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March 23, 2014
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: G. Rocchi
• Attendance: 27800
Á. González 61'
A. Konko 43' (own goal)
That's all we have time for from Stadio Olimpico, we hope that you enjoyed Milan's tight 1-1 away draw with Lazio in Serie A. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
A point does little for either outfit, with Seedorf remaining under pressure and Lazio dropping two important points in the race for European football. The visitors will be the happier of the two sides after not playing well, but much improvement is needed for both outfits.
FULL TIME! Lazio earn themselves a point against the travelling Rossoneri after falling behind due to a Konko own goal, with Reja's men unable to find the all-important second goal despite long spells of dominance. Gonzalez was the man to steer home the equaliser, with Balotelli unlucky to strike the post late on.
90' + 5'
Candreva's free-kick is deflected behind for a late corner, but De Jong manages to make the clearance to presumably seal an important point for the away side.
90' + 4'
Bonera brings down Mauri on the edge of the penalty area with only a couple of minutes remaining in this match-up, presenting the home side with the perfect chance to turn this current draw into a vital win. Lazio can't afford to drop points in the race for Europe.
90' + 2'
ONAZI! The substitute fires narrowly over the crossbar after making up plenty of ground to receives a cut-back at the edge of the Milan penalty area, with Amelia having his angles covered.
There are five minutes of added time at the end of the second half. Plenty of time for this game to find its winner!
Milan try to retain possession calmly as the game edges to a close, with a good cross testing Novaretti! The Italian defender clears under pressure from Kaka and this contest appears to be destined to end in a draw.
A late change for Lazio, with Mauri taking his place on the field as a dangerous aerial presence for the home side's crossing strategy to aim for. Milan continue to look for a late winner despite being second best throughout the majority of this clash, the Rossoneri's heart can't be questioned.
Five minutes left on the clock and this game is very finely balanced! Seedorf's formation is showing that Milan intend to leave here tonight with potentially three points, allowing for the hosts to break at will. Candreva drives down the right hand side yet again, but fires wide of the near post after bearing down on a fearful Amelia!
Mattia De Sciglio
BALOTELLI STRIKES THE POST! The substitute clatters a ferocious effort onto the foot of the upright, with Berisha beaten all ends up! He can't believe his luck, that was a terrific effort but just couldn't creep into the bottom corner!
Milan now opt to change shape, with Muntari, Essien and De Jong acting as a midfield three. Given Lazio's relentless marauding down the wings, it could be a rather gung-ho approach to the final ten minutes in Stadio Olimpico.
Yellow Card Senad Lulic
PAZZINI! What a chance for Milan to snatch a winner! Balotelli breaks to the byeline before cutting back a cross for Muntari, who miscontrols terribly. Pazzini pounces on the loose ball, but can only hook it over Berisha's crossbar from 12 yards!
Lazio are being frustrated, with Gonzalez spurning a couple of great chances on the periphery of the penalty area. Again the goalscorer tries to pivot and get a shot away from 18 yards, but he's robbed of possession on the turn.
Radu breaks down the left flank, but the Romanian international's cross is poor, floating behind Amelia's goal harmlessly. Milan are attempting to hold onto possession, but the likes of Constant and Mexes don't look too assured whilst on the ball.
Half chance for Lazio to take the lead! Gonzalez tries to shift the ball onto his stronger left foot from just inside the Milan penalty box, but robs himself of the chance to get a shot away as his eventual effort is blocked!
Lazio are looking the more likely to find the game's third goal, with Constant and De Sciglio still pegged back inside their own half. Milan's full-backs haven't been given any freedom, which is detrimental to the visitors given what the young Italian right-back is capable of.
Yellow Card Andrea Poli
Twenty minutes left and Seedorf cuts a worried figure in the Milan technical area. The away side might be forced into desperately clinging onto a point, which would end their run of three consecutive defeats. Konko whips in a back post delivery which Amelia rushes out to palm away from the danger zone.
Balotelli hasn't had the effect on this game which Seedorf may have hoped, with the Italy international only able to offer a couple of nice flicks. Despite their goal, Lazio haven't been able to go on the offensive once again, with some Milan possession standing between themselves and the chance to earn a vital three points.
CANDREVA! He drives down the right hand side yet again, beating Constant with ease to get to the byeline. His cross to the back post is reasonable, but there's nobody on hand to turn it home! Candreva is at the heart of everything good which Lazio have created.
LULIC! The Bosnian substitute isn't afraid to shoot, shifting the ball out of his feet before unleashing a long-range effort at goal from 30 yards. It's skewed way wide. Meanwhile, Seedorf gestures from the sidelines for his men to calm down.
Lazio will feel as though justice has been done, as the scoreline is level and Milan no longer hold an undeserved advantage. The home crowd are really getting behind their side now, they can smell blood and believe that this Milan side can be punished for their faults.
Assist Lucas Biglia
Goal Á. González
GOOOOOOOOAL! GONZALEZ LEVELS THE SCORELINE WITH A GREAT HEADER! It's been coming for the entire game and it's a rare goal for the Uruguayan! Candreva provides the cross, before Biglia flicks the ball onto his midfield partner, allowing for Gonzalez to apply the finish!
Half an hour remains and Milan still somehow find themselves ahead due to that Konko own goal. Constant plays an awful header back towards his own net, which Lulic controls and looks to turn between Amelia's posts, but the referee penalises the substitute for handball.
Yellow Card Michael Essien
Novaretti and Balotelli clash accidentally, with the former needing some treatment after coming off worse. This is certainly an open game as we approach the hour mark, but it's worryingly low on quality given the status of both of these sides.
BIGLIA! The Argentine midfielder is denied by a great block from De Jong, as the Lazio man looked to turn the ball home with Amelia sprawled on the turf after making a save from a Candreva effort. The hosts are getting closer.
Balotelli takes to the field in place of the disappointing Honda, with Milan appearing to recognise that they need a second goal if they are to escape Stadio Olimpico with some points. Despite their woes in front of goal, there is a sense of inevitability that Lazio will find the back of the net.
CANDREVA! KEITA! Two shots in quick succession for the home side, with the Italy international cannoning a near post effort towards Amelia's palms, before young Keita deflects a second effort into the grasp of the Milan keeper once again. Substitutes are warming up for both sides.
Excellent defending header from Rami, who heads Candreva's cross away from its intended target of Perea. It's more of the same from Lazio in the second half, plenty of possession and pressure but no goals. A lack of cutting edge is evident among the hosts' ranks.
Perea continues to be physically dominated by Rami, as Lazio struggle to make the ball stick in central advanced areas. They've dominated the flanks, but just can't turn their numerous crosses into goals. Amelia is able to claim yet another Candreva delivery.
ESSIEN! The Ghanaian midfielder tries his luck from 30 yards, but lasers a low drive into the advertising hoardings behind the goal, with Berisha untroubled. A few chances in the opening minutes of this second half period!
CANDREVA! Yet another dangerous cross from the right flank, as the Italy international continues to be Lazio's main threat. With nobody to attack the ball, however, all of Candreva's good work isn't being turned into the hosts' deserved opening goal.
We're back underway in the second half, with Lazio wanting to right the injustice of the opening 45 minutes and put themselves back on level terms. Both sides have goalscoring options on the bench, so there are plenty of potential catalysts to liven up this contest.
Be sure to rejoin us for all of the action in ten minutes time, as Milan look to heap even more misery on an unstable Stadio Olimpico. Konko's own goal is the only difference, so tune in for the hosts' presumable second-half resurgence!
Honda has been on hand to provide a few awful crosses and spurn a couple of chances for the Rossoneri, who may be looking to their substitutes bench sooner rather than later. Balotelli and Taarabt lie in wait and could both hurt Lazio's Europa League aspirations tonight.
HALF TIME! The referee calls time to a rather unfair first half, as Lazio trail despite provided much of the game's most exciting chances. Candreva has been excellent for the hosts, but it's a deflected goal from Kaka which separates the two outfits at the break.
45' + 2'
HONDA! WHAT A CHANCE! A free-kick delivery from Kaka dips in behind the Lazio defence, but the onrushing former CSKA Moscow man can't apply the finishing touch!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Cristian Ledesma
45' + 1'
There are two minutes of added time at the end of the first half, with the extra time down to extended treatment for both Pazzini and Rami.
Milan, who have been utterly dreadful, somehow have the lead in Rome! It's against the run of play and incredibly fortunate, but under-pressure Clarence Seedorf won't mind! What a time to get it, a goal so close to half-time is a real suckerpunch for the opposition.
Own Goal Abdoulay Konko
GOOOOAL! MILAN TAKE THE LEAD COMPLETELY AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY! Kaka celebrates, but it's a wicked deflection of Lazio's Konko which permits the Brazilian's attempted cross to ghost past Berisha at the near post! Seedorf's side have been terrible but lead!
GOOOOOOOOAL! No wait, it's been ruled out for offside! Novaretti nods the ball past Amelia, but was a yard or two offside as he made his run towards the cross! It wriggles below the Milan goalkeeper and the Rossoneri are given a reprieve by a good decision from the linesman.
KAKA! The experienced attacking midfielder tries his luck from 25 yards out, but a deflection takes the ball comfortably within the grasp of Berisha. Marchetti's deputy hasn't had a great deal to do thus far, he'll be pleased with how his sporadic inclusion is going.
HONDA! Essien feeds the Japan international, who cuts inside onto his favoured left foot before curling an awful effort high and wide of the target. Finally, however, a promising offensive sign from Milan.
Less than ten minutes until the break and neither keeper have been forced into testing action. Mexes races down the left flank, before Pazzini looked to latch onto a strangely angled pass from the Frenchman, but Berisha is able to rush out and smother the loose ball.
Important intervention from Novaretti! The Lazio defender rises just about high enough to beat both Honda and Pazzini to De Sciglio's excellent cross and the away side are denied the chance to take the lead against the run of play.
RADU! Good cross from the left hand side from the Romanian full-back, but it evades the boot of Keita as the youngster hares into the penalty area. Konko then delivers a dangerous delivery from the right, Lazio's full-backs' contributions show how the hosts are dominant.
Seedorf's side are managing to hold onto the ball a little bit better, gaining some confidence, but chances still aren't forthcoming for the Rossoneri. Pazzini's lack of pace isn't causing Lazio any problems, as the experienced striker's game depends on support - something he isn't getting any of.
No chances and a lack of entertainment so far at Stadio Olimpico, with it rather evident that both sides are struggling in their respective domestic campaign. Lazio were knocked out of the Europa League at the hands of lowly Ludogorets, while Milan fell victim to Atletico Madrid in the Champions Laegue, and these European hangovers appear to be lasting a fair while.
Some brief respite for the Milan defence, as the away side retain possession for a few minutes, but it doesn't take long for the impetus to swing back into Lazio's favour. Plenty of the home side's ideas are coming through Candreva and Keita, but the Rossoneri appear to be low on ideas for how to deal with them.
As we head towards the half hour mark, Milan are likely to be looking to their substitutes bench quickly tonight, with the creativity of Taarabt and Balotelli desperately needed on the field tonight. Kaka has offered nothing, with Honda's crossing poor and Pazzini suffering as a result.
That bad challenge from Perea managing to break the relentless Lazio pressure for a moment and thankfully Rami is able to return to the field of play. The atmosphere is turning up a few notches in Stadio Olimpico, as the home supporters can sense that this Rossoneri side is shaky.
Yellow Card Brayan Perea
Terrible challenge from Perea, as the Colombian striker slides in late on Rami. The Frenchman looks to be in considerable pain, as the youngster threw himself into a needless sliding challenge, impacting heavily on his ankle from behind. It's an awful tackle and he's lucky to only receive a yellow card for that.
Milan break forward quickly but once again a delivery from Honda let the Rossoneri down. Pazzini has been able to keep play moving for Seedorf's side, but ultimately the service given to him in the penalty area has been non-existent.
GONZALEZ! The Lazio midfielder races into the penalty area to meet a free-kick cross, but can't keep it down! The hosts continue to press, and Milan are struggling to get out of their own half.
Milan aren't looking in any position to find the game's opening goal, with their efforts being spent on marshalling the edge of their penalty area. Amelia hasn't had a great deal to do thus far, but the pressure is building and building from the home side.
Lazio strike the bar, but the referee had already called play back for offside! The home side have been by far the stronger team and Milan look clueless in every sense of the word. No chances created, with Lazio running riot down the right hand side in particular. A long evening ahead for Constant.
Konko goes down on the edge of the Milan penalty box after being caught in the face by De Jong's hand, and the French right-back has been excellent in the opening quarter of an hour. He's broken down the flank and given brilliant support to Candreva, with Constant powerless to stop him.
Honda provides Milan's first cross of the game, as it's an awful effort from the Japan international. Pazzini sprayed possession wide to his teammate, before endeavouring to meet the return ball in the penalty area, but Honda's cross is easily dealt with by Konko.
A rather ambitious effort from Constant! The left-back managed to win possession on the half-way line, before going shoulder-to-shoulder with Ledesma. He looks to try and shoot from 35 yards out, though it could well have been an awful attempt at the through ball. Berisha collects for his first touch.
Another testing cross from Candreva! Seedorf's side really need to put some additional pressure on the tireless midfielder, as he's bound to provide an assist with the amount of space he's being given. Several deliveries have bounced in between the Milan defence and Amelia, with no Lazio players able to quite get on the end of their teammate's cross.
Important clearance from De Sciglio! The young full-back hooks away a Candreva cross, after the delivery avoids both Perea and Ledesma in the penalty area. The hosts are starting to impose some sustained pressure on their adversaries.
Candreva whips in a back post cross, but the Italy international gets it all wrong. The delivery is poor, zipping off the Stadio Olimpico turf and behind for a goal-kick despite having several sky blue shirts to aim for. Lazio are looking dangerous on the flanks in these early stages.
Young Lazio forward Keita shows his pace from the start, outpacing De Sciglio with ease. Despite their confident start, the sheer athleticism of the hosts' forward players could worry Milan on the break. Candreva can run all game with outstanding stamina, while Perea and Keita are pacey.
After extensive treatment, the experienced Italian striker is back to his feet somewhat gingerly and looks to have had the wind taken out of him. Balotelli and his teammates on the bench will have to wait a little longer to be introduced into the action, as Pazzini is determined to continue.
Amelia shows the visitors mentality from the start, launching the ball upfield as quickly as possible, looking for it to stick to either Honda or Pazzini. Without Balotelli and Taarabt, the Rossoneri might be lacking somewhat in attack and Pazzini is hacked down from behind in the opening minutes. That looked like a painful one.
Milan start the game positively, holding onto possession and chasing in packs to win the ball back when they lose it. Seedorf's side need to make a statement of intent with a victory tonight, given the pressure building on their former midfielder.
We're underway in the first half! Both clubs' current situations can be forgotten for 90 minutes in the heat of some important Serie A action, but ultimately the consequences of this match could have huge implications on the job security of Clarence Seedorf! Both sides are in their home strips and the atmosphere is tense given the protests of Lazio fans against their current club president.
We're ten minutes from kick-off, so be sure to stick around as these two struggling football giants clash in the Italian capital. Plenty at stake for both sides, in particular for those in power at both clubs, with this being an occasion fuelled by high pressure for both managers and presidents.
Milan substitutes: Muntari, Robinho, Saponara, Birsa, Zapata, Taarabt, Bonera, Emanuelson, Coppola, Balotelli, Gabriel, Zaccardo.
Milan starting line-up: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Rami, Constant; De Jong, Essien; Kaka, Poli, Honda; Pazzini.
Lazio substitutes: Guerrieri, Strakosha, Mauri, Felipe Anderson, Pereirinha, Lulic, Kakuta, Onazi, Cana, Cavanda, Postiga.
Lazio starting line-up: Berisha; Konko, Biava, Novaretti, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Biglia; Candreva, Keita, Perea.
TEAM NEWS: Mario Balotelli is dropped to the bench for possible fitness or form reasons, with Adel Taarabt also missing out and being replaced by Keisuke Honda. Giampaolo Pazzini is the lone striker for the visitors, with Andrea Poli continuing in attacking midfield. Christian Abbiati is suspended due to his dismissal against Parma, with second-choice keeper Marco Amelia taking over the first team gloves temporarily.
TEAM NEWS: Federico Marchetti is missing from between the posts for Edoardo Reja's side due to illness, with Etrit Berisha deputising. Antonio Candreva returns from suspension to give the home side a welcome boost, though Michael Ciani and Ederson are out through injury. Brayan Perea and Keita Balde Diao start up top for Le Aquile, with Miroslav Klose only fit enough for the bench.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be leading you through all of the action from a tense Stadio Olimpico, with the home fans continuing to protest against club president Claudio Lotito - while Seedorf looks to be under pressure despite his short tenure at the helm of his former team. Lazio can't afford to drop too many points at this stage of the season, with the Europa League places currently being six points from their grasp.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of some of tonight's Serie A action, with Milan travelling to Rome to face Lazio. Mario Balotelli isn't included in the starting eleven for the away side, despite the Rossoneri currently being on a run of four games without picking up any points. The hosts are looking much more spritely, with three wins from their last five fixtures, with the formbook pointing towards a long evening ahead for Clarence Seedorf's side.
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