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Italy - Serie A
10 November 2013
• Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
Referee: D. Orsato
• Attendance: 16000
That's it folks, see you next time.
More pressure for Allegri, who is really living on borrowed time after another utterly uninspiring performance. A late resurgence for the Rossoneri was cut short by Montolivo's red card, and in truth, a Milan goal would have been desperately unfair on Chievo. The hosts defended superbly, and fashioned a few great chances of their own to take the lead. But they stay bottom of the table, while Milan remain woefully off the pace at the top as we head into the international break.
90' + 3'
That's it! Milan have been held!
90' + 2'
That was the first player that Chievo have had sent off this season, but it appears to have come too late for Milan to take advantage. Meanwhile, a thunderous firework erupts in the stands, sending the security personnel around the ground scrambling towards the source.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Sergio Pellissier
90' + 1'
Red Card Sergio Pellissier
Pellissier is given his marching orders after talking himself into trouble. He appeared to have a few choice words for the referee, who was not standing for it and sends him off! Pellissier is not done, jawing with the Milan bench on his way to the dressing rooms.
CHIEVO HAVE A MAN SENT OFF!
Rigoni does marvelously to block Robinho from point blank range, after the Brazilian has broken free on a Matri knockdown. A sliding challenge from the midfielder thwarts the chance though!
MATRI! More late drama, as Emanuelson's cut back finds the forward primed to shoot from 10 yards, but on the turn, he spins his effort the wrong side of the far post!
Yellow/Red Riccardo Montolivo
Careless to the extreme from the Milan midfielder, who was already on a yellow card for a handball in the first half. He goes clumsily into the back of Hetemaj, felling the Chievo substitute, and earning himself a second booking. He trudges off the field, and do Milan's hopes for a win go with him?
MONTOLIVO IS SENT OFF!
Chievo happy to get the ball out of their half by any means necessary. Pellissier takes the ball to the corner flag to milk the clock for a few seconds.
ROBINHO HITS THE POST! Was that the chance? Constant is decisive with his first touch since coming on, playing in Robinho who rolls his markers wonderfully, before placing his finish onto the post from point blank range with Puggioni looking beaten!
The Dutchman dusts himself off to have a crack on goal from 30 yards out, but it's charged down by the defence! Meanwhile, Kevin Constant is set to come on.
Rigoni picks up a booking from the referee thanks to his pretty blatant foul on Emanuelson.
Yellow Card Luca Rigoni
Poli goes close with a shot from the top of the box after good link up play from Matri. All signs pointing to a late winner for one of these sides!
Paloschi nearly writes the headlines against his parent club by latching onto Pamic's clip and beating Abbiati to poke the ball into the back of the net, but the linesman's flag has chalked it off for offside! Replays suggest that it was the tightest of calls.
Chievo belatedly taking the sting out of the Milan tail in the last minute or two, advancing the ball out of their own half for the first time in a while.The visitors might have had some hope of stealing a goal to win it in the first half, but I'd wager that they'd take a point as things stand.
Robinho! Montolivo picks out the substitute in space, who uses all of his fresh legs to out pace his marker and drill a shot in on goal, but he only succeeds in hitting the net supports behind the goal!
Some really impressive stuff from Milan since about the hour mark, as they finally look like a Champions League-level side, rather than a rag tag bunch of mid table scrappers. Chievo look rattled for the first time.
Pellissier replaces Thereau for the home side, while Allegri throws on Robinho for the largely ineffective Muntari.
The crowd, which has been bubbling steadily all game, has really exploded into life in the last few minutes thanks to the back and forth action. Have both sides finally decided to throw caution to the wind?
Until now! Mexes, who has a screamer or two in his locker, slices a half-volley towards the bottom corner from the top of the box, and Puggioni dives to his left well to push the shot away!
The game finally getting into some sort of groove, and it's Milan doing the attacking. Emanuelson has a shot saved well by Puggioni, the hardest he's been forced to work so far!
Kaka, who has been rather anonymous since the opening exchanges, takes aim from 25 yards and misses the target by only a foot, though Puggioni looked to have had it covered.
Play is resumed as Milan try to pump the ball into the box, but Matri, with his back to goal, cannot bring it under control.
Milan use this opportunity to have a mini-inquest about that last Chievo opening.
Cesar is down in some discomfort, and the game is halted for him to be attended to by the physios.
That was by far he best opening of the match, and Chievo will be gutted that they did not profit from it. Milan continue to leave gaps in behind for them to exploit, and that will not be the last time that they are caught out.
CHIEVO MISS A GOLDEN CHANCE! What an opening for the hosts to take the lead! De Jong loses out on the halfway line and Thereau breaks, before quickly squaring to Paloschi on the left. The loanee takes it outside Zapata and drills a shot on goal that Abbiati saves. But with the goal gaping from the rebound, RIgoni blasts into the side netting!
Chievo still keeping virtually every man back in their own half. Milan are struggling to find any space, continuing the theme of the first half.
Promising signs from Milan to start the new half as Muntari works himself into a good position at the top of the box, but cannot find his range with his attempt, sending the ball a good few feet wide.
Surprising change at the break from the visitors as the lively Estigarribia is swapped for Perparim Hetemaj.
Here we go again!
Milan have been miles away from their best, a statement that rings true for their season as a whole as well as the first half of this match. Chievo have successfully frustrated and sedated them at every turn, coming closest to a breakthrough thanks to Estigarribia's drive on the counter that was saved by Abbiati. A lot of work for the Rossoneri to do in the second half before they even start to think about taking all three points.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Riccardo Montolivo
45' + 1'
Barely any stoppage time to speak of as the ref signals for the interval.
Montolivo shown a yellow card for handball in midfield, despite replays showing that he did his best to get his hand out of the way.
Poli again trying to get on the end of things. He moves into a dangerous position in the box to attack Abate's cross, but despite getting to the ball well ahead of any Chievo defender, he sends his header miles off target.
Matri does very well to lay the ball off the Poli, who takes aim from the edge of the box but flashes his attempt wide. Probably the best chance of the half from a Rossoneri perspective, and it wasn't even that good. Tells you all you need to know about the sorry state of Milan at present.
Chievo can be very happy with their first half display so far. Their defensive approach has stifled the life out of any Milan endeavour in the attacking third and crucially, they've allied that to a burgeoning threat on the break.
Emanuelson showing part of the rashness that inspired Milan to send him on loan to Fulham last year. He beats one man well in the middle, but instead of releasing one of his better placed teammates, he goes for more glory, and ends up losing the ball with a poor touch on his next dribble.
It all looked so promising from Kaka, who weaved his way into space at the top of the box. He loses his balance at the last moment though, and can only squeeze in a bobbling ball all the way to the hopelessly offside Mexes.
Yellow Card Bostjan Cesar
That had to hurt. Dainelli takes a full blooded drive from Muntari flush on the face. He just about stays on his feet, and can bask in the reward that was another thwarted Milan opening.
We haven't seen much from Montolivo and Kaka either. The pair are tasked with the bulk of the creative play for the Rossoneri, but apart from a few ineffective crosses from the Brazilian, they've fashioned nothing of note.
Matri has been starved of service, and loses a tussle with Frey rather easily on the byeline. He'll chase down those lost causes all day, but Milan need to get the striker more involved in the buildup.
Milan dominating possession, but they've not done a meaningful thing with it so far. Chievo haven't been forced to work too hard to cut out their attempts at a breakthrough. The hosts have also shown through Estigarribia that they have a chance or two in them on the break.
Abate simply runs out of room on the right hand side when trying to get a step on Pamic. Worth noting that the Chievo wing back refused to give him an inch and marshaled him expertly all the way.
Emanuelson squares up to Frey with some fancy footwork, and just when it looks like he's about to beat his man, the Chievo defender intervenes with a sure-footed tackle, then wins a foul off the Dutchman's gratuitous use of his forearms to grapple back for the ball.
Terrible from De Jong, who wastes a decent opportunity from a free kick by blasting the ball into the stands from 25 yards. More importantly, what was the Dutch destroyer doing presiding over that set piece in the first place?
Puggioni positions himself perfectly to smother what could have been a dangerous effort from Muntari. The game starting to pick up in pace thanks to the last few exchanges.
Chievo come close to getting a touch in on the resulting corner from the same player, as Milan's defence falls asleep! The visitors not without their chances, and in fact, have created more openings despite seeing far less of the ball.
Estigarribia, catches the Milan midfield too high upfield for the second time in this game, and once again eschews the options in support in favour of having a go. It's a much better try this time, forcing Abiatti to tip over!
Abate gets forward in earnest once again, and has a good position to dig out a cross with Matri and others lining up, but once again, he cannot find his range and Chievo hack clear.
As with so many Milan matches this season, the Rossoneri are struggling to assert themselves and their tempo on proceedings. It's been all snatched crosses and nervous passes around the 18 yard area.
Not bad at all from Estigarribia, who leaves Montolivo in his dust before unleashing a left-footed piledriver from 25 yards that sails a foot or two over the top.
The delivery is whipped in towards the far post by Kaka with some venom, and Mexes cannot get over the ball in time, rushing a header high and off target.
Abate is really showing some endeavor in the opening minutes. He wriggles into space on the right once again before seeing a rushed cross cleared, but play is soon brought back for a late foul on Kaka.
Abate buys a corner off Cesar, but Kaka wastes the delivery with a low ball to the near post that is hacked clear by the same player. A recurring theme for Milan this season.
Keenly contested game so far between both sides amid a lovely backdrop of noise from the fans. Milan just about shading the initial exchanges.
Here we go!
Getting closer to kickoff here folks...
Relegation is something very real facing this Chievo side though, even with the season barely past the quarter mark. The Gialloblu prop up the Serie A standings with five points, a good four points away from the nearest cluster of sides on nine points. They've won only once, and their six-goal total at home stands as the second lowest in the division.
Milan have been hit with back to back defeats in their last two outings. The Rossoneri are in 11th place after 11 rounds of football, mustering only a dozen points. Hardly the form of champions, rather, that's the type of form that could see you battle relegation during the right season!
Mexes returns in the centre of the Rossoneri defence after completing a suspension, while Matri is the lucky soul entrusted with leading the line. Kevin Constant is also displaced at full back by Urby Emanuelson. Chievo line up with Alberto Paloschi up front, the 23-year-old squaring off against his parent club after leaving San Siro on a loan deal.
MILAN (4-4-1-1): Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Poli, Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; Kaka; Matri.
CHIEVO (3-5-2): Puggioni; Frey, Dainelli, Cesar; Sardo, Radovanovic, L.Rigoni, Pamic, Estigarribia; Paloschi, Thereau.
First, our teams.
Hello and welcome to the Serie A clash between Chievo and Milan in Verona. I'm Keeghann Sinanan, your guide for all the action.
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