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The Archive

February 2011

Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Napoli
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic pen 48 (M), Boateng 77 (M), Pato 79 (M)

Milan took a step closer to the Scudetto after beating title rivals Napoli 3-0 at the Giuseppe Meazza. Three second half goals ensured that the Rossoneri took the points that their performance deserved against a disappointing Neapolitan side.

A contested penalty converted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic set the Milanese giants on their way, before Kevin-Prince Boateng and a lively Alexandre Pto completed the scoring. The Rossoneri thus increase their lead at the top over Inter to five points and six clear of tonight’s beaten opponents.

Napoli, without the suspended Ezequiel Lavezzi, started the game just a win away from joining Milan at the summit of the table. However, coming away from the Meazza was clearly going to be no easy task as the Azzurri had not won at San Siro in the League since Bruno Giordano and Diego Maradona scored in a 2-1 victory back in April 1986.

The first half was a tense and nervous affair, with Napoli looking nothing like the revelation side they have been so far this term. Giuseppe Mascara struggled to fill in for Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani was virtually anonymous and Hugo Campagnaro was one of numerous players who misplaced passes on the wet surface.

Milan, who opted to leave Antonio Cassano on the bench, fielded a powerful midfield of Mathieu Flamini, Gennaro Gattuso and Mark Van Bommel to balance the fantasy of their Ibrahimovic, Pato and Robinho trident. Marek Jankulovski began at left-back for his first start in 29 Serie A ties.

The Rossoneri were the better side in the first 45 minutes but created few clear cut opportunities to break the deadlock. Ibrahimovic wasted a good chance on 17 minutes when his shot lacked precision rather than power.

Gattuso also blasted over soon after before Mark Van Bommel was denied. The January signing from Bayern Munich found himself in a great scoring position from inside the box, but his effort was superbly blocked by Salvatore Aronica.

There was also a late scare for Napoli when a Morgan De Sanctis error saw Pato beat him, but his shot was weak and easily dealt with by Andrea Dossena in the six-yard box. The first half ended 0-0 with neither ‘keeper being forced to make a notable save.

Sensing that Napoli were there for the taking, Milan wasted no time in upping the tempo after the half-time oranges. After Van Bommel forced De Sanctis into a finger-tip save, the resulting corner saw Napoli gift the hosts a penalty when Aronica handled. Napoli protested, but the defender’s raised arm did touch the ball. Ibrahimovic slotted home to the ‘keeper’s bottom right with ease. 1-0.

Napoli were on the ropes and had De Sanctis to thank for keeping them in the game. On 55 minutes he got down to palm away a wonderful Pato curler from the edge of the box. The Italian international then denied Robinho from close range after a neat cut-back from Pato.

That was the last telling contribution from Robinho as he was replaced by Boateng who has spent recent weeks struggling with injury. Mazzarri responded by benching the ineffective Mascara with Juan Zuniga.

It was the Milan midfielder, rather than the Colombian, who made an almost instant impact. Pato stretched the Azzurri rearguard with his pace, he then slowed it right down as he entered the box before playing in Boateng who slotted home from close range. 2-0.

Napoli had barely caught their breath before Pato’s pace again wreaked havoc. Running in between two Azzurri defenders, he opted against assisting Ibra by instead shooting over De Sanctis from the edge of the box.

Mazzarri made some late changes but little changed for a San Paolo outfit who looked nothing like Scudetto challengers. Napoli are next in action against Brescia, while Milan travel to crisis-hit Juventus on Saturday.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (Oddo 81), Nesta, Thiago Silva, Jankulovski (Emanuelson 72); Gattuso, Van Bommel, Flamini; Robinho (Boateng 63); Ibrahimovic, Pato

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio (Sosa 79), Pazienza, Gargano (Yebda 85), Dossena; Mascara (Zuniga 65), Hamsik; Cavani

Ref: Rocchi

Berlusconi: Tonight we beat the South
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Silvio Berlusconi has jokingly referred to tonight's match between Milan and Napoli as one against the South of Italy.

The two sides meet at San Siro in what is being billed as a title decider.

Naturally it has evoked memories of the epic battles between Napoli and Milan in the mid to late `80s.

Speaking at a meeting of the Chambers of Commerce, he turned to Carlo Sangalli and apparently said: “We'll see Milan beat the South.”

AC Milan vs. Napoli Live Text Available
28.2 || webmaster

You can follow AC Milan vs. Napoli by live text on our new blog, The AC Milan Blog. Click here to do so. Live text will start at kick-off time, 20:45 CET.

Cavani is No 1 danger, says Maldini
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan legend Paolo Maldini is absolutely certain that Napoli striker Edinson Cavani will pose the biggest threat at San Siro this evening.

Cavani has scored 20 goals in Serie A this season and has turned Napoli into genuine title contenders with his prowess up front.

If Napoli win they will go level on points with the League leaders.

“It will be a difficult game,” Maldini said. “Napoli are living on the wings of enthusiasm and have nothing to lose because they didn't start with the objective of winning the Scudetto and now they have found a privileged position again.

“Cavani is the No 1 danger in the absence of Ezequiel Lavezzi.

“Milan must stop him as well as the teammates who will try to give him supplies.”

Gattuso to move to Dagestan?
28.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After signing Roberto Carlos in January Anzhi Makhachkala are planning to sign Rino Gattuso from Milan.

Initial reports claim that the Dagestan based outfit are prepared to pay the World Cup winner €10m for the privilege.

Anzhi have also tried to lure Ronaldo to the North Caucasus region just weeks after his retirement.

A source quoted in the Russian media said: “Now is the right age to think about the end of his career and to sign an advantageous contract.”

Gattuso only renewed his existing deal with Milan last season and it's thought that he has every intention of finishing his playing days at San Siro.

Allegri: 'This is a Scudetto battle'
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri will not deny Monday’s Milan-Napoli is “a Scudetto battle, no matter how hard they try to hide that fact.”

Despite there being only a three-point gap between them, the Partenopei and Coach Walter Mazzarri have been eager to suggest their title chances are non-existent.

“This fixture is a Scudetto battle, no matter how hard they try to hide that fact,” declared Allegri.

Curiously, both tacticians are from the Tuscan town of Livorno.

“Mazzarri and I are both sanguine fellows, but he certainly expresses himself in a different way to my own personal style.

“I don’t think you always have to raise your voice or get angry, as there are different ways to show your authority.

“What I ask the Napoli Coach is to avoid getting sucked into controversy. Every now and then these issues can be fun, but sometimes I really don’t enjoy them.”

Mazzarri has been very vocal in recent weeks on refereeing errors and the Disciplinary Commission, which used video evidence to hand Ezequiel Lavezzi a three-match ban.

Edinson Cavani will bear even more of the responsibility for the Napoli attack and is fighting for the Capocannoniere title with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“Cavani is still a long way away from Ibrahimovic, even if he is an extraordinary player,” shrugged Allegri.

Hamsik: 'AC Milan are not unbeatable'
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marek Hamsik is fired up for the Scudetto duel with on Monday, even if he plays down Napoli’s title chances. “Milan are not at all unbeatable.”

The second placed side pay visit to the Serie A leaders and only three points separate them going into the game

“There’s no point denying it, a large chunk of the Scudetto is in the balance on Monday night,” Hamsik told the Corriere dello Sport.

“However, we are certainly not there to gamble with the title. Milan are in front, we are three points behind, so they are the ones with more to lose. Of course, if we should win at San Siro, then there would be 11 games to go and we’d be on level terms...

“In that case, the Scudetto odds would be on Milan and Inter. As for Napoli, I’d be happy with third of fourth place.

“The Rossoneri may be favourites for Monday’s match, but they are not at all uneatable. In our last meeting at the San Paolo we played well despite going through half the game with 10 men and could even have equalised.”

Much has been said in the media about the duel between Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the Capocannoniere title.

“This season Cavani has been the best player in Serie A, but if Ibra has won the title wherever he went over the last seven years, there must be a reason,” noted Hamsik.

The Partenopei are still smarting after their 2-1 defeat at Villarreal signalled the end of the Europa League course.

“We were defeated by a great squad, but did not deserve to go out of the competition. We proved we can play in such important games and thanks to that will now be even more aware of our capabilities.”

Cassano: 'Cavani like Ibrahimovic? It's a joke!'
27.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano laughs off comparisons between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. “Let’s not joke around. Ibra is on another level.”

Monday’s big match sees leaders Milan welcome second place Napoli in a Scudetto clash and Cassano gave a long interview to the Corriere dello Sport in preparation.

“Are we under pressure from Napoli? No, here at Milan the only pressure is our blood pressure,” smiled the striker.

“I don’t care what Inter and Napoli want. I do not fear anybody. This Milan is not afraid and it shouldn’t be, as it is the strongest team, without doubt.”

When asked who was the better player right now between Ibrahimovic and top scorer Cavani, Cassano had no hesitation.

“Let’s not joke around, what kind of a question is that? Cavani is a good player, but he reminds me of Igor Protti at Bari. He needs to be more consistent. Ibrahimovic is on another level.

“The best I ever played with was Ronaldo, followed by Zinedine Zidane, then Ibra and Francesco Totti on a par.”

There are reports Cassano will be dropped for Monday’s game in favour of Alexandre Pato, who scored a sensational goal against Chievo.

“Pato is the absolute best and I told him that. Only Leo Messi is better and the two together would be incredible to watch. I immediately got along with Ibrahimovic, as me and Zlatan are two totally crazy guys, so we are similar. Pato is more of a little boy and quite shy.”

Cassano joined Milan during the January transfer window after two months frozen out of Sampdoria following a blazing row with President Riccardo Garrone.

“Looking back to what happened four months ago, I would pay out of my own pocket to avoid the mistake I made with Garrone. He was the person who showed me the most affection in the football world and he really didn’t deserve what I did to him.”

Galliani rules out Pato transfer
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani locked down Alexandre Pato and claimed Milan’s Scudetto showdown with Napoli is “very important, but not decisive.”

The Rossoneri are still top of the Serie A table and go head-to-head with second-placed Napoli on Monday night.

“This match will be very important, but not decisive,” insisted the Milan Vice-President.

Galliani also commented on reports that young striker Pato would be sacrificed over the summer transfer market to bring in reinforcements.

“The Brazilian is essential for Milan and will absolutely remain here,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

There has been a hat-trick of home defeats for Italian sides in the first leg of the Champions League ties, but the former Lega Calcio chief is keeping calm.

“It will be difficult for all three teams, but we must not all is lost already.”

Milan lost 1-0 to Tottenham and Inter fell by the same scoreline to Bayern Munich, while Roma were defeated 3-2 by Shakhtar Donetsk.

Ibrahimovic needles Inter and Barcelona
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has taken another shot at Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola and thinks Milan are “more important” than his former club Inter.

The Sweden international left Barcelona after just one season last summer and cited problems with Guardiola. He then controversially joined Milan despite his past with Inter.

Speaking to Eurogoals, he said: “At Barcelona I understood how quickly things can change in football. My problem there was one man and that was 'The Philosopher'.

“I didn't have problems with anyone else. No one can say that I did something bad and in the first six months it was all exceptional, but then something happened, even though I don't know what.

“I am still awaiting a response, but the fact is that after the first two months of 2010 he no longer spoke to me anymore.”

Ibrahimovic then made a point of praising Jose Mourinho, the Coach during his last year at Inter.

“If you don't have someone who motivates you, then you don't fight and it's for this reason that Coaches exist.

“I would have killed for Mourinho for the motivation that he gave me, for how he stimulated me.

“With the other one (Guardiola) there was football but a Coach must adapt his play for the players that he has, especially if you have bought one for €70m.

“And if you have bought a player you don't just leave him to watch the birds in the trees.”

Ibrahimovic later turned his attention to Inter with whom he won the Scudetto three times.

“I can't speak badly of Inter because I spent fantastic moments there, but historically I believe that Milan are a more important club.

“When I arrived here a project was presented to me which wheels around me and I have been promised many things on which the club is working.

“It's a project that is developing and I believe that next year will be the right year to fight on all fronts.”

Finally Ibrahimovic had words of praise for Ronaldo, who announced his retirement 10 days ago.

“It's a big loss. There isn't anyone better than him in the last 15 or 20 years.

“Looking back I don't see players at his or Zidane's level.

“There is only one Ronaldo.

“Like Diego Maradona said, there are many kings, but only one God. And this is the same for Ronaldo,” he concluded.

AC Milan rekindle Cissokho interest
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are rekindling their interest in Lyon defender Aly Cissokho, according to the player's Italian representative Fabrizio Ferrari.

The Rossoneri agreed a deal to sign Cissokho from Porto in 2009 only to pull out of the transfer on the recommendation of the club's doctor.

Cissokho ended up joining Lyon in a move worth €15m while Milan have yet to address their longstanding problem at the left-back position.

“Milan are interested in several players. He is probably one of them,” Ferrari said.

“We'll need to see if the decision will fall to him again and if Lyon are prepared to sell him.

“Aly is part of a big club who are fighting for the Champions League. He is concentrating on doing well.”

Milan are also being linked with Palermo's Italy international Mattia Cassani.

Marotta to shop in Milan
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta will apparently go shopping in Milan this summer with a view to signing Andrea Pirlo and Davide Santon.

Pirlo is out of contract at Milan in the summer and has yet to agree a new contract with Adriano Galliani, leading to speculation about his future at the club.

The 31-year-old would offer a low cost alternative to Alberto Aquilani, whose prospects of joining Juventus on a permanent basis from Liverpool are growing doubtful

Juventus have an option to buy Aquilani, which is said to be worth €16m, but they are now balking at paying that price and there is a sense that, despite his age, Pirlo represents better value.

Marotta also feels that Santon could help solve Juventus' problems a left-back. The 20-year-old is currently on loan at Cesena until the end of the season.

His future at San Siro looks doubtful after Inter signed Japan international Yuto Nagatomo in the January transfer window.

Santon already faces competition from Cristian Chivu and Javier Zanetti for his position and isn't likely to get regular first team football.

La Gazzetta understands Juventus made inquiries in January, only for Inter to make the ridiculous suggestion that Claudio Marchisio form part of the deal.

However, Marotta is hopeful that by offering either Momo Sissoko or Felipe Melo in exchange, Inter will be tempted to let their fine academy product leave for Turin.

Abbiati ready for Napoli showdown
24.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is looking forward to the Scudetto showdown with Napoli on Monday night, but Luca Antonini misses out.

“It will be a great battle,” grinned the Milan goalkeeper as first welcome second in Serie A.

“The stadium is going to be packed, there will be thousands of people, including Napoli supporters.

“Napoli are having a great season and the consistency of their results is the proof. It won’t be easy, but this is a very important opportunity to break away at the top.”

Full-back Antonini won’t be a part of the Monday night kick-off, as he has been diagnosed with a left thigh strain.

Galliani: 'AC Milan is an affair of the heart'
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani claims that even after 25 years at the helm Milan is still an “affair of the heart” for the club's owner Silvio Berlusconi.

Milan wore special shirts to commemorate the anniversary of Berlusconi's arrival at the club when they faced Chievo at the weekend.

Interviewed by Il Corriere della Sera, Galliani said: “The truth is that after 25 years nothing has changed. For Silvio Berlusconi, Milan continues to be an affair of the heart.

“He is a great innovator.

“Unfortunately like 25 years ago I still can't get to sleep after a defeat and I am in a bad mood for the rest of the week.

“On the other hand, when we win, I break out in celebration, which I find a little excessive. But I don't take any of it into account at the time.

“It's only when I watch the footage again on TV that I realise what I did in the stands. I make too much of a racket,” he concluded.

Schweinsteiger more scared of AC Milan
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bayern Munich talisman Bastian Schweinsteiger admits that he considered joining Inter, but remains more afraid of their rivals Milan.

The 26-year-old Germany international was out of contract last summer, but signed a new five-year deal, which ill keep him at the Allianz Arena until 2016.

Inter were one of the teams interested in luring Schweinsteiger away from Bayern, particularly off the back of his excellent performances at the World Cup in South Africa.

However, the transfer never materialised.

“I stayed where I was even if Inter fascinated me with their past and present success,” Schweinsteiger said.

Asked if Bayern are afraid of Inter following their defeat in last year's Champions League Final, he replied: “No, it seems to me that the faces of Milan's players are more scary.

“We are Bayern. We are here to win and if we can't do that then at least score a goal. I wouldn't like a 0-0.”

Gattuso: 'I'm a nice guy, but not stupid'
23.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso admits he “made a really bad impression” in his Joe Jordan. “I’m a nice guy, but not stupid.”

The veteran lost his cool after the final whistle of the 1-0 Champions League defeat to Tottenham and has been handed a five-match UEFA ban for going head-to-head with the assistant manager.

“I made a really bad impression, but respect is important for me,” Gattuso told Le Iene television programme.

“They gave me a five-match ban... they may as well have put me in prison for a month! I wanted to be at the second leg in London, but was advised not to go. There’s 37,000 of them in that stadium, I’d have returned with a swollen face from 37,000 slaps.”

The interviewer pointed out that notoriously fiery teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not intervene when the scuffle broke out.

“Thank goodness, otherwise we’d still be there! Alexandre Pato went to the locker room. He was probably hiding in the bathroom!

“It’s lucky Antonio Cassano was ineligible for the Champions League. I was meant to be his tutor on how to behave at Milan and he said: ‘What a great example you set for me!’”

Jordan has denied Gattuso’s claims he called him a “f***ing Italian b***ard,” but the midfielder revealed more details of what led up to the row.

“Jordan was shouting and saying “This isn’t a pool,” referring to Thiago Silva’s foul. My motto is ‘respect those who show you respect.’ I’m a nice guy, but I’m not stupid.

“In these years of my career I have never hurt anyone, so when I went over to Jordan after the game and he took off his glasses as the sign of a challenge, shouting ‘f***, f***.’”

There was also an alleged brawl in the tunnel between Gattuso and Sebastien Bassong, with Ibrahimovic acting as peacemaker to tear them apart.

“Then Bassong got involved and said ‘You and me.’ So I said it back to him. We got together in the players’ tunnel, had a full match with first and second half. Bassong saw I was little and assumed I was small fry.”

Gattuso won't appeal 'excessive' ban
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso’s agent believes UEFA have over-reacted by handing his client a four-match ban for his clash with Joe Jordan.

Already suspended for the return Champions League tie at Tottenham, Gattuso will now miss Milan’s next five European matches in total after today’s ruling.

“UEFA’s punishment seems excessive to me because Gattuso immediately apologised, given that he knew he exaggerated,” Andrea D’Amico told TMW.

“Nobody though has said a word about the indecent accusations labelled at Gattuso after the incident and during the game.

“He was defined as a dog to a Mafioso. This is unacceptable yet nobody has said anything about it…”

Milan have three days to appeal against the decision, but D’Amico claims that the Italian midfielder and his club will accept his punishment.

“Gennaro is a man and keeps his word,” he added. “He said he wouldn’t appeal against the suspension after the sentence and that will be the case.”

Milan have now confirmed that they won't appeal.

Four match ban for Gattuso
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

UEFA have banned Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso for four European matches after his altercation with Joe Jordan in the tie against Tottenham.

The Italian midfielder clashed with the Spurs assistant both during and after the Champions League game last week which ended 1-0 to the Premiership side.

Gattuso, who claims he was provoked by the Scot, grabbed Jordan by the neck and also went head-to-head with the ex-Milanista.

UEFA’s disciplinary panel examined the incident on Monday and they’ve handed out a lengthy punishment for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

He was already booked in the San Siro game and thus suspended for the return leg, so he will be out of Milan’s next five matches in total.

The only way Gattuso could re-appear in this season’s Champions League tournament is if Milan reach the Final.

Should they not go that far then the ban will run over into the next campaign.

It’s unclear as of yet whether Milan will appeal today’s ruling. They will have three days to lodge one if that is the path they go down.

Allegri: You forget Pato's age
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri claims some people forget Alexandre Pato is still only 21.

The Brazil international came off the bench and scored the winner against Chievo on Sunday.

Milan are three points clear of Napoli ahead of next Monday's match between the two sides.

“Pato is getting back to the level of his first few years in Italy,” Allegri told Radio Montecarlo.

“He was out for almost 10 months in 2010. Returning to play is not easy above all on a mental level, also because there are many more players in the squad than last year.

“People lose sight of the fact that Alexandre is a 21-year-old lad with his own weakness and moments of difficulty.

“Now he is a lot calmer. He has come out of this injury well and is doing good.”

Boateng glad to be back
21.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng is pleased to finally have returned from injury.

The Ghana international came on as a second half substitute in Sunday's 2-1 win at Chievo.

Boateng had been out for over two months with a hernia.

“I am very happy for my return on the pitch,” he told the Milan Channel.

“These three points are very important.

“Now we have two days to rest and prepare for the match with Napoli.

“We are happy that Alexandre Pato scored. The fans were very important for us.

“We called them, because we felt that we needed their support and they gave it to us,” he concluded.

Pioli: 'Robinho evidently handled'
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stefano Pioli protested at an “evident handling offence” from Robinho on a goal that sank Chievo.

Milan won 2-1 at the Bentegodi, but the deadlock was broken by Robinho controlling the ball with his arm to fire in.

“It was an evident handling offence. I had a clear view from the bench and saw it straight away,” shrugged the Flying Donkeys Coach.

“The shame is that the referee was also perfectly placed to see it. It was a clear mistake and you can see the defenders stopped too as they appealed for the free kick.

“Admittedly, we could’ve been more careful to close down Robinho, but it’s a shame about that handling offence.”

Allegri dedicates win to Berlusconi
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri dedicated Milan’s victory to President Silvio Berlusconi on the 25th anniversary of his tenure.

The Rossoneri wore special shirts during today’s 2-1 win at Chievo marking the fact Berlusconi took over on February 20, 1986.

“I haven’t spoken to Berlusconi yet, but he will be happy about this win, as we are,” said the Coach.

“The lads gave the President a nice gift and a good performance. It wasn’t easy to play against Chievo, but we tried our best.

“The first half was a bit of a struggle and we did much better after the break.”

The result means Inter are again five points behind, while Napoli play Catania this evening.

“Was this an answer to the chasing pack? No, we know that to win the Scudetto you have to get results every week and we’re all happy. However, we do have to improve our handling of the game when we take the lead.”

Serie A: Chievo 1:2 AC Milan - match report
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Robinho 25 (M), Fernandes 63 (C), Pato 82 (M)

Milan conquered Chievo 2-1 with a wonderful Alexandre Pato solo effort, but Robinho's opener should've been disallowed.

The Rossoneri were under pressure after a midweek Champions League defeat to Tottenham and news Inter were just two points behind them after the Saturday games. Antonio Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson were cup-tied for Spurs, so returned to the squad, though Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Gianluca Zambrotta, Daniele Bonera and Pippo Inzaghi were sidelined. Chievo had Gennaro Sardo and Davide Mandelli suspended, plus Luciano and Michele Marcolini injured.

Milan had won on their last three trips to the Bentegodi, prevailing by a one goal margin on each occasion, and wore a special shirt to commemorate 25 years of President Silvio Berlusconi's reign. Alexander Merkel slipped when trying to finish off a Robinho assist, while Christian Abbiati smothered a Rigoni strike.

Robinho gave Milan the lead, but Chievo were absolutely livid. Zlatan Ibrahimovic knocked a chipped Cassano cross back from the by-line for Robinho, who turned with his back to goal to turn in from six yards, but the Brazilian clearly used his upper arm to control the ball.

Stefano Sorrentino flew to palm an Ibra snapshot round the base of the upright. Gelson Fernandes had his volley charged down crucially by Luca Antonini at the back post.

Sergio Pellissier had a good chance to equalise before the break, as he held off Alessandro Nesta only to prod wide from seven yards.

Sorrentino punched away a fierce Ibrahimovic free kick, but Chievo equalised when Kevin Constant chipped a cross to the back post for a Gelson Hernandes free header.

Alexandre Pato replaced Cassano and Kevin-Prince Boateng made his comeback from a long injury lay-off. Sorrentino at full stretch flapped an Ignazio Abate low cross into the path of Ibrahimovic, but the defenders managed to block him off.

Pato managed to restore the Rossoneri's advantage with eight minutes to go. Gennaro Gattuso served him down the left flank, where The Duck dribbled between two players and feinted a shot to the far post, instead squeezing it between goalkeeper and another Chievo player at the near stick.

The Flying Donkeys went down to 10 men after Bostjan Cesar's second bookable offence, handling the ball in the final third. Gattuso nearly got a very rare goal, but his effort skimmed the crossbar, then Pato threaded through for Robinho, but Sorrentino forced him wide to ruin the opportunity.

Chievo: Sorrentino; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Oddo 46); Gattuso, Van Bommel, Merkel (Boateng 74); Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Pato 65)

Milan: Abbiati; Frey, Morero, Cesar, Mantovani; Fernandes, Rigoni, Pulzetti (Bogliacino 46); Constant (Jokic 70); Pellissier, Thereau

Ref: Banti

Sent off: Cesar 84 (C)

Pioli: 'AC Milan are the best, but...'
20.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stefano Pioli believes Milan are “the best side in Serie A, but we start on level terms and Chievo can beat them.”

Teams like Inter and Napoli have already fallen at the Bentegodi this season and the Coach aims for another famous scalp.

“Milan are the strongest side in Serie A. They have the best defence and the best strike force, so if they are in front of everyone then there must be a reason,” said Pioli.

The Rossoneri lost to Tottenham midweek, but were without the cup-tied Antonio Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

“Cassano is an extraordinary player with creativity and that unpredictable style. If you add the physicality of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the quality of Robinho, then you are facing the best Italian football has to offer.

“Having said that, we are not already beaten. We start from 0-0 and with XI against XI playing on home turf. We’ve got to try to put in a great performance with focus, determination and work ethic.

“It will take an immense Chievo and we’ve already shown that we can fight it out with the big guns. I have faith.”

Pioli’s men need a boost after last week’s 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Cagliari.

“Our performance was just embarrassing. We were second in everything, but these things can happen on an off day.”

Gennaro Sardo and Davide Mandelli picked up bans in that game, while Luciano and Michele Marcolini are still injured.

Boateng and Abbiati back for AC Milan
19.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Christian Abbiati are back in the Milan squad to face Chievo, but Daniele Bonera and Nicola Legrottaglie are out.

The Ghanaian international has been out of action for several weeks with a recurring groin problem and is an important boost for the Serie A leaders.

His services are needed considering Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Marek Jankulovski and Gianluca Zambrotta are absent.

Bonera is not called up due to a strained toe, joining Legrottaglie, Flavio Roma, Pippo Inzaghi, Didac Vila and Rodney Strasser on the treatment table.

Goalkeeper Abbiati returns for his first match since suffering concussion in Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Tottenham.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Paleari, Abate, Antonini, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Boateng, Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

Allegri stands by captain Gattuso
19.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri urges Milan to “move on” after their Tottenham upset, but “never considered taking away Gennaro Gattuso’s captaincy.”

It has been a tumultuous week for the Rossoneri, who lost 1-0 to Spurs in the Champions League and saw Gattuso vilified in the British media for his scuffle with Joe Jordan.

“We must continue, not begin again, especially in Serie A. We are ready to move on with this new group of games,” said the Coach ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chievo.

“The Champions League is another matter. It is a shame for that undeserved defeat, but we’ll only talk about Tottenham the day after Juventus-Milan.

“Naturally it is Milan’s duty to aim for the victory in every competition. We’re top of the Serie A table and in the Coppa Italia semi-final.

“As for Gattuso, I never considered taking away his captaincy, because he took responsibility for his actions. Rino made a mistake, but his career proves what kind of a player and a man he is.

“After the game he apologised to the club, to me and his teammates. I’d also point out he ended that match with 12 stitches to his knee. Rino deserves the armband.”

The Rossoneri are three points clear of Napoli and five ahead of Inter, but had notched up a series of stalemates before their 4-0 demolition of Parma last week.

“Quite a lot has changed since the last time we played Chievo. The team has grown up and gelled with the new signings settling in. The side has a different shape.”

Tomorrow Milan will wear special jerseys to commemorate President Silvio Berlusconi’s 25 years at the helm, as he bought the club on February 20 1986.

Balotelli in AC Milan 'dream team'
19.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Newspapers are already looking to next season with Milan’s dream team of Mario Balotelli, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Sergio Ramos.

Max Allegri’s men are focusing on the Scudetto this term, but want to strengthen their squad further next year.

According to the Corriere dello Sport, plans are already afoot for a revolution within the side.

It had already been suggested yesterday that Alexandre Pato would be used as a bargaining tool to bring in Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.

Other candidates include Roma’s Philippe Mexes and Aly Cissokho, who had agreed a transfer two terms ago before Milan pulled out amid a disputed medical.

Pato’s sale and the fact Pippo Inzaghi is 37 open the door for an influx of new blood in attack.

The long-running links with Manchester City striker Balotelli continue unabated, especially as he is a self-confessed Milan supporter.

Brazilian Ganso has said he’s ready to come to Serie A, but there is a derby for the 20-year-old Santos starlet’s services with rivals Inter.

Stankovic: 'Put pressure on AC Milan'
19.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Dejan Stankovic has the Scudetto in his sights and wants Inter to beat Cagliari tonight “to put pressure on Milan.”

The Serb midfielder is expected to start this evening and mark his 200th Serie A match in a Nerazzurri shirt.

“It’s a great achievement and doesn’t make me feel old, just happy,” he told Inter Channel.

“I am a ‘senator’ of the old guard at Inter, one of the family. I wish I could celebrate it with a goal.

“It was great to make my comeback after three weeks out and the 2-1 victory at Fiorentina was important to close in on Milan. The Scudetto race is wide open and there’s a long way to go until the end of the season.

“Besides, when you win, it acts like penicillin on body and mind, helping you to feel stronger.”

Inter welcome Cagliari and hope to close the five-point gap from leaders Milan, but also prepare for their Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

“We’ve got to have a good performance against Cagliari and get the result to put pressure on Milan,” continued Stankovic.

“We are playing a lot at the moment and in the end the tiredness does catch up with you. Against Bayern we have to keep a clean sheet and know we’ve got the quality to punish them in attack.”

Ancelotti: 'Gattuso is a good man'
19.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has leapt to the defence of “good man” Gennaro Gattuso following the row with Joe Jordan.

The Milan midfielder was involved in an altercation with the Tottenham assistant manager after the final whistle in this week’s Champions League game.

“I was obviously not happy because Gattuso is a very generous player, is a very good man,” said ex-Milan Coach Ancelotti.

“He made a mistake. I'm very disappointed with this. Also, he was very disappointed after the game. He said sorry and full stop.

“He's played 100 games in the Champions League and he never had problems. I have seen him always correct. He made a mistake, he said sorry and now UEFA obviously will make a decision.”

Gattuso has been charged with gross sporting misconduct and awaits a disciplinary hearing by UEFA next week.

Galliani denies Mexes deal
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has denied reports that Milan have agreed to sign Roma centre-back Philippe Mexes on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Earlier today L'Equipe claimed that a deal had already been struck between Milan and the player, whose existing contract is due to expire in June.

Asked to comment on the report, Galliani said: “No, there is no deal between Milan and the Roma defender.

“Milan don't want to disturb either the player or Roma who are a friendly club.

“If the player decides not to stay at Roma then Milan might be interested as might many other top clubs,” he concluded.

Mexes to join AC Milan in June?
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Reports in France claim Roma centre-back Philippe Mexes has agreed to join Milan at the end of the season.

The 28-year-old is out of contract in June and has stalled on committing to Roma despite indications from Rosella Sensi that an offer is on the table.

This morning's L'Equipe understands that Mexes' agent Olivier Jouanneaux was scheduled to meet Sensi at the start of 2011 but their appointment never took place.

Despite the denials of Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani, it's thought that there is a verbal agreement with the player to leave Roma after seven years in the capital.

Milan are keen to rejuvenate their defence amid mounting speculation that Alessandro Nesta might retire.

L'Equipe feels Mexes is inclined to join Milan in an effort to win the Scudetto and possibly the Champions League.

He is also keen to play regularly at the highest level in order to keep his starting position in the France national team.

Mexes isn't the only player at Roma whose contract is due to expire.

Simone Perrotta and Marco Cassetti could also walk away for free in the summer.

Leonardo isn't thinking about AC Milan
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter boss Leonardo insists he isn't thinking about former club Milan even though they are closing in on the League leaders.

Last night Adriano Galliani made light of the fact Inter have won eight of their last 10 games in Serie A by telling reporters that they are still only two points closer to Milan than at Christmas.

Inter currently lie five points adrift of Milan and hope to make up more ground when they face Cagliari tomorrow.

“Honestly I am not doing any calculations and if you were to ask me how many points Milan have got since the start of 2011 I wouldn't be able to tell you,” Leonardo said.

“I am thinking about us, not Milan. There are 13 games left, a third of the season. That's a lot of games. Anything can happen.

“This team has already shown continuity and in the last 12 games we have got great results. There has been a lot of continuity even if we can improve. I don't believe that the Champions League can distract us.

“This team has the desire to win everything and it's normal to think about winning everything without choosing an objective. In these 12 games we have already shown our ability to maintain a high standard and we have given an important demonstration of our worth.”

Looking ahead to Cagliari, Leonardo is relishing the prospect of meeting his former Milan teammate Roberto Donadoni.

“Roberto is someone I like a lot. He is introverted but very sensible. He has changed a lot with time and as a Coach he has changed his way of seeing football.

“Roberto is doing well at Cagliari. He is moderate in his coaching and has taken charge of a team that he likes.”

AC Milan to exchange Pato for Ramos
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are ready to offer Real Madrid Alexandre Pato in exchange for Sergio Ramos, the Corriere dello Sport claims.

The Brazilian is no longer seen as untouchable at the Meazza given his injury issues and concerns over his partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Despite their undoubted ability, Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is yet to find a formula for the two to co-exist.

Given that Ramos’ future with the Liga side is in doubt, the Italians are apparently ready to discuss a possible swap deal.

Milan need a defender with Ramos’ characteristics given that he can play as a right-back and in the middle.

Real too are apparently looking for a striker who will replace Karim Benzema in the squad for 2011-12.

Should Pato leave, then that may free up a spot in the Milan attack for the club to make a Mario Balotelli bid.

The Italian, currently at Manchester City, is continually being linked with the Rossoneri thanks to his status as a Milan fan and due to the fact that his agent is Mino Raiola.

Ganso agent denies AC Milan deal
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Santos revelation Paulo Henrique Ganso has rubbished reports of an agreement with Milan.

The 20-year-old Brazilian is seen as a star of the future and he’s been heavily associated with the Rossoneri in the past few weeks.

The South American was quoted on Wednesday as suggesting that he will be playing in Milan next season – either with the Rossoneri or Inter.

However, the player’s entourage have released a statement denying that the youngster’s future is already sorted out.

“Even today there have been false reports in the media regarding an eventual agreement with Milan,” it read.

“The only negotiations taking place right now are with Santos in regard to a contract extension until 2015.”

Jordan hits back at Gattuso
18.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Joe Jordan has rubbished claims made by Gennaro Gattuso’s agent regarding why the two men clashed at San Siro in midweek.

The Milan midfielder confronted the Tottenham Coach both during and after the Champions League tie on Tuesday.

Gattuso’s representative later claimed that the Scot had branded the player a ‘f***ing Italian b***ard’, an allegation Jordan has strongly denied.

Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, Jordan said: “It’s pathetic. Completely and utterly untrue and quite pathetic.

“It’s just a nonsense, it really is. It’s a figment of his imagination and, I have to say, not a great imagination at that.

“If he wanted to try and explain his behaviour, you would have thought he might have come up with something better than that.

“He will have to address his conduct overall and account for himself to UEFA, but the allegation he has made is something else.

“I’m not having that, because Italy has played an important part in my life and will continue to.”

Jordan spent time in the peninsula as a player with Milan and Verona, while his daughter is currently working in Milan as a teacher.

“If I’m not visiting her, I’m renewing friendships in Milan and Verona that have lasted from my time playing out there,” he added.

“I love Italy and have always had an affinity with the people. Does that sound like someone who would come out with the sort of line Gattuso has got his agent to say?

“I have no idea why he got so heated, other than he does seem to have a reputation as a volatile character who lets things get to him.

“It may have looked like he was targeting only me, but they were by no means isolated incidents.”

Zanetti stands up for Gattuso
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter’s Javier Zanetti defended Gennaro Gattuso after the Milan man’s clash with Joe Jordan. “These things can happen.”

Gattuso has been charged with gross unsporting conduct and risks at least a one-match ban after going head-to-head with Tottenham assistant manager Jordan following the final whistle of Tuesday’s Champions League game.

“I saw that he was rather irritable, but these things can happen in a very tense match,” said Inter captain Zanetti.

“Besides, Rino immediately apologized, so we have to take that into account too.”

Milan are nursing their injuries after that 1-0 home defeat, as goalkeeper Christian Abbiati was stretchered off with concussion.

Abbiati resumed training with his teammates today, but Daniele Bonera suffered a toe injury and is expected to be out of this weekend’s Serie A match with Chievo.

Gattuso escapes assault charge
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

UEFA will charge Rino Gattuso with gross unsporting conduct rather than assault after his clash with Joe Jordan.

Gattuso was seen to raise his arms at the Tottenham assistant manager during the first leg of Milan's Champions League knock-out match on Tuesday evening.

He then sought out Jordan after the final whistle and attempted to head-butt the Scot.

UEFA's decision, which will be ratified on Monday, means Gattuso faces a minimum one-match ban.

If he had been charged with assault, the minimum would have been a three-match suspension.

Galliani defends Gattuso
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has leapt to the defence of Rino Gattuso following his clash with Joe Jordan.

Gattuso was seen to raise his arms at the Tottenham assistant manager during the first leg of Milan's Champions League knock-out match on Tuesday evening.

He sought out Jordan again after the final whistle and attempted to head-butt the Scot.

UEFA plan to meet and discuss the incident on Monday with a view to meting out a punishment for Gattuso.

“What Rino did is an unpleasant episode which isn't OK, but he was strongly provoked.

“Sure, you needn't react like that but the whole thing has been stigmatised.

“We are not thinking about taking the vice-captaincy away from Gattuso. He'll keep it.

“By tomorrow Milan will enter it's defence and we'll ask that Gattuso's behaviour over the last 104 games be taken into account. Then we'll see what to do after the sentence.”

Gattuso risks five match ban
17.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The latest indications from UEFA are that Rino Gattuso will receive a five-match ban for unsportsmanlike conduct after his clash with Joe Jordan.

Gattuso was seen to raise his arms at the Tottenham assistant manager during the first leg of Milan's Champions League knock-out match on Tuesday evening.

He sought out Jordan again after the final whistle and attempted to head-butt the Scot.

UEFA plan to meet and discuss the incident on Monday with a view to meting out a punishment for Gattuso.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands a four-match ban is probable, but an even lengthier suspension is also likely.

Even if Milan do overturn the 1-0 defeat they suffered in the first leg, it's would appear that Gattuso's season in the Champions League could be over.

Gattuso 'gentlemanly' to Jordan
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso’s representative insists “he was a gentleman in not revealing what Joe Jordan said. Rino didn’t kill anyone.”

The controversy over the post-match altercation between the Milan midfielder and Tottenham assistant manager drags on.

“Rino apologised yesterday, above all to his own fans for the effect this has on the image of Milan and his role as captain,” agent Andrea D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia.

“He was provoked, but it is also true he showed weakness by falling into that trap. It’s one thing to be sitting on the bench and winding people up, another to be running for an hour and a half. Reactions can be dictated by tension.”

D’Amico was above all furious at the British media for their vilification of former Glasgow Rangers star Gattuso, whose wife is Scottish.

“From my point of view, it is important to reaffirm some people exaggerated in their criticism. Gattuso’s career speaks for itself with regards to his fair play, quite aside from the competitive vigour he has always put into the sport.

“He is a very sincere and fair man, so certain comments seem over the top to me. Rino knows when you are captain of Milan there are certain duties for the club and fans, so this is why he apologised.

“In fact,” continued D’Amico, “he was a gentleman in not revealing what Joe Jordan said, because when you take an attitude like that, there’s not much to say.

“Rino didn’t kill anyone. Certain comments show more about people than mistakes made. We apologise and await any disciplinary action.”

Gattuso’s other agent, Claudio Pasqualin, told television interviewers that Jordan had provoked the player by calling him “a f***ing Italian b**tard.”

Jordan insulted Gattuso, says agent
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Milan midfielder Rino Gattuso claims Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan insulted his client during last night's Champions League match at San Siro.

Gattuso was seen to raise his arms in a confrontation with Jordan during the game and then sensationally attempted to head-butt the Scot after the final whistle.

He later apologised for his actions but UEFA are expected to punish the World Cup winner with a three-match ban.

Speaking to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, Gattuso's agent Claudio Pasqualin said: “What's evident to me is that my client was gravely provoked by Joe Jordan.

“After having continually heckled him, Jordan insulted him with a phrase of the lowest order, saying: 'F**king Italian b**tard'.

“For someone like Rino, who has a strong sense of Italian identity, I believe that this is the most cowardly and undignified of abuse.”

Asked about UEFA's plans to take action against Gattuso, Pasqualin said: “As soon as we have news from UEFA we will evaluate the best attitude to adopt.”

UEFA to sanction Gattuso
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

UEFA have revealed that they will discuss what disciplinary action to take against Rino Gattuso following his antics last night.

The Milan midfielder pushed Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan in the face during the match and attempted to head butt the Scott after the final whistle.

Gattuso later apologised for his actions and is already suspended for the second leg of the Last 16 match after picking up a fifth yellow card.

However, he is expected to receive a much bigger ban for gross misconduct.

This morning UEFA announced that they would be reviewing footage of the incident next Monday with a view to formulating an appropriate punishment.

Ganso: 'I'll play in Milan next season'
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Santos starlet Paulo Henrique Ganso says he will play under the Madonnina next season, hinting more at Inter than Milan.

The 20-year-old playmaker is widely regarded, along with his teammate Neymar, to be one of the stars of the future in Brazil.

Interviewed by Il Corriere dello Sport, he said: “Next year I will play in Milan.

“Leonardo often calls me because he wants me at Inter. Leo is a wonderful person.

“He was a great footballer and I hope he gets a lot of satisfaction out of being a Coach.

“Inter are a big club and everyone would like to play there. They have a fantastic squad and their recent victories show it.

“But Milan are also interested. I am happy because Milan are a big club. But I don't want to talk about the transfer market out of respect for Santos' fans.”

Abbiati out for five days
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati will be out of action for five days after suffering an injury against Tottenham last night.

The 33-year-old left the pitch on a stretcher wearing a neck brace after 15 minutes and went to hospital for an MRI scan.

Abbiati suffered a head trauma and for a time had difficulty finding his balance, but the injury is nothing serious.

He has been prescribed five days of rest and joins several of his teammates in the treatment room.

Aquilani or Pirlo? Juve decides
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Juventus are wondering whether it would be better to sign Andrea Pirlo from Milan than make Alberto Aquilani's move from Liverpool permanent.

Aquilani has impressed during his loan spell, but Juventus are seriously beginning to have qualms about paying the €16.5m option included in the deal.

The 26-year-old's wage demands, said to be €3.5m a season, have also given Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta plenty to think about from now until the end of the campaign.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Marotta is prepared to offer Aquilani a five-year contract in Turin at €2.5m a season and not a €uro more.

Pirlo is out of contract in the summer and would represent a low cost alternative capable of replacing Aquilani in the heart of the Juventus midfield.

Although he would arrive on a free transfer, the 31-year-old's wages are more prohibitive than those of Aquilani. He currently earns €5m a season at San Siro, excluding bonuses.

Gattuso: 'Jordan was winding me up'
16.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has apologised for his touchline brawl with Joe Jordan. “He was winding me up, but I lost my head.”

The Milan midfielder and Tottenham assistant manager had been trading barbs during the game, which saw Spurs emerge 1-0 winners from San Siro.

There was also a shove from Gattuso, but the tension exploded after the final whistle with the pair going head-to-head.

“At the end of the game I lost my head. I take full responsibility,” confessed Gattuso.

“I did something that I should not have done. Jordan was winding me up for the entire second half, but my reaction was unjustified.

“I was irritable because of the words that we had exchanged earlier on. We were speaking in Scottish, but I won't reveal what we said. I was wrong to do that to an older man and I apologise. Will there be a ban? I await a decision.”

Jordan is a former Milan player from the 1980s, while Gattuso is certainly familiar with the language as his wife is Scottish and he is an ex-Glasgow Rangers man.

Peter Crouch scored the winning goal, so it’s an uphill struggle for Milan, especially as Gattuso will be suspended for the second leg.

“We played badly in the first half, better in the second, but Tottenham got the goal. We’ll give it our best in London.”

Redknapp: 'Flamini is a disgrace'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Harry Redknapp felt it was “a great night for Spurs” at San Siro, but blasted Mathieu Flamini. “It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Tottenham came away from Milan with a 1-0 victory in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie.

“I said at half time we had to keep giving the ball to Aaron Lennon because he really had the beating of the left back all day,” the manager told Sky Sports 2.

“We had to keep trying to get him on the ball as much as possible, but the back four stood firm.

“The whole team were magnificent, every one of them did their jobs tonight. You hear the crowd singing - it's a great night for them, it's a great night for Tottenham.”

There was controversy, though, as Flamini was only booked for a two-footed tackle that forced Vedran Corluka off on a stretcher.

“That's a red card all day - how do you not get a red card for that? It's an absolute disgrace - they should look at that surely and they should do something about that. That is a dangerous, dangerous tackle.

“Obviously I lost Corluka and took a gamble really bringing Jonathan Woodgate on but I just felt his experience would be vital, it was a case of knowing where to be at the right time and I felt that Jonathan could give us that.”

Amelia: 'AC Milan are still in this'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Amelia had to come off the bench against Tottenham. “We’re upset, but at the same time aware we’re still in this.”

Milan lost their goalkeeper during the opening minutes when Christian Abbiati accidentally knocked the back of his head on Peter Crouch’s elbow, giving him concussion.

Amelia was the substitute and picked the ball out of the net when Aaron Lennon set up Crouch for the 1-0 win at San Siro.

“Tottenham were very good on the counter-attack. The ball happened to fall to Lennon, who is extremely fast,” noted Amelia.

“He skipped past Mario Yepes and from there they were two against one. It’s a shame, as we had played a great second half.

“We are upset, but at the same time aware that we’re still in this. We will go to White Hart Lane to play our game.

“We’ll keep fighting for the Champions League because we care about this competition.”

Flamini: 'I apologised to Corluka'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini reveals he “went to the Tottenham locker room to apologise” to Vedran Corluka.

The Milan midfielder was fortunate not to be sent off for that two-footed tackle that forced Corluka off on a stretcher in the 1-0 home defeat.

“I went to the Tottenham locker room to check on Corluka’s condition and to apologise,” ex-Arsenal man Flamini told Sky Sport Italia.

“It’s a shame about the defeat, as we played a good second half. Now we’ll have to go to London and win the game.

“We can win on our travels and created scoring opportunities tonight. In the first half we were too sluggish when pressing, but after the break we deserved a victory.”

Yepes regrets AC Milan opportunities
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Yepes can’t help but feel regret at his two great chances to score for Milan and explains why he “had to back off Aaron Lennon.”

The Colombian defender had a strong game and the Rossoneri’s best opportunities, but Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes performed two stunning saves.

“Gomes did really well on my two headers and we ran into an excellent goalkeeper having a great night,” he said of the 1-0 home defeat.

“If we had scored in either of those occasions, then the whole game would’ve changed.

“We got the wrong approach in the first half and did better in the second, even if we conceded the goal. It’s tough ahead of the second leg, but now we must work on that challenge.”

The Spurs goal was a classic counter-attack that saw Lennon skip over the Yepes challenge to set up Peter Crouch.

“When Lennon came towards me, I had to back off, as I thought that if I went towards him straight away then the referee would send me off,” he revealed.

“There was a lot of tension at the final whistle, so we tried to calm everyone down. These things can happen.”

Allegri: 'Defeat was undeserved'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan’s 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham was “undeserved and qualification is still wide open.”

The Rossoneri have a mountain to climb in order to reach the Champions League quarter-finals after Peter Crouch scored the only goal at San Siro.

“We are paying the price for the mistake we made on the counter-attack,” said the Coach on Sky Sport Italia.

“We were looking for the goal against Tottenham, who defended very well and it was difficult to find space.

“In the second half we played further up the pitch and created chances. We were too timid before the break and didn’t attack Tottenham properly.

“We’ll need a different approach in London, which we did see in parts in the second half tonight. It’s difficult for anyone to play when Spurs come to San Siro and close down all the spaces. You’ve got to give credit to Tottenham for their defending.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to deliver on the European stage again, but Allegri defended his striker.

“Up until now Ibra has always done great things. This isn’t the match to judge whether he’s had a good or bad season in Europe.”

Tension escalated at the final whistle with Gennaro Gattuso in a head-to-head with Tottenham assistant manager Joe Jordan.

“I didn’t understand what happened there. It was just a scuffle, nothing serious.”

The Coach also confirmed goalkeeper Christian Abbiati “is in hospital” for tests on concussion after he was stretchered off in the opening minutes.

Champions League: AC Milan 0:1 Tottenham - match report
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Crouch 80 (T)

Peter Crouch gave Tottenham a 1-0 win at San Siro, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last-gasp equaliser was disallowed and Christian Abbiati stretchered off.

The Rossoneri dived back into the Champions League with a completely reshuffled squad. Antonio Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson are cup-tied, with Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini and Kevin-Prince Boateng suspended. Thiago Silva had to be pushed up into midfield, while Clarence Seedorf took trequartista duties behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.

Spurs topped Inter's group with a win in London and 4-3 loss here, but the star of that show Gareth Bale was out with a back injury. Steven Pienaar stepped in with Rodrigo Palacios in midfield, but Luka Modric was only fit for the bench. Jermaine Jenas sit out a ban with the injured Ledley King, Tom Huddlestone and Younes Kaboul.

Milan last beat an English side in 2007, Liverpool in the Final, and went out to Premier League teams for two years running. In the opening 50 seconds Spurs had penalty appeals for an Alessandro Nesta handling offence, as the Pienaar cross struck the veteran defender on the arm, but it was ball-to-hand.

A poor Mario Yepes clearance to the edge of the box found Vedran Corluka and he chipped in a ball for Peter Crouch, but Christian Abbiati leapt to punch it away. At the other end, Ibra was incorrectly flagged offside when lining up his shot in the pouring rain.

Abbiati again anticipated Crouch to turn away a Corluka cross from the right, then smothered a deflected Rafael Van der Vaart effort. However, the goalkeeper accidentally knocked the back of his head on Crouch's elbow and was clearly very dizzy when he tried to stand, so had to be stretchered off with a neck brace and replaced by Marco Amelia.

Milan's first chance came on 20 minutes when Ibra's pull-back was beaten away at the near post. Ibrahimovic was denied a free kick when tripped on the very edge of the box by Michael Dawson.

Ibra's free kick was well wide and Amelia got his first test before the break by fingertipping a Van der Vaart snapshot out from under the crossbar. Heruelho Gomes flew off his line to pluck a dangerous Ignazio Abate cross off the feet of Robinho in the six-yard box. Robinho's cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, but nobody was there to finish it off.

Alexandre Pato replaced Seedorf, moving Robinho to the trequartista position. Van der Vaart spun round on the edge of the area to chip Amelia, but the ball dipped inches past the bar.

Wilson Palacios charged down a Robinho strike inside the box. From the resulting corner, Milan had a fantastic chance when Gattuso chipped in the cross for the head of Mario Yepes, but Gomes flew to fingertip it out of the far top corner in a desperate reaction save.

Ibra nodded wide, as Milan looked a different side after Max Allegri's half-time talk. Amelia comfortably held a long-range Van der Vaart free kick, but Mathieu Flamini was fortunate to only get a yellow card for a two-footed tackle on Corluka that forced his replacement with Jonathan Woodgate, making a comeback after 15 months.

On the hour mark Gomes needed another stunning save to deny Yepes from a corner and Thiago Silva cross, as he had his palms stung by the powerful header from point-blank range.

Luka Modric came on for Van der Vaart. Pato tried a backheel flick from a corner, but Gattuso was increasingly tense and had rows with both Crouch and Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan.

Pato knocked a cross back to Flamini for a strike that was deflected wide off Woodgate's back. Gattuso was eventually booked for a mistimed tackle on Pienaar and will be suspended for the second leg.

Tottenham took the lead 10 minutes from time with a classic counter-attack. Lennon gathered in his own half and sprinted forward, jumped over a last-ditch Yepes tackle and rolled across for Crouch to stroke home totally unmarked from the penalty spot.

Ibrahimovic blasted over, but Milan were clearly shell-shocked by this development. In stoppages Ibra knocked down the ball and Spurs defenders hesitated, but the Robinho finish was charged down for a corner at the near post. From that set play, Ibrahimovic put the ball in the net with an overhead kick, but it was controversially disallowed for a push on his defender's back.

The tension exploded after the final whistle with Gattuso in the centre of a row with Joe Jordan, but Flamini managed to drag him away.

Milan: Abbiati (Amelia 18); Abate, Nesta, Yepes, Antonini; Gattuso, Thiago Silva, Flamini; Seedorf (Pato 46); Robinho, Ibrahimovic

Tottenham: Gomes; Corluka (Woodgate 59), Gallas, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Sandro, Pienaar (Kranjcar 77); Van der Vaart (Modric 62); Crouch

Ref: Lannoy (Fra)

Ancelotti advises AC Milan on Spurs
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has given old club Milan advice on dealing with Tottenham. “They’re tough, but have a poor defence.”

The former Rossoneri boss hopes his former club can avoid going out of the Champions League to an English side for the third season running.

“Milan have the advantage on home turf, but at White Hart Lane Tottenham can make anyone suffer,” Ancelotti told La Stampa newspaper.

“It depends on how Milan do in terms of tempo. Manchester United and Chelsea risked losing it there.

“Gareth Bale’s absence is a bonus tonight, but it’ll be real trouble when he returns for the second leg in London.

“Spurs have other tough players like Peter Crouch, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Luka Modric, while keep an eye on Aaron Lennon, as he is an old-style winger good in the one-on-one. Spurs are tough, but have a poor defence.”

Milan are top of the Serie A table and favourites for the Scudetto, but this is Massimiliano Allegri’s first experience in the Champions League.

“My old players tell me Allegri reminds them of me. Up until Saturday Milan didn’t seem at their best, but if they have rediscovered the solidity that allowed them to break away in the first place and have Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s quality, then they can go far.”

Mexes stalls on new contract
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes has continued to stall on signing a new contract with Roma amid interest from Europe's biggest clubs.

The France international's current deal is due to expire at the end of the season and Roma have already expressed their willingness to push ahead with a renewal.

Mexes' stock has risen again this year and he has attracted admiring glances from Milan and Juventus who are aware of his situation.

The 28-year-old is unsettled at Roma, not least because of the ongoing ownership issues at the club.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that he would like to wait and see what the American consortium promise if and when their offer to buy Roma is successful.

Mexes' agent has already hinted that if his client does sign a new deal it will include a minimum fee release clause.

“For me there are more important things,” Mexes said. “Now I am thinking about Roma. If I hurt myself, for example, everything changes.

“I have to think about many things. I am happy in Rome. I have a calm conscience.”

Roma also have to resolve the future of another talismanic player in Simone Perrotta, as his contract is also due to run out.

Van der Vaart fit to face AC Milan
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tottenham midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart has been passed fit to face Milan in the first leg of tonight's Champions League knock out tie.

The Holland international was absent from Spurs' 2-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday after picking up a calf strain.

It eases Harry Redknapp's injury worries ahead of Tottenham's second trip to San Siro this season, the first being a 4-3 defeat to Inter in the group stages.

Tottenham will be without Luka Modric and perhaps even more importantly star winger Gareth Bale.

Bale scored a hat-trick on his last visit to San Siro, but he has stayed in London to recover from a back injury.

Cassano still a weight watcher
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The medical staff at MilanLab still feels that Antonio Cassano needs to lose more weight before he can reach peak physical condition.

The 28-year-old Italy international, who joined Milan from Sampdoria in December, arrived at the club's winter training camp in Dubai 4kg overweight.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Cassano has lost 2.5kg in the last month and is following a fitness programme tailor-made for his physical requirements.

Cassano is ineligible to face Tottenham in the Champions League this evening. He will watch the first leg from the stands at San Siro.

This morning he is expected to train by himself in an effort to lose the remaining 1.5kg that MilanLab believe represent his optimum weight.

Redknapp: 'Spurs must have a go'
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insists his side must have-a-go when they face Milan in the first leg of their Champions League second round match.

Spurs have already paid a visit to San Siro this season and where unlucky to lose 4-3 against Inter after mounting a second half comeback inspired by Gareth Bale.

“We are going to give it a right go,” Redknapp said. “We have not got the players to come here and shut up shop - we are an attacking team and that is how I like it.

“I don't want to concede bags of goals like last time.

“There's no way we can afford the same mistakes and go so many down so quickly. But attacking football is what got us so far in the first place.

“I will tell the team to get out there and just believe in themselves. We've got a real chance here.”

Van der Vaart expects open game
15.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tottenham playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart expects tonight's Champions League encounter with Milan to be a “very open game.”

The 28-year-old Holland international is doubtful to start at San Siro and faces a late fitness test for the first leg of this second round match.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dell Sport, he said: “It's a very open game but we have beaten Inter and know that we can also beat Milan.

“Playing the second leg at home gives us a big advantage. I believe that everyone fears coming to play at White Hart Lane.”

Asked about his past with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he said: “It's true, we've had some problems, but we have both grown up.

“All I can say about Zlatan is that he is a great player.”

Reflecting on his decision to join Tottenham in the summer, Van der Vaart insisted: “Spurs are a team who play good football and have many great players.

“If we play together for a few more years we can become a great team.”

AC Milan and Inter hail retired Ronaldo
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian giants Inter and Milan have paid tribute to Ronaldo after the Brazilian legend confirmed his retirement.

The South American, who played for both San Siro outfits, brought his glittering career to an end today at the age of 34.

“I’m sad to see him quit,” stated Inter President Massimo Moratti, a man who had a special relationship with Ronaldo and the man responsible for signing him from Barcelona in 1997.

“Ronaldo was the most powerful centre-forward in history and it was a pleasure to have him here at Inter at the pinnacle of his career.”

Ronaldo left Inter in the summer of 2002 for Real Madrid, but returned to Italy with Milan five years later.

“Ronaldo was a formidable ambassador for football and for sport,” a note on Milan’s website stated this evening.

“Ronaldo’s name will always be imprinted on the club’s history for his contribution in 2006-07 which ended with Milan winning the Champions League in Athens.”

Ronaldo confirmed his departure from the game at an emotional Press conference earlier today in his homeland.

"As you can imagine and you heard during the whole weekend, I'm here today to tell you that I'm closing my career as a professional player,” he noted.

"It was a very beautiful career, wonderful and exciting.

"There were a lot of defeats and a lot of victories. I made many friends and I can't recall any enemies.”

The World Cup winner ends his injury-hit career with 326 goals in 466 games for clubs, while he netted 62 in 97 caps for Brazil.

Allegri names AC Milan squad
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has picked a 19-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League test against Tottenham.

Allegri has limited options given that January signings such as Mark Van Bommel and Antonio Cassano are cup-tied, while numerous players are injured.

Among those on the treatment table are Gianluca Zambrotta, Massimo Ambrosini, Andrea Pirlo, Pippo Inzaghi and Kevin-Prince Boateng.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Abate, Antonini, Jankulovski, Legrottaglie, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Strasser, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho.

Seedorf heading to MLS?
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Whispers on the peninsula are suggesting that Clarence Seedorf could join the MLS when his contract at Milan expires.

The 34-year-old has less than six months left on his San Siro deal and it’s unclear whether the Rossoneri will offer him new terms.

The Dutchman has been linked with a return to Ajax, but now rumours are circulating that he’s wanted in America.

New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy are apparently interested in taking on the classy midfielder.

Seedorf joined Milan in 2002 after spending three years at city rivals Inter. He’s also played for Ajax, Sampdoria and Real Madrid in his career.

Ibrahimovic: Experience counts in Europe
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Milan's pedigree in Europe will stand the club in good stead when they face Tottenham at San Siro on Tuesday.

Milan are looking to win the Champions League for the first time since 2007.

They have struggled in recent years to overcome English opposition, losing to Arsenal and Manchester United.

“Milan's experience in Europe is a big advantage. Many players who have won the Champions League play here. This can help and also calms the team.

“Tomorrow is very important, even if we play on two levels: the first leg and the second leg.

“Tottenham are a great team. They are showing it in the Premier League. They are growing as a team and gaining a lot after making important investments.

“It will not be easy for us. I find that Tottenham are on the same level as Arsenal.

“I always try and score goals and help the team. The important thing is to win, not that I score goals.

“Tomorrow we must be careful not to concede goals. We must be careful both in the first leg and the second leg.”

Allegri: Spurs strong without Bale
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri claims Tottenham will pose Milan a great threat even without the injured Gareth Bale.

Bale did not travel to Milan this morning after failing to recover from a back problem.

“Independently of Bale's absence, Tottenham have done well without him in recent games,” Allegri said.

“They are an intense, very organised team with a good collective, with individuals who are technically very good.

“It's the Last 16 of the Champions League. It will be very difficult also seeing as we are playing for 180 minutes.”

Asked to reveal whether his focus lies with Serie A or the Champions League, Allegri replied: “We have been top for 13 games and it's normal that we have spoken more about the League because recently we haven't played in the Champions League.

“Now instead the Champions League is back and it's always a primary motivation for the club.

“Seeing that in recent years Milan have gone out in the Last 16, we need to give everything to go as far as possible.

“Tomorrow we have to play a balanced game. The objective is to try not to concede a goal. That's something important over the course of two games.

“They have a very important attacking potential. We'll need to have great defensive solidity. The entire team must work well not to concede a goal.”

Pirlo in Barcelona to see specialist
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's midfield playmaker Andrea Pirlo has flown to Barcelona to see a specialist about his latest knee injury.

The 31-year-old Italy international was due to make his comeback against Parma on Saturday, but strained his knee badly in training the day before.

He is now expected to be out of action for at least six weeks.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Pirlo has sought the advice of Ramon Cugat, who operated on his teammate Filippo Inzaghi earlier this season.

Cugat has worked with some of the world's great players such as Samuel Eto'o, Antonio Di Natale and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bale doesn't travel with Spurs
14.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tottenham have confirmed that Gareth Bale has not travelled with the rest of the squad to face Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old Wales international has been out with a back injury for the last three weeks.

Last week, reports emerged suggesting Bale would recover in time for the first leg of Tottenham's second round tie.

However, he will stay in London and continue his physiotherapy work.

It's a big boost for Milan and for Ignazio Abate, the Milan right-back charged with marking Bale.

A lot was made of Bale's stellar performances in the group stages against Inter, notably when he scored a hat-trick at San Siro against the treble winners.

Cassano: 'Nobody can stop AC Milan'
13.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano broke his duck in a Milan jersey and is confident “if we play like this, then nobody can stand in our way.”

The Serie A leaders thrashed Parma 4-0 on Saturday evening with FantAntonio scoring his first goal for the club and providing two assists.

“The most important thing is the victory of the team,” he told Milan Channel.

“People noticed that we stepped on to the field with the right determination and grit. If we continue to play like this, then nobody can stand in our way.

“I’m learning that at Milan you have to be 100 per cent all the time and the objective is always to win.

“If someone makes a mistake, I try to comfort them. After all, they can misplace a pass because they work so hard, whereas I am not exactly the hardest runner in the team,” grinned Cassano.

“Alexandre Pato is the best player under 22 in the world. He has scored 50 goals in 100 games and has popular acclaim, so he needs to stay calm, as he can give Milan that leap up in quality.”

The Rossoneri face Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson are cup-tied.

“It is tough and I’d love to be a part of the squad, but I’ll be there cheering on my teammates anyway. I am happy when I see them celebrate, just as I was when setting up those goals for Robinho.”

Tottenham: 'Bale out of AC Milan match'
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan received a boost with confirmation Gareth Bale is out of Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with Tottenham.

The Welsh wizard has been a key figure in Spurs’ European campaign so far, scoring a hat-trick against Inter.

However, manager Harry Redknapp confirmed that Bale will not recover from a back injury in time for Tuesday’s game.

Bale already missed today’s 2-1 win at Sunderland and does not hold out much hope of even making the trip to San Siro.

"Gareth is not too far away. He's not going to be fit, I don't think, for Tuesday, but he's not too bad," Redknapp told Sky Sports.

"The specialists have seen it, he's had an epidural injection. Peter Crouch has had the same problem and he is fine - in fact, his back looked a lot worse on the scan.

"He shouldn't be too long, but Tuesday may be just a bit too soon for him.

"You saw what Gareth did against Inter Milan, when he terrorised them, really, and that would be in their minds an awful lot, I'm sure, if you asked them.

"Everybody in Italy talks about Bale - I went over and watched a game and everyone was asking me: 'Is Bale fit? Is Bale fit?' He would scare them to death, for sure."

Milan have their fair share of problems too, as Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini are both out for six weeks.

Antonio Cassano, Urby Emanuelson and Mark Van Bommel are cup-tied, while the injury list includes Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Pippo Inzaghi, Nicola Legrottaglie, Daniele Bonera and Ignazio Abate.

Allegri: 'AC Milan were never in crisis'
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan “were never in crisis,” though he still wasn’t happy with a 4-0 triumph.

“When a side like Milan plays two draws in a row, it sparks controversy and immediately people start talking about a ‘crisis’ to bolster the chasing pack,” moaned the Coach.

“We were never in crisis and that was an exaggeration. We played well in the last two games, so all we were missing was the result.”

That certainly arrived in today’s 4-0 thrashing of Parma at San Siro, where Antonio Cassano finally broke his duck.

“I think that up until we scored the second goal, it was a good performance. Then we slowed down the tempo too much and no longer tried to really hurt our opponents.

“It is a mistake to settle down too quickly and in the past we have paid for this attitude. Thankfully, Robinho’s introduction resolved it, but we have to finish off games earlier.”

Robinho came off the bench to bag a brace in quick succession, both from Cassano assists.

Serie A: AC Milan 4:0 Parma - match report
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Seedorf 8 (M), Cassano 17 (M), Robinho 62, 65 (M)

Antonio Cassano scored his debut Milan goal and set up a Robinho brace, while Clarence Seedorf was also on target as they thrashed Parma 4-0.

The Rossoneri were still top and unbeaten in seven, but four of those were draws, so Napoli and Inter had closed the gap. Antonio Cassano returned to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Clarence Seedorf in support, while Alessandro Nesta made his comeback from a dislocated shoulder. Alexander Merkel was picked after Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini were ruled out for six weeks. Parma had Stefano Morrone suspended, but opted for a quality trident attack with Sebastian Giovinco, Amauri and ex-Milan man Hernan Crespo.

Milan had won seven of their last eight meetings with Parma at San Siro.

It took precisely 25 seconds for the first shot on target, as Antonio Mirante had his palms stung by a Seedorf screamer from distance.

Seedorf had better luck soon after, as he opened the scoring. Ibrahimovic caught a wayward shot and with one touch turned it into a perfect through ball for the Dutchman, who dribbled round Mirante to slot into an empty net.

Christian Abbiati did well to smother a powerful Antonio Candreva cross-shot along the six-yard line.

However, it was 2-0 with Cassano's first ever goal in a Rossoneri jersey. It was another well-worked team move as Cassano exchanged passes with Gennaro Gattuso to spring the offside trap and placed a low right-foot volley into the far bottom corner. It was impressive to see Gattuso complete the give-and-go with a chipped pass off the outside of his left foot.

It should've been 3-0 on 28 minutes, as Seedorf's pull-back set up Merkel, who swung a fresh-air shot from nine yards. Ibra knocked down a long ball for Cassano's strike on the bounce that was palmed out from under the bar.

Mirante also got his gloves to an Ibrahimovic chest and half-volley from point-blank range at the base of the near post. Ibra tried rushing forward on his own from midfield, but got the ball caught behind his leg and was blocked off. In first half stoppages, a dangerous Candreva free kick whistled just past the post with Abbiati rooted to the spot.

Parma were more aggressive after the restart, as Giovinco's cross-shot was charged down in the six-yard box and Blerim Dzemaili hit a missile from 25 metres that Abbiati flew to palm away.

However, Milan made it 3-0 with substitute Robinho and practically his first touch. It was a lovely move as Ibra and Cassano repeatedly exchanged passes down the left side of the area and the Italian's roll across went under Ibrahimovic's foot to find the Brazilian unmarked to thump home.

Ibra squared a pass across the box for Robinho, but Massimo Paci came sliding in and got just enough of a touch on it to put the former Manchester City striker off.

Robinho got his second moments later. Cassano was again the provider, as he nutmegged Alessandro Lucarelli and threaded through for the Brazilian to spring the offside trap with a fierce finish from 10 yards. Robinho celebrated by 'shining' Cassano's boots.

Amauri managed to nod down a cross and squirm in front of Nesta, but Abbiati was ready to charge down with his shin at the near post.

Milan: Abbiati; Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Flamini 62), Van Bommel, Merkel; Seedorf (Robinho 58); Ibrahimovic (Pato 68), Cassano

Parma: Mirante; Gobbi, Lucarelli, Paci, Zaccardo; Valiani, Dzemaili (Galloppa 85), Candreva; Giovinco (Angelo 69); Amauri, Crespo (Bojinov 69)

Ref: De Marco

Thiago Silva: 'I nearly died in Russia'
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Thiago Silva reveals the reason he wanted to quit football after rejection in Brazil and contracting TB in Russia. “I almost died.”

The Brazilian is one of the most sought-after young talents in Serie A right now and has been linked with Real Madrid, but it was almost a very different story.

“In 2005 I was sent out on loan to Dinamo Moscow, but the city was horrible, I was cold and got ill,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport magazine Sport Week.

“I was in hospital for six months. I was 10kg overweight and, despite everyone else in the hospital being so skinny and not wanting to eat, I was always hungry. My mother said I didn’t look ill, but I couldn’t move.

“The doctors would tell me to get up and go for a walk, but I couldn’t do it. This disease is also contagious, so I was put in isolation, only able to play computer games and go on the internet.

“Every now and then a doctor would come in and give me an injection, three or four times a day, plus 10-15 pills.

“I eventually found out that I’d had tuberculosis for six months. The doctors said if another two weeks had passed, I might not have been able to recover. I almost died. This is why, whenever I play, I think back to those moments in Russia.

“I had thought of quitting football altogether. There was another occasion when I went to Flamengo for a trial and after two sessions they said I could go, as I was no better than any of the players they already had,” revealed Thiago Silva.

“I told my mother I didn’t want to play football anymore, as nobody wanted me. However, she said in that case I’d have to go work for my brother, so I immediately changed my mind and looked for another club!”

Marino unleashes trident on AC Milan
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma could hit leaders Milan with their own trident attack this evening, confirms Coach Pasquale Marino.

“We already proved during the game with Fiorentina that Sebastian Giovinco can co-exist with Amauri and Hernan Crespo. We’ll see,” said the tactician.

Stefano Morrone is suspended with Toni Calvo and Rafael Marques injured, but other options for the attack are Amauri flanked by Giovinco and Angelo.

Their last meeting was an extremely tight affair at the Tardini, ending 1-0 thanks to Andrea Pirlo’s strike, but Parma are in poor form at the moment.

“Our performances recently have helped to relax us, even if the results haven’t been positive. We have the right state of mind to face the Serie A leaders.

“It is going to be a difficult game, but if we think that we’re going to approach it the same way we did the first time, trying to contain Milan, then we’ll be beaten at the outset.

“We’ve got to play the way we know how. I’d like to see the same Parma performance against Inter at San Siro or at the Olimpico with Juventus. Obviously with better results...”

AC Milan lose Pirlo for six weeks
12.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have received a terrible blow with news that Andrea Pirlo is out for six weeks due to strained knee ligaments.

The midfielder has been sidelined since suffering a thigh strain against Roma on December 18 and was all set for his comeback from the start with Parma this evening.

However, during the last training session on Friday he sprained his knee and tests showed there has also been ligament damage.

“The chief medic of AC Milan, Doctor Gianluca Melegati, confirms the tests on Andrea Pirlo showed a second degree strain of the collateral medial ligament in the right knee.

“The recovery process is expected to last around six weeks.”

Not only does this rule Pirlo out of both Champions League legs against Tottenham, it also means he’ll miss Serie A clashes with Napoli, Juventus, Palermo and possibly the derby against Inter on April 3.

It is also a heavy blow considering fellow midfielder Massimo Ambrosini is out of action for a similar period of time.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia; Antonini, Didac Vilà, Jankulovski, Legrottaglie, Nesta, Oddo, Papastathopoulos, Thiago Silva, Yepes; Emanuelson, Flamini, Gattuso, Merkel, Seedorf, Van Bommel; Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

Pirlo suffers injury setback
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Just hours after Max Allegri announced that he would be making his comeback for Milan this weekend, Andrea Pirlo has suffered an injury setback.

The 31-year-old has been out of action for three weeks during which time Milan's gap at the top of the table has closed to just three points.

Pirlo trained this afternoon with a view to starting tomorrow's match against Parma.

However, it has since emerged that the Italy international has sprained his right knee.

Pirlo will undergo a series of tests tomorrow to ascertain whether he will be fit to play Tottenham in the Champions League.

Nesta and Pirlo back for AC Milan
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri has confirmed that Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo are back available for Milan ahead of this weekend's game against Parma.

Milan have suffered without the veteran pair, drawing each of their last two games in Serie A.

“Luckily a long week is over, one in which many things have been said and written,” Allegri said. “It almost seemed as though we were third or fourth, but there is only one team at the top.

“From tomorrow onwards the Scudetto will be decided so now there is no possibility of making mistakes.

“This mustn't make us nervous, but conscious that we have our destiny in our hands.

“Parma have great technique with Amauri and Crespo. They are a great team with a lot of goals in the legs of people like Giovinco, Candreva, Valiani and Dzemaili.

“Perhaps, it's not a fundamental game, but it is decisive for the story of this season.”

Van Bommel: 'AC Milan must play better'
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel has rejected claims that Milan are nervous, but insists that his side must start doing better.

The Rossoneri have drawn their last two matches in Serie A, allowing the chasing pack to close the gap at the top.

Interviewed in La Gazzetta dello Sport, Van Bommel said: “I don't know what it looks like from the outside. But on the inside we are serene.

“We know that we must keep an eye on Inter, who are a great team and are coming back into the title race. And we know that in the last two games we have lost four points too easily.

“We have to play better.

“I am very proud to have come to Milan. They are one of the best teams in the world. Everyone dreams of playing here sooner or later.”

Zaccardo promises AC Milan battle
11.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Parma’s Cristian Zaccardo has warned Milan that they’ll have to earn the three points tomorrow evening.

Week 25 opens at the Meazza with Milan-Parma, the League leaders against a Tardini outfit who are currently 15th.

“It’s clear that Milan will be favourites, but we are not going to San Siro to just roll over,” the defender noted.

“We are 14 points away from safety. We want to put in a positive performance and take home a positive result.

“We need to play with our heads. The points on offer in the second half of the season are heavier than the ones on offer in the first.

“We’ve only collected one point from the last two games despite some decent displays.

“We’ve already been to the Stadio Meazza this season to play Inter. We played well there too but came home beaten. That’s another reason why we have to focus.

“We’ll look to defy the odds against Milan, especially as they probably have more to lose in this game than we do.”

Pato and Thiago Silva 'don't fear Inter'
10.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan stars Alexandre Pato and Thiago Silva insist “Inter do not scare us” despite closing the gap.

The two Brazilians returned to Italy after their 1-0 friendly defeat to France last night and are ready to dive back into the Serie A battle.

“Inter? We’re on top of the table and focus only on ourselves,” said Pato. “Things are going very well with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and it’s not true that there are problems between us. I just want to play and respect the Coach’s decisions.”

Thiago Silva was even more bullish when asked about the Nerazzurri pushing back into the title race.

“Do Inter scare us? Fear does not exist,” smiled the defender. “It’s true they are catching up, but we are still in front, must stay calm and continue along our path.

“It’s a difficult moment for us, we drew quite a few games, but the team is still playing well. On Saturday we face a tough side like Parma, but I think we can play a great game and achieve the victory.”

Thiago Silva reveals he was impressed by teammate Mario Yepes, who filled in for the injured Alessandro Nesta.

“It’s not easy at the age of 34 to deal with so many injuries, but he is trying to get back as soon as possible because he knows that the team needs him.

“When Nesta is absent, then we struggle a bit more, but Yepes is doing very well. In fact, when playing against him last season, I had no idea he had so much quality. He keeps everyone calm and has a great deal of experience.”

'AC Milan knew Inter would come back'
10.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri claims Milan knew that Inter would somehow fight their back into the title race.

Back-to-back draws in Serie A have allowed Inter to close in on Milan at the top of the table.

Five points is all that separates the two sides and Inter still have a game in hand.

Speaking to Milan News, Allegri said: “The season is long. There are still many games left. I have never seen a team win the League in Italy with two months to spare.

“We knew that Inter would return to fight for the Scudetto. Napoli are having a great season and Roma are in the fight.

“The thing that we have to do now is stay concentrated.”

Asked if he feels Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato are compatible, Allegri said: “They only have to play together more and get to know each other better.”

Finally, he addressed concerns that Ibrahimovic is exhausted.

“He never has a normal week in which to rest, but I believe that right now it's all in the mind,” Allegri concluded.

Abbiati: 'AC Milan will win the title'
10.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati is convinced Milan have what it takes to win the Scudetto this season.

The 33-year-old goalkeeper freely admits that his side faces great competition, but remains unfazed.

Milan have a three-point cushion at the top of Serie A, but back-to-back draws have allowed the chasing pack to close the gap.

Interviewed in Il Corriere dello Sport, he said: “We are happy. We are conscious of our strength and believe in the final result.

“We are top of the table and have the intention of staying there until the end of the season.

“Inter certainly have the best and most competitive squad. Napoli and Roma are only a step behind. They are dangerous too.”

Pirlo agent won't deny Roma report
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Pirlo’s agent would not confirm or deny reports of a link with Roma. “It’s not the right time to discuss leaving Milan.”

The veteran midfielder’s contract is about to expire and there are rumours he could join the all-new Giallorossi with his old Coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“At the moment Andrea is focusing only on the pitch,” agent Tullio Tinti told

“It’s too early to talk about what the future holds, as we are still in February.

“It’s not the right time to discuss a contract renewal or possibly leaving Milan.”

The representative certainly did not deny that Pirlo could be considering a move away from San Siro.

Roma are ready for a revolution in the summer if the takeover bid from American investor Thomas DiBenedetto goes through.

Pato prefers centre-forward position
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has told reporters that he prefers to play as a centre-forward rather than as a second striker.

His comments come amid speculation that he is incompatible with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Speaking while on international duty with Brazil, he said: “I like playing as a centre-forward and I believe that I do well in this role.

“But I do what the Coach asks of me both for Brazil and for Milan.

“Mano Menezes believes in me and Max Allegri does too. Then it all depends on how we play.

“I am happy. I am always happy. I must only work and stay calm,” he concluded.

Clubs line up to sign Pirlo
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are prepared to risk losing Andrea Pirlo by holding off from talks regarding a new contract.

The 31-year-old's existing deal runs out at the end of the season.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands Inter, Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are all interested.

Adriano Galliani has decided to wait until April to discuss the futures of nine Milan players.

Pirlo's agent Tullio Tinti has already sought to open negotiations but to no avail.

The Italy international currently earns €5m a year, although bonuses to reward qualifying for the Champions League or winning the Scudetto mean it can rise to €7m.

As it stands, this deal no longer tallies with Milan's efforts to reduce their wage bill and Galliani will try and persuade Pirlo to take a pay cut.

Nesta closer to AC Milan comeback
9.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta is close to his Milan comeback after he returned to regular training with his teammates.

The defender has been out of action for just under a month, having dislocated his left shoulder during the 2-0 win over Cesena on January 23.

As he already had a serious injury to that same shoulder, there were fears Nesta could be out for six weeks or more.

However, a statement released by the official Milan website today confirmed “Nesta completed the entire training session with the squad.”

It is hoped he can make his comeback either against Parma this weekend or the trip to Chievo.

Andrea Pirlo only managed light running during today’s session, while Ignazio Abate and Kevin-Prince Boateng took part in the athletic training, but split off from the group after that.

Ibrahimovic beginning to tire
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic admits that he is tired after playing so much for his club side this season.

The 29-year-old is the first name on the teamsheet at San Siro and is beginning to feel the pain.

Speaking while on international duty with Sweden, he said: “I have to be smart and listen to my body so that I stay fit all season.

“I feel very tired. The last two games, I have not been 100 per cent.

“I run around the pitch without something happening.”

Ibrahimovic has fired blanks in each of Milan's last two League matches, which have ended in draws.

There are suggestions that he isn't compatible with Alexandre Pato.

AC Milan linked with M'vila
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are keeping very close tabs on Rennes' starlet Yann M'Vila, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 20-year-old is already a fixture in Laurent Blanc's France side and is widely considered as the one of the best all-round midfielders to emerge in recent years.

La Gazzetta understands that Milan's director of sport Ariedo Braida has watched M'Vila in person.

M'Vila has spoken of his desire to stay with Rennes next season because he feels regular first team football is important at this stage of his career.

However, Rennes President Frederic de Saint Sernin might be tempted into accepting a bid worth around €15m.

Milan are looking to bolster the central midfield position in the summer, as Mark Van Bommel is expected to leave once his six-month contract expires.

Liverpool are also reportedly interested in M'Vila.

Their director of football strategy Damien Comolli is known to be a particularly keen admirer.

Sneijder: 'Inter can catch AC Milan'
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Wesley Sneijder thinks that if Inter beat Juventus and Fiorentina over the next week they can finally catch Milan at the top of the table.

Sunday's thrilling 5-3 victory at home to Roma allowed Leonardo's side to close the gap with their rivals to just five points.

Speaking while on international duty with Holland, Sneijder said: “It's great to be back playing again. Obviously I am not in peak condition after 50 days out.

“I have to rediscover my match rhythm, but the goals against Bari and Roma have given me great motivation. The gap with Milan is closer.

“If we win against Juve and Fiorentina, we can really win the Scudetto.”

Reflecting on Holland's friendly with Austria in Eindhoven, he said: “I'd like to play the entire game because I also care a lot about this shirt.

“But I will speak with the Coach and perhaps do only 45 or 60 minutes. After all, I've only just come back. But the more I play and the sooner I get back in shape, the better it is for Inter because I feel that we can confirm ourselves as champions again even at the end of this season.”

Thiago Silva: 'AC Milan are under siege'
8.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Thiago Silva feels that his side are under siege amid doubts about whether they can win the Scudetto.

Sunday's 1-1 draw away to Genoa allowed both Napoli and Inter to close the gap at the top of the table.

“The truth is that in this moment we feel under siege,” Thiago said. “The problem is more complex.

“It's true that there is a strange atmosphere around us. The TV, radio and newspapers only talk about Inter and always with adjectives full of enthusiasm. Is it possible that everyone in Italy has become fans of Leonardo's team?

“At times I go and look at the League table to confirm that we are the ones at the top with a five-point advantage [on Inter]. Even if they were to win their game in hand against Fiorentina, they would still be behind us, right?

“We mustn't fall into this trap. Someone wants to break our dressing room, magnify our problems and take our assurance away.

“We must respond on the pitch by beating Parma on Saturday. Then we'll see about the derby.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan are still favourites'
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri feels Milan are still the favourites to win the Scudetto this season despite seeing their lead at the top cut to just three points.

A second consecutive draw, this time away to Genoa on Sunday, has prompted some critics within the Italian media to suggest Milan are having a wobble.

“It's true that Inter are making up ground and getting back all their players,” Allegri said.

“However, we are still top and for now favourites in the race for the Scudetto.

“It's can happen that you draw games that you deserve to win and win others that you deserve to lose.

“Teams can sometimes have a dip. But as of now Milan are Semi-Finalists in the Coppa Italia and are also through to the second round of the Champions League, which seems more than positive to me.”

Prandelli: 'Cassano knows it's his last chance'
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli claims Antonio Cassano is under no illusion that this is his last chance to shine at the highest level.

Cassano was called up to La Nazionale on Sunday for the first time since his epic falling out with Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone in late October.

The 28-year-old allegedly swore at Garrone and refused to attend an awards ceremony held in his honour, prompting Sampdoria to ask that his contract be rescinded.

Eventually the matter was resolved in December when Milan opted to take Cassano off Samp's books.

Asked to reveal how he has treated Cassano, Prandelli replied: “I haven't said anything in particular to him because what there was to say has already been said.

“He needs to show the right behaviour and continuity.”

Prandelli then reflected on his decision to call up another oriundo in Inter midfielder Thiago Motta.

“FIFA's ok for his call up arrived this morning. I find it extraordinary that players who aren't born in this country ask to wear the blue shirt.

“I call up players who deserve it and I try to look beyond the polemic regarding a multi-ethnic national team because football unites and polemic of this nature does bad not only to our sport but to Italy.”

Pato: 'I can play with Ibrahimovic'
7.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan striker Alexandre Pato has rejected claims that he is unable to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Their apparent lack of compatibility has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks, but Pato feels he laid the doubters to rest on Sunday.

The Brazil international scored a wonderful goal against Genoa thanks to an assist from Ibrahimovic. However, Milan were wasteful afterwards and could only draw 1-1.

It allowed Napoli to cut Milan's lead at the top of Serie A to just three points, while Inter have also closed the gap thanks to a 5-3 win at home to Roma.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Pato said: “I don't have any problem playing with Ibra.”

The 21-year-old has now scored nine goals in 11 starts for Milan in Serie A this season.

Allegri: 'AC Milan don't feel the pressure'
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri concedes “Antonio Cassano is out of shape, but Milan do not feel under pressure from the chasing pack.”

Their lead at the top of the Serie A table has been cut to three points after a 1-1 draw at Genoa this afternoon, their second consecutive stalemate.

“We know there is a long way to go and we have a three-point advantage,” said the Coach.

“We did fairly well in the first half, less so after the break. During the week we should get some more players back from injury and we know that we must improve.

“When things seem too easy, we tend to rest on our laurels. Cassano is out of shape, but we played every three days this month and so needed to field him.”

Napoli consolidated second place and are now just three points adrift of Milan.

“We do not feel under pressure from the chasing pack,” continued Allegri.

“Although at the start of the season Napoli might’ve been considered a surprise, they are now clearly a reality of Serie A. They are not obliged to win the Scudetto, so can play with a relaxed state of mind.”

Serie A; Genoa 1:1 AC Milan - match report
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 29 (M), Floro Flores 45 (G)

Antonio Floro Flores wiped out the Alexandre Pato opener, as leaders Milan were held to a second consecutive stalemate.

The Serie A leaders aimed to keep their advantage at the top of the table against a side that lost midweek to Fiorentina thanks to an Eduardo blunder. Mark Van Bommel returned from suspension, but the injury list included Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alessandro Nesta, Luca Antonini, Marco Amelia, Massimo Ambrosini, Ignazio Abate, Nicola Legrottaglie and Pippo Inzaghi. Genoa had ex-Milan defender Kakha Kaladze facing his former club.

This was a special game, as it was the first time in 16 years that Rossoneri fans were allowed to sit in the stands at Marassi. They had been barred due to safety fears ever since Genoa supporter Vincenzo Spagnolo was stabbed to death outside San Siro. Last season this fixture was played behind closed doors after threats.

Robinho and Antonio Floro Flores had early chances, but Genoa lost young striker Matteo Destro to injury in the opening quarter of an hour. Alexandre Pato's combination with Robinho did not go as planned, while appeals for a Gennaro Gattuso handling offence were waved away, as he was extremely close to the shot.

Christian Abbiati flew to fingertip a Domenico Criscito blockbuster over the crossbar.

It was Pato who broke the deadlock after 29 minutes. Zlatan Ibrahimovic sprung the offside trap and drew two defenders towards him, then prodded the ball across the face of goal for The Duck to tap in from six yards.

Robinho crossed to the back post for Pato, who fired his shot into the ground and deflected off target.

Genoa equalised on the stroke of half-time. The ball took a strange ricochet off Bonera's ankle to send Floro Flores through clear on goal and he kept his cool to beat Abbiati.

Milan poured forward as Eduardo rushed off his line to stop Mathieu Flamini tapping in a smart Ibrahimovic pass, then Marco Rossi needed a sliding tackle on Robinho.

Pato drilled over and ex-Sampdoria star Antonio Cassano replaced Robinho against his old derby rivals. Pato nodded a cross to the back post for Ibrahimovic, where Eduardo did just enough to turn it past the upright.

Genoa introduced Milan youth product Alberto Paloschi, but Abdoullay Konko wasted a good opportunity with a poor first touch from eight yards, then forced Abbiati into a tricky save from distance.

Pato hit the back of the net, but play had already been stopped for an Ibra push on Dario Dainelli.

Genoa: Eduardo; Mesto, Dainelli, Kaladze (Rafinha 90), Criscito; Konko, Kucka, Milanetto, Rossi; Floro Flores (Paloschi 70), Destro (Palacio 16)

Milan: Abbiati; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Bonera; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Flamini (Emanuelson 75); Robinho (Cassano 63); Ibrahimovic, Pato

Ref: Mazzoleni

Ballardini: 'AC Milan constructed to win'
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Genoa tactician Davide Ballardini has the highest respect for leaders Milan. “They were constructed to win the Scudetto.”

The Rossoneri hope to extend their lead at the top of the table, but face a tricky trip to Marassi this afternoon.

“Milan were constructed to win the Scudetto,” noted Ballardini.

“They introduced elements to the squad who raised the quality level, as not everyone has a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

“However, we won’t sit back and wait for the Rossoneri. Quite simply, we can’t do that, as it is not in Genoa’s DNA.

“I will tell my players to be aggressive and to play our style of football.”

Van Bommel: 'I learned my lesson'
6.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Mark Van Bommel returns from his ban and insists, “I have learned my lesson and am quickly learning about Italian football.”

The former Bayern Munich midfielder was sent off on his Serie A debut for two bookable offences and makes his comeback against Genoa this afternoon.

“I must admit it is not easy to adapt to Italian football, as it’s completely different from German,” confessed Van Bommel on Milan Channel.

“The first foul against Catania was a yellow card, but I don’t think the second was. In any case, I have learned my lesson and will not make the same mistake twice.

“I want to learn Italian as quickly as possible so I can help communicate with my teammates.

“I hope to win everything with this team, even if it makes me sad that I cannot play in the Champions League.”

Van Bommel, Antonio Cassano and Urby Emanuelson are Cup-tied, having already played in that competition with Bayern Munich, Sampdoria and Ajax respectively this season.

Allegri: 'Inter don't worry AC Milan'
5.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Max Allegri insists he is happy with Alexandre Pato’s performance and not concerned by Inter. “Nobody thought they were out of the Scudetto race.”

Milan’s lead at the top of the table now stands at five points, but the Nerazzurri have a game in hand and climbed to third place.

“Are we worried? No more than we were before. Nobody thought they were out of the Scudetto race, especially not me,” said the Coach.

“We are going into the toughest and most important time of the season. There are 15 games to go and we have to notch up many more victories to reach the title.

“If Milan are to win, then we must remain concentrated only on ourselves. I am satisfied that we’re top of the table with a five-point advantage over Napoli and a ‘virtual’ four points on Inter.

“More than seeing what the others are doing, I prefer taking it one game at a time in Serie A, the Coppa Italia and Champions League, without looking too far on to the horizon. Besides, it’s more fun when a League is balanced.”

Antonio Cassano is expected to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic against Genoa on Sunday, as some in the media have criticised Pato’s recent performances.

“He is fine and happy, so there is no Pato controversy,” assured the tactician. “He is young and has extraordinary quality, so he just needs to learn, much like everyone else.

“Let’s not forget he hasn’t played much due to injury, but still scored eight Serie A and goals and two in the Coppa Italia. He simply requires more concentration and over time the rapport with Ibra will improve.

“Mario Balotelli? I have Pato and will keep hold of him. He’ll do well in the end, like all the others who have suffered injuries.”

Legrottaglie: 'I thought I was going to die'
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nicola Legrottaglie has admitted that he feared for his life after clashing with Lazio’s Libor Kozak. “I thought I was going to die,” said the Milan man.

Legrottaglie made his Rossoneri debut on Tuesday following his move from Juventus, but ended up spending the night in hospital.

Legrottaglie was stretchered off after accidentally getting a knee to the head from the young Lazio player.

“I’ve had a scan and thank God everything is OK,” Legrottaglie told Mediaset. “There aren’t any serous consequences.

“The more I see the incident, the more frightful it gets because in those five minutes on the ground I couldn’t move my arms or legs.

“In those five minutes I saw the film of my life in my mind.”

Kozak had already accounted for Daniele Bonera earlier in the game after bruising his cheekbone, but Legrottaglie has forgiven the Czech.

“I don’t blame Kozak for the incident,” the veteran Italian defender noted. “I don’t think he did it intentionally.”

Legrottaglie suffered trauma and a cut to his forehead that required stitches, plus whiplash to the neck.

Yepes targets AC Milan goal
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Yepes is desperate to reward the fans for their unexpected affection towards him with a first goal for Milan.

The Colombian veteran joined the San Siro giants in the summer after his contract at Chievo expired.

Netted to act as a squad player, Yepes has been thrown into the side given the injury problems to Alessandro Nesta and the need to field Thiago Silva in midfield.

Yepes has impressed onlookers with his assured performances and the Meazza faithful have applauded his efforts.

“I’m just missing a goal,” the 35-year-old told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’d love to score and celebrate under the Curva.

“The affection of the fans has surprised me. I remember my first game at San Siro against Milan when I was given a special welcome.

“There has been an instant feeling between us which has helped me to settle. I never take a break and the fans like that.”

The Rossoneri are favourites for the Scudetto after taking a five-point lead at the top of the table, a feat masterminded by boss Massimiliano Allegri.

“The squad has been won over by his mentality,” Yepes added. “You know that if you work hard for him then he will give you a chance.

“That’s how I got into the side and that is a stimulus for everyone.”

Kaladze has point to prove
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kakha Kaladze has taken a swipe at former club Milan ahead of this weekend’s Serie A clash between the two.

The Georgian was sold by the San Siro giants in the summer, a decision which still seems to trouble him.

“People said I was broke, but that wasn’t the case,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday. “A lot of false things have been said about me.

“I had a knee cartilage operation which I needed time to recover from. I’m quite a heavy guy and it is hard for me to easily find some form.

“But here at Genoa I have found the right people to help me. I have no regrets.”

Asked to explain who wanted him out at Milanello, the international defender insisted it wasn’t Leonardo or Massimiliano Allegri.

“The Coaches had nothing to do with it,” he added. “The Coaches at Milan decide very little.

“I don’t know whose fault my departure was, but I will always remain grateful to Milan for what they gave me.”

Genoa have struggled this season, but Kaladze is confident that his side can stun the League leaders this weekend.

“I want to remind everyone that no team is invincible,” he continued. “While at Milan I came here and lost against Genoa.

“Nothing is impossible with these Genoa fans.”

Moratti on AC Milan, Chivu and Juve
4.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter President Massimo Moratti has spoken on the prospect of a Scudetto Milan derby, Cristian Chivu’s punch and Juve’s problems with referees.

The Nerazzurri underlined their title ambitions last night with a 3-0 win at Bari which saw them move to within seven points of Milan.

With a game in hand, that deficit could shrink to just four points with more than a quarter of the campaign left.

“It’s a bit premature to talk about a Milan derby for the Scudetto,” said Moratti. “As for whether Milan are afraid of us, I think all teams fear each other.”

Thursday’s San Nicola victory was marred though by an ugly incident which saw Chivu get away with punching Marco Rossi in the face.

“It’s disappointing for us and also for Rossi,” the President continued. “Chivu has apologised and we apologise too.

“It’s sad because that is the first time something like that has involved Chivu. He’s a great guy and he is finding it hard to explain his actions.”

Moratti was also inevitably quizzed on Juventus after they were left livid with Emidio Morganti’s refereeing performance at Palermo.

Juve had numerous penalty appeals rejected, including a blatant hand-ball by Cesare Bovo in Wednesday’s 2-1 defeat.

“It’s a relatively new thing to see Juve complain about referees,” he smiled. “However, I have to admit that the Bovo incident did leave a big impression.”

AC Milan lose Ambrosini for two months
3.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been dealt a huge blow with news that Massimo Ambrosini will be out for six to eight weeks.

The captain picked up a thigh strain in his right leg and tests have shown it is a serious injury.

“There is a second grade lesion in the right thigh muscle. The prognosis is six to eight weeks,” read an official statement on the club website.

The Rossoneri have suffered from a series of injury problems this season and their midfield in particular has been decimated.

For the match against Genoa, Milan are without Clarence Seedorf, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Marco Amelia, Rodney Strasser, Nicola Legrottaglie, Pippo Inzaghi and possibly Ignazio Abate too.

Legrottaglie and Bonera injury updates
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nicola Legrottaglie spent the night in hospital and will be out of action for a week with whiplash, while Daniele Bonera also misses Milan’s next match.

The Rossoneri had a very unlucky evening for their centre-backs during the 0-0 draw with Lazio on Tuesday.

Bonera went off at half-time with a badly bruised cheekbone and eye following a clash with Libor Kozak.

His replacement, Legrottaglie, was then stretchered off after accidentally getting a knee to the head again from Kozak.

“Bonera suffered trauma to the left cheekbone without fractures and trauma to the left eye socket,” read an official club statement from chief medic Dr Gianluca Melegati.

“Legrottaglie suffered trauma and a cut to his forehead that required stitches, plus whiplash to the neck.

“The first tests were negative. Tomorrow the player will undergo further tests on his neck and based on those results we can predict his return to football.”

Legrottaglie spent the night in hospital under observation and was released today. He is expected to be out of action for at least a week.

Because of this, today’s planned Press conference for new buys Legrottaglie and Didac Vila was postponed.

Milan also unveiled their updated Champions League squad with Legrottaglie replacing Ronaldinho.

New signings Urby Emanuelson, Mark Van Bommel and Antonio Cassano are unavailable due to being cup-tied.

Pippo Inzaghi retains his spot in the list despite expecting to be out for the rest of the season following knee surgery.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma; Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Legrottaglie, Oddo, Jankulovski, Zambrotta, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Antonini; Gattuso, Seedorf, Flamini, Abate, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Strasser, Boateng; Inzaghi, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho

Allegri: 'AC Milan were too hasty'
2.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan “deserved a victory” against Lazio, but Daniele Bonera and Nicola Legrottaglie are in hospital.

The Serie A leaders were held to a 0-0 result at San Siro, but wasted several chances with Zlatan Ibrahimovic hitting the woodwork and a goalline clearance denying Robinho.

“We were too hasty in the first half and ended up misplacing too many passes,” commented the Coach.

“Lazio defended very well this evening, but they never had a genuine shot on goal. At times we played well, at others we were too chaotic, but we had so many chances and hit the upright twice in the same move. I think overall we deserved a victory.

“The good news is that we have kept a third consecutive clean sheet. We have played six games in close succession now and had to field Mathieu Flamini for 90 minutes despite the fact he’s not 100 per cent fit.”

The official Milan website confirmed their two injured centre-backs have been taken to hospital for tests.

Bonera went off at half-time after accidentally receiving an elbow to the face from Libor Kozak.

He has suspected head trauma and had been receiving treatment throughout the first half with ice packs.

In the final minutes, Kozak also accidentally clipped Nicola Legrottaglie in the head with his knee.

The ex-Juventus defender was stretchered off and could have whiplash.

Serie A: AC Milan 0:0 Lazio - match report
1.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan were held to a goalless draw by third-placed Lazio, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit the upright twice in the same move!

It was first against third and a true test of the Biancocelesti's ambitions this season. The Rossoneri were missing a host of players, as along with the suspended Mark Van Bommel they had to do without Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Ignazio Abate, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gianluca Zambrotta, Pippo Inzaghi, Marco Amelia and Rodney Strasser. Lazio also missed Sergio Floccari, Tommaso Rocchi, Mourad Meghni, Mobido Diakite, Javier Garrido and Simone Del Neri and the suspended Mauro Zarate.

In the opening minutes Christian Abbiati did well to smother a deflected Cristian Ledesma snapshot, then Zlatan Ibrahimovic was crowded out in the box after a rapid exchange of passes and a Mathieu Flamini header flashed wide of the near post.

Flamini hit a smart volley just over the bar after a lucky ricochet fell into his path in the D. Another wayward Flamini angled drive turned into an accidental assist for Ibra and the header was deflected past the upright from close range. A deflected Cristian Brocchi cross-shot hit the side netting and from the corner the Kozak header was fingertipped over the bar.

Milan went on the counter with Ibra rolling back for the totally unmarked Urby Emanuelson, but the ex-Ajax starlet ballooned over.

Moments later there was another very good chance for the home side. The long cross from the left found Flamini at the back post, but the former Arsenal midfielder's headed pull-back was intercepted at the last second.

A Massimo Oddo cross-shot was tipped out of the top corner by a nervous Nando Muslera before half-time.

Daniele Bonera needed treatment for a bruised eye he suffered in a knock with Kozak and was replaced at half-time by Nicola Legrottaglie, who only completed his transfer from Juventus last night.

Milan thought they had taken the lead six minutes after the restart! Pato took advantage of some hesitation by the centre-backs and set up Ibrahimovic for a daisy-cutter that beat Muslera, but it hit the near post, rolled across the face of goal to hit the other upright and back into the goalkeeper's grateful arms.

Flamini ran on to a through ball but his shot was deflected by Brocchi's crucial interception. Another Ibra angled drive scraped a coat of paint off the woodwork after scaring Muslera.

Antonio Cassano replaced a fairly disappointing Pato, while Robinho completely shinned a volley from an extremely promising position.

Ibra brilliantly turned Dias to set up Robinho, whose shot was on target this time from 10 yards, but was cleared off the line by Giuseppe Biava with Muslera well beaten.

It was a painful Milan debut for Legrottaglie, who accidentally got a knee in the forehead from Kozak and was stretchered off with a large cut to his head to make way for Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

In stoppages substitute Stefano Mauri had a shot charged down in the box.

Milan: Abbiati; Oddo, Bonera (Legrottaglie 46) (Papastathopoulos 84), Yepes, Antonini; Flamini, Thiago Silva, Emanuelson; Robinho; Pato (Cassano 63), Ibrahimovic

Lazio: Muslera; Lichtsteiner, Dias, Biava, Radu; Brocchi, Ledesma, Gonzalez; Hernanes; Kozak, Sculli (Mauri 80)

Ref: Damato

Pato gets the nod
1.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will give Alexandre Pato another start against Lazio this evening in the hope that he gels with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Pato's many injury problems this season have meant that he has yet to form a bond with the Sweden international, even though he has scored eight goals in nine starts.

It's said that Allegri thinks of Antonio Cassano as his first choice second striker, but the fact he can't play in the Champions League means Pato's stock remains high at San Siro.

La Gazzetta dello Sport understands that Pato and Cassano will share the role with one or the other going on the bench throughout the remainder of the season in a relay-like arrangement.

“If Alex plays, I expect a good showing from him like against Cesena and Sampdoria,” Allegri said. “You can't put Pato in discussion just because he doesn't play all the games from the first minute.

“Milan are playing on three fronts always with great intensity. I am really happy with what he has been doing recently. I see him a lot calmer in training.”

In the meantime, it looks as though Thiago Silva will reprise his makeshift role in midfield as Milan's injury problems continue to throw a spanner in the works.

Galliani hails Inter and Juventus moves
1.2 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claims with a wry smile that both Inter and Juventus have had a better transfer market than his club.

Galliani brought in five new names in January, signing Antonio Cassano, Urby Emanuelson, Mark Van Bommel, Didac Vila and Nicola Legrottaglie.

“Milan didn't do the best market, Inter and Juve did,” he said.

“I can't give a mark out of 10 to myself for the market. Inter have reinforced the most followed by Juventus and then the others. But I am not afraid of anyone.

“Everyone talks about financial fair-play, but then they spend like madmen, us included.”

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