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February 1, 2012
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: A. Damato
• Attendance: 32000
Lazio have given us an absolute clinic in the art of the smash and grab. They stifled and subdued the Rossoneri all game long, while saving their sucker punch for right at the end. Milan huffed and puffed, but never came close to blowing the door down. Doubtless we will here some noise from their camp about the penalty incident, but they simply did not show enough fire to claim victory. That's it from me, Keeghann Sinanan, it's been a blast!
90' + 5'
And we have full time!!!!
90' + 4'
Milan still looking for a consolation goal. Ibrahimovic skews an attempted volley horribly before getting a looping header to Nesta's chip moments later, which is comfortable stuff for Marchetti.
90' + 3'
Milan try to flood the box, but with everyone in a blue shirt back defending, their task, as it has been for all of the night, is fruitless.
90' + 2'
90' + 1'
Off goes Rocchi to a hero's reception. He seemed to be toiling without reward for most of the game, but came up with a great finish to clinch the game for his side.
Five minutes of injury time signaled, the bulk of that coming from the penalty incident at the onset of the second half.
The game is just about up. Lazio could not have executed their gameplan any better; containing the defending champions for the majority of the game then hitting them with a double killer blow right at the end.
IBRA WIDE!! A long ball from the back is controlled expertly by the Swede inside the area, but he side-foots the ball agonizingly wide!! Frustration from every Rossoneri present, including the watching Adriano Galliani in the stands!!
Assist Senad Lulic
Goal Tommaso Rocchi
2-0!!!!!!!! GAME, SET, MATCH!!!!! Lulic links up with Biava out wide, and the Bosnian collects the ball near the byline. He cuts back for Rocchi 10 yards from goal, and the Lazio skipper fires the ball home with aplomb!!!
Another Milan penalty claim!!!! With Milan players queuing up in the box, Mesba's cross just evades Ibrahimovic who goes tumbling under a challenge by Radu. Nothing given!
Now Milan attack! Seedorf crosses in towards Ibrahimovic, who gets up well to get his head to the ball, but plants it wide!
Mark van Bommel
ANOTHER LAZIO CHANCE!! Its the same three players again, as Konko plays it in towards Rocchi, who lays it off again to Hernanes, but this time the shot goes wide!!!
LAZIO TAKE THE LEAD!!!!! Oh my word what a crucial goal for the home side! Konko plays the ball into Rocchi at the top of the box, his attempted flick on deflects off a Milan player before finding its way to Hernanes, who fires a low shot from 20 yards out that finds its way into the corner!!!!
MILAN CHANCE!!! Nocerino overlaps down the right flank, his cutback is deflected leaving Marchetti with a task to parry the ball! The rebound falls to Ibrahimovic who tries a lazy back-heel that the now-recovered Marchetti manages to grab!
A rare Lazio offensive sees Hernanes collect the ball 35 yards from goal, take three ungainly strides and drag a shot wide.
Fifteen minutes to go...and not a goal in sight. You have to give Lazio their due, they've stuck to their task and made things extremely hard for Ibrahimovic and co in the attacking third.
Decent spell of pressure here for the Rossoneri at the top of the Lazio box. But once again, they cannot breach the sea of sky blue as a series of blocked shots and interceptions leads to nothing but a throw in.
Rocchi is absolutely livid with the referee's decision, and gets right in his face to let him know what he thinks. A yellow card duly follows.
Yellow Card Tommaso Rocchi
Another penalty claim, this time for Lazio!!!! Ledesma runs into the area to get on the end of Rocchi's pass, but he appears to be body-checked by Silva. The referee waves play on!!!
Ledesma with a nice ball for Rocchi, but the veteran's lack of pace takes him too far wide and Nesta runs across to cover.
So we're about three quarters of the way through here, and apart from the penalty incident at the start of the second-half, there has been squat to talk about. Lazio happy to defend deep, and Milan unable to fashion a clear opening.
Stephan El Shaarawy
That may be the veteran's last contribution of the match, as Emanuelson and Seedorf are seen warming up on the sidelines.
Ambrosini wide!!! A snap shot from all of 30 yards fizzes off the mark with Marchetti scrambling to get to it! Probably not that great of a chance, but with what Milan have showed so far, it has to count as something.
Now Marchetti needs some attention from the physios, as he took a knock in the previous challenge. He's flexing his wrist in a bit of discomfort, but it looks like he'll be ok to continue.
Offside once again...Van Bommel attempting to dink one through to Ambrosini, but the linesman's flag is up just before Marchetti rushes out to thwart the danger.
Konko goes close!!! The full-back has possesion deep on the right, and lets fly with a cross-cum-shot that almost catches Abbiati by surprise, but the Milan keeper is able to tip over!
Milan again going route one over the top for Ibra. Once more, the Lazio backline deal with the aerial ball comfortably.
Lulic again trying to break down the left. However, Ambrosini is there to cover for the out of position Abate. The Bosnian's endeavor has not always come off, but he has looked Lazio's most dangerous player on the night.
Matuzalem showing some fortitude to charge through the midfield, skipping past Ambrosini and Mesbah, but double teamed into submission inside the Milan area bu Nesta and Silva.
Milan playing hot potato at the top of the Lazio box. However, there is no desire by anyone in red and black to make a move towards goal, so Nocerino gives up and sends a lazy cross into the arms of Marchetti.
Van Bommel double teamed in midfield by Matuzalem and Gonzalez, and is fouled. Freekick.
Lazio try to break through Lulic, but out comes Thiago Silva to intercept. He hoofs one up to Ibra, but the big Swede is slow on his jump and lets the ball sail through to Marchetti.
Andre Dias pumps a long ball upfield, and pulls up almost immediately holding his hamstring. Doesn't look good for him, and he shakes his head towards the bench. Substitution imminent.
Ambrosini tries an audacious curler from outside the area, but it is bent wide of Marchetti's far post. Ibrahimovic is still shaking his head about the penalty incident moments before.
Dias can breathe easy now, because even though El Shaarawy got fingertips to the ball, the Brazilian defender's handball occurred before that play. Milan should have had a penalty and have every right to cry foul.
Confusion here!!!! The referee blows for a penalty after an apparent handball by Dias, but his assistant has a different opinion! Consultation between the officials leads to play instead being awarded to Lazio for a handball on El Shaarawy!
Here we go again!
So, no injury time here after a bore of a first-half. Milan look the more likely side to get a goal, and Nocerino's early header was the best sight on goal for both sides. Lazio look devoid of any inspiration going forward, though their play at the back has been mostly disciplined and organized. Second half is in just a bit, so see you in a few.
Corner for Milan after Mesbah's attempted cross is deflected out. The referee is probably as jaded as the rest of us, as he blows for half-time almost immediately after the corner is taken.
Lulic and Abate square up again out wide, the Lazio man appears to evade the Milan full back initially, but Abate does well to recover and put the ball out for a throw
Van Bommel tries another searching ball from his own half; his target this time is Robinho who is lazy in timing his run and is flagged for offside
Lazio try to bamboozle their way through the Milan defence, some quick interplay by Hernanes and Lulic appears promising, but the hosts try one flick too many and Milan regain possession.
Yellow Card Alessandro Nesta
Milan have a player in the book, its Nesta who sees yellow for going in on Rocchi
Ooooh what a waste by Ibrahimovic!!! A free kick by Hernanes is deflected by the Milan wall, which affords Van Bommel the opportunity to play Ibra through on goal on the break! However, with El Shaarawy lurking in the area, the Swede takes too long to make up his mind and is robbed by Dias
Now Robinho tries to initiate things for the visitors, but his cross in towards Ibrahimovic is grabbed by Marchetti
Silva again coming up with the goods in defence, closing down Rocchi quickly after Matuzalem had teed up the Lazio forward for a shot
Radu in acres of space, and advances into Milan territory. He feeds Hernanes, who evade his marker before letting fly with a shot from 20 yards out that is dealt with by Abbiati.
Corner for Lazio, which is whipped in by Ledesma, and duly headed away by Thiago Silva. Story of the night for Lazio so far.
Milan stroking the ball around leisurely in their own half for the last minute or so. The crowd can't decide if they collectively care enough to whistle.
Halfway through the first-half, what have we learned? Well Lazio seem content to play on the counter, which would be an effective strategy if they were actually able to complete a pass out to the flanks. Milan, meanwhile need to actually look to break a sweat when they attack instead of power-walking to get on the end of every pass.
Corner for Lazio...and it turns into a chance!!! A penalty box scramble from the delivery sees Nesta block the ball on the line, and the veteran defender keeps his body low to stop Lulic from getting onto the rebound!
Here goes Ibrahimovic charging through the middle, he tees up Robinho on the edge of the box but the Brazilian makes the brilliant decision to hold the ball up against the much taller Radu. No need to guess how that turned out
Abate tries to release Mensah down the left with a searching ball from the back but Algerian is a few inches offside
Lazio on the break...Hernanes leads a 3 on 3 charge for the hosts, the ball is played out to the onrushing Lulic on the left flank, but his shot is straight into the arms of Abbiati
Nocarino trying to get things going down the right flank...he shows a bit of trickery to create some space for a cross, but it ends up being nothing but catching practice for Marchetti
Ooooh close for Matuzalem!! A scramble between Abate and Ledesma at the top of the box sees the ball trickle through to the Brazilian, who lets fly with a pot-shot that flashes about a foot wide of the far post!
Milan have probably had the better of things so far, though they could benefit from accelerating the tempo, since Lazio have largely been able to sit back and contain their threat
Yellow Card Matuzalem
First card of the night, and its Matuzalem who enters the referee's notebook with a hard challenge on El Shaarawy
WHAT A SAVE BY MARCHETTI!!! Ibrahimovic dinks a clever little ball in towards Nocerino, whose header from point-blank range is parried away by the Lazio goalkeeper!!!
Milan look to attack, and a cross from the left by Mesbah is headed away by the alert Gonzalez. As expected, both teams still getting their feelers out.
Early pressure from Milan, Lazio are struggling to get it out of their own half. A chipped ball by Nocerino is fired into the net by a clearly offside El Shaarawy
And we're underway!!!
Now the visitors: AC Milan (4-4-2): Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Mesbah; Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy.
Ok, now the teams: Lazio (4-4-1-1): Marchetti; Konko, Biava, Dias, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Lulic, Matuzalem; Hernanes; Rocchi.
The Stadio Olimpico hosts the champions, who have the opportunity to move to the top of the table courtesy of Juventus' match at Parma being postponed on Tuesday evening. All to play for, then!
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of Lazio versus AC Milan in Serie A! Horrific weather conditions in Italy have decimated the midweek problem, but this match in the capital will go ahead as planned!
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