MILAN secured crucial 3 points away to Roma in the Stadio olimpico earlier tonight. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave the Rossoneri the lead, but Roma pulled one back around 10 minutes later, Alessandro Nesta scored from a corner to ensure a swift response from Milan though, and Ibrahimovic’s second looked to have sealed the win. Nocerino missed an absolute sitter which would have killed off Roma for good, and Bojan tapped in the rebound of Lamela’s shot to give Roma hope, but Milan held on for victory.
Massimiliano Allegri fielded a 4-3-1-2, with Abbiati in goal, behind a back line of Ignazio Abate, Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva and Gianluca Zambrotta. In midfield, Mark van Bommel was once again joined by Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino, whilst Kevin-Prince Boateng lined up behind Ibrahimovic and Robinho in attack.
In the opening 10 minutes, the defence once again did not look totally convincing, and Roma looked quite dangerous going forward, however, neither side created a clear cut chance and Milan were also playing some decent football on the attack too.
Milan slowly improved and grew into the game though, and as the play improved, it seemed only a matter of time. In the 17th minute, Aquilani received the ball on the right, from Kevin-Prince Boateng, and the Italian whipped in the cross with pace – inside the area, Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the run and fired the ball into the back of the net with a bullet header, a great team goal!
As the Rossoneri took charge, things were looking up, Milan were spreading the ball around better, keeping it better, and initially Roma’s threat had been nullified. However Roma began to grow back into the game, and Milan weren’t creating any chances. In the 28th minute, Roma earned a corner, and the ball was played into the box, where Zambrotta lost out to Nicolas Burdisso, who headed home the equaliser for Roma.
Within a minute, the Rossoneri were level! Keen to stamp their authority back on the game and to take charge once more, Milan pressed on, and Boateng played a ball against a roma defender for a corner. Robinho stepped up for the corner kick, and whipped it in with pace – Alessandro Nesta charged forward and leaped above everyone else to force the ball into the back of the net! A perfect swit response to knock the stuffing out of the home side!
Just after the 35 minute mark, and Ibrahimovic had a decent chance to double Milan’s lead, the ball was played into the box and he’d made a good run to get onto the end of it, but just couldn’t quite make a clean connection with the ball, and he ended up scuffing his shot badly wide, but Milan still led, though Roma were beginning to threaten.
The game opened up as the half drew to a close, with both sides going forward looking for a goal, there was some wonderful link up play between Boateng, Aquilani and Ibrahimovic on the edge of the Roma area, but they couldn’t quite convert it into a clear cut chance on goal – meanwhile, Bojan’s introduction for Borini (as a result of injury) had made Roma slightly more dangerous, but at half time, the score remained 2-1 to Milan.
just 2 minutes into the second half, Ibrahimovic won a challenge on the edge of the Roma area after a chipped pass from Aquilani, the Swede brought it down, turned cut inwards, however, all he could muster was a blocked shot, when really he should have done better, nonetheless, it was a positive start for the Rossoneri in the second half.
Around the 55 minute mark, Roma very nearly equalised! Following some good build up play, the ball was played into the box on the ground, Abbiati came but the ball was touched wide by Bojan before Abbiati could get there, the ball rolled slowly making the angle narrower and narrower, and fortunately Nesta did terrifially well to knock it out for a corner before Bojan could poke it into an empty net.
Just moments later, and Roma were pressing once more. They got a free kick around 30 yards out, and Miralem Pjanic stepped up to smash it – the ball seemed destined for the net, but Abbiati got a fingertip to it, pushing it onto the post! A great save! Roma were pushing hard now…
Kevin-Prince Boateng was replaced by Urby Emmanuelson in the 65th minute, however, just seconds after being subbed off, Prince said something to the fourth official, and got sent off! extraordinary scenes!
70 minutes into the game and Roma almost equalised – from a corner, the ball was whipped in and Osvaldo headed it goalwards, but Abbiati showed good reflexes to deny him, and keep Milan in the lead 2-1.
And then Antonio Cassano came on for Robinho.
His impact was almost instant as he nearly scored a sensational goal to seal the victory for Milan. Picking up the ball on the left side of the area, he showed great skill to beat De Rossi and Burdisso, but blasted his shot high and wide.
In the 78th minute, the victory was sealed. Milan could have scored after some wonderful play from Emmanuelson put Cassano through, but he couldn’t quite move quick enough – as the ball worked it’s way back out, Aquilani was at the edge of the area, he crossed it back in and Ibrahimovic headed it past Stekelenberg for his second, to make it 3-1 Milan!
Despite Roma pressure, Milan almost added a 4th just 4 minutes from time – the ball was played through from Ibrahimovic to Cassano, who did well to play it across goal for Nocerino, who had a simple tap in – but somehow put it wide! an incredible miss, and you would have bet on him to score a more difficult chance than that!!
3 minutes from time, Roma continued to press, and Lamela got a lucky break on the edge of the area, before hitting it hard and low across goal. Abbiati kept it out, but could only parry it yards away in front of him, where Bojan was ready to pounce, to pull a goal back for Roma.
In response to this, Massimiliano Allegri brought on Ambrosini for Nocerino.
4 Minutes added time were announced, and Massimiliano Allegri’s protesting got him sent off! Thanks to Nocerino’s miss, a nerve wracking ending was set up!
Despite an amusing edge of the box scramble from Christian Abbiati, and some more Roma pressure, the Rossoneri hung on to claim a crucial 3 points at the Stadio Olimpico, a good overall performance, and vital points in the league!
Best Moment: Nesta’s header
Man of the Match: Alberto Aquilani