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September 25, 2013
• Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 22953
D. Laxalt 33', 52'
J. Cristaldo 62'
A. Poli 12'
I. Abate 90'+
That's all we've got time for tonight, but I hope that you've enjoyed that thrilling late 3-3 draw between Bologna and Milan! I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
Allegri's side have certainly got out of jail there, against a Bologna side that will be mightily disappointed at throwing that game away in the late stages. On the balance of play, a draw was a fair result.
An opener from Andrea Poli looked to be setting Milan on their way to a comfortable win, but debut goals from both Laxalt and Cristaldo gifted Bologna a long-term 3-1 lead. Two late goals from Robinho and Abate snatch a point for Allegri's men, which is no less than they deserved.
There's the full time whistle! Milan have snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat, but nearly fell behind yet again in stoppage time, but can thank their crossbar! Drama at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara!
90' + 4'
DIAMANTI! OOOH! HOW CLOSE! He struck that with venom, the ball dipped and swerved, but the ball strikes the top of Abbiati's crossbar and heads out of play for a goal kick!
90' + 3'
It's free-kick after free-kick for Milan, but a driven cross from Abate is saved by Curci! The away side aren't prepared to give this up, and a point is no less than they deserve!
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
Goal Ignazio Abate
GOOOOOOOOAL! ABATE! THEY'VE DONE IT! Milan equalise, Abate is on hand to tap in at the back post, after Robinho's initial effort is saved by Curci!
Five minutes of stoppage time have been awarded, and the Rossoneri do have a chance to grab a point here! The away fans are back in good voice!
GOOOAL! ROBINHO! The Brazilian bundles it home to make it 3-2! A nice backheel from Matri allowed Muntari the chance to test Curci, but Robinho was on hand to finish it off!
Yellow Card Alessandro Diamanti
MATRI! This time Curci makes another save, to palm the ball away from danger yet again. Curci is enjoying himself here, and it seems unlikely that Milan are going to find any way back into this game!
CURCI! The Bologna keeper beats away Niang's free-kick, and Allegri's side are frustrated once again! The Italian 'keeper is delighted, he celebrates once he is back on his feet. That was a powerful effort from the Frenchman.
The referee awards a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, but without Mario Balotelli, the Rossoneri don't have a player accustomed to taking regular free-kicks. This is a vital chance for the visitors, if they want a share of the points, they need this to cause problems for Curci.
MATRI! The Milan man sees yet another effort blocked! It's just not going in for him today, after bringing the ball down well!
DE JONG! The Netherlands international tries his luck with the free-kick, but it's a terrible effort. Tame and always arcing away from goal, Curci is able to let the ball head out of play under its own steam. The crowd jeer.
A good challenge from Perez is penalised for a free-kick, some 35 yards out from the Bologna goal, but this will be considered an opportunity for the away side. Three players stand over it, and the referee is ensuring that the wall stay in position.
Good work from Robinho! The Brazilian gets to the byline, after a ball down the line from Constant. He looks to pull it back to Nocerino, but the intended ball is cut out. Milan remain frustrated!
Good save by Curci! The Bologna keeper dives smartly to his left to palm away a Matri header, but the play is pulled back anyway as Matri was judged to be offside. A tight call, but it didn't matter anyway.
A hopeful ball from Diamanti looks for Cristaldo, but the Italy international gets it wrong and the ball loops to the grateful arms of Abbiati. The Bologna crowd applaud regardless.
Yellow Card M'Baye Niang
Matri tries to slip the ball through for Poli, but once again the Bologna defence stand firm and clear the danger! The Milan faithful weren't too pleased with the purchase of the former Juve man in the summer, and he's doing little to change their minds so far.
Close again for Bologna! Della Rocca flicks on a near post delivery from Diamanti, and Abbiati has to watch the ball loop high in the air and over his crossbar.
Diamanti wins a corner for Bologna, which can only be beneficial in terms of running down the clock tonight. It's taken short, before the ball finds itself at the foot of Perez from some 30 yards! He shoots first time, and Abbiati is forced to tip over!
Matri is almost fed through on goal, but the through ball is narrowly cut out. Things haven't quite fallen for the Milan striker since his miss in the 24th minute. Curci is then able to claim from a Constant cross, with Poli looking to nod the ball home at the back post.
Narrowly wide from Niang! The substitute manages to wriggle free of his marker with intelligent movement, but the contact he gets on the ball can only bobble the ball past the far post! Close again for Milan!
CRISTALDO! It's nearly a double for the Argentine, as he pounces on a loose ball in the Milan box, but he skies the ball way into the stands behind the goal! That could have been the final nail in the coffin.
MEXES! CROSSBAR! The Frenchman turns a header against the bar, with Curci totally beaten! The Rossoneri will be wondering what they have to do in order to find another goal tonight! The rebound is cleared!
Christodoulopoulos bursts into the area, but Poli does just enough to put the Grecian off his stride, and the Bologna midfielder can only trickle a tame effort into the gloves of Abbiati!
ROBINHO! The Brazilian beats his defender and forces Curci to close him down, but can't finish from a tight angle at the byline! The scooped ball bounces away from goal, but is put behind for a corner - which is wasted.
Francesco Della Rocca
Both managers are seeing this as an opportunity to shuffle their pack, and I think that Bologna will be making changes in the hope of shoring up the midfield. With half an hour left on the clock, there's still plenty of time for Milan to get back in this.
Bologna have barely created anything in this game, but Milan are now ruing their lack of a cutting edge! Plenty of chances fell to the visitors after Poli's opening goal, but now Allegri's men have a mountain to climb, and attacking substitutions are in order.
Assist Alessandro Diamanti
Goal J. Cristaldo
GOOOOAL! CRISTALDO! BOLOGNA LEAD 3-1! The Argentine grabs a debut goal too! Great header from the forward, to nod the ball beyond Abbiati and inside the far post! A wonderful ball in from Diamanti!
Zapata is booked for a tug on the shirt of Cristaldo, as the diminutive striker looks to turn on the halfway line. The away side do look frightened whenever Bologna break!
Yellow Card Andrea Mantovani
Good work from Laxalt to hold onto the ball in the presence of De Jong, and the crowd sound their appreciation. If they didn't quite know their new loan signing, the Bologna faithful certainly do now! Two goals and plenty of hard work will be a good start for the Uruguayan.
Some trickery on the edge of the box from Robinho wins a corner for the visitors, but the delivery is poor and Bologna are permitted to clear their lines once more. I can see tempers rising in this game, with Milan not being given their deserved rewards!
Milan continue to probe, to look for an opening in a resolute Bologna rearguard, but the hosts are looking resilient. Counter attacks look to be the only source of danger for the home side, but their fans won't mind, they haven't beaten Milan since 2002.
MATRI! The former Juve man stretches to try and nod the ball home, but a poor cross from Constant left the Italian powerless! He's come so close today in the absence of Balotelli, but Matri is yet to find that goalscoring touch that Rossoneri need so desperately in this game.
A great ball from Christodoulopoulos finds the debutant at the back post, and Laxalt merely has to throw himself at the back to bundle it home! Allegri looks rather frustrated, and it is understandable, Bologna have offered very little offensively during this game.
Assist Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
Goal Diego Laxalt
GOOOOAL! 2-1! BOLOGNA! LAXALT! It's two on his debut! The Uruguayan bundles home at the back post, and the Inter loanee will be thrilled!
The Milan fans are getting louder, and with the noise presumably comes expectation. Abate is seeing plenty of the ball still, as the wing-back has the beating of Morleo every time.
Curci is a lucky man! Abate beats Morleo, before whipping a ball in from the byline! Curci comes to claim, misses it, but Nocerino can't get any contact on it to turn the ball home!
MATRI! Another miss! Great work from Robinho, who squares to the back post, but the Italian striker sees the ball bounce up onto his shin! He should probably tuck it away, although he's extended, but inside the ball flies wide!
A very strong challenge from Pazienza sends Birsa tumbling, moments after challenge from Diamanti that left Poli on the ground for several minutes. The last thing that Allegri needs is more injuries!
DIAMANTI! A quick exchange between Laxalt and Diamanti gives the latter the opportunity to shoot, but a block from Mexes prevents the chance from developing any further.
The players have taken to the field, the referee has done his compulsory checks, and we are back underway for the second half! Bologna won't be too upset with the scoreline, but will look to contribute to the game a little more in the next 45 minutes!
The long ball has troubled Milan at times, but Allegri should be confident that as long as his side shackle the creative Diamanti, Bologna shouldn't offer too much in terms of creation. For Milan, it's a case of more of the same in the second half.
Alessandro Matri will be ruing his luck after turning an Abate cross over the bar on 24 minutes, when it looked easier to score than miss, while Robinho missed a good chance to put Rossoneri back in front, but was thwarted by a good save from Curci.
Andrea Poli's opener gave Milan the lead on 12 minutes, but a smartly finished Diago Laxalt debut equaliser has allowed for Bologna to scramble up onto level terms. The away side have been more dominant, seeing a lot of the ball, but the scoreline is all that matters.
No stoppage time given by the referee, and we're at halftime! Plenty of chances and drama in the first 45 minutes, let us hope for more of the same in the second.
One minute left of the first half, and Bologna will be hoping to see this game through until the break. Since their equaliser, they've looked much better, but certainly have Robinho and Curci to thank for the scoreline staying the same.
Antonsson makes another strong challenge on Robinho, preventing the Brazilian from getting in ahead of him to meet an Abate delivery. A solid performance from the Swede thus far, but I'm not too sure if Robinho appreciates the physical aspects of his game!
Yellow Card Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
CURCI! Fantastic double save, but Milan should have scored there, most definitely! The Bologna saved twice to deny Robinho then Birsa, but at the second time of asking, the trequartista should have buried it! The home crowd sound their appreciation!
MEXES! The Frenchman meets the corner delivery powerfully, but is deemed to have steamrollered his marker on the way to the ball! He complains, but the referee has got that one right.
A good spell of possession for Milan, as the home side look conscious of conceding before the half time whistle. Garics puts the ball out of play, as Constant looks to get in behind the Austrian.
The ideas are petering out for both sides at the moment, as Bologna have realised that route one football just might rattle their opponents, while Milan are looking for the overlap of Abate whenever possible.
Good strength from Antonsson, Robinho looks to push the Swedish central defender, but the defender stands tall, hassles the former Santos man and wins back possession for his side. Robinho has been heavily involved in this first half, it must be said!
Well claimed by Curci! The Bologna goalkeeper is quick off his line to claim a Constant delivery, when Matri looked to be lurking on the penalty spot. The hosts are simply hammering the ball upfield now, looking to get Milan's defence turned.
Well, this game has turned on its head! Laxalt has another chance, but the ball escapes him in the Milan penalty area, and the away side escape once more. Long balls are the danger from Bologna, Milan have struggled to deal with two of them in as many minutes.
Assist J. Cristaldo
Goal Diego Laxalt
GOOOOAL! 1-1! BOLOGNA! LAXALT! The debutant has struck! One long ball downfield, and the Uruguayan manages to finish powerfully past Abbiati!
Robinho appeals for a penalty! The Brazilian is incensed, he thinks that he has been blocked off on the corner of the box, and I think he might have a point!
Yellow Card Michele Pazienza
Half an hour gone, and Milan have a lead which is probably deserved on the balance of play. Bologna have tried their luck from distance on occasion, but the main threats have been coming from the Rossoneri.
PEREZ! The Uruguayan has an ambitious effort from outside of the area, after Zapata headed away a devilish corner delivery from Diamanti. It's high and wide though, once again.
Good save Abbiati! The Italian goalkeeper beats away a firm effort at his near post, denying Laxalt! A good stop, but one that he would be expected to make.
Robinho almost gets in behind thanks to a hooked ball from Nocerino, but Garics recovers well to concede another corner. The delivery isn't great, but Matri manages to hold it up, before surrendering possession. Bologna hang on.
MATRI! WHAT A MISS! A great ball over the top from Robinho, before Birsa nods the ball back across goal, but Matri skies it when it looked perhaps easier to hit the target!
Good ball from Abate! The Italy international manages to be fed in behind Morleo, but his cross is cleared at the front post! Milan have another corner, but Birsa's delivery is palmed out for a throw in by Curci.
ROBINHO! The Brazilian dances around the end of the area, shapes to shoot but hesitates! Instead, he shifts the ball in search of Nocerino, but it is intercepted! Unfortunate.
A lull in the game, as both sides trade possession with no end product. The hosts look to have taken some encouragement from their two shots in quick succession, but Cristaldo is yet to be given any type of useful service.
Christodoulopoulos! The Greek midfielder now takes on a long range effort, but it's well wide. Abbiati will be wondering when the opposition might force him into a save!
PAZIENZA! The midfielder arrives late to the edge of the box, but sees his shot blocked! Good pace down the right from Garics created that opportunity, but Abbiati remains untested!
Cristaldo is having a frustrating first quarter of an hour, as the lone striker is penalised for a shove on Zapata. He'll have his work cut out tonight, he's looking rather isolated already.
A bright start to the game from the hosts has evolved into Rossoneri possession. The away side are pegging their opposition back into their own half, with Abate and Constant keen to join the attack whenever possible.
MATRI! The former Juve man goes close from a corner, nodding narrowly wide of the post after a good leap! Bologna need to wake up here, their defending has been very lax!
Well, Milan were growing into this game gradually, but I'm not too sure that Piolo will believe the away side deserve to take such an early lead. Robinho's first real involvement in proceedings proves fruitful, perhaps the Brazilian can stake a claim for a first team place tonight?
Goal Andrea Poli
POLI! 0-1! The Italian midfielder opens the scoring with Rossoneri's first shot on goal! Good work from Robinho to bring the ball from left to right, before the midfielder was found in space on the right, finishing acutely across Curci!
Good defending by Zapata once again, to prevent Cristaldo from getting in behind. A lovely weighted ball down the channel from Diamanti sent the Argentine on his way, but strong shielding from Zapata put an end to the danger.
Yellow Card Nigel De Jong
Well, Diamanti has been body checked on various occasions, with Nigel de Jong being one of the main culprits. The former Manchester City midfielder will have to be careful now, he's risking his place on the pitch if these antics continue.
LAXALT! The Uruguayan delivers from the left, but it turns into more of a shot than a cross, with Abbiati having to handle carefully under his crossbar. This hasn't been a bad start for the home side, Milan haven't seen too much of the ball.
Good header from Zapata! The Colombian rises above his central defensive partner to clear the danger, with Cristaldo making a real nuisance of himself already. So far, still no clear chances.
An early yellow for the card magnet Nigel de Jong, as the Netherlands international catches Diamanti on his ankle with a stray boot. A sore one for the Italy man, but he'll continue.
DIAMANTI! The hub of the Bologna team gets an early left-footed strike away, from about 30 yards, but doesn't catch it sweetly. It bounces once and then into Abbiati's arms.
Matri is penalised for offside, despite a good ball from the left by Constant, and the linesman was right to give such a decision. That was very close, with good movement from Matri - unsure he has the pace to play on the shoulder of the last man though.
The first half chance of the game went to Bologna, with a long-range effort barely testing Abbiati, though I'm sure the Milan goalkeeper will have been glad to get his first touch early on. The visitors are yet to get their foot on the ball.
Our referee, Paolo Tagliavento has blown his whistle for the first time tonight, and signals the start of our game for the evening! The atmosphere is good, with both sets of fans expectant, this promises to be an interesting match-up with both Bologna and Milan having their respective absentees.
We are moments from kick-off now, with the players just streaming out onto the pitch to a good reception. Bologna are in their customary navy and red home kit, with Milan in white shirts and red shorts. This is an important game for both sides, they both will hope to grab some points!
Win tonight, and Milan can look to gain momentum, but anything less than three points could see the pressure begin to build on Allegri from the very start of this season. Bologna also need some points tonight, however, as their league position suggests, Pioli's men haven't enjoyed the smoothest start.
Without Mario Balotelli, it's tough to see where the goals might come from tonight for Milan. Alessandro Matri obviously arrived at the club this summer, perhaps against the wishes of the Rossoneri faithful, but this game represents an opportunity for the Italian to prove his doubters wrong. A similar situation for Robinho too, as the Brazilian enjoys a rare start.
Bologna are arriving at this game following two defeats and two draws, the latter against Udinese and Sampdoria, with Milan's only victory of the season thus far coming against Cagliari. Allegri's men did pick up a Champions League win against Celtic last week, but this has since been overshadowed by a dramatic 2-1 defeat to Napoli.
Milan substitutes: Amelia, Muntari, Cristante, Emanuelson, Coppola, Niang, Zaccardo, Lotti.
Milan starting line-up: Abbiati, Mexes, Zapata, Abate, Constant, Birsa, De Jong, Nocerino, Poli, Robinho, Matri.
Bologna substitutes: Krhin, Sorensen, Della Rocca, Moscardelli, Acquafresca, Agliardi, Radakovic, Stojanovic, Cech, Crespo, Gimenez.
Bologna starting line-up: Curci, Mantovani, Antonsson, Garics, Morleo, Perez, Pazienza, Christodoulopoulos, Laxalt, Cristaldo, Diamanti.
TEAM NEWS: Bologna are without the suspended Panagiotis Kone and Cesare Natali, but the list of absentees is far greater for the visitors. Milan are still without Stephan El Shaarawy, Kaka, Riccardo Montolivo, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniela Bonera, Mattia De Sciglio and Matias Silvestre. Their physios must be rather busy!
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with proceedings from Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, as Rossoneri look to press on without Mario Balotelli, who is suspended tonight following his red card after the final whistle against Napoli. With Milan missing their star striker, this is a great time for Bologna to look for a share of the spoils.
Hello and welcome to evening Serie A action between Bologna and Milan, as Maxilimiliano Allegri's men look to kick on from a rather average start to the season. Bologna are never an easy team to face, but tonight's hosts have taken only two points from their opening four games.
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