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Italy - Serie A
January 6, 2011
• Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
Referee: N. Rizzoli
• Attendance: 23000
R. Strasser 85'
90' + 4'
That's it! League-leaders Milan win with a late goal from young Rodney Strasser assisted by new signing Cassano. Cagliari will feel hard done by after putting in a spirited performance, but in the end Milan's talent won the contest. The Rossoneri move up to 39 points, putting some space between themselves and both Juventus (lost to Parma) and Lazio (drew Genoa). Thank you for joining Goal.com's LIVE Serie A commentary and we hope you do so again in the future!
90' + 3'
Cassano and Robinho seem experts at time wasting as they argue with the lineman in the corner over the Cagliari defence being too close.
90' + 2'
Pato does well to earn a freekick in the Cagliari half, taking more time off the clock.
The referee adds four minutes of injury time as time begins to run out for Donadoni's men.
Pisano made inroads down the right side, but failed to get rid of the ball once he was confronted by the Milan defence inside the box. The crowd sign in disappointment.
Yellow Card Massimo Ambrosini
Can Cagliari find a way back into the game with so few minutes remaining? They have played well enough for a draw most would reckon.
IT'S STRASSER! Milan find a timely goal! Cassano makes the difference as he collects Robinho's backheel and then plays a throughball for Strasser, who finished with aplomb!
Assist Antonio Cassano
Goal Rodney Strasser
Acquafresca comes in for Matri, who fought hard, but got little change from the Milan defence today.
They tee it up for Pato, but his laser-like effort is fired wide of the target. 0-0 it remains...
Strasser has had a positive impact since coming on, picking up several loose balls in midfield. Robinho is fouled on the edge of the area....
Cassano sets up Robinho in the area. The Brazilian struggles to create space though and ends up lashing his effort well over the crossbar!
Matri attempt to catch Abbiati off guard from beyond half, his effort is well short though and bounces into the goalkeeper's arms.
It's Cagliari doing all the running with another corner, but a foul by Nainggolan ends any pressure. At the other end Cassano's first touch is a chip into the area, but it's not very close to wither Strasser or Pato.
Milan's defence fall asleep as Biondini has an open header. Unluckily for the home crowd he can't direct it on goal from ten yards away.
It's the moment everyone's been waiting for. Merkel off, CASSANO on!
Yet another corner for Cagliari. Cossu's cross is too long though and it's a goal kick.
Cossu lines up a freekick after Nene is fouled, it's floated in but Thiago Silva has no problems heading it away. Cagliari are called offside on the follow-up.
Antonini is clutching his thigh down on the field. The medical staff runs out to take a look.
Nainggolan releases Agostini with a wonderful backheel, his cross finds Matri in the area but the angle is too tight and Abbiati saves.
ROBINHO WASTES A GLORIOUS CHANCE! Pato sets him free on the counter attack but his first touch is poor and Agazzi comes off his line to claim the loose ball.
Nainggolan shows real grit nicking the ball over Thiago Silva and tries to run onto his own lofted ball into the box, he falls under pressure from Bonera, but the referee correctly waves play on despite protests from the crowd.
Seedorf looks completely lost since the interval. He has constantly conceded possession with sloppy passes and poor decisions.
Merkel has had some nice touches this half, setting up that recent chance for Pato. He now swings in a dangerous corner, though Agazzi makes a powerful punch to clear for a throw-in.
Pato is more lively this second half, he turns and shoots on the edge of the area but Pisano's sliding block gives Milan a corner.
It's Gattuso making way for Strasser. The World Cup 2006 winner worked hard in the beginning, but his legs simply cannot continue in this match.
Young Rodney Strasser is getting ready to come in for Milan. Seedorf gives the ball away and Cossu goes on another trademark run, but his flick into the area for the on-coming strikers is too strong.
Yellow Card Francesco Pisano
IT WAS NEAR SUICIDE BY ABBIATI! His pass goes straight to Nene inside the box, the striker tries to slip it under him but it bobbles just wide.
WHAT A SAVE BY AGAZZI. The Cagliari defence slips and Pato is all alone in the area. He belts it at goal but Agazzi gets down brilliantly to save.
A defensive minded change from Donadoni as Biondini comes on for Lazzari in midfield. Maybe he is happy with the draw against the league-leaders?
Thiago Silva is excellent defending Matri in a one-on-one situation as the lanky striker tries to hold up the inside the box. Elegance by the Brazilian.
Pato has been dreadful today, clearly lacking match sharpness. His lazy pass for Seedorf is intercepted in midfield. Meanwhile, new signing Cassano is warming up on the sidelines.
Roberto Donadoni's side get us underway in the second-half!
45' + 2'
The referee blows the whistle for half-time. Join us for the second-half in approximately 15 minutes.
Close again for CagliariI! Robinho loses the ball in his own half, Agostini tries to surprise Abbiati with a long range effort but the veteran shot stopper punches clear and Matri can't get his foot around the rebound.
Milan are trying to create something as the half winds to a close. Thiago Silva's probing pass into the area is too long for Pato. Agazzi catches easily.
Milan get their first opportunity in about ten years as Pato tries to find the top corner with a 20-yard screamer that sails wide.
Controversy! Matri seemed to be brought down on the edge of the area, but the referee calls it the other way for a possible offside. Matri can't believe it!
Cagliari are unable to take advantage of a succession of corners as Seedorf and company are able to clear both times.The hosts' pressing is pinning Milan back.
Ambrosini brings down Cossu about 25 yeards from goal. Freekick from a central position for Cagliari...Nene fires it straight into the five-man wall.
It's the Isolani who seem to have the upper hand for the last ten minutes or so. Young Merkel is struggling to get into the game for Milan and gives away the ball after falling over it.
CAGLIARI HIT THE POST! A corner is whipped in and Canini slams his header against the far post. Milan survive...
A promising attack breaks down as Lazzari outjumps Antonini 18 yards from goal but controls with his hand.
Nainggolan slides in late on Antonini with a crunching tackle, but is only given a talking to by the referee as the game is still without it's first booking.
Without the suspended Ibrahimovic, Milan are lacking power up front and unable to really test the Cagliari defence. Maybe Allegri will try Cassano in the second-half?
Pato collects a long ball and tries to burst through the middle of two defenders, Pisano and Canini work together to ensure it's only a corner...that is once again fruitless.
Merkel with his first real opportunity. Ambrosini sets him up on the edge of the are, but once again the Cagliari defence are quick to react and block the effort.
Cossu weaves his way through the centre towards the Milan box with the Rossoneri defence scrambling, Gattuso challenges from behind and Bonera collects. The referee waves play on.
Astori's been impeccable in defence today. He robs Robinho and starts an attack in the other direction. Cagliari win a corner after Conti's effort is deflected, but nothing comes of it.
Cossu finally gets some space to work on the left-hand side and chips the ball into the area for Matri, but Abbiati is alert to the danger.
Gattuso is fouled in midfield and Milan play some nice one-touch football in midfield, but Seedorf can't find a way through the wall of defenders 20 years out.
OH! Robinho's set free in the box and curls the ball around the goalkeeper but Astori makes a fantastic goal-line clearance with his heel!
Gattuso's back on the field, but Cagliari's game plan here is clear. When Milan have the ball they are defending in numbers and trying to hit on the break. A perfect example being Antonini blocked and Cossu surging in the other direction before being halted by Milan's number 8..
Milan are applying some early pressure as Ambrosini chips a ball into the area, but it's headed away for a corner that is easily cleared by Matri.
The last thing Milan need at the moment, Gattuso is limping on the and being checked out by the physio on the sideline.
The teams kick-off!
Cagliari line-up: Agazzi; Astori, Canini, Agostini, Pisano; Conti, Cossu, Lazzari, Nainggolan; Nene, Matri. Milan line-up: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Merkel, Pato, Robinho.
Hello everyone and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Cagliari - Milan. Kick-off is just a few minutes away so stay with us.
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