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Italy - Serie A
March 17, 2013
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: S. Peruzzo
• Attendance: 41584
M. Balotelli 8', 66'
Allegri's side stay third after Napoli's win over Atalanta then and at the other end Palermo remain second from bottom. That's all the action from the San Siro this afternoon, Thanks for joining me this afternoon and enjoy the rest of today's footballing action. Until next time, goodbye!
FULL TIME: MILAN 2-0 PALERMO. A routine victory in the end then for the Rossoneri as they continue to keep hot on the tail of Napoli in second place in Serie A. A penalty and a tap in for Balotelli was all that was required in the end against a toothless Palermo side who look in real danger of facing the drop.
90' + 4'
He's still not giving up on that hat-trick. Balotelli blasts a free-kick just over from a wide position after Abate was brought down.
90' + 2'
Balotelli breaks forward for Milan and tries to unselfishly square the ball for Niang but his cross is just too far in front of his teammate and the chance goes.
We are into stoppage time now and their might be little bit more to go as we wait for play to be resumed after Fabbrini receives a bit of treatment on the field for what looks like a bust lip.
Well he's not going to get his hat-trick in that fashion. Ever the showman, Balotelli tries to catch Sorrentino off of his line from some 45-yards but the effort is miles off target.
Into the final five minutes then. This game has been over as a contest for a while but Balotelli wont want it to end without an opportunity for his hat-trick.
Niang has got pace to burn and he takes the ball out of his own area and well into the Palermo half before settling for a throw in. Impressive display of power and speed.
Substitution for Milan as Boateng makes way for Traore while Palmero replace Donati with Nicolas Viola.
De Sciglio gets down the left again and sends in a low ball that needs to be dealt with before it reaches Balotelli. The man is on a hat-trick and is lurking with intent around that Palermo area.
Just for the purposes of clarification, a Milan win coupled with a draw for Napoli wouldn't actually send the Rossoneri second in the table due to goal difference. That doesn't seem to be of much importance anyway at the moment as Napoli lead 3-2 against Atalanta. Apologies for any confusion.
Palermo haven't had a sniff since the second goal and it doesn't look like their going to threaten again in this match. They've made a couple of changes but it all looks in vain.
Kurtic is off and Diego Fabbrini takes his place. A frustrating display from Palermo's number 28.
Yellow Card Ezequiel Muñoz
The fans are certainly a lot happier now and Milan players look so too. They're playing with a lot more freedom as Niang threatens to break forward once more before being dispossessed.
I don't think Super Mario will score many easier than that this season. He was barely a yard out when the ball fell at his feet. It's possibly a bit harsh on the visitors as they've matched their hosts this half but a difference in class always shines through.
Goal Mario Balotelli
GOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! BALOTELLI AT THE DOUBLE!!! That should put this result beyond doubt. Niang finally delivers a bit of quality from a wide position and although Balotelli cannot get to the ball first time, he is on hand to pounce on Sorrentino's spill and smash the ball high into the roof of the net.
Both sides are struggling to create any real opportunities. There have been plenty of breaks but the final ball from either side has been poor and it hasn't made for the easiest game to watch.
Wasted opportunity for Palermo. Kurtic won the ball in midfield and had the chance to run at the Milan defence. However a mixture of hesitation and poor passing gives Flamini time ti get back and intercept the pass to Dybala.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Substitution for Milan as El Shaarawy makes way for Niang. Not the best outing this season for the Rossoneri's top scorer.
Great save from Abbiati! Paulo Dybala is played through as Palermo beat the offside trap but the Milan keeper stands strong and beats the striker's effort away. They're getting closer.
It's been a bright start from Giuseppe Sannino's side in the second period and Milan might need a second goal here.
Palermo are going to give this a go and they're almost level. Josip Ilicic's effort takes a deflection and almost wrong footed Abbiati who is able to get down and keep the ball out.
Michel Morganella has seen quite a bit of the ball at the beginning of this half. It looks like the visitors are going to give this a go.
Mattia De Sciglio gets forward to provide us with the first effort of the half but he skews it wide. Let's hope for better as the half wares on.
We are back underway. Santiago Garcia makes way for Nelson Marcos as the visitors make their change.
We are about to get the second half up and running. Palermo are going to make a change at the break as well.
A quick little stat for you regarding Mario Balotelli and penalties. The striker has taken 13 penalties in his career. He has scored each and every one of them. Cool as a cucumber that boy.
As results stand, the Rossoneri will find themselves sitting in second place after this weekends football. That's because Napoli are currently being held at home by Atalanta. It's 1-1 in Naples at halftime.
I don't think there will be many people disputing the penalty. Aronica had a good handful of Super Mario's shirt and the striker did what he does best by picking himself up and dispatching the spot-kick home. However I think there is a little bit of an argument for Zapata to have been red carded.
HALFTIME: MILAN 1-0 PALMERMO. Flamini fouls Rios in the middle of the park and the referee has seen enough. It hasn't been the most action-packed of halves but there are still a couple of important talking points from the half. Should Milan still have 11 men on the park? And was it a penalty?
It has been a half of few clear cut chances for either side but Milan have taken theirs. There will be one minute of added time at the end of the half.
Milan break in numbers as Flamini brings the ball across the halfway-line but his final ball to pick out El Shaarawy is poor and Palermo get back to stifle the attack.
Stefano Sorrentino glares at one of his defenders as he receives a weak pass back that is tracked down by El Shaarawy. The keeper gets there first and gets it away, just.
This is a really bright spell for Palermo. Kurtic swings in a cross that can't quite find Dybala as Zapata does just about enough to put the forward off. Moments later Donati has Abbiati sprawling to his left to push behind a smart effort. Better from Sannino's side.
Going back to the Zapata decision, it is a really close call. It's a deliberate handball but it's down to whether it stopped a genuine goalscoring opportunity. I think it may have. The referee didn't.
Montolivo lets fly at the other end and his outswinging effort has Sorrentino scrambling before it ghosts just wide of the post.
Yellow Card Cristian Zapata
Zapata is lucky to still be on the pitch. Donati breaks forward for the visitors and tries to play Dybala in over the top but the ball is cut off by the hand of Milan's centre half. Referee Peruzzo deems it only worthy of a yelow card despite the protests of Palermo players and the free-kick goes straight into the wall.
The Rossoneri's build-up play has been a joy to watch at times this afternoon. They obviously learnt something from their trip to Barcelona.
The fullbacks are having no difficulty getting forward for the hosts and both De Sciglio and Abate have probably spent more time in their opposition's half than their own.
Lovely stuff from Balotelli as he nonchalantly nutmegs Kurtic with a backheel. The crowd voice their approval of Balotelli's magic and of their side's dominance. They're beginning to boss possession now.
The answer is no as Montolivo's cross is cleared at the front post by Donati. Moments later though El Shaarawy has space in the area after being picked out by Muntari, but Milan's top scorer has his effort blocked behind for a corner.
Boateng forces another corner and after playing it short, Balotelli wins a free-kick on the edge of the area. Can the hosts make something of it?
Jasmin Kurtic has Palermo's first effort on goal of the afternoon but his effort is dragged wide. It never looked like it was going to trouble Abbiati but it's progress.
Ignazio Abate brings the ball forward and tries to slip in El Shaarawy but the ball has a bit too much zip on it and Sorrentino is able to collect the loose ball.
A chance for Kevin-Prince Boateng to extend his sides lead further but the Ghanaian can't find the target with his effort. The visitors do look a little vulnerable on the wings.
Massimo Donati is in the wars against his old club and he's now sporting a headband following a clash of heads. The Palermo captain is back on after a bit of treatment.
But hey, this is football and anything can happen, right? There is still a good 80 minutes left and Palermo have already mounted a couple of attacks down the right flank. They come to nothing but it's a start.
Just the start the home side needed. It was never going to be an easy task for Palermo to get anything out of this encounter. It looks even more unlikely now.
Penalty Goal Mario Balotelli
GOAAALLL!!! 1-0 MILAN!! Balotelli makes no mistake, placing the ball into the corner of the net beyond the reach of Sorrentino. Advantage AC.
PENALTY FOR MILAN!! You don't get more blatant than that. Aronica hauls down Balotelli as a corner is swung in and Peruzzo has no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
It's a quiet old stadium the San Siro this afternoon. There is definitely a bit of a Nou Camp hangover surrounding the club's fans.
Milan are in their unmistakable red and black home strips, while the visitors are giving their third strip an outing today. A white top with a black and pink sash. Fashionable.
Sebastiano Peruzzo blows his whistle for the first time this afternoon and we're underway in Milan.
Both team captains , Christian Abbiati and Massimo Donati, are reading out anti-racism messages before kick-off. We are seconds away now.
We aren't far from kick-off now. If results go in their favour today, Massimiliano Allegri's side could find themselves sitting second in the table.
Giuseppe Sannino's injury plagued Palermo side have a new face on the treatment table as captain Fabrizio Miccoli is now sidelined as well. Josip Ilicic takes his place up front.
So Milan make a number of changes from the side that lost in Barcelona. Mattia De Sciglio replaces the suspended Kevin Constant and Daniele Bonera starts in place of Philippe Mexes who starts on the bench. Mario Balotelli comes back into the Rossoneri forward line as well.
PALERMO: (3-5-2) Sorrentino; Munoz, von Bergen, Aronica; Morganella, Rios, Donati, Kurtic, Garcia; Ilicic, Dybala.
AC MILAN:(4-3-3) Abbiati: Abate, Zapata, Bonera, De Sciglio; Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari; Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.
We are just under quarter of an hour away from kick-off so let's get some team news ahead of the whistle.
I'm Harry Slavin and I'm here to take you through every bit of the action from Milan this afternoon. What sort of Milan will turn up after their Champions League exit? Can an injury stricken Palermo cause a shock? If you want to get involved then you can use the chat box on the match centre, or, alternatively, you can tweet in to @harryslavin.
After being dumped out of the Champions League by Barcelona midweek, AC Milan's attentions turn back to Serie A and ensuring a strong finish to the campaign. Today they take on a struggling Palermo side at the San Siro and you can follow all the action here!
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