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November 6, 2011
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: A. Gervasoni
• Attendance: 44100
Z. Ibrahimovic 7'
F. Lodi 69' (own goal)
G. Zambrotta 72'
90' + 2'
And the match ends with a fantastic save from Abbiati on Bergessio's shot to keep Milan's clean shot. The home side send a clear message to their title rivals; after a shaky start to the season, they're back and raring to win the Scudetto again. It's Milan 4-0 Catania at the San Siro. Thank you for joining us here at Goal.com!
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Zlatan Ibrahimovic
90' + 1'
Ibrahimovic gets a rather foolish booking after a needless tackle deep in Catania's half.
Antonini shoots from the edge of the box but his shot is blocked as Milan continue to earn good chances. The fourth official has added two minutes of extra time.
Ambrosini tries a long ball towards Inzaghi but it's over-hit and Adujar can collect it before the veteran striker can reach it.
Milan are still pressing forward despite their strong lead, but Catania have a free kick deep in their opponent's half in maybe their last chance to prevent Milan from getting a clean sheet. Delvecchio sneaks in through the back and draws a great save from Abbiati with his header but he was offside and the play does not count anyway.
Yepes and Ambrosini team up to take down Bergessio, awarding Catania a free-kick. Delvecchio wastes the chance however and Milan have a free kick as the match begins to draw to a close.
Inzaghi just misses the net! A great ball is played in and the striker takes a fantastic shot that Adujar parries with his body, and the looping deflected ball goes a hair wide of the post.
Another fantastic defensive display from Thiago Silva as he slides in precisely to kick a dangerous ball out of play. He's been an absolute wall in the back all night.
Catania have a free kick right outside the box, on the left hand side. Barrientos takes it, after the referee has a few words with the players in the box, and his far post cross is punched away by Abbiati. Legrottaglie tries a long range header but the Milan goalkeeper grabs and holds onto the ball without any trouble.
Antonini has also come on for Seedorf as Allegri makes his final change of the match.
Great play by Milan in the box sees a clever touch by Ibra and a smart pass by Seedorf get the ball to Emanuelson, whose shot is right at Adujar. Robinho is off for Inzaghi and Lodi for Delvecchio as both managers make changes.
Ibra races into the box and sends a dangerous low cross towards goal but Andujar goes down well and collects it.
The away side continue to try and get a consolation goal although Abbiati has no problems collecting Almiron's cross.
Catania now applying pressure to Milan, though in all probability, it's too little too late. The away side have a free kick in a dangerous area. It hits the wall and goes out for a corner, which is cleared and then wasted as Barrientos smashes his shot wide.
Assist Alberto Aquilani
Goal Gianluca Zambrotta
ZAMBROTTA GOALLL! Milan are in a rout! Aquilani strikes a very powerful free-kick to Adujar, who can just parry it into the path of the full-back. He smashes it into the net and Milan are four goals to the good.
Yellow Card Pablo Barrientos
Milan are not happy with just three goals and pour forward in search for a fourth. Barrientos and Abate are both booked for arguing after Seedorf wins a free-kick.
Yellow Card Ignazio Abate
Own Goal Francesco Lodi
Aquilani is trying to pull the strings in midfield and sends a deep Pirlo-esque pass to Zambrotta but his pass is poor and ends up right at the feet of the Catania defense.
Milan bailed out once again by Thiago Silva as the home side seem to be switching off in this half. Catania are starting to smell blood and continue to press forward at pace.
Thiago Silva and Abate team up to clear a very dangerous Catania corner which was flicked on at the near post. The away side get the ball back and try to go through the middle of the pitch this time, but Yepes and his partner are ready and defend well.
Ibra is nearly free on goal but commits a foul to receive a through ball. Montella makes a change, taking off the poor Lanzafame for striker Maxi Lopez, sending a clear intention: he wants his side to score.
Spolli goes on a Lucio-esque run from defense to midfield and wins a free-kick on the halfway line.
Ibra slips a dangerous ball into the box that Spolli has to side to clear before it gets to Seedorf. Milan take the corner but it goes over Yepes at the far post and out for a Catania goal-kick.
Aquilani once again showing the defensive part of his game as he helps Abate deal with a Catania attack.
Marchese to Gomez to Bergessio but the latter absolutely blasts his shot over the goal after solid buildup from the left flank.
Milan putting their foot to the pedal as the side pour ceaselessly forward without ever really testing Adujar. The home side are doing very well to regain possession as soon as they lose it.
Gomez's cross comes off the crossbar! I don't think the player knew much about that, as his swerving pass clangs off the woodwork and right into the path of Barrientos, who misses from about 10 yards out. That could've been the tipping point of the match but Catania's inability to finish may come back to haunt them.
The play has become increasingly scrappy as both sides lose the ball in midfield. There have been quite a few throw-ins in the last few minutes as well.
Thiago Silva heads a good pass out for a Catania throw-in, right near Milan's box. Aquilani is back on defense and helps his side clear and counter. Ricchiuti is coming off for Barrientos as Montella makes his own change to try and get something from the match.
Catania now trying to keep the ball and press forward, although Milan are positioning themselves well and force the away side into a mistake. Zambrotta makes a great run into the box and cuts the ball back for Ibra, but the Swede fouls Spolli and Catania have a free-kick.
Ibra smashes the free kick into the wall for the second time now, with his low drive failing to clear the defenders closest to him. Spolli takes down Emanuelson and somehow evades a yellow card for his harsh challenge.
Yepes is on for Bonera as Allegri makes the first change of the match. The second half begins with Milan looking to play smart, possession football, and their style comes to bear fruit and Bellusci takes down Seedorf to give Milan a free kick deep in Catania's half.
45' + 3'
Some laziness from Ibrahimovic sees Catania get the ball, and the away side spurn a free kick shortly after. The Swede leads a counter that Seedorf and Robinho fail to make much of, and the referee blows for halftime. It's Milan 2-0 Catania, with Vincenzo Montella's men needing to be much more decisive in order to take something from this.
45' + 2'
Almiron smashes a free kick over the bar that fails to test Abbiati.
Yellow Card Daniele Bonera
Andujar is the hero again! He makes a fantastic save on Robinho's flying volley from Seedorf's cross. Bonera is booked on the counter very harshly as Gomez goes down under the lightest of contact.
Abbiati and Bergessio clash when they both go to get the ball. The Argentine striker nicks the ball from the goalkeeper, who writhes in pain, and shoots on target but Bonera clears it off the line. There's some confusion as Milan look to think that the play should've been stopped when Abbiati lost the ball. The goalie is ok and is able to take the free-kick as the referee whistled very late for Bergessio's challenge.
Spolli does very well to head the ball out for a corner as Ibra was lurking dangerous behind him, waiting to receive a cross. Seedorf swings in a corner, Ambrosini rises to meet it.... Andujar saves his attempt on the line!
Luckily it's nothing to worry about for Bonera, who trots back onto the pitch. Meanwhile Catania are starting to assert themselves in the match and Milan cannot seem to get possession, until Almiron brings down Emanuelson from behind and gives the home side a free-kick.
Yellow Card Nicola Legrottaglie
Bonera and Bergessio clash as they both go up for a ball. The Milan defender comes out worse for the wear and walks off for treatment as he appears to have knocked his head, though it does not seem to be a serious injury.
Legrottaglie loses the ball in a very dangerous position, and Ibra once again leads a counter-attack. Robinho is blocked but Aquilani gets the ball, and he lashes a ferocious strike that just misses the crossbar from nearly 30 yards out!
Aquilani sends a long cross into the box that finds Ibrahimovic. The Swede waits for support before crossing himself, and though his initial ball is poor, Robinho plays a one-two with Aquilani and fires wide.
Ibrahimovic is a one-man frontline today. He sends Robinho through on the wing with a clever backheel, but Milan's attack ends when the Brazilian gets the ball a second time in an offside position.
Catania spend a brief amount of time outside Milan's box but Lanzafame cannot get a good cross in. He loses the ball and quickly regains it, sending a weak ball for Almiron to head right at Abbiati.
Ibrahimovic leads a Milan counter and dinks the ball wide to Robinho, who looks up and drills his shot towards the far post but misses the target. The Brazilian is full of confidence at the moment.
Seedorf disappointingly slices his first time shot wide after getting on the end of a great Robinho pass just inside the Catania box.
Catania refuse to give in despite being 2-0 down already, and Bergessio fires in a dangerous shot from the corner of the box that Abbiati dives to collect.
Milan miss the chance to add a third! Ibra at the heart of it again- with yet another SUPERB through ball- as he finds Seedorf rushing through the defense. Adujar is ready this time and gets his body in front of the shot.
Assist Zlatan Ibrahimovic
ROBINHO GOALLLLLL! WHAT A DRIBBLE! Ibrahimovic plays a brilliant pass to the Brazilian, who dribbles his way into the box, jukes Bellusci completely, and scoops the ball over Andujar and into the net. An absolute gem of a finish from a man who often spurns chances like that.
Gomez fires a long range shot very wide of Abbiati's post.
Ricchiuti plays a fantastic diagonal through ball to Gomez but the latter's cross is cut out. Milan counter immediately and Aquilani cuts the ball across the face of goal that just misses the onrushing Ibrahimovic!
Milan keep possession well until an overhit pass forces Zambrotta to let the ball roll out or risk being caught for pace by Gomez. Milan get the ball back almost immediately after but Ibrahimovic is caught offside.
Abate gives away a free kick and gets injured in the process. A great ball is played in from the set piece, right to Bergessio in front of the goal... but somehow he's unable to get his shot off in time and Milan clear!
Aquilani's poor challenge gives Catania a free kick from within Milan's half, but it fails to clear the wall. The away side regroup and send a cross in shortly after but Thiago Silva knocks it out of play.
Emanuelson miskicks the ball on a great chance from a Milan counter, and the crowd is furious as Milan did not kick the ball out of play for the injured Lanzafame. He's back on his feet just in time to watch Bergessio selfishly sky a chance on a Catania attack.
Catania are getting more into the match and have two quick succession of crosses into the box that fail to reach anyone.
Lanzafame is furious as his cross his Zambrotta's trailing arm in the box but no call is given!
Seedorf tries to run at the defense but Bellusci is more than equal to the task and stops the Dutchman.
Yellow Card Massimo Ambrosini
The two sides trade chances as Gomez's shot is easily collected by Abbiati before a poor Milan cross is cleared. On the counter, captain Ambrosini is booked for a very poor tackle on Gomez. That's two yellows and a penalty, all within the opening nine minutes.
Yellow Card Davide Lanzafame
Penalty Goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
IBRA SCORES! His penalty is calm and cool as you'd expect from a striker of his caliber, and he slots the ball expertly into the net. Adujar nearly got onto it but the ball just managed to slip under his body. Milan are winning 1-0 already!
PENALTY TO MILAN! Ibrahimovic sends a superb through ball in the box which Robinho gets on the end of before Lanzafame takes him down from behind after totally being caught out of position. The Catania player is booked.
That was very close from Milan! Zambrotta eventually lobbies his shot wide but the home side caused mass confusion in the Catania box after Robinho's mazy dribble.
Milan are putting Catania under huge amounts of pressure. Zambrotta fires a menacing cross into the box that misses its target, and Catania's brief respite on the counter ends when Milan are fouled.
Milan have a free kick just outside of the box as Robinho is taken down by Spolli after Ibra chested a high ball into his path. From this central position, Ibra smashes the ball -opting for power over placement- but it's right into the wall and out for a corner. Thiago Silva's bullet header goes just wide from Seedorf's delivery!
After a minute's silence for the victims of the flash floods in Genoa, the game kicks off! Catania kick off going left to right but Ambrosini cuts out Lanzafame's run. Catania regroup and send in a dangerous cross that Zambrotta awkwardly clears as the away side demonstrate their attacking intentions, as usual under Montella.
Milan are in their traditional red-and-black home kits, whereas Catania are dressed in white shirts and blue shorts.
The San Siro is in full force as we're just minutes away from kickoff. Fans are holding up banners for the absent Gattuso, which say "The warrior of Milan" on them.
Catania have been one of the surprises of the season so far. After finishing 13th last campaign, Montella was brought in over the summer and has transformed the side into a tidy attacking unit.With 12 goals in 10 matches, Catania have outscored the likes of Inter, Udinese, and Fiorentina so far this season. The side have also conceded 12 goals already, but this is surprisingly less than Milan and Inter have allowed as well.
Coming into the match, neither team has lost in six games, with Catania's last defeat being a home to Genoa in late September and Milan losing to Juventus very early in October.
Both sides have plenty of options on the bench, should either Montella or Maximiliano Allegri need them: Milan" Amelia, Taiwo, Antonini, Yepes, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Inzaghi Catania: Campagnolo, Delvecchio, Capuano, Potenza, Barrientos, Maxi Lopez, Catellani.
All thoughts will be with Antonio Cassano, who was in fantastic form before his heart problem became evident. The player has returned home and will spend some time resting before being able to play again.
With Napoli-Juventus and Genoa-Inter postponed to later dates due to weather, a win here could very well be enough to see Milan jump to first place, should both Lazio and Udinese fail to win. Conversely, all three points for Montella's men would put them level with Milan in the standings on 17 points each.
The away side, coming off a fantastic 2-1 home win over Napoli, have only made altercation in their starting eleven, with Lanzafame drafted in for Izco, supposedly as a fullback! Andujar, Lanzafame, Bellusci, Legrottaglie, Spolli, Marchese, Almiron, Lodi, Ricchiuti, Gomez, Bergessio.
Milan have made quite a few changes from their 3-2 away win over RMOa last matchday. Alessandro Nesta is out for Daniele Bonera, and the midfield is nearly completely overhauled, with Mark Van Bommel, Boateng, and Nocerino missing out and replaced by Ambrosini, Seedorf and the young Emanuelson. Abbiati, Abate, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Seedorf, Emanuelson, Robinho, Ibrahimovic.
Welcome to Goal.com's match coverage of Milan-Catania! The Scudetto holders have a chance to make up significant ground in the title race with a win at home, but Vincenzo Montella's side have done great things and are currently in seventh place.
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