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Italy - Serie A
April 25, 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: A. Gervasoni
• Attendance: 52000
K. Boateng 86'
Shots on Target
A late Kevin-Prince Boateng goal has given the Rossoneri three points here. I've been Alex Mott, thanks for joining me.
90' + 4'
And that's it. The referee blows for full time here at San Siro, and it's ended Milan 1-0 Genoa.
90' + 2'
Since the goal, this game has just died. Milan are just passing it amongst themselves, and Genoa don't seem that fussed.
There will be four minutes of added on time here.
Milan are just keeping the ball now along their backline. Genoa don't look like getting the ball back, let alone scoring.
Goal Kevin-Prince Boateng
GOOOAAALLLL!!! And it's BOATENG with the strike. A cross from the left by Emanuelson made it's way to the far post, where, with two touches, the Ghanaian fires it in with a low drive across goal. 1-0.
Nocerino glides in a deep cross from the right. But Yepes, 15 yards from goal, can only head wide.
Yellow Card Emiliano Moretti
The frustration is clearly getting to the Milan players now. Ibra chases back Moretti, and give away a free kick in the centre circle.
And the news from the other game is that Marco Borriello has scored for Juve, to make it Cesena 0-1 Juve. Scudetto over?
Maxi Lopez replaces Antonini. Milan are desperately looking for something here.
Cassano has it now for Milan. 25 yards from goal, he turns, and plays in Boateng. The former Pompey man though, can't get his feet in order, and his touch goes wayward. Luckily, the loose ball ends up back at the feet of Cassano, who strikes firs time at goal. The shot, unfortunately, squirms wide of the right-hand post.
The corner comes in. It goes towards Yepes, who shoots at goal from 12 yards. Frey though, shows his cat-like reflexes, and tips the ball away.
Ibrahimovic strikes the free kick low, but the shot is deflected out for a corner.
Yellow/Red Bosko Jankovic
Abate receives the ball from Boateng. On the right-hand side, he cuts infield, and draws a foul from Jankovic on the edge of the area. And Jankovic is off!
A long ball is played up towards Ibra now. He moves into the box, where he gets to the byline, and cuts the ball back to Nocerino. The Italian though, can't get a clean shot away, and Genoa clear away the danger.
It's Kucka now for Genoa. He comes forward, over the halfway line. The Slovakian play a one-two with Palacio, and then fires a shot at goal from 25 yards. Abbiati though, gets down and saves well.
Genoa come forward now with Palacio. He enters the box, and goes down under a challenge from Yepes. The referee though, waves play on.
Another great effort for Milan. Abate this time, crosses from the right towards Ibra. The Swede heads it back to the edge of the area, where Emanuelson shoots first time. The shot goes towards goal, but is deflected wide by Moretti.
Yellow Card Bosko Jankovic
OHHH. Boateng should have scored there. A cross from the left by Antonini goes towards the Ghanaian, but his shot from 12 yards is blocked superbly by Biondini.
It's taken quickly, and flicked on to Palacio. The Argentine goes into the box, but Yepes comes across and shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.
Jankovic is attacking for Genoa now down the left. He takes it past Abate, but the Italian gets his foot to the ball and out for a throw in.
Muntari bundles over Biondini on the halfway line, and concedes a free kick. The ball is whipped in by Jankovic, but Abbiati comes out and punches clear.
Yellow Card Sulley Muntari
@Milangirls are clearly optimists: "The good thing is, it can't get any worse than the first half." Wanna bet?
Ibra has it now on the edge of the area for Milan. He pushes the ball half a yard to his left, and fires a shot in at goal. Frey though, is more than equal to it, and pushes the shot away.
Mark van Bommel
Stephan El Shaarawy
A double change for Milan as Boateng and Cassano come on for El Shaarawy and Van Bommel. They're really going for this now.
Milan have it inside the centre circle. Van Bommel though, is caught in possession, and Palacio gets played through on goal. He tries to outpace Nesta, but the veteran uses all his experience, and gets his tackle in inside the area.
It's played short by Abate towards Nocerino again, but the pass is underhit, and Biondini comes in to clear away the danger.
And already, Milan have it back. Abate, down the right, plays it into Nocerino, and the former Palermo man wins a free kick inside the centre circle.
We're back, and it's Genoa who get us underway, kicking from right-to-left.
Ali Muhammad Shahid is a disgruntled Milan fan: "it's humiliating how Milan are playing, no energy, no creativity, no desire to wim. I think they've given u on the title!"
Well, that was poor. Genoa have come with a gameplan, and so far, it's working. I'll be back in 15 minutes, but in the meantime, do hit me up @alexjmott on Twitter.
And that's it. The referee blows for half time, with the scoreline here: Milan 0-0 Genoa.
Yellow Card Mario Yepes
A foul by Yepes on Palacio results in a free kick to Genoa, 35 yards from goal. It's whipped in by Jankovic, but Abbiati, under pressure from Sculli, punches clear.
El Shaarawy whips it in from the right, but Frey comes out and collects easily.
Nocerino comes forward for Milan now. Over the halfway line, he gives it to Abate, who gives it inside to Muntari. The former Portsmouth man chips the ball over the head of Genoa defenders, but Kaladze flicks it out for a corner.
Milan have dominated for the past 20 minutes, but Genoa there, really should have opened the scoring. Jankovic down the left-hand side, got round Abate, and on the byline, just had to cut the ball back to Palacio, who was unmarked on the penalty spot. He went for a shot though, and was berated heavily.
Ibra has a strike from 25 yards, but the shot hits the wall, and it deflected out for a throw in.
Milan come forward again with Muntari down the centre. He gives it to the feet of El Shaarawy, who gets bundled over by Kaladze, and a free kick is given.
The corner is crossed in from the left-hand side. It's accidentally flicked on by Kaladze at the near post, and catches Muntari unawares, as he heads wide from 12 yards.
Abate has it now on the right-hand touchline. He cuts inside, and, 30 yards from goal, clips a cross into the box, that Granqvist heads out for a corner.
And as Rabea says that, Van Bommel lays in El Shaarawy down the right-hand side. He cuts inside the box, and fires a cross/shot across goal for Ibra. Granqvist clears it, but ends up in the net and wins a free kick.
Rabea Makhoul makes a very valid point: "Milan controlling, but don't have the creative midfield to break the Genoa defence. What's with the three defensive midfielders?"
Yellow Card Ignazio Abate
A long ball from Genoa down the left, ends with Belluschi knocking the ball against Nesta for a throw in, midway in Milan's half.
I said before that Genoa were going to play a 4-4-2, but this is definitely a 4-5-1. They're sitting in their own half, and seem happy to let Milan have it around the centre circle.
Milan are keeping the ball along their backline like it's a training exercise. And Genoa look happy for them to have it. This could get tiresome.
A corner for Milan is played short between El Shaarawy and Emanuelson. The cross though, is blocked by Birsa, and Genoa counter. Palacio tries to knock the ball past Antonini on the halfway line, but the Italian is having none of it, and knocks the ball out of play.
The ball seems to be bypassing the midfield for both teams here. That time, another long ball from Nesta is aimed up towards the forwards, but the ball is overhit through to Frey.
A long diagonal ball from right-to-left by Abate, finds Antonini. The Italian manages to get the ball down a win a throw in for the Rossoneri. He takes it quickly, and gives it to the on-rushing Emanuelson. The former Ajax man though, can't get his touch in order, and the ball runs out for a goal kick.
Kucka has a shot for Genoa from 30 yards. It balloons over.
It's Birsa again for Genoa down the right. He comes over the halfway line, and slips the ball down the touchline for Palacio. A three-four later, and the play has been slowed down enough for Van Bommel to come in, and nick possession from the Slovenian.
Birsa is bombing forward brilliantly for Genoa down this right-hand side. This time, he chases after a long ball and manages to keep it in. From the byline, he gets the ball into the box, but it can't quite find the head of Palacio.
Genoa come forward now with Birsa. He's within 30 yards of the Milan goal, and looks to play Palacio through. Nesta though, reads the pass, and comes across to clear for the Rossoneri.
Nesta has it for Milan in the centre back position. He plays it forward into the feet of El Shaarawy, but the youngster's touch is a poor one, and the ball goes out for a throw in on the right-hand side.
OHHH. That is poor from Genoa. Palacio came forward for the Grifone, and on the edge of the area, laid in Kucka. Instead of shooting first time though, he takes a touch, and gives Nesta enough time to come across and block the effort.
Genoa looked to go forward down the left with Kucka, but Abate nicked the ball on the halfway line and released El Shaarawy. The former Genoa man comes forward, but it stopped mid-flight as Granqvist comes in with a crunching challenge.
30 yards from goal, Ibrahimovic gets bundled over by Birsa, and a free kick is given. Ibra takes it, but it's headed away. The header though, is only as far as Muntari, who fires a shot at goal. The shot is sliced wide of the left-hand post, much to Frey's delight.
The corner is played short, but on the return pass, the linesman flag is up for offside. An early schoolboy error from Milan.
Muntari slaloms his way past Jankovic and Biondini inside the centre circle, and gives it to Antonini on the left-hand touchline. The Italian comes forward with the ball, but his cross is deflected out for a corner.
Nesta receives it at centre back, and plays a long ball up towards Ibrahimovic. Kaladze though, gets above the Swede and heads clear.
Milan get us underway then, kicking from right-to-left.
Here we go then. The players are just shaking hands, with kick off literally moments away.
As always, I'm @alexjmott on Twitter, and I'd love to hear your comments/predictions/thoughts on anything Serie A.
Genoa (4-4-2): Frey; Granqvist, Kaladze, Moretti, Birsa; Kucka, Jankovic, Biondini, Belluschi; Sculli, Palacio.
Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Yepes, Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Muntari; Emanuelson; El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic.
TEAM NEWS: For Milan, El Shaarawy and Emanuelson start, with Yepes coming in at centre back. For Genoa, Sculli starts up front after that confrontation with the Ultras on Sunday.
Milan though, aren't on the best run themselves. They've picked up just eight points in their last five games, and are without a win in their previous two games at San Siro.
If I was a betting man, and I am, I'd say this is a nailed-on Milan win. Genoa are without a win in their last 12 games. 12! And have conceded 13 goals in their previous five games. This is though, Luigi De Canio's first game in charge since taking over, and we've seen before teams raising their game when new bosses come in.
This is of course, is the first game since *that* incident on Sunday. In case you've been living under a rock for three days, a group of Genoa ultras demanded that the players take off their shirts during the Grifone's game with Siena, as they were 'unworthy of the shirt'. Since then, coach Malesani has been sacked, Genoa have to play the remainder of their home games behind-closed-doors, and everyone's a little bit outraged. Italian football eh?
When I say crucial, I mean CRUCIAL. For Milan, a loss here, and they can probably wave goodbye to their Scudetto aspirations. For Genoa, they are dangerously close to the relegation zone, and are on the verge of joining their city rivals Sampdoria in Serie B next season.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE, play-by-play coverage, of Milan vs Genoa from San Siro. I'm Alex Mott, and I'll be your commentator for this crucial Serie A clash.
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