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1 vs 2
Played
April 11, 2011 12:15 AM IST
Stadio Artemio Franchi — Firenze
Referee:‬ E. Morganti‎
Attendance:‬ 24000‎
 
79′ Juan Vargas
C. Seedorf 8′
 
Top of the Match
Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato
Milan
Alexandre Pato
Alexandre Pato
Milan
Flop of the Match
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Milan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Milan

Fiorentina 1-2 Milan: Rossoneri Re-Establish Three-Point Lead At Top Of Serie A

Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato fire Milan clear of Napoli...

By Jonathan Mitchell

Clarence Seedorf (Ac Milan) celebrates his goal against Fiorentina with Kevin Prince Boateng (Getty Images)
Getty Images


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Milan went one step closer to their first Serie A title in seven years with a 2-1 away victory over Fiorentina tonight.

Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato netted first-half strikes to re-establish the Rossoneri’s three-point lead over title rivals Napoli, who temporarily drew level on points at the top after winning 2-0 at mid-table Bologna earlier in the day.

Milan looked menacing from the word go, and Seedorf served an early warning when he broke into the box and fired off a powerful left-footed drive which Artur Boruc did well to beat away.

However, there was absolutely nothing the Polish shot-stopper could when, in the eighth minute, Seedorf fastened onto Pato’s neat cushion header and lashed an unstoppable effort over him into the top left-hand corner to open the scoring.

Three minutes later, Seedorf looked to have returned the favour when he slid Pato in on goal with an intelligent slide-rule pass, but the diminutive Brazilian didn’t quite manage to angle the ball wide enough and Boruc dropped to his left to push the ball wide of goal.

The visitors were in complete control for the vast majority of the first half, but la Viola did have a five-minute spell between the 15th and 20th minutes in which they threatened to equalise.

Former Milan player Marco Donadel met a weak headed clearance with an equally weak volley which trundled through to Christian Abbiati in the Rossoneri goal.

Adem Ljajic, however, gave him a much sterner test in the 19th minute. The young Serb cut in off the left wing and unleashed a venomous low drive that Abbiati did superbly well to reach and force wide from right at the base of his right post.

The spell of Fiorentina control proved to be a short one and Milan soon took up where they’d left off in the early stages.

In the 29th minute, Gianluca Zambrotta went close when he strode on to an intelligently worked corner and sent a first-time effort arrowing towards goal, but Boruc arched back and impressively flipped the ball over for a corner.

Milan were not content with a 1-0 lead and continued to surge forward in search of a two-goal half-time cushion.

And a deserved second goal duly arrived four minutes before the interval. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng worked a neat exchange before the German-born Ghanaian internationalist squared for Pato to slam home from six yards.

Fiorentina manager Sinisa Mihajlovic was understandably unsatisfied by the first 45 minutes and made a change at the break to try and inject a bit of life into his side: replacing Ljajic with Khouma Babacar.

The move almost paid instant dividends when he burst forward after collecting a loose ball that had broken to him when Riccardo Montolivo expertly dispossessed Ibrahimovic.

Yet, despite showing impressive blistering pace, the 18-year-old’s obvious lack of experience shone through when, rather than pass to Alberto Gilardino who was unmarked and in a great position to his left, he elected to shoot – and disappointingly dragged his shot well wide.

The poor finishing was not restricted to the young and inexperienced, though, as Ibrahomivic passed up two glorious, and almost identical, chances in quick succession.

In the 52nd minute, he raced clear one-on-one with Boruc and with time to measure his finish but placed wide of the upright. And then, just 100 seconds later, he worked a crisp one-two with Pato but stroked the ball wide of the same post in an uncannily similar manner.

Up until the 78th minute, Milan had been on cruise control, with the points seemingly in the bag. But it was then that Juan Vargas latched onto a rebound after Abbiati had parried a Montolivo piledriver and fired off a shot which deflected into the net off sub Gennaro Gattuso’s chest.

Although the league-leaders faced a couple of late scares, including a Vargas cross-cum-shot which fizzed wide of the upright, while struggling through the final three minutes and injury time with ten men after Ibrahimovic was sent off for a second bookable offence, they held on for an important three points.

Next weekend, Milan continue their Scudetto assault by hosting strugglers Sampdoria in a Saturday evening fixture.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, will need to see a huge improvement in their performance if they are to take all three points when great rivals Juventus visit the Artemio Franchi on Sunday afternoon.




Fiorentina

31
Artur Boruc
Goalkeeper
0.00
23
Manuel Pasqual
Defender
0.00
14
Cesare Natali
Defender
56′
0.00
5
0.00
25
Gianluca Comotto
Midfielder
0.00
30
Marco Donadel
Midfielder
21′ 62′
0.00
18
Riccardo Montolivo
Midfielder
79′
0.00
-
Mario Santana
Midfielder
75′
0.00
66
Juan Vargas
Striker
79′
0.00
8
Adem Ljajic
Striker
46′
0.00
11
0.00

Milan

0.00
32
0.00
19
0.00
4
0.00
33
Mario Yepes
Defender
0.00
20
Ignazio Abate
Midfielder
0.00
-
C. Seedorf
Midfielder
8′
0.00
17
0.00
20
0.00
9
0.00
9
0.00
10

Substitutes

1
Neto
Goalkeeper
0.00
-
0.00
10
0.00
-
0.00
11
0.00
85
Valon Behrami
Midfielder
62′
0.00
-
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper
0.00
3
0.00
28
0.00
7
Robinho
Striker
0.00
-
0.00
8

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0