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UEFA Champions League
28 September 2011
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: F. Meyer
• Attendance: 66859
Z. Ibrahimovic 53'
A. Cassano 66'
90' + 3'
Wonderful last gasp tackle by Bystron right at the death denies Cassano his second and Milan their 200th goal in the Champions League. The full-time whistle goes and Milan triumph 2-0 over FC Viktoria Plzeň. Thanks for joining me Owen Neilson.
90' + 1'
Commentator on SKY butchers the name of 18 year-old Mattia De Sciglio. Almost done and overall Milan will be satisfied with the second half performance. At 0-0 it could've got edgy but they've stuck at it, increased the tempo and will deservedly get their first win of this season's Champions League. Barcelona will certainly push them all the way but it's a valuable three points.
Mattia De Sciglio
A shot from Kolar is well hit from outside the box but goes straight at Abbiati.
Aquilani blasts one from 35 yards, well over. Corner at the other end for Plzen as Duris has a great chance in close.
58% possession for Milan in the game with under ten minutes to play. It's all very well against, with the greatest respect relatively inexperienced opposition, but this weekend against Juventus will be a different story, at least it should be.
In the other group G game, Barcelona are winning 4-0 against FC Bate Borisov. Not that football is nice, but would be good for Plzen to grab a goal, they've certainly played their part in the game as Aquilani tries a cheeky bit of skill on the edge of the box. It didn't work.
Seems that Nesta will be relied on in the Champions League and used sparingly in Serie A. The signing of Philip Mexes looked a good one, but he's still out injured as Nocerino takes a knock.
Ibra had the chance to slip it through to Cassano as a three on three emerges from midfield but gets the ball caught under his feet and Plzen deal with it. Wonderful cut out moments later as Ibra is put through but Bystron manages to extend the go-go gadget leg to thwart the Swede. Milan incidentally on 199 Champions League goals.
The different option Ibrahimovic brings to Milan can't be underestimated. Last year he practically carried them to Christmas, and Galliani would love to see Cassano get into double figures this season. Though he did come extra cheap.
Ibrahimovic looks mad for it tonight, even running 30 yards to try and defend!! Nothing like Zlatan going full tilt into a challenge, ask Rodney Strasser in training; kick to the back of the head.
Cassano's first Champions League goal since 2004. Despite their best efforts, quality in the final third has been the difference. Without getting too excited I might add, if Milan can't beat Plzen 2-0 at home there's something seriously wrong.
Free-kick in a dangerous area for the away side. Five in the box a stuttering start is followed by a poor delivery and a Plzen throw. Counterattacks are the way forward for Plzen, as are solid defences!! Cassano makes it 2-0!! Ibrahimovic with a wonderful pass and that's 3 points.
Assist Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Goal Antonio Cassano
Milan controlling possession, knocking it confidently across the park with increased zip. Shout out from the commentator echoing my Emanuelson-Robinho resemblance, I'm in the wrong job.
Plzen go down the other end and Horzan has a shot on goal which Abbiati claims deep in the pouch. Excellent response from such a tiny team, as Seedorf crosses one from the left but no one can get on the end. Perhaps the players were listening to my words....
What a chance!! Cassano made me eat my typed words. Lightning quick attack, Ibra finds Seedorf on the edge of the box who volleys a pass to Cassano, but the ex-Sampdoria striker shoots well over after making space for himself. Close one.
Time for Milan to just sit back and relax a bit, saw how that went for Inter last night. Italian football needs to evolve.
Ibrahimovic gives away a free-kick and gives the referee a mouthful. Wouldn't want to meet Zlatan down a dark alley late at night; he's got some beak on him.
Cech goes right, Zlatan goes left and a huge roar from the striker. Won the penalty and stepped up to take, and you just know how important he is for Milan, especially with Pato out for a month. Need a big reaction from Plzen now.
Yellow Card Marek Čech
Penalty Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Penalty!!! Ibrahimovic flicks the ball up on the turn and it hits Horvath on the arm! Definite penalty which the giant Swede will take, pony tail, moustache, goatee and all.OooOoo GOAL!! Back from injury who else but Zlatan Ibrahimovic!! 1-0 AC Milan.
Horváth misses the target from outside the box, just letting Milan know it won't all be one way traffic in this second half. The cup finals of cup finals for them, until Barcelona of course.
Milan still throwing men forward in search of this opening goal. They really got out of jail in Barcelona two weeks ago and Allegri will get fried if they don't win tonight.
Milan looking dangerous, Ibra dropping off and chipping into Cassano who is penalized for I know not what.
Emanuelson latches on to some tight passing on the edge of the box, but blasts his shot well over. Didn't need to hit it that hard surely.
By the powers of GreySkull we need a goal in this game, from Milan's point of view, going behind would be a nightmare, stuff of dreams for Plzen.
Yellow Card Pavel Horváth
Half time whistle and it's 0-0, time for a cup of tea.
Seedorf has a chance from the left, inside the box which flashes across Cech's goal out for a goalkick.
Yellow Card Milan Petržela
David Limberský goes in search of glory with a 30 yard piledriver but it's more a pile of .... and fails to test Abbiati, but the Czech team are looking worth their place in this years Champions League.
Plzen knock it about well in midfield and a great chance for captain Pavel Horváth, who shoots past the post; Abbiati was beaten.
Plzen trying to keep the ball on the ground and work it through Milan, but seem to rely on that counterattacking pace, as the slower build up lacks the quality final ball.
That was the best chance of the half for Milan but scant reward for dominating possession. This has got potential upset written on it if Plzen can focus for the full 90.
Ibrahimovic should score!! Abate fires a ball to the centre of the box, Cassano misses the header and it finds Ibra unmarked at the back post. The Swede belts the ball toward Čech's goal but the keeper does fantastically to tip it over for a corner.
Allegri obviously didn't underestimate Plzen before the match, but the Czech side look very comfortable, a little too comfortable for the former Cagliari boss.
Petr Jiráček runs from the half-way line unopposed then blasts his shot wide from outside the penalty area.
Viktoria Plzeň drew 0-0 with SK Dynamo České Budějovice their first goalless draw for 42 league outings. They certainly aren't spectators against the seven-time winners.
Ibrahimovic trying to turn creator in midfield but cut out by Cisovsky. Most of the action taking place in the centre of the park, and there's certainly an element of the must win for Milan. They won here against Cesena 1-0 at the weekend, but that performance was hardly inspiring.
Milan not creating masses in the opening quarter of the match, a few half chances here and there with Ibra using all his quality and Emanuelson a pacy outlet for the Serie A champions.
Yellow Card Marián Čišovský
Good hustle from Emanuelson to harass possession back in midfield though it comes to nothing. Plzen coach Pavel Vrba said he expected Seedorf to be a real danger tonight. I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not as Clarence is 35; as you prefer.
Lovely feet from Thiago Silva and Abbiati to avoid pressure from Bakos. Shot in from the left of the box by Cassano but straight at Cech.
Plzeň had only played two European away games before this season, losing both and conceding nine goals, but they've started with intent tonight.
Seedorf and Cassano both looking for Ibrahimovic every time with the angled ball, so far Plzen have managed to keep the Taekwondo black belt in check.
Incidentally this is Plzeň's first visit to Italy, and undoubtedly the biggest game in the club's history. Corner for Plzen taking short again and fired weakly by Jiracek for a goalkick.
Cassano chips a well-flighted ball to the back post for Ibrahimovic but the Swede is out-jumped and Pilar shooting from outside the box following a quick counter-attack.
Allegri said before the game, "It won't be easy. We have watched Viktoria's play-off games and they are a well-organised team, with quality players on the counterattack."
Milan get a second corner which they go short with, Abate crosses but Van Bommel can only put it over the bar.
Ball chipped over by Seedorf to Ibrahimovic but the Swedish striker, still sporting the Japanese ninja look can't control.
Milan have won all four previous home games against Czech opposition, last versus AC Sparta Praha in 2003/04 Champions League which they won 4-1.
Bright start from Plzen, keeping control of the ball well and winning a free-kick in midfield.
Milan started with a 2-2 draw at holders Barcelona two weeks ago, Pato and Thiago Silva scoring at either end of the match.Plzeň drew 1-1 at home to FC BATE Borisov.
Chance!! Diving header from Pilar pushed round the post by Abbiati! Wonder save from the keeper but the extra official behind the goal doesn't see it. Goal kick.
Statastic. If Milan wins tonight,will be 1st time since 23-24 Nov 2010 that all Serie A teams will win on a CL group stage match-day.
Capacity of the Štruncovy Sady Stadion where Plzeň play their football is 8500, just the ten times smaller then.
And we're off!! Milan in the red and black stripes and Abate charging down the right crossing in but Cech catches comfortably.
Only one change for Plzeň with Čech in goal, Limberský, Bystroň, Čišovský, Pilař, Horváth, Petržela, Jiráček, Kolář, Rajtoral, Bakoš making up the rest.
Milan XI Tonight: Abbiati; Nesta, Abate, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Van Bommel, Seedorf, Nocerino, Emanuelson; Ibrahimović, Cassano. Ibra plays!
MatchDay 2 in the Champions League coming up, all the LIVE action from the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium otherwise known as the San Siro. Tonight the red half of the city, that's AC Milan for those unsure, are looking to match city rivals Inter, and record their first win of the 2011-12 campaign.
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