Milan, Oct 23: Substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng scored a hat trick as a stunning second-half comeback for AC Milan saw the Serie A champions recover from three goals down to beat Lecce 4-3.
Giullermo Giacomazzi headed Lecce in front in the fourth minute, while Massimo Oddo converted a penalty kick and Carlos Grossmuller added a third before halftime.
But Boateng came off the bench for Robinho and grabbed one back for Milan four minutes into the second half.
The Ghana international completed his hat trick within 14 minutes and Mario Yepes grabbed the winner with seven minutes left.
“I would say that our approach to the game was awful,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “Lecce had a great first half, we were far off, we didn't manage to play and let in two goals from dead ball situations.
“But we had a great reaction and in the end had a great game. At the end we won a game that I didn't think we could turn around at the end of the first half.”
The victory lifts Milan into the top half of the Italian league while Lecce remains second from bottom.
“It's really hard to talk about a game in which in the first half you're ahead 3-0 and then, at the final whistle, you lose 4-3,” Lecce coach Eusebio Di Francesco said. “After having played so well the first 45 minutes I didn't expect to lose this game.
“It was a Lecce of two faces and it's bewildering for me to have seen that from my team ... After a perfect first half I asked them to keep their focus. Unfortunately they didn't.”
Players wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence at the start of every game as a tribute to Italian rider Marco Simoncelli, who died Sunday after a crash at the Malaysian MotoGP motorcycle race.
Udinese took sole leadership of the standings after cruising to a 3-0 win over Novara, thanks to two goals and an assist from Antonio Di Natale.
Di Natale broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute and Maurizio Domizzi doubled Udinese's tally six minutes later when he headed in a corner at the near post.
Di Natale grabbed his sixth of the season four minutes into the second half with a stunning free kick that Novara goalkeeper Alberto Maria Fontana could do nothing about.
Udinese moves two points clear at the top of the table after Juventus drew 2-2 at home with Genoa on Saturday.
“I'm very happy with the result and our position in the table,” Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said. “We had a good game today and deserved to win ... being top is great. We can do well if we continue as we are, with the same humility and generosity.”
Cagliari remains a point adrift of Juventus following its goalless draw with Napoli.
Either team could have won the game in a lively first half, which saw both sides hit the woodwork twice.
Inter Milan ground out a 1-0 victory at Chievo. Thiago Motta tapped-in Wesley Sneijder's corner to hand Inter only its second win in seven league games.
Roma also secured a narrow 1-0 win and its victory over Palermo moves it into the top half of the table.
Erik Manuel Lamala scored the only goal of the game in the seventh minute and Roma clung on desperately to take all three points.
Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg pulled off several stunning saves, notably from Fabrizio Miccoli in stoppage time, to secure the victory.
Cesena remains rooted to the bottom of the standings after losing 2-0 at Siena.
Pablo Gonzalez scored in the 10th minute and, after Cesena midfielder Antonio Candreva hit the post, Emanuele Calaio doubled Siena's advantage eight minutes into the second half.
Elsewhere, a brace from Maxi Moralez secured Atalanta a 2-1 win at Parma.
All the goals came in the second half, with substitute Jaime Valdes' strike 10 minutes from time proving no more than a consolation for Parma.