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Coppa Italia

  • January 15, 2014
  • • 12:00
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: C. Russo
  • • Attendance: 15584
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AC Milan 3-1 Spezia: Honda opens account in Coppa Italia win

AC Milan 3-1 Spezia: Honda opens account in Coppa Italia win

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Giampaolo Pazzini, on his first start since undergoing knee surgery last season, and Robinho also got on the score sheet as the club began life without Massimiliano Allegri.

AC Milan cruised through to the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia with an emphatic victory over Spezia.

Robinho opened the scoring before Giampaolo Pazzini and Keisuke Honda, both on their first starts this season in Rossoneri colors, added to the scoreline though it could have been a lot more. Nicola Ferrari got a consolation for the visiting side.

The Serie A outfit has struggled this season but there was no evidence of this on Wednesday as Milan brushed aside an inferior Spezia.

With Massimilano Allegri sacked on Monday and incoming coach Clarence Seedorf not on the bench, it was left to Mauro Tassotti to oversee the comfortable victory.

Philippe Mexes attempted a long-range effort that narrowly went over the bar early on as Milan got used to life after Massimiliano Allegri. That effort set the tone for the game with the Rossoneri looking comfortable against the Serie B outfit.

Pazzini was keen to make an impact having been afforded a rare starting opportunity for Milan since undergoing knee surgery to his right knee at the end of last season.

The striker was heavily involved in proceedings and could have put the Rossoneri ahead early during the first half, but perhaps still a bit rusty from the lengthy layoff fluffed a couple of chances that fell to him.

However, the attacker then provided Robinho with an opportunity to score and the Brazilian made no mistake diving low to head Milan in front.

The Rossoneri doubled their lead minutes later as Pazzini made amends for his earlier missed opportunities, showing his instinctive prowess to let the ball drop over his shoulder before firing a well timed volley beyond Juventus-owned Nicola Leali in Spezia's goal.

Spezia came close to halving the deficit, however, when Riccardo Montolivo had to react to clear Andrea Bovo's goal bound header off the line shortly before halftime.

Milan extended the lead when Honda took advantage following up from Montolivo's effort, which squirmed out of the clutches of Leali.

Milan had more chances to extend the lead through Pazzini, who should have had a hat trick, but it was Spezia which grabbed a consolation as Ferrari took advantage of Christian Abbiati's parried save.

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