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Serie A

  • 29 January 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 53000

AC Milan 3-0 Cagliari: Ibrahimovic in inspiring form as Massimiliano Allegri's side close gap to leaders Juventus back to a single point

The Swede led the way as the hosts coasted to their ninth consecutive win over the Sardinian side with relative ease at San Siro

AC Milan earned a valuable three points as they overcame an impotent Cagliari side at San Siro in a comfortable 3-0 triumph.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a wonderfully struck free kick in the 32nd minute and then assisted Antonio Nocerino for his side’s second with a deftly chested knock down. Massimo Ambrosini then wrapped up the points with a placed effort with 15 minutes remaining.

Milan were in control in the opening stages and Robinho looked in fine form. But for all their possession neither he, nor his team-mates, could find the final penetrating pass to unlock the Rossoblu defence.

The Milan midfield were being offered far too much time on the ball in the opposing half as Cagliari looked to draw them in before countering.

With Djemal Mesbah missing the target from two efforts in the opening half-an-hour, Cagliari began to play more of a part in the game as they hoped to steal a goal.

However, when Ibrahimovic was cheaply fouled 30 yards from goal in the 32nd minute it offered the Swede a chance to strike the ball at goal. He took a short run up before beautifully bending the dead ball into the top left corner with pinpoint accuracy.

Having scored the opener, Ibrahimovic then assisted the second seven minutes later. From Philippe Mexes’ long ball the towering striker chested down for Nocerino, who finished the move with a low volley that was drilled into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Rossoblu emerged for the second half as a different team. They looked extremely comfortable on the ball and dictated the tempo of the game for a time with a series of neat passes.

It was Milan, however, who worked the best chance with nine second half minutes played. Nocerino was involved once again and his driven effort stung the palms of Michael Agazzi who parried the ball to safety.

The game grew stale and it was not until the 66th minute that either goal was threatened. Clarence Seedorf provided an expert delivery which was hit on the volley by Stephen El Shaarawy and narrowly shaved the outside of the post.

Moments later, Robinho was again allowed too much time on the ball. He cantered towards the goal and struck the ball low but Agazzi kept it out with an unorthodox and unconvincing save.

The hosts eventually found the back of the net for the third time of the night through Ambrosini. Urby Emanuelson squared the ball across the 18-yard line and Ambrosini took one touch before passing into the bottom corner.

Agazzi was forced into a few more saves, including one from Mark van Bommel, before the final whistle and did well to keep the scoreline respectable.

Milan keep the gap between themselves and Juventus to a single point at the top of Serie A. Cagliari are pulled closer to the relegation zone, however, following Lecce's 1-0 win over Inter and sit seven points clear in 13th position.