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UEFA Champions League
18 September 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: W. Collum
• Attendance: 27593
Well, well, well. What can you say about that? Milan were poor, Anderlecht kept it tight. The Rossoneri had a few good chances on goal, but in reality never deserved anything other than a point from this game. I've been Alex Mott, you've been marvellous. Thanks.
90' + 4'
That's it. The referee blows for full time, and the scoreline here at San Siro is AC Milan 0-0 Anderlecht. And the boos have started ringing around the ground.
90' + 3'
Anderlecht have no intention of pumping the ball forward, and just calmly play it back to Proto, who keeps possession for the Belgians.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Philippe Mexes
90' + 2'
Mbokani goes up for a header with Mexes, and the Frenchman concedes a free kick for an elbow on the Congolese striker.
We'll have three minutes of added time here.
This is now the only game in Europe that is still 0-0. If you've continued to stay with me - well done. You deserve a medal.
Kevin Constant gets the ball for Milan just over the halfway line, and plays a basic, five yard ball to Antonini....out of play for a throw in. *shakes head*
Yellow Card Mathieu Flamini
Dennis Praet turns Mathieu Flamini inside out, and the Frenchman receives a yellow card for a foul.
@IrasAbbas: "Alex! For the love of God tell the world how Pazzini has been carving his name on the next #BallonD'Or." I'm going to assume that is sarcastic.
The free kick is knocked square by Nocerino for Constant to smash, but the strike hits the wall.
Sacha Klejstan receives a yellow card for a high-footed challenge on Flamini, as Milan have a free kick in the centre of the pitch, 30 yards from goal.
Yellow Card Sacha Kljestan
The hashtag #getridofallegri has started on my timeline. And the way this is going, I think it coould catch on.
Biglia whips it in towards the far post, but Gillet can't get enough contact on the ball, as his header goes safely into the arms of Abbiati.
With his first touch, Mario Yepes fouls Mbokani, and concedes a free kick on the right-hand side, 35 yards from goal.
Some more good play from El Shaarawy to get past Wasilewski on the left-hand side, but the former Genoa man's pass to Nocerino was slightly too long as the ball rushed out for a goal kick.
Unlucky from El Shaarawy. A cross from De Sciglio on the right-hand side went all the way to the far post and the young Italy international. He tried the spectacular though, and went for a side-foot volley from the edge of the area. Nice idea, not very nice technique.
And as I type composure, Urby Emanuelson lashes over the bar from 12 yards. The former Ajax man received the ball on the edge of the area, took it on, and smacked an effort high over Proto's net.
Milan have been much better in this second half. The introduction of El Shaarawy has added an urgency to their attacking play - they're just lacking that composure in front of goal.
More Milan pressure! This time, De Sciglio crosses low from the right towards Pazzini. The former Inter man though, can't get enough contact on it, and the ball runs out to the far side for a throw.
OH. WHAT A CHANCE! A cross from Emanuelson on the left-hand side, found El Shaarawy, who headed it at goal from just eight yards. Proto though, made a great reaction save, and pushed the ball away to safety.
Milan have it now with De Jong. The Dutchman tries to play a ball over the top of the Anderlecht defence from the halfway line, but Kouyate heads it clear.
A screen shot just shown to me shows Kevin-Prince Boateng's reaction to being subbed off....and it is not a good one. Shouting, grumbling and the thrwoing boots at coaches.
@wez_chanel sums it all up: "the team is absolutely shocking, selling world class players and replacing them with very average ones." Whilst Iras Abbas writes: "Every great team has one pass-master: Xavi, Xabi, Scholes... We had Pirlo and replaced him with a bunch of tough-tackles. #OhWhy?"
Antonini has it now, deep on the left-hand side. He tries a cross into Pazzini, inside the area, but the ball goes all the way through to the arms of Proto.
Stephan El Shaarawy
@chimzixander asks: "how far do u think milan will get in the UCL?" At this rate, I can't see them getting out of the group. How about you lot? Tweet me @alexjmott.
It's whipped in from Emanuelson towards Boateng, but the former Tottenham man can't direct it at goal.
Yellow Card Marcin Wasilewski
OHH, that's a bad challenge from Wasilewski. The Poland international comes from behind and takes out Pazzini, 35 yards from goal.
The atmosphere has lifted slightly around San Siro, but still Milan don't look like scoring. How long until Bojan takes the field I wonder?
And Milan come forward now with Boateng! But the Ghanian is offside!
My @alexjmott timeline is just full of this sort of stuff: @wez_chanel: "how we have fallen this far?". @get_em_raj: "even though #Milan shot themselves in the foot by selling #Ibra & Silva #Allegri & the likes of #Bonera are our biggest problems." Keep it coming guys. You might not like it, but it's making me laugh.
OHHH Bilgia! The Argentina international raced through on goal, and from just 10 yards out, smashed a shot at goal. Unfortunately for Anderlecht though, the shot went about 40 yards over the bar. That was the chance.
@MisterJha asks: "what is the average age of this milan side?" I don't think it matters when the team's full of horribly average footballers.
DE JONG MAKES HIS FIRST CHALLENGE OF THE NIGHT! And it is an absolute corker on Biglia. Clean, feet on the gorund, takes the ball and the man. That's the stuff.
OHHH. Nocerino had to score there! A cross from Boateng on the right-hand side was headed at goal by the former Palermo man. And quite inexplicably, it went wide of the post. He was unmarked, eight yards out, and actually offside. But that's not the point.
@IrasAbbas with some more sound tactical advice for the Rossoneri: "Emanuelson on the left as a means to feed Pazzini with crosses is idiotic. Guy Can't play. Need El Shaa and Bojan flanking Pazzo." I don't know why you guys don't apply when Allegri gets the sack.
We're back, and it's Anderlecht who kick us off, going from left-to-right.
Meanwhile, @AhmedMRadwan has some tactical advice for Mr. Allegri: "Milan need to stretch the opposition with 4-2-1-3. Emanuelson Bojan can do that and provide service for the starving Pazzini."
@AhsanARai is summing up the Milan fans here: "Clearly Allegri doesnt want to learn from his mistakes. I see his days in Milan as numbered! #GoodRiddance"
It's been poor from the home side, but that should take nothing away from John van den Brom's visitors. They've been good on the ball, full of attacking intent, and dangerous when in and around the box. I'll be back in 15 minutes for the second half, but in the meantime, get following and tweeting @alexjmott. I want to hear your thoughts!
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, and the scoreline here at San Siro is AC Milan 0-0 Anderlecht.
That, just about sums Milan up in this half. Emanuelson, down the left, should have cut the ball back for Nocerino, but his pass was a poor one. Instead, it went out to Boateng on the far side, who tried to trick his way past Deschacht, but was blocked ahead on before he could shoot. Slow, ponderous and woefully poor attacking football.
Nearly half time, and you have to say that Anderlecht have been the better side here. The stats show us that the Belgian side have had 53% possession, and are looking good value to go home with at least a point.
@Nuradeem Umar: "how do you expect allegri to win a match like this?" Buy better players. Perhaps?
Bruno tries to chase down a long ball from Gillet, bt Bonera shrug him off, and tries to recycle possession for the Rossoneri.
@SaeedRaheeb is calling for patience from @saurabh_36 and other Milan fans: "I think Milan need some time for their youngsters to fill the void left by the departing legends. A trequartista would help."
And almost immediately up the other end, Emanuelson has a chance on goal. A long ball from De Jong goes over three defenders, before the former Ajax man prods it on the half-volley at Proto's net. The Belgian keeper is alert to it though, and saves well.
Penalty claim from Anderlecht, but the referee waves them away. Wasilewski chased down the ball but was unsuccessful in his attempts to get possession for the Belgian champions. Daniele Bonera though was casual on the edge of the area, and watched in horror as the Polish right-back nicked the ball off his foot. He turned and managed to take ball and player though, before clearing.
@saurabh_36 is mucking around with his tweet: "#allegriout'.
Chance for Milan! A cross from Emanuelson found Boateng on the left-hand side of the area, but the former Tottenham man's volley was a poor one, and Proto saved easily.
The first half an hour here has flown by. It's been a really end-to-end affair, but you have to worry about Milan's defence. On three occasions they've been breached and looked shaky. Can Mbokani and Kanu exploit that before half time?
Corner comes in from De Sciglio on the right-hand side. Boateng jumps for it at the far post, but his header is a poor one and goes well wide of the post.
Well played Kanu. The Brazilian forward skipped past Flamini on the edge of the area, before playing a one-two with Bruno. Unfortunately, the 19-year-old's return ball wasn't quite up to standard and Bonera cleared.
Remember, if you're following this game with me, I'd love to hear from you. Tweet me @alexjmott with any questions you have on this game, Milan, or Italian football in general.
This has been an incredibly end-to-end game so far. That time, Emanuelson, down the left, got a cross in, but the ball was deflected by Deschacht, and into the grateful arms of Proto.
Anderlecht come forward now with Mbokani. The Congolese forward powers down the left and gets to the byline. He then smashes a ball across the box, but Bruno can't quite get on the end of it. Dangerous stuff from the Belgians.
The cross comes in from De Sciglio, but it's a poor one, and Anderlecht clear.
OHHH! First good chance for Milan, and Mathieu Flamini has blasted it at Proto. A pass from De Sciglio went into the feet of Pazzini, who flicked it first time around the corner, and into the path of the Frenchman. From about eight yards, and an admittedly tight angle, the former Arsenal man hit a poor shot at the 'keeper, who pushed it out for a corner.
The corner's curled in from the right, towards the head of Nocerino, who doesn't get enough contact on the ball, and watches as his header goes past the far-post. Unlucky from the former Palermo man.
Mattia De Sciglio comes forward now, down the right-hand side. The young full-back whips in a low ball towards Boateng, who flicks a shot at goal, only for his effort to get blocked by Wasilewski for a corner.
Lucas Biglia takes it, but it's far too long and goes all the way out for a throw in.
Anderlecht come forward now with Kanu. He lays it into the path of Klejstan, who continues his run unopposed towards goal. The American gets to within 25 yards from Abbiati's net, and strikes low to his right. The 'keeper has to get down and make a smart save, conceding a corner.
Milan come forward now with Emanuelson. The former Ajax man has it on the left-hand side, and puts in a low cross towards Pazzini. But Nuytinck is there to clear the danger.
There are only 1,000 Anderlecht fans here tonight, but they are making considerably more noise than their Italian counterparts so far.
More poor Milan defending there. It was De Sciglio who had the ball, but the youngster was robbed by Mbokani 30 yards from goal. The Congolese forward went on a run, but before he could lay in Kanu, Bonera was there to intercept. Sluggish start from the Rossoneri.
Nocerino has it now for the Rossoneri. Just over the halfway line, he tries to slip in Pazzini, who's made an intelligent run. The former Inter man though, is flagged offside.
Oh dear. That is dreadful defending from Milan. Wasilewski whipped the corner in from the right. It went towards the head of Gillet, but the ball drops inside the area - and an almighty melee ensues. Finally, Mexes gets it clear, but that really should have been stuck away by someone in white.
Bruno has it now for the Belgians. He goes down the right-hand side, and wins a corner off of Bonera.
The free kick is whipped in by Biglia, 40 yards from goal, but it can't find an Anderlecht head, and it goes out for a goal kick.
It's given away, and Anderlecht have it now with Kouyate. The Seneglaese centre back flings it long to Gillet, who wins a free kick after a foul from Bonera.
Nigel De Jong immediately gets on the ball, and plays Antonini in down the left. The full-back ploughs down the wing, before winning a throw in off of Deschacht.
Here we go then. The Champions League is finally underway, and it's Milan who kick us off, going from left-to-right.
The players are leaving the tunnel, and despite a few patches of empty seats, the atmosphere is electric.
Just under 15 minutes until kick off here in Milan. Do you think the Rossoneri can break their San Siro duck? How will Nigel De Jong cope with Lucas Biglia? Let me know @alexjmott on Twitter.
The Milan players sprint on to the pitch before their warm-up, with the sound of Eye of the Tiger coming full-blast from the sound-system at San Siro. If that's not inspirational, I don't know what is.
As always, I want to hear your thoughts on tonight's game: get following and get tweeting me @alexjmott.
And you have to go back to the year 2000 for the last time Milan didn't progress from the group stage. With the likes of Zenit and Malaga in the group though, it's going to be an awfully tough task. Allegri meanwhile, will be targeting three points here to get them off the ground, but will the Belgian champions caused the mightiest of all-mighty shocks?
Anderlech on the other hand, are bidding to win their first game on Italian soil, in their 15th attempt. Coach John van den Brom has history at the San Siro though: his last appearance as a player in Europe was at the ground, for Vitesse against Inter back in 2000.
The Rossoneri though, have history on their side. They have gone on to win the European Cup on two occasion when they have met Anderlecht - in 1993/94 and 2006/07. During the latter campaign though, it was Kaka who proved the difference between the teams. He scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win in Brussels, before bagging a hat-trick at San Siro in a 4-1 win.
It promises to be a fascinating encounter here at Giuseppe Meazza. Massimiliano Allegri's side have, let's be honest here, had a nightmare start to the season. They are yet to win a game at home - losing 1-0 to both Sampdoria and Atalanta, and have come in for criticism from everyone who's watched them. Anderlecht meanwhile, are unbeaten in their first seven league games, and come into tonight's match full of confidence.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of AC Milan vs Anderlecht from San Siro. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for tonight's Champions League match-up.
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