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Serie A

  • January 29, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 53000
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AC Milan 3-0 Cagliari: Ibrahimovic in inspiring form as Massimiliano Allegri's side closes gap to leader Juventus back to a single point

AC Milan 3-0 Cagliari: Ibrahimovic in inspiring form as Massimiliano Allegri's side closes gap to leader Juventus back to a single point

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The Swede led the way as the home side coasted to its ninth consecutive win over the Sardinian side with relative ease at the San Siro.

The Rossoneri earned a valuable three points as they overcame an impotent Rossoblu side at home in a 3-0 triumph.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a wonderfully struck free kick in the 32nd minute and then assisted Antonio Nocerino for his side’s second with a deftly chested knock down. Massimo Ambrosini then wrapped up the points with a placed effort with 15 minutes remaining.

Milan was in control in the opening stages and Robinho looked in fine form. But for all the possession neither he, nor his teammates, could find the final penetrating pass to unlock the Rossoblu defense.

The Milan midfield was being offered far too much time on the ball in the opposing half as Cagliari looked to draw it in before countering.

With Djemal Mesbah missing the target from two efforts in the opening half-an-hour, Cagliari began to play more of a part in the game as it hoped to steal a goal.

However, when Ibrahimovic was cheaply fouled 30 meters from goal in the 32nd minute it offered the Swede a chance to strike the ball at goal from a free kick. He took a short run up before beautifully bending the dead-ball up into the top left corner with pinpoint accuracy.

Having scored the opener, Ibrahimovic then assisted the second seven minutes later. From Philippe Mexes’ long ball the towering striker chested the ball down for Nocerino who finished the move with a low volley that was drilled into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Rossoblu emerged for the second half as a different team. They looked extremely comfortable on the ball and dictated the tempo of the game for a time with a series of neat passes.

It was Milan, however, which worked the best chance with nine second half minutes played. Nocerino was involved once again and his driven effort stung the palms of Michael Agazzi who parried the ball to safety.

The game grew stale and it was not until the 66th minute that either goal was threatened. Clarence Seedorf provided an expert delivery which was hit on the volley by Stephen El Shaarawy and narrowly shaved the outside of the post.

Moments later Robinho was again allowed too much time on the ball. He cantered towards the goal and struck the it low but Agazzi was equal to it with an unorthodox and unconvincing save.

The home side eventually found the back of the net for the third time of the night through Ambrosini. Urby Emanuelson squared the ball across the 18-yard line and Ambrosini took one touch before passing the ball into the bottom corner.

Agazzi was forced into a few more saves, including one from Mark van Bommel, before the final whistle and did well to keep the scoreline respectable.

Milan keeps the gap between itself and Juventus to a single point at the top of Serie A. Cagliari is pulled closer to the relegation zone however, following Lecce's 1-0 win over Inter Milan, and sits seven points clear in 13th position.

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