Milan 2 – 0 Cesena

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THE ROSSONERI are 4 points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A, and 9 points ahead of Inter, after beating Cesena 2-0 earlier tonight. Milan took the lead just before half time – with an Own Goal from Pellegrino after an excellent chip from Antonio Cassano, and despite dominating throughout the second half too, Milan were frustratingly uncomposed in front of goal, however, Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured the points in the last minutes of the game with an excellent finish.

Milan fielded a 4-3-1-2, with Abbiati back after injury, behind a back 4 of Abate, Nesta, Yepes and Antonini. Thiago Silva was pushed in to defensive midfield after an injury for Gattuso in the warm up, joining him in midfield were Massimo Ambrosini, and Alexander Merkel. The same front 3 from the coppa Italia game returned in attack, with Robinho, Cassano and Ibrahimovic.

The match started off at a high tempo, and just 2 minutes in Christian Abbiati was called in to action! With barely any time gone it was Malonga’s driving effort which forced the returning goalkeeper to dive low to save, and Cesena were pressing hard. The away side earned a few corners and looked quite threatening, but nothing came of them. Milan had little time on the ball to begin with, but did look quite threatening at times, and the link between the front 3 was still there to be seen.

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Cesena very nearly took the lead after 17 minutes, despite the game being even at that point. After Antonini was caught out by miscontrolling the ball, Schelotto found himself with a free run at goal. As he drove in to the box Abbiati intelligently made himself as big as possible and kept out Schelotto’s near post effort, ensuring the scoreline remained level. After a slight scramble, Nesta managed to clear the ball out for a corner, however a poor delivery meant Cesena couldn’t profit from it, and the score remained level.

More injury woes troubled Massimiliano Allegri then. With 23 minutes on the clock, Alessandro Nesta was forced off with injury. After an awkward fall, he was forced off the field, and although it didn’t look too bad, the full extent of the injury is not known – though it was either a dislocated shoulder, or a dislocated wrist. Sokratis Papastathopoulos replaced him, joining the other summer signing Mario yepes at the heart of the defence. More news on the injury to follow.

Milan were the next to come close to scoring. Wih 26 minutes on the clock, a very nice touch from Ibrahimovic allowed Robinho to run at the Cesena defence. After beating a defnder, he decided to take another step and shoot. WIth the goal gaping a clean connection would’ve surely meant a goal, however he didn’t hit the ball cleanly, and in result it was a fairly poor shot.

Just moments later, Milan had another oppertunity to score. Antonio Cassano picked up the ball around 25 yards from goal, and played an inch perfect through ball in to the box for Ibrahimovic. The swede attempted to just lift it over the keeper, but his effort was saved well by Antonioli, who – like Abbiati – made himself as big as possible to deny Milan the opening goal of the game.

Despite there not being a goal, Milan were at least beginning to get in to their stride – and they crafted another oppertunity shortly after. After some excellent defending from yepes, before a logn sweeping ball out to the right, Robinho picked up the ball, and made an excellent flick behind him for the oncoming Thiago Silva, however, his driving effort was scrambled away by the Cesena defence.

Milan were knocking on the door, but so far Cesena had shut them out. After some poor indecision and failure to clear the ball, Ibrahimovic managed to flick the ball on just outside the 6 yard box, and Luca Antonini bore down on goal. However, if anything he made too much contact with the ball and pulled his shot narrowly wide of Antonioli’s left post.

The Rossoneri were really pushing for the opener, and 3 decent chances came up before the end of the half, first, Antonio Cassano took a shot from the edge of the box, however, he couldn’t keep it down and the ball sailed over the crossbar. The second was a knockdown won by Ibrahimovic, which ended up with the ball bouncing back out just inside the box, but Robinho’s right footed effort could only find the side netting. Lastly, Robinho’s volleyed cross went to the far post, but Ibrahimovic pulled off a diving header which was saved by Antonioli.

In the last minute of the first half, Milan took the lead! Antonio Cassano once more the artist (and the man who will get the assist) after he picked it up inside the edge of the box, before chipping the ball over the last defender to the onside Ibrahimovic, who dived at the ball and attempted to volley it. The ball ended up in the bottom corner and Ibrahimovic will claim it, however, there were suspicions that it was Pellegrino who got the last touch and that it was an own goal by him, replays have since shown this to be the case.

There was 1 more chance at the end of the first half, after a scramble in the Cesena box due to some indecision meant Mario Yepes could stick out a leg and prod it goalwards past Antonioli, however, it was cleared before reaching the line. Milan had attacked well and definitely grew in to the game. Despite looking suspect at the back occasionally (mainly due to Antonini’s poor defending) the Rossoneri finally did get the lead which they probably deserved, even though it seemed as if they were lacking composure earlier on.

Milan’s first real oppertunity of the second half fell to Ambrosini. After Ignazio Abate managed to find Ibra inside the box, Ibrahimovic held off 2 defenders before rolling the ball back to the edge of the box for the italian to strike. Ambrosini couldn’t control his shot though, and his effort ended up going narrowly over the bar. It seemed Milan were playing like in the first half, with some good attacking play, if not enough composure.

With 55 minutes on the clock, Antonioli was forced in to making a good save. After a 1-2 with Ibrahimovic, Robinho drifted in to some space and ran goalwards, but he was brought down outside the box for a free kick. Ibrahimovic stepped up and hit it with real power – he did well to get it up and down so quickly, and Antonioli was forced punch it up and out over the crossbar.

In the next 15 minutes, Milan continued to press, but still lacked composure. Thiago Silva had a decent shot from long range after Ibrahimovic’s lay off, but his shot ended up going wide. Moments later Antonio Cassano received the ball on the left side of the penalty area, before beating a Cesena defender and striking it goalwards – however, his shot was blocked, and then scrambled away.

Milan should perhaps have received a penalty with 75 minutes on the clock, after Ambrosini was brought down in the box after a chip in from Ibra, but the ref waved play on. Just seconds later Cesena broke and Budan was through, but just as he was about to slot the ball past Abbiati, Sokratis Papastathopoulos made a decisive tackle, and successfully managed to knock it away – great defending.

The Rossoneri should have wrapped the ga,e just moments later, as Robinho was put through in to the box, but once again Antonioli pulled off an excellent save. Robinho had another effort within seconds, but Antonioli made yet another save, and although he didn’t parry it far away, nobody was fouling up the ball at the far post for Milan, so the score remained just 1-0, despite all the chances. Milan had enough creativity, but not the composure needed to kill the game off once and for all.

With just 7 minutes to go, Cassano was replaced by Alexandre Pato. Cassano had played quite well, not his best Milan game but he was decent, and his chip for the goal was exquisite. Perhaps Pato was brought on to add that cutting edge and composure Milan seemed to be lacking.

In injury time, Milan should once again have scored, but again didn’t. After an excellent tackle from Thiago Silva, Milan then earnt a free kick, and taken quickly Robinho was put through. The Brazilian managed to round the keeper, but he narrowed the angle too much, and then hit the post from a few yards out. The Brazilian had played very well, but his finishing was very poor (somewhat like his early season form)

The victory was finally sealed though, by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Robinho was key once more, after getting the ball from midfield, he played a good through ball for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who – despite running to the right – hit the ball and placed it perfectly in to the far left hand side of the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance despite it being a difficult angle! Finally Milan had killed off Cesena!

Best Moment: Ibra’s second goal

Man of the Match: Despite the woeful finishing, Robinho actually played very well and worked very hard with a lot of running.

By Hefin Davies, Rossoneri Blog

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Michael

Good

Zvone09

It s fuckin obvious that we play better without Seedorf and Bonera, SO obvious. Yepes and Pap have done a great job in the back line.

Antonini is a good guy but he is ridiculous.

Robinho man of the match, definitely!

Time for wins!

Fox@Mulder

Nesta was operated after he got rushed to the hospital – his shoulder was badly injured and he is reported to be out for 2-3 months!!! 🙁

Fox@Mulder

Sky Sports Italia now reports that Nesta wasn´t operated anyway – he is now reported to be out for 2-3 weeks.

Master

Lookin great, even without a lot of injured players…including Nesta. Hope they all available when we go to spurs.

tbone

I was a little worried when nesta went off but I have to say papa was a pleasant surprise and robinho was definitely man of the match… Now they just need some finishing practice.

Kourosh

For me, Yepes was the man of the match. Simply magnificent!

Herpes harvester

YEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!! REVENGE FELLS SOOOOOOOO FU*KING NICE!!! 😀 FORA AC ROSSONERI!!!!

sherbini

PATO AT 83RD MINUTE???????? I SMELL A PREPARATION FOR SELLING HIM IN THE SUMMER !!!!!! PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAZE DON’T!!!!!! HE IS THE FUTURE OF MILAN !!!!!!!! WE DON’T WANT CASSANO OR ROBINHO PATO IS THE MILAN MAN!!! PLEAZE DON’T MAKE KAKA MISTAKE AGAIN!!! HE STILL HAVE A LOT TO GIVE!!! HE IS ONLY 21 YEARS OLD!!!!! FORZA MILAN!!!!!!

AKA69

REVENGE FEELS SOOO FUC*KING NICE!!! AND WE CAN ALSO SHIT ON ALL THE TEAMS BELOW US ESPECIALLY INTER MILAN AND THEIR GAY MANGER LEO!! HAHAHAHA!!! FORZA AC MILAN!!!

sidthekid

do not worry pato will not leave. the entire strikeforce has a role in allegris plans. for next yr our strikeforce will be: pato robinho cassano ibrahimovic and INZAGHI the 5 crusaders to lead us to CL gloryyy

Chandler

Wow! I can’t believe how well Milan played considering the absences. I agree I was scared shitless when Sokratis came on for Nesta, but he did a pretty decent job!

Yepes was EVERYWHERE! Unbelievable! 8 of 10 performance.

Robinho!? Wow! Does this guy ever get tired!? 9 out of 10

T. Silva, Ambrosini, and Abate did a fantastic job of grinding it out! 7.5 out of 10

chitty-chitty bang-bang

“coughs”….point of correction Sir hefin,Ac milan is leading inter merda[milan] with nine[9] fucking good points not six[6]…will really appreciate it if you rectify the above misinformation!

woaw……..thank GOD we won by 2 goals,now i can sleep peacefully without tossing in bed !! good to see merkel play…although he played average,i think if he’s given the nod on daily bases…i bet he will be a great player !! zlatan actually made my sunday to be complete…keep the good spirit up milan players,well done !!!

Danial

@sherbini
Relax, after last week’s performance and that small argument with Ibra and Gattuso, i’m pretty sure Allegri didn’t want him to screw up this week and get bashed again, his confidence would go down. So instead he made sure we are ahead just to make sure Pato doesn’t frustrate anyone too much and let him gain his fitness slowly.

Yepes and Sokratis proved why Allegri was foolish to put Bonera ahead of them before. Credit to the Cesena’s keeper though, he made a lot of fine saves from our players.

Luke

Only good thing out of this performance is 3 points. Milan couldn’t really do much wthout all the injuries, but great teams should have more options than we do. I am not sure what you guys see in Abate – he is OK at best. Milan is one of the best teams in the world and we need better players than that. Great players on his positions were Cafu and now Dani Alves. You can’t compare Abate to them. He is OK for the bench and not for the first team. Antonini sucks big time – oh man. Yepes should… Read more »

Ash

@ Luke

GO F*** YOURSELF!!!

As they say: HATERS GONNA HATE!

bendol

Why you want to fire Allegri? he bring us to the top!

Rob

Yepes and Sokratis truely impressed today. Hopefully Bonera will stay benched.

TWF

trully good news. inter lost 1-3 vs udinese. also lazio with the same score against bologna. with juve drew 0-0, the serious contender now is only napoli after they won 2-0 last night. sad news that nesta is injured. but i am glad to see duo yepes and papa. the whole milan team played very well. abate, silva, merkel and the strikers were fantastic last night. our speed and stamina are great. seems all players have done lots of exercises to maintain their stamina and improve their performance. special notes about robinho : his dribbling skills and speed are great… Read more »

Milanista

@sherbini

He’s 21 years old, that is exactly why he is on the bench. Allegri probably wants him to be fully prepared. When I see Pato play recently, he’s not mentally prepared yet. When he is on a roll, he is good. But when he is in a slump, the coach needs to play his cards very carefully with young players like him.

milan

@luke if abate is so bad then why did ronaldo whos playing lights out even better then at untied do nothing in the second leg.gattuso sure as hell cant keep up with him by himself.and what about eto who was also playing extremely well.i guess theyre just average players right.and dani alves really?the guys a great attacking fullback but if barca didnt dominate like they do and had to defend more then he would be easily exposed as inter did him last year. cassano was bad and even though he will improve the front three shoul;d be binho behind ibra… Read more »

milan

o and another thing,where did silva learn to pass like that!did he spend time with pirlo while abate was with tassotti.i knew he had good distribution skills but not like that.he is easily the most versatile player int the world.hes tall,can dribble defend,fast, can pass,and can shoot almost all just as good.id still rather see him at cb more as he is just so valuable there for us especially in the champions league

Luke

Ash,

it’s sad to see losers like you on this forum. Evereyone is entitled to their own opinions and there is no need to be rude – you are a low life. Anyway, like I said Abate is OK but you know that if we want to win CL we need better players.

budi

though we may seen bit un composed at the back, but i would say the center backs did outstanding job!! Yepes was everywhere, winning aerial battle and Papa did one superb tackle to deny dangerous penetration inside the box. Both them, with Abate combined really well to tame all the Cesena moves. Antonini caused havoc down in the left flank. So i would say the defense played important role tonight, considering the chances being wasted by Robinho and lack of stamina of Cassano at other end. Merkel gradually becoming a bridge element between back line and attack (this is the… Read more »

ACmilan Chris

come on Guys!!!!! milan won, lets be happy about it!!!!!! we are 4 points ahead of everyone else…forza milan

tcl_00

Everything is fine … thumbs up to you Mr.Allegri finally your deaf hear has heard my prayers … Sokratis will become a world class defender one day so we should give him more chances .. if Bonera gets all the chances after 10 mistakes this guy is entitled to have more … as long as Bonera and Seedorf are in the bench we’ll win Serie A .. no problem !! But what concerns me is CL … I dont see Antonini being effective against world class teams in CL … Abate will be ok … But this new guy Emanuelson… Read more »

Pasha

Yepes should start before Bonera whether it be on the wing or heart of defense. Also I bet Man City are kicking themselves after seeing Robinho play

Milano Q8

Well done Milan great game, Yepes did well, Silva did good in replacing Pirlo but we defiantly need some one to replace him in the future. Abate was ok but he has a defense mentality bad in crossing and dosent know what to do with the ball infront of the goal; ever since we lost Cafu we still did not fined the best replacement. Robinho was grate needs to practise kicking the ball hard and focus on the goal. Pato needs to mature as he is our future. Casano is getting there and Merkel needs more playing time. Ibra well… Read more »

enkel

robinho definitely need to practice his finishing touch with ibra, yepes was much much much far better than bonera, i hope that game would open allegri’s eyes to get rid of bonera from the team

Michael

calvano was on the bench i think. i know i said Fossati was the next Pirlo well he now has competition with calvano. remember those names Fossati, Calvano and Verdi FTW

Tita

I was relieved to see the deffence and Silva perform on the midfield, he is really universal. What concerns me however, that this was Cesene, we should have a standard to beat a bigger club as well. Okay, injuries but still…
I tried to look after this Calvano kid, but found nothing, not even on the offical homepage. Can someone give me some details about him? Sorry, I ain’t Italian… Oh, and what’s up with Nesta? Any news? I’ve heard operation and 3 months but also no operation and 2-3 weeks. Anyone know which is the truth? Thx

Vasko

NO SEEDORF NO PROBLEM!

Ash

@ Luke I’m the lowlife? You’re the idiot who wants us to fire the coach who got us to the top of the standings. Some people will never be satisfied, no matter how much they get. This aint fantasy football. We aint Barca nor do we have to play like them. As long as we get the results, it doesnt matter how we get them. You want us to sign WC players for massive ammounts of money? Does money go on trees? You want fantasy Milan, Go play FM and buy as many world class players as you want. Grow… Read more »

Jack

what i am most happy about is the fact that even when we didn’t have Gattuso for midfield Allegri chose thaigo silva to play in mid rather then Seedorf. Seedorf’s time is truly up it seems. Great job Allegri.

Rizzosports

Now the question is can we get Robinho to play like that the rest of the season.

mussa

Binho great work.Mr Allegri next time put Pato&Zlatan infront give CL

G

Ibra-Robinho-Cassano are connecting brilliantly & full of fantasy! But Pato still has hopes to break in coz Binho is truly lacking composure in front of the goal. Nevertheless, Milan’s attacking lineup right now is very very promising (the best in the world, maybe…)

milanista@malaysia

i like left-footed mario yepes and under-fire sokratis.they defend very good!abbiati has nothing to do.Forza Milan!

Martin

Antonini the worst left-back in AC Milan’s history?

Good pass back to Abbiati?
I think he is the new Jesper Olsen.

FORZA MILAN

Giancarlo

It was frustrating to watch us miss chances. But the most important thing is we never stopped fighting… we need to continue that spirit throughout the entire match.

tbone

@luke.. i’m not sure which Milan you’re watching but allegri is doing good incharge Abate did well to mark out not only 1 but 2 world class players and entire game. Sounds pretty good to me..definitely better than average. So insted of hating Allegri and Abate for having your dream job, you could do a couple different things. 1. Insted of complaining and whining, go practice your butt off and maybe you can break into serie D. 2. Study like you never have before and learn anything and everything about soccer and take Allegri’s job and lead us to an… Read more »

Giancarlo

Luke is just another Allegri hater. Run of the mill. Hating on Abate too now huh? He marked Ronaldo and Eto’o out of the game making them totally invisible. His crossing has improved dramatically. Some need to learn how to appreciate what’s going on. Allegri has done an outstanding job with youth. Leo nor Ancelotti would have played Strasser or Merkel as much as Allegri has done. Allegri is doing a fine job. Abate is not just “okay”. Luke, you need to grow up and learn how to accept other opinions.

N.S.R

ABATE is awesome man! look how he cross, with power!

Darth Vader (Jack)

@Luke
Luke I am not your father! (breathing noise)
you should leave this planet immediately (breathing noise), live with some ants and develop brain power. (long breathing noise).