ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC continued his goalscoring run earlier today, as Milan beat Genoa 1-0.
Milan were the first team to threaten early on, Robinho hitting a low shot across goal in the 18th minute, however, it didn’t really trouble Genoa’s portugese goalkeeper – Eduardo.
Genoa looked to hit Milan on the counter, but it was nowhere near as effective against the Rossoneri as other team’s attempts to do so.
This was mainly due to Massimiliano Allegri choosing a midfield 3 of Pirlo, Gattuso and Boateng, as Gattuso stayed back to defend, Pirlo created, and Kevin-Prince Boateng provided energy in the box to box role.
Despite this, Milan still didn’t make enough off the ball runs in the first half, although Gennaro Gattuso’s rare burst forward troubled the Genoa back 3 near the 30 minute mark.
It was Genoa that came the closest to scoring in the first half though, Rodrigo Palacio’s cross forcing Abbiatti to tip it on to the post in the 40th minute, and on the stroke of half time, the Italian performed a brilliant diving save from Chico’s header.
The Rossoneri upped their game in the second half, with Pirlo reversing his fortunes, and it took just 4 minutes of the second half for Milan to snatch the lead.
In the 49th minute, the deadlock was broken when Pirlo collected the ball deep, and launched a stunning long range ball which was perfectly weighted for Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Beating 2 Genoa defenders to the ball, he outstretched his long leg, and perfectly chipped it over the oncoming goalkeeper, who was helpless to stop it.
Ibrahimovic showed great strength and technique to finish his first and only real chance of the game, and his trademark goal once again showed his importance to the side.
The Rossoneri’s performance (particularly Robinho’s) improved drastically after Ronaldinho went off, the side semed to have more energy, better movement, and faster counter-attacks, despite them not having that much time to settle yet.
After a brilliant link up with Seedorf on the left flank, Robinho could – and possibly should – have given Milan a 2 goal cushion with 10 minutes to go, as his shot was cleared off the line by Domenico Cristico.
Seconds later, sub Mathieu Flamini could have played the ball to Ibrahimovic, who only had Eduardo to beat, but he instead opted to shoot, and missed badly.
As Full time drew near, Milan had 1 more chance to score, Mathieu Flamini once again blasting wildly over the bar after a counter attack lead by Robinho and Ibrahimovic resulted in him having a glorious chance to kill off the game.
Genoa rarely threatened at all after Milan’s goal, despite being the better side in the first half, and although it wasn’t a landslide victory, Massimiliano Allegri will be pleased to get back to winning ways, and it’s good to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic in good scoring form – things can keep getting better for Milan as the new signings settle in, but this is a good place to start.
Man of the Match: Gennaro Gattuso
Best Moment: Ibrahimovic’s goal
By Hefin Davies, Rossoneri Blog