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28 November 2011
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 51000
Thiago Silva 8'
Z. Ibrahimovic 16', 43'
Alexandre Pato 33'
90' + 1'
Bradley drives the ball in but Amelia does well to punch the ball away from danger. However Vacek ALMOST nets a consolation courtesy of a deflection!
90' + 1'
There''ll be two minutes of injury time left in this one, but Milan will have to defend their clean sheet first as Chievo have a free-kick on the edge of the box.
FINALLY!!! A genuine shot on target from Chievo, as Hetemaj buzzes around the 18-yard-box and powers a swerving low drive at Amelia, who just about gathers!
Somehow Van Bommel hasn't been shown an yellow card yet, and his latest lunge on Hetemaj isn't deemed worthy of a booking. Prior to the incident, Yepes had taken out Pellissier, as Chievo are looking more enterprising.
Nocerino almost latches onto a square ball from deep, but he fails to trap it on the deck. One of the men-of-the-match tonight, an all-action performance from the ex-Palermo man!
The tempo has slowed down in the past couple of minutes, as Milan revert to playing the ball around in their own half. You can't fault the work rate of the Chievo attackers, who are trying to press further up the pitch.
Stephan El Shaarawy
And after three quarters of the action, the promising El Sharaawy comes on for Pato, who has been imperious upon his return to the fold! A job well done for the former Internacional star.
OOOOOH! Robinho is away in the clear, but like the preceding set-piece, he also slips just as he is about to pull the trigger! Hetemaj, straight after, tries to find a lob pass to send Pellissier in, but it's just too strong.
Aquilani is chopped down by Sammarco at the other end, but he slips before whipping the ball into the box! Meanwhile, Nocerino gets a fresh boot in the face and Aquilani takes down substitute Hetemaj. Things are getting a little feisty as we enter the last 20 minutes!
Pellissier wins another free-kick, and stands over the ball, but his stinging low attempt is gathered by Amelia.
If the hosts were facing more challenging opposition, Abate could have been punished for some of his defensive play, which has seen him pass back to fellow defenders under pressure. Meanwhile, Yepes has to cover him after being beaten too far forward.
Frey and Thereau combine promisingly down the right, but the French forward's ball into the Milan box is easily dealt with.
A perfect example of both team's contrasting evenings. Milan keep hold of the ball for a considerable length of time in Chievo's half, before Pato's Hollywood pass fails to reach its intended target Nocerino. Straight after, the visitors proceed to hoof the ball and lose possession in an instant.
More Samba-like football from Milan, as Nocerino, Boateng and Ibrahimovic all combine to get the ball into Aquilani's reach, but the ex-Liverpool midfielder's low cross is blocked off!
FANTASTIC PLAY!!! Pato collects Ibrahimovic's pass with his back to goal, before the Brazilian superbly spins around Cesar and almost manages to beat Sorrentino one on one, but his touch is too heavy!
A quick break from Milan as Pato leads the way, and he slips the ball into Aquilani, but it is immediately cleared behind the goal for a corner. Straight after the set-piece, Pato again looks to get in behind, but he is marginally offside!
Pellissier again tries his luck, but firstly is blocked off, before Thereau is adjuged offside for his layoff to the captain. Better from Chievo, but Milan are still in control of this one.
CHIEVO HIT ONE BACK...... BUT ITS DISALLOWED!!! Pellissier lobs the ball over Amelia with real finesse, but the former Italy man is deemed offside.
Sammarco tries charging into the Milan box, as his momentum keeps him going, but Yepes puts in an important interception to ensure danger is averted.
Nocerino completely outpowers Bradley in the final third, as he almost plays Ibrahimovic in, but Cesar intercepts the cross as Sorrentino clears.
Pellissier hits an aimless ball forward, which ends up reaching Amelia. Seemingly no change there then!
And the second period is underway, almost capped by an Ibrahimovic goal, as the Swede controls the ball on the edge of the box but strikes the half-volley just wide!
45' + 1'
And so the referee's whistle beckons. Join us in 15 for the second-half of what has been quite a superb performance from the Italian champions!
ITS ALMOST FIVE!!!! Antonini finds the ball at his feet in the Chievo box, but his shot is wild! Chievo are desperate for the whistle to be blown.
GOAL NUMERO DUE PER IBRAHIMOVIC!!! The super-striker simply puts the ball in the centre to give his side a commanding lead going into half-time.
Penalty GoalZlatan Ibrahimovic
INCREDIBLE! Luciano's match goes from bad to worse as he concedes a penalty! More fantastic one-touch football from Pato and co sees Ibra behind the spotkick...
VERY CLOSE!!!!!! Paolo Sammarco begins to stamp his authority in midfield, as he chips the ball forward into the path of Bradley, but his acrobatic volleyed attempt rolls just wide with Amelia beaten!!
Chievo almost start up a surprise attack, as Thereau is felled in his stride near the Milan box. However, as with all of his set-pieces tonight, Bradley's attempt goes into row Z.
Nocerino shows his individual technique again with a neat stepover, and gives the ball to Pato who tries to do it all on his own with the Chievo rearguard in front of him, but it amounts to nothing.
CLOSE!! The Swede's set-piece is just over! Van Bommel again wins the ball back in the middle of the park and it's Milan possession in their own half once more.
Poor foul to give away as Cesar pushes Van Bommel, who is charging into his opponents danger zone, to the ground. Here's Ibrahimovic with the free-kick...
Ibrahimovic loses possession for the second-time in a minute, as Chievo try to break back, and they almost succeed as Thereau shoots from the edge of the box, but it sails way over Amelia. A brief scare for Milan!
A THIRD GOAL FOR THE CHAMPIONS!!!!!! Di Carlo looks on pensively, as Aquilani smashes a rebound from a corner, which hits Luciano in the box, but the ball drops straight to Pato, who simply taps into an open goal!
OOOH! Ibrahimovic gallops down the right flank with great purpose, but substitute Acerbi is first to hack the ball out for a corner, which proves futile!
Van Bommel gives a foul away once more, as Bradley stands behind the ball, but it's an easy take for Amelia. The Dutchman will need to take more care with his challenges if he's not to get into the referees book tonight!
Chievo retain possession, but the ball is poorly controlled by Luciano near the touchline and gifts the ball back to the hosts. It's been the story of their night!
Milan shift the ball forward, with Abate looking for options, but its switched to Antonini, arguably the least impressive Rossoneri player, who puts the ball out for a throw-in.. And again another attack is launched but Ibrahimovic's tantalising low cross is hacked away by Jokic!
Here's an interesting fact for you. Only Roma have had more possession of the ball this season! After this game I expect Milan to overtake them, as they are spraying the ball around with great accuracy.
Abate has looked impeccable down the right, combining with the likes of Pato and Aquilani regularly and giving Jokic a difficult evening. Meanwhile, Davide Mandelli hobbles off with a suspected injury, which will come as unwelcome news to the visitors.
Ibrahimovic almost plays through Van Bommel in a crowded Chievo box, but Domenico Di Carlo's men eventually shepherd the ball out.
IBRACADABRAAAAAAAA!!!! The No.11 collects the ball in the D, before scooping an exquisite finish over Sorrentino to grab his 100th Serie A goal!
Milan have a free-kick on the right side of the box, as Aquilani lays it off to Antonini, but the ball into the area doesn't reach its intended target.
Aquilani wins the ball back for the hosts, who are firmly in control here. However, the ball is cheaply given away by Yepes and Bradley tries to propel an attack, but it results in a free-kick to Milan.
The visitors finally get a reprieve as former player Yepes gifts them a free-kick in the final third! Bradley stands behind the ball... AND PELLISSIER ALMOST TOUCHES THE BALL PAST AMELIA! That would have been a shock to the system.
It's been all Milan in the first 10 minutes, and Chievo can't get near them! A very dominant start from the champions.
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!! Milan take a deserved lead as Chievo fail to clear their lines from a corner, as the ball drops to the Brazilian defender on the edge of the box, before he sweetly places the ball into the bottom left corner!
Frantic start to the game as Chievo are forced to contain heavy Milan pressure. Ibrahimovic again is involved by playing through Aquilani with an inch-perfect pass, but Sorrentino smothers the ball out for a corner.
The match is now underway! Milan go from right to left, as Nocerino floats the ball into Ibrahimovic's path AND HITS THE BAR!! Explosive start to proceedings!
A minute's silence will now be played out for the death of former Wales international and coach Gary Speed. A huge mark of respect by players, coaches and fans alike.
The teams are out on the pitch as the players exchange handshakes prior to the referee's whistle!
Chievo's bench reads: Puggioni, Drame, Acerbi, Hetemaj, Vacek, Moscardelli, Paloschi. Kick-off is minutes away here in northern Italy!
The subs are now in! For the hosts Milan: Roma, Bonera, Emanuelson, Ambrosini, El Shaarawy, Seedorf, Robinho.
It's all change for the champions, as Christian Abbiati, Gianluca Zambrotta, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf and Robinho have all been replaced by Marco Amelia, Luca Antonini, Mario Yepes, Antonio Nocerino and Alexandre Pato. The return of the Brazilian hitman is sure to delight Rossoneri supporters.
And for the visiting team Chievo: Sorrentino, Frey, Cesar, Mandelli, Jokic, Luciano, Rigoni, Bradley, Sammarco, Pellissier, Thereau.
As promised here's the two teams! Milan will look like this: Amelia, Abate, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Antonini, Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Boateng, Ibrahimovic, Pato.
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