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FIFA Confederations Cup
11 April 2012
• Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Referee: P. Valeri
• Attendance: 11000
It wasn't a classic, but an early Sulley Muntari goal was enough to give Milan the three points, despite Chievo's constant attacking threat. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me. And make sure you do so tomorrow, when I'll be covering Inter Milan vs Siena from 19.45 BST.
And that's it! Full time here in Verona, and it ends Chievo 0-1 Milan.
90' + 5'
GOOOOAAAA..... NO! Disallowed. A cross from the right found Acerbi inside the six yard box, but as the centre back tucked the ball home, the referee blew his whistle for offside.
90' + 3'
A long ball is pumped up towards Thereau on the edge of the area. The Frenchman is outjumped by Yepes though, who heads away the danger. And he takes a massive whack on the nose for the trouble.
90' + 2'
Zambrotta tries to shield the ball on the right-hand touchline. Luciano though, has other ideas, and ploughs through the back of him. The referee blows for a free kick, and Milan waste some time.
Four minutes have been added on here.
Rodney Strasser comes on, and with his first touch lays in El Shaarawy down the right-hand side. He's offside though.
De Sciglio saunters forward now. He comes to the edge of the area, and goes for a speculative shot, that goes only just over Sorrentino's bar. Unlucky from the 19-year-old.
It is all Chievo now. The Rossoneri are just camped in there own half. But as has happened many times this half, a through ball to Pellissier is worthless as he's flagged for offside.
A free kick straight off the training results in a corner for Chievo. Bradley plays it short, and after a one-two with Luciano, the American whips it in towards Pellissier. The veteran flicks it on, but only as far as Nesta's hand. The referee blows him whistle; everyone thinks it's a penalty.....but the linesman has already flagged for offside.
Yellow Card Sergio Pellissier
Bradley isn't shirking his responsibility though, and comes deep to receive the ball off the centre backs. He looks up, and opts to play a long, diagonal ball up to Pellissier on the edge of the area. The veteran goes down under a challenge from Zambrotta, but the referee waves play on.
Bradley gets caught in possession on the edge of the Milan area, and as quick as you like, the Rossoneri counter. Emanuelson takes it over the halfway line, and gives it to Ibrahimovic on the left-hand side. He takes it up to the edge of the area, and opens up his body to curl the ball into the far corner. The shot though, isn't quite right, and goes just wide of the right-hand post.
Up the other end, and Luciano gets it on the right-hand touchline. He takes a touch and whips in a deep cross that goes all the way across the penalty area and out for a throw in.
El Shaarawy gets the ball on the edge of the area. He tries to turn, but Acerbi is there straight away and dispossesses the youngster.
With 20 minutes to go, this has been the half Milan would have wanted. It's been scrappy, sloppy and entirely unimaginative from both sides. Can the Rossoneri hold out though?
Sardo bombs forward now from right-back. El Shaarawy tracks him all the way though, and shoulders him off the ball by the corner flag. Great work from the youngster.
Yellow Card Gennaro Sardo
Pellissier gets the ball now on the edge of the Milan area. He takes a touch, and looks for the run of Bradley. Yepes though, reads it well, and manages to clear away the danger.
This, from @moonbyte: "Not watching the game, are Milan really as bad as you're making them out to be, Alex?" In a word: yes.
Gennaro Ivan Gattuso
Stephan El Shaarawy
Milan go on the counter, and it's Gattuso who's the furthest forward inside the area. He has three Chievo defenders around him, but he goes down - clearly looking for a penalty - but the referee waves play on.
It's another free kick to Chievo. And this time, it's Nesta who nudges Pellissier in the back 40yds from goal. Once again, it's pumped into the box by Bradley. And for the umpteenth time, Milan clear away the danger.
It's whipped in deep by Michael Bradley, but Milan are more than equal to it, and clear away the danger.
Yellow Card Gianluca Zambrotta
Up the other end, and Zambrotta pulls back Rigoni on the right-hand touchline to concede a free kick.
The subsequent set piece is taken short, with Seedorf eventually pumping the ball in deep. It's overhit though, and the ball goes all the way out for a goal kick.
Ibrahimovic wins a free kick for Milan 35yds from goal. Seedorf takes it, and tries to whip it in at the near post. Acerbi's there though, and he heads away for a corner.
Ah. That is class from Nesta. A long ball over the top, looked to find Paloschi, but Nesta follwed him all the way, used his brain, and cooly passed the ball out from the back when under pressure from the youngster.
Yellow Card Sulley Muntari
OHHHH. A double chance for Chievo. First, a Bradley shot from the edge of the area was saved well by Abbiati. And then, from a cross that followed, Pellissier had a shot from just outside the six yard box that flew over the bar. It's surely just a matter of time now before Chievo bag an equaliser?
Ibra comes deep to collect the ball. He looks up inside the centre circle, and plays a ball through to Muntari. The Ghanaian doesn't take it on though, as he lets it through his legs for Seedorf to take. The Dutchman isn't on the same wavelength though, and Chievo retain the ball.
Bradley picks up where he left off in the first half, and finds some space to play a long ball towards the head of Pellissier. The knock down doesn't find his team mate though, and Milan clear.
@MK_Maestro on Twitter thinks we could have another Fiorentina on our hands: "Unless Milan get their act together it will be the game against Fiorentina all over again, goals like Muntari's dont come twice."
We're back. Chievo get us underway, kicking from left-to-right.
I'm not quite sure how, but Milan are 1-0 up here. Sulley Muntari scored an absolute piledriver, but other than that, it's been all Chievo. Don't forget, get involved on Twitter @alexjmott, and send me all your comments and stuff.
And that's half time. Here in Verona, it's Chievo 0-1 Milan. Somehow.
OHHHH. HUGE CHIEVO CHANCE!!! Thereau gets the ball on the right. Takes it to the byline. Cuts it back for Rigoni. It looks for all the world as if he's just going to tap it in from eight yards, but he somehow shanks it wide.
Yellow Card Dario Dainelli
Nocerino has the ball now for Milan on the right-hand touchline, and draws a foul from Dainelli.
Chievo have another corner on the left. And just like the goal, Milan counter with Muntari. He plays it to Seedorf on the halfway line, who looks for Robinho inside the area. This time though, Sorrentino reads the danger and comes to collect the pass/cross.
Seedorf has it now in the centre circle, and plays a long ball over the top to Ibrahimovic. The ball's a tad overhit though, and the Swede can't get there before Sorrentino.
AHHH. Robinho should have scored! On the left-hand side of the area, the Brazilian swivels his hips and goes on the outside of Acerbi. He shoots with his left foot, but goes for the near post, where Sorrentino palms the ball away.
Thereau has it for Chievo now on the left-hand touchline, in line with the area. Muntari comes across, but fouls the Frenchman, and a free kick is given in a dangerous position. Bradley whips it in, and it's headered dangerously in towards the back post. Abbiati though, is commanding, a jumps highest to collect the ball.
Robinho, who I forgot was actually playing, comes deep to collect the ball, and looks to spray it out wide to De Sciglio. His pass is intercepted though by Frey.
It's another chance for Chievo as Thereau has a header from 10yds that goes just wide of the right-hand post. The Flying Donkeys' have been no asses so far in this half!
And as I say that, a long ball from De Sciglio finds Nocerino all on his own just outside the Chievo area, but his first touch lets him down and Sorrentino comes out to collect the loose ball.
I can't remember Milan having any decent periods of possession, or any chances worthy of note. And yet they're 1-0 up. Football eh?
The corner from Bradley, again, comes to nothing.
CHANCE FOR CHIEVO! But Thereau misses from six yards. A through ball from Rigoni spots the run of Thereau, and with one touch he smashes it at the Milan goal. Abbiati though, gets down well, and tips it around his right-hand post.
GOOOAAAA..... NO. A flicked header by Sammarco found Paloschi in the box, and the former Milan youngster, on the turn, snuck it past Abbiati. The linesman though, had to spoil the party, and flagged for offside.
It's Bradley, again, pulling strings in the middle of the midfield, as he comes deep and collects the ball of Sardo. The American looks up, and sees the run of Thereau, but the linesman's flag is up for offside, and Milan escape.
Yellow Card Paolo Sammarco
Sardo bombs forward from right back again, and wins a throw in for Chievo deep in Milan territory. He tries to take it quick and give it to Rigoni, but they're not quite on the same wavelength, and Yepes clears.
Bradley is finding all sorts of room in the middle of the park. And this time, he tries to slot a ball through to Thereau, but it's a tad overhit and goes through to Abbiati.
Frey has it for the Flying Donkeys now on the left-hand touchline. He finds some space and drills in a cross towards Pellissier, but the veteran can't quite get his feet in order, and Nesta clears the danger.
It is literally all Chievo now. And they win a free kick on the edge of the Milan area. Bradley steps over it, and looks to whip it around the wall. He's a bit too close to get it up and down though, and his shot fires over the bar.
The corner comes to nothing and Milan clear.
It's all Chievo now as Sardo comes forward and puts in a delicious low ball into the box, only for Nesta to skew it out of play for a corner.
Bradley has the ball now for Chievo, and he spots the run of Pellissier who manages to keep it in play. There's no one keeping up with him though, and nothing comes off the attack.
The ball sat up perfectly for him there, and he put it away beautifully. But Milan don't look to sit on their laurels. They come forward with Ibrahimovic, who chips it over the Chievo backline towards the onrushing Nocerino, but he's adjudged to be offside.
Goal Sulley Muntari
WHAT A GOOOOOAAALLLLL!!!! Milan counter attack from the corner, with Sulley Muntari taking the ball to within 30yds of the Chievo. And out of nowhere, he strikes it firecely into the bottom left-hand corner. 1-0. Great goal from the Ghanaian.
A long ball over the top from Rigoni is amied towards Paloschi down the left-hand side, and ha manages to win a corner off Nesta. The dead ball is taken by Bradley, but Abbiati comes out and punches clear.
Sammarco comes forward now; over the halfway line. But De Sciglio reads it brilliantly, and makes a crucial tackle to dispossess the midfielder.
Nocerino drives forward now for Milan. He takes the ball past the halfway line and gives it to Ibrahimovic's feet just outside the area. The Swede turns, takes it past Acerbi, but instead of giving it to Seedorf who was making a surging run on the outside, he decides to shoot. It's blocked though.
Milan have started really tentatively here. Twice they've had some sort of possession, and twice they've given the ball away through sloppy passes.
Sammarco has the ball for Chievo now in the mddle of the park. He plays it out to left-hand side and Bradley, but De Sciglio comes across and clears away the danger.
And already Chievo have the ball, and they've pumped it long towards Paloschi. But the linesman's flag is up for offside.
Milan kick us off then. And they will go from left-to-right in their traditional red and black.
Here we go then. The teams are leaving the tunnel and kick off is just moments away!
There's just 15 minutes to go until kick off here in Verona and the atmosphere is bubbling under nicely. Don't forget, @alexjmott is where to go to send me your predictions/ill-judged comments, etc.
The reverse fixture earlier on in the season saw Milan run out easy 4-0 winners. That day, Chievo were the worst side defensively I'd seen all year. Will it be the same again tonight, with the Rossoneri having something to prove and Chievo safely in mid-table?
Chievo (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino; Sardo, Dainelli, Acerbi, Frey; Sammarco, Rigoni, Bradley; Thereau; Paloschi, Pellissier.
TEAM NEWS: Milan, hit by a plague of injuries, start with youngster Mattia De Sciglio at full back and bring in Gennaro Gattuso for his first start since the last time I wore flip flops. Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; De Sciglio, Nesta, Yepes, Zambrotta; Gattuso, Muntari, Nocerino; Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, Robinho
As always, if you want to get involved tonight, hit me up @alexjmott on Twitter, and send me any comments/predictions/abuse. You might get a retweet, if you're lucky.
The Flying Donkeys' recent home form has been equally disappointing though: they have lost four of their last seven matches at the Bentegodi, and have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last five.
The Rossoneri though, are on a four game winless run in all competitions, and have stuttered a lot of late away from home: winning just one of their last five games.
Milan had what's commonly known as 'a proper stinker' on Saturday, as they went down 2-1 to a below-par Fiorentina. At San Siro. But they'll be hoping to get back on the Scudetto tracks tonight with a win over a Chievo side who haven't lost in their last four games.
Good evening everyone and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Chievo vs AC Milan all the way from Stadio Bentegodi in Verona. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for this evening's crucial Serie A clash.
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