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Serie A

  • 19 February 2012
  • • 14:00
  • • Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena
  • Referee: P. Valeri
  • • Attendance: 20021

Cesena 1-3 Milan: Muntari, Emanuelson and Robinho send Allegri's side back to Serie A summit after convincing display

Goals from the Ghanaian, the Dutchman and the Brazilian were enough to take the Rossoneri back to the summit, despite a late charge from Arrigoni's men

Goals from Sulley Muntari, Urby Emanuelson and Robinho gave AC Milan a convincing 3-1 win against Cesena at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi on Sunday.

Daniel Pudil pulled one back for the Seahorses midway through the second half, but the early goals were enough to take the Rossoneri back to the top of Serie A.

With Milan ringing the changes after their midweek drubbing of Arsenal, the game was a chance for some of their squad players to show they were worthy of a regular starting place.

And it was one of those individuals who had the first real opportunity of the half on five minutes; Ignazio Abate crossed from the right, found Muntari, who took a touch, turned, and shot just wide of Francesco Antonioli's right-hand post.

The Scudetto holders were clearly brimming with confidence after their exploits in the Champions League, and could have been three up before the 10th minute. First, Robinho hit a swerving shot from 25 yards that was saved by Antonioli. Then, Antonio Nocerino played in Massimo Ambrosini, who shot straight at the keeper from just six yards out.

With all this pressure, it looked inevitable that Milan would break the deadlock, and that's exactly what they did on 28 minutes. A free-kick from Thiago Silva on the edge of the area was blasted at goal; Antonioli could only spill the ball into the path of Muntari, and the Ghanaian tapped in for an easy finish - his first goal since moving on loan from Inter in the January transfer window.

Two minutes later, and Massimiliano Allegri's side had doubled their lead. Robinho went on a tricky run past two Cesena midfielders, and passed inside to Emanuelson who, 25 yards from goal, hit a beautiful shot in off the right-hand post.

Daniele Arrigoni clearly had some strong words for his home side at half time, as the Seahorses came out for the second period a lot stronger, and had a great chance to pull a goal back after just a minute. A cross from the right found Adrian Mutu, but the Romanian couldn't direct his header on target when it perhaps looked easier to score.

Cesena may have started the second half well, but they reverted to type on 55 minutes. Abate threaded a ball through to Robinho on the right-hand side of the area, and the former Real Madrid man smashed the ball across goal and home to make it 3-0.

Milan were dominating both possession and chances created, but Cesena never stopped working, and got their reward for that midway through the half. A cross from Mario Santana was headed away by Daniele Bonera, but only as far as Pudil who volleyed the ball back at goal, and into the corner.

Stephan El Shaarawy went close late on, but Milan couldn't add a fourth, and had to settle for a 3-1 win that takes them top of Serie A, a point ahead of Juventus, who they meet next weekend. Cesena meanwhile are still stuck in the relegation zone, six points away from safety.