side looked to force an early opening. Fiorentina seemed content to wait for their opportunities, passing the ball nonchalantly around their defence when in possession, looking to draw their opponents into losing their rigid shape.
Milan missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring early on, as Franck Kessié powered his way through on goal, before his shot was deflected to Cutrone on the edge of the area. The youngster flashed a shot agonisingly wide of the post, with Viola keeper Stefano Pioli stranded in the middle of his goal.
The home side were looking dangerous, and Nikola Kalinić had a powerful shot parried clear by the keeper. Fiorentina then took the lead against the run of play as Leonardo Bonucci lost the ball in midfield, before Federico Chiesa split the home side's back four open with a stunning pass and Giovanni Simeone lofted an audacious chip over Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Milan hit back in the 22nd minute, as Çalhanoğlu caught Pioli out with a 20 yard free kick that flew across the face of goal, bouncing in front of the keeper and nestling into the bottom corner. The game opened up, as both sides began to throw caution to the wind on the final day of the Serie A season.
The game began to heat up, with niggling fouls from each side disrupting the flow of the match. In the 41st minute, Milan took the lead via a diving Cutrone header. Çalhanoğlu twisted and turned on the far right side of the penalty area, before whipping a ball across of the face of goal, which the Italian buried with aplomb.
The hosts started the second half as they left off, with Kalinić scoring in the 48th minute. The powerful Croatian was on hand to bundle the ball into the back of the net from less than a metre away, after Cutrone's sturdy downward header was parried away by substitute goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski.
Fiorentina looked to hit back, and Chiesa drew a diving stop from Donnarumma after his side worked the ball well through the heart of Milan's packed midfield. In the 58th minute, Milan put the game beyond the visitors' reach as Çalhanoğlu caught them napping in defence, sliding through Cutrone who tucked home from a tight angle with impressive precision.
Cutrone then had his hat trick goal disallowed, as he was rightfully adjudged to be offside after heading home Ricardo Rodríguez. Marco Benassi almost pulled a goal back for Fiorentina, as his bobbling effort nearly caught Donnarumma off guard as it trundled past the post. Bonaventura made it five in the 75th minute, weaving into the box and nutmegging the keeper.
Milan stormed to victory, finishing what could have been a disaster season on a real high. Gattuso's side will certainly look to invest in new talents in the summer, and will have the lure of Europa League football to spur them on to greater heights next season.
Fiorentina finish the season in eighth place, and will need to work hard to improve in the next campaign.