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April 7, 2013
• 6:30 AM
• Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 23000
A. Ljajić 66'
D. Pizarro 73'
R. Montolivo 14'
M. Flamini 62'
That's it from us, I hope that you've enjoyed Goal.com's LIVE coverage of ten men Fiorentina's courageous comeback against Milan. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time!
Allegri won't be too pleased, as the Rossoneri could have just lost even more ground on Napoli in second place, while Fiorentina only extend their cushion over fifth-placed Inter by a point.
Goals from Riccardo Montolivo and Mathieu Flamini gave the Rossoneri a healthy lead, but after Antonio Nocerino and Mattia De Sciglio gave away penalties, Llajic and Cuadrado were allowed to convert the dead balls to scrape a hard earned draw.
That's it! Full time! The home fans are jubilant, with Milan disappointed! Despite holding a two goal lead against ten men, Allegri's men have thrown away their advantage courtesy of two penalties!
Yellow Card Facundo Roncaglia
Penalty Goal David Pizarro
GOOOAL! FIORENTINA! David Pizarro converts the penalty, to redeem some of his previous sins in this game! Fiorentina continue their brilliant scoring run!
Yellow Card Mario Balotelli
Yellow Card Alberto Aquilani
Penalty Goal Adem Ljajic
GOOOAL! Llajic! He converts the penalty that he won himself, to throw his side a lifeline! Abbiati dived to his right, but the Serbian put the ball straight down the middle!
Yellow Card Antonio Nocerino
PENALTY! A mazy dribble from Llajic results in substitute Nocerino bringing the youngster down!
Montolivo has had quite a game so far! The ex-Fiorentina man picked up the opening goal, and then assisted Flamini for the second! He just might pick up the man of the match award.
Assist Riccardo Montolivo
Goal Mathieu Flamini
GOOOAL! FLAMINI! They've doubled their lead, and surely can't be caught now! The Frenchman taps the ball home from a good cross!
Nocerino looks to release Balotelli was a clipped through ball, but Roncaglia heads the ball clear. Flamini then attempts to slip through two challenges with the rebound, but fails to beat either man!
Chances have certainly been hard to come by in this second half. Milan are remaining resilient and compact, whereas Viviano has been untroubled aside from one save. Viola certainly aren't out of this yet, but a second Milan goal would surely seal the three points.
A frustrating start to the second half for the hosts, as they must feel as though they're good enough to beat this Milan side if they had ten men. Despite having eleven men on the field, Allegri's side certainly aren't exerting any dominance.
GREAT SAVE! After a good crossfield ball to Abate, the right-back hooks the ball over Pasqual to find Flamini! The Frenchman takes a touch, before blasting a half volley at goal, but Viviano beats the ball away acrobatically!
Flamini clears a Pasqual cross well, with several Fiorentina players lurking behind him around the penalty spot! Considering they've got a numerical disadvantage, the home side haven't done too badly so far.
Ooh! El Shaarawy almost gets in behind! He was almost released by a great pass, but Compper manages to cut the pass out. That was very close to opening up for the youngster.
NOCERINO! The substitute weaves in between several challenges, before beating Roncaglia nicely with a drop of the shoulder! Compper manages to recover and nick the ball away just before the midfielder gets a shot away.
CHANCE! A lovely flick from Borja Valero releases Cuadrado down the right flank, but the Colombian is unable to find a violet shirt with his cross!
After patient build up play, Pizarro launches a ball towards the back post, but it's easy to Abbiati to claim. The Fiorentina midfielder really hasn't had a productive game thus far!
The yellow carded Sulley Muntari is replaced by Nocerino at the break. Allegri isn't willing to take chances that the referee might want to even things up numerically in this game!
The rather controversial referee blows his whistle to begin the second half! The home side have a lot of work to do to turn this one around! There's still hope for Viola however, as Montella's men have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 11 Serie A matches.
Vincenzo Montella only has one substitution available for the second half, after the forced changes of Stefan Savic and Stevan Jovetic through injury. Milan certainly have the upper hand, heading into the second 45 minutes.
A solitary goal from ex-Viola midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has been enough to give the visitors a half-time advantage, but the hosts may feel aggrieved with the referee's decision to send off Nenad Tomovic for a supposed elbow on El Shaarawy.
There's the half time whistle! It's met with boos from the home fans, and a few Fiorentina players make their way over to the referee to complain about the red card decision again.
45' + 1'
45' + 1'
CHANCE! In the dying moments of the half, Abbiati is forced into another save, to turn away a close range header! The hosts deserved an equaliser, and that could've been the chance!
Yellow Card Sulley Muntari
Muntari receives a yellow card for two mistimed challenges on Alberto Aquilani. Jovetic is now limping around the field, seemingly waiting to be subbed - he won't continue.
Yellow Card Juan Cuadrado
PASQUAL! After Jovetic saw a shot blocked on the edge of the area, the left-back met the rebound with his hammer of a left foot, but directed it straight at Abbiati!
In fairness, the Fiorentina players had a right to be angry, on second glance that looked to be a quite soft decision. Balotelli shoots from the resulting free-kick, but it's just routine catch practice for Viviano again.
Red Card Nenad Tomovic
What a bad first half for the hosts! As Tomovic continues his long, long walk to the dressing room, Vincenzo Montella has a lot of work to do. A goal and a man down... Milan must fancy their chances of ending Fiorentina's four match winning run now!
RED CARD! Tomovic is walking for a very early bath, he looks to have caught El Shaarawy in the face with his elbow! The Viola players are going beserk!
BALOTELLI! The Milan man tries his luck from a long-range free-kick once again, but Viviano saves easily. David Pizarro being substituted at half time would be very justified! The Chilean has had a bit of a first half nightmare!
CHANCE! Jovetic stretches for a teasing cross by Pasqual, but he can't quite reach it! It would have only taken a touch to divert it past Abbiati, who's a very fortunate man!
Yellow Card Riccardo Montolivo
JOVETIC! The Montenegrin strikes powerfully from range, and Abbiati is forced to improvise with his feet! The ball loops up into the air, but the Milan keep is quick to his feet to catch the second ball!
GOOD SAVE! A free-kick is flighted in for the away side, and El Shaarawy rises highest to head at goal! Viviano beats the effort away to his right, and his save narrowly avoids Flamini!
Despite both teams threatening, there haven't been too many clear cut chances to inform you of! The ball has spent more time in midfield than in the final third for either team.
Ooh! Jovetic is almost put through on goal by Roncaglia, but Zapata makes an important interception! Good recovering work by the Milan defender. Montolivo has gone down holding his knee after suffering an awkward fall, and the home side are showing no sympathy!
OOOOH! PASQUAL! From the resulting free-kick, the Fiorentina left-back curls an effort centimetres wide of Abbiati's near post! The home side were a whisker away from an equaliser there!
After a bright start, Viola are hitting their head against a wall here, Milan are standing resilient. Muntari has just been penalised for a rash challenge on Aquilani, but he'll escape a booking.
MUNTARI! After working the ball well across the field, the ball finds its way to the Ghanian, who stings Viviano's palms from about 25 yards out!
BALOTELLI! The young striker attempts to find the back of the net with a 30-yard free-kick, after enjoying success last week against Chievo's Puggioni, but blasts the ball miles over!
Allegri's men are still managing to frustrate the home side! Although the likes of Llajic and Cuadrado are seeing a lot of the ball in dangerous areas, the visitors are holding their shape well, and remaining compact around the edge of the 18-yard box. Viola are struggling to break them down.
The majority of play has been down the same flank for both sides, with De Sciglio and El Shaarawy working well together for Milan, and Roncaglia and Cuadrado combining for Viola.
Ooh! Good play by Fiorentina! Roncaglia and Cuadrado combine well down the right yet again, and a cut-back from the Colombian finds its way to Borja Valero on the edge of the area, but the Spaniard can't get the ball under control!
What a dreadful start for Viola! After booing their old player Montolivo for the opening 15 minutes, he's come back to bite them! One defensive error from Pizarro, and the visitors are ahead, despite the game being quite even.
EL SHAARAWY! After good work down the left from De Sciglio and El Shaarawy, the latter shifts the ball wide to Balotelli - who returns the ball to the latter. El Shaarawy only has a half-sight at goal, but strikes it wide!
Ooh! A good delivery, but Zapata heads clear for the visitors! The away side are certainly moving with great intent! It's only taken one mistake by the hosts for Milan to capitalise!
David Pizarro certainly didn't cover himself in glory in the build up to that opening goal! The midfield was robbed of the ball by Montolivo, and paid the price! Moments after the restart, the Viola win a corner!
Goal Riccardo Montolivo
GOOOOAL! The ex-Fiorentina man Ricardo Montolivo slams his side ahead! After picking the ball up from 25 yards out, the in-form midfielder strides forward, before striking the ball firmly inside Viviano's near post!
CHANCE! Good defending from Pasqual denies Flamini from racing through on goal, as the Fiorentina left-back uses his strength to shepherd the ball through to Viviano. Good play from Muntari and Balotelli in the build up!
For all of the home side's possession, it must be said that Abbiati has remained untroubled. The likes of Cuadrado and Llajic are getting the ball in wide areas (and look threatening) but are yet to penetrate the visitors.
Milan are really pressing in these early stages, Allegri's men are swarming around the home side's half, constantly pressuring the man on the ball. And it's working, to an extent, the hosts aren't quite stroking the ball around as confidently as before.
I'm not too sure about Kevin-Prince Boateng's new hairstyle, it must be said. The Ghanian has bleached his hair blonde, Dani Alves-esque, but it's yet to do him any favours on the pitch.
DISALLOWED! Boateng hammers the ball into the bottom right corner, beyond the stretching Viviano, but the midfielder was set up courtesy of a Balotelli knock-down and the striker was in an offside position.
CHANCE! A combination of Viviano and Pizarro manage to block an Abate cross and then a Flamini effort! That wasn't convincing goalkeeping!
Balotelli and El Shaarawy are yet to be involved in the final third of the field, but it's only a matter of time before Milan shake off a few early mistakes and get a foothold in the game.
The home side continue to press onto the visitors, Milan are yet to get out of their own half. Llajic and Cuadrado have already shown that they're prepared to beat their men, and Jovetic is showing no signs of carrying a knock.
The home crowd are in good voice so far, systematically booing each Milan player when they're in possession. Old Viola boy Ricardo Montolivo seems to be getting the worst of the reception!
A confident start from the home side! Milan are yet to have a touch, as Viola stroke the ball around composedly, before Pasqual launches in a cross towards Jovetic which Abbiati is able to claim.
And we are underway! Referee Paolo Tagliavento starts proceedings, and Viola get the ball rolling! Fiorentina are in their famous purple, while Milan's players are donning their white away strip.
Milan just might have had a case for another penalty, with Roncaglia looking to handle inside the penalty box! It would have been harsh, but it stopped the flight of the ball!
CHANCE! After breaking quickly and with a reasonable cross from El Shaarawy, Pazzini sees a shot blocked from a tight angle! That could have been the golden chance!
Balotelli is lucky to escape a second yellow card, after barging over his marker - I was under the impression that the referee would like to level the amount of player on the field as soon as he could! Viola have a free-kick from about 35 yards out, near the right touchline.
Milan have only a few minutes to rescue themselves from what will be quite an embarrassing draw. Such a result would be fair however, as Fiorentina haven't given in during the second half, Milan have been limited to half-chances.
Cuadrado attempts a long range, but Migliaccio is penalised for a shove on Mexes! The substitute isn't impressed by the decision, but he clearly impeded the Frenchman's jump.
I think Abate had a case there! It looks as though Pasqual gave him a shove as he shaped up to cross from the byline, but the referee wasn't interested at all! The right-back is furious!
With Pazzini now on the field, this is Allegri last hope for his side! It might be a gamble, but Milan really should be leaving here with three points, considering Tomovic was sent off early on! Abate is fed a channel ball and attempts to whip a cross in, believes he is fouled, but the ref gives nothing!
CHANCE! A Roncaglia free-kick is met with an attempted overhead kick, but Aquilani doesn't quite get the connection he was after! Pazzini replaces Boateng for the visitors.
Unlucky for both sides! Viviano is quick off his line to deny Milan a chance to head at goal, before the keeper distributes well to released Cuadrado, but his effort is blocked by Zapata!
Ooh! CHANCE! De Sciglio is released well on the left hand side, and angles in a useful cross towards the near post. Balotelli can't quite angle the ball goalwards!
Change for Milan, as Allegri clearly believes something needs to be done to steady the ship. Legs in midfield are clearly the order of the day, with Flamini leaving the field for the young, pacey Niang.
Milan are struggling a little here, with Allegri needing to roll the dice a little. They look a touch jaded and uncertain.. not to mention that aside from Flamini's goal, Viviano hasn't been busy at all.
Allegri is stroking his chin, looking very concerned for the welfare of his team! The home side are in the ascendency, and look the more likely to go on to win this game! Milan still have two changes left to make, so there is still the opportunity to shuffle things around.
PENALTY! Cuadrado is brought down by De Sciglio, as the youngster dives in a catches the Colombian!
With twenty minutes left on the clock, Fiorentina have a chance of getting a point out of a dire situation. They've certainly given a reasonable account of themselves in the second half.
Ooh, Balotelli shoots narrowly wide! The striker takes the free-kick that he won himself after being fouled by Aquilani, and bounces his effort just wide of the post!
Despite the visitors being in good form, the Viola may well be fancied to win this fixture. Vincenzo Montella's men have won their last four home games, and are boosted by the return of Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic, who was widely believed to be ruled out of today's game.
If Milan are to win this morning, the Rossoneri will temporarily move into second place ahead of Napoli. Fiorentina however, will be hoping to increase the cushion between themselves in fourth and Inter in fifth.
Milan starting line-up: Abbiati, Abate, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.
Fiorentina starting line-up: Viviano, Roncaglia, Tomovic, Savic, Pasqual, Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Cuadrado, Jovetic, Llajic.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be the man in charge of keeping you informed throughout the game, as visitors Milan look to continue their good form. The hosts are boosted by the inclusion of striker Stevan Jovetic.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Serie A's early kick-off between Fiorentina and Milan. With both sides sat in third and fourth place respectively, and the latter being in good league form, this should have the makings of a great game!
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