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1 vs 4
Played
April 29, 2012 9:00 AM EDT
Stadio Comunale Artemio Franchi - Montepaschi Arena — Siena
Referee:‬ C. Brighi‎
Attendance:‬ 14655‎
 
Top of the Match
Antonio Cassano
Antonio Cassano
Milan
Antonio Cassano
Antonio Cassano
Milan
Flop of the Match
Zeljko Brkic
Zeljko Brkic
Siena
Zeljko Brkic
Zeljko Brkic
Siena

Siena 1-4 AC Milan: Cassano, Nocerino and Ibrahimovic double keep the Rossoneri in Scudetto chase

The Rossoneri stay hot on the trail of Juventus at the top of Serie A as a quartet of strikes ensure the race for the Scudetto goes down to the wire with three games left.

By Livio Caferoglu

Cassano & Ibrahimovic - Milan
Getty Images
AC Milan put in an assured performance at the Artemio Franchi to secure a 4-1 victory against Siena on Sunday and keep up the pressure on league leader Juventus.

Goals from Antonio Cassano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic seemed to have killed off the contest after just half an hour, but Erjon Bogdani's late consolation made for an uneasy ending to the encounter. However, Antonio Nocerino and Ibrahimovic scored at the death to round off an impressive win.

The match started in favor of Milan, which from the offset showed an intent to take the match to Siena. The early signs suggested that the club was keen to dictate the pace of the encounter. However, the home side was prepared to counter the threat with high pressing and its own brand of stylish football.

The Rossoneri dominated possession in the opening stages, and on 14 minutes they were presented with their first real chance, which also coincided with Ibrahimovic's first foray into the Siena box. However he fired just wide of the target after being fed by Cassano.

The Italy international was involved in most of his side's good work in front of goal, as he looked to link up with a red-and-black jersey almost every time he had the ball at his feet, and his first half display will have delighted Azzurri fans ahead of Euro 2012.

Kevin-Prince Boateng was next up for Milan, as he used his power at the far post to rattle the crossbar with a looping header, but he was expertly played offside by a resilient Bianconeri defense. However, the warning signs had been coming, and shortly after, the visiting side broke its duck.

A cross from Ibrahimovic appeared to have been stopped by Siena goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic, but the Udinese loanee spilled the ball at Cassano's mercy, as the forward tapped into an empty goal to give his side the lead on 26 minutes.

Just three minutes later, the roles had reversed. This time it was Cassano who laid off Ibrahimovic, and the Swede shrugged off a Siena jersey, before taking a touch and slamming the ball past Brkic to effectively put the result to bed.

For all of Siena's endeavor, bar the odd sight of goal from Mattia Destro and Marcelo Larrondo, the club failed to provide a true goal threat to Christian Abbiati, and the second half was much of the same, as the match began to fizzle out.

Milan was more than happy to see out the commanding lead, but an uneventful 20 minutes suddenly saw Destro squander a creditable chance for the home side. However, he failed to make a sweet connection with Luca Rossettini's pinpoint deep cross.

Ibrahimovic tried to hit back with a pair of long-range efforts, but Brkic was equal every time in the Siena goal. Nevertheless, Milan did not look like giving up victory as the match drew to a close.

However, out of the blue, with seven minutes to go, Siena netted a late consolation through substitute Bogdani, who already showed his mettle with a couple of earlier moves as he slid home a rebound from Destro's earlier effort.

But the win was sealed by Nocerino, who capitalized on a mistake in midfield on the stroke of 90 minutes to power an electric strike into the back of the net, before Ibrahimovic made it 26 for the season with a cool finish past Brkic, courtesy of another Cassano assist.

The win keeps Milan three points behind Juventus with three Serie A matches remaining, while Siena drops to 13th in the league standings.

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Siena

1
Zeljko Brkic
Goalkeeper
2.00
-
2.50
27
2.50
15
Luca Rossettini
Defender
2.50
19
Claudio Terzi
Defender
15′ 35′
2.50
8
Simone Vergassola
Midfielder
2.50
14
Alessandro Gazzi
Midfielder
2.50
-
Paolo Grossi
Midfielder
65′
3.00
16
2.50
22
Mattia Destro
Striker
83′
2.50
23
2.50

Milan

3.00
32
3.00
-
Djamel Mesbah
Midfielder
3.00
20
3.00
25
3.00
33
Mario Yepes
Defender
3.00
17
3.00
8
3.00
4
Sulley Muntari
Midfielder
60′
3.00
9
3.50
10
4.00
99

Substitutes

79
0.00
17
0.00
4
2.50
10
0.00
15
2.50
-
0.00
-
Alessio Sestu
Midfielder
0.00
-
3.00

Substitutes

0.00
1
Marco Amelia
Goalkeeper
0.00
5
0.00
3
0.00
13
3.00
10
3.00
-
0.00
7
3.00
92

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