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October 27, 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 33046
S. El Shaarawy 77'
Milan return to Serie A action on Tuesday night when they travel to face Palermo whilst Genoa will look to bounce back at home to Fiorentina on Thursday. Remember that the clocks go back tonight and with that I'm off. Good night!
Although he wasn't at his sharpest, it is another positive for Milan that Alexandre Pato came through 72 minutes unscathed. If they can get him fit, he could merge a devastating partnership with the ever-improving Stephan El Shaarawy.
As for Genoa, it will take time for Luigi Del Neri to stamp his authority on this side but there is certainly work to be done. Genoa's woeful run at Milan continues.
FULL TIME. MILAN 1 - 0 GENOA. It's a vital three points for the Rossoneri who have relieved some of the pressure from coach Massimiliano Allegri with that win. It wasn't the prettiest of victories and it certainly wasn't the most fluid of performances but it is a result which steers Milan away from the relegation zone and up to eighth place.
90' + 3'
Heart-in-mouth moment for Milan as Cristobal Jorquero lofts a ball over the defence for Ciro Immobile. However, the linesman's flag is raised and Milan breathe a sigh of relief. One minute remaining.
90' + 1'
There will be FOUR minutes of stoppage time. Can Genoa spoil the Milan party at the death?
Both sides struggling to string their passes together in the closing stages. El Shaarawy is on the turf and will receive some treatment. In truth, he has run his socks off for Milan today, certainly one of their better performers.
Final change for the Rossoneri as Antonio Nocerino is sent on to help Milan shore up the midfield. Emanuelson is the man who goes off.
Genoa are showing no signs of restoring parity here. Despite their defensive resilience, they have struggled to hold onto the ball and look toothless up front. Much work to be done for Luigi Del Neri it seems.
Much better from Milan! Kevin Constant picks out Emanuelson on the edge of the box but he cannot quite keep his rasping left-footed drive down and the ball narrowly evades the crossbar.
Milan are looking to wrap up the three points and El Shaarawy sends Emanuelson away with an early through ball. However, Frey is alert to the danger and is quickly off his line to clear.
Milan continue to keep up the pressure and Zapata narrowly heads wide from El Shaarawy's cross. Ten minutes remaining.
Assist Ignazio Abate
Goal Stephan El Shaarawy
THE DEADLOCK HAS FINALLY BEEN BROKEN! Who else but Stephan El Shaarawy?! Emanuelson splits the defence with an incisive pass, allowing Abate to slide a low cross along the six-yard box where the birthday boy is waiting to convert from close range. It's a huge goal for Allegri but the 20-year-old fails to celebrate his sixth league goal of the season. Are Milan on course for their third league win?
All Milan hope seems to be directed towards El Shaarawy who sends a rasping effort over the crossbar.
Yellow Card Mario Yepes
The ball is laid off to Tozser but his drive hits the Milan wall and from the rebound, Merkel slices an effort wide.
Mario Yepes receives a yellow card for a nasty tackle on Jankovic. Freekick in an inviting area for Genoa here.
Pato's comeback has lasted 72 minutes. The Brazilian receives a warm round of applause as he is replaced by Giampaolo Pazzini. Can the former Inter talisman decide this contest?
Daniel Toszer tries his luck from the edge of the box but Amelia makes a smart save to his left. The search for that elusive opener continues.
Milan have only mustered one shot on target so far. Something's got to change...
Milan win a corner when El Shaarawy's shot deflects wide but the Genoa defence once again head clear from the resulting set-piece. Pazzini strips off on the sideline.
Substitution for Genoa as Luka Kranjic replaces Emiliano Moretti.
Stephan El Shaarawy is trying his best to spur on this lacklustre Milan side but cannot quite control Emanuelson's low cross. 25 minutes remaining at Giuseppe Meazza.
Emanuelson does well to cut inside his marker from the right but sends a wild curling effort wide of Frey's goal. The home crowd are beginning to grow uneasy.
Alexander Merkel attempts a pot-shot from range but it is easily saved by Amelia.
Milan are dominating possession but cannot convert it into chances. They are lacking that creative spark at the moment and lack conviction down the flanks. Allegri must surely be contemplating a second substitution.
Yellow Card Cesare Bovo
Cesare Bovo is the next name in the referee's notebook for a foul on Alexandre Pato.
Genoa have a chance to launch the ball into the Milan box from a freekick but the referee adjudges that Merkel fouled Bonera.
First Genoa substitution as Andrea Bertolacci is replaced by Kazakhstani-born German midfielder Alexander Merkel.
Milan appeal for a penalty when De Jong goes down under a shove from Granqvist but the ball breaks for Abate whose low drive is saved by the legs of Frey. Genoa are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment.
Riccardo Montolivo tries to bundle his way into the Genoa box but is prevented by an excellent tackle from Moretti. This Genoa defence has been impenetrable so far.
Urby Emanuelson has the chance to pick out a Milan shirt from a set-piece but his cross is wastefully overhit for a Genoa goalkick. Not a game for the football purist this.
Genoa have hardly tested Marco Amelia so far and that stays the same as Juraj Kucka's ambitious piledriver flashes high and wide.
Both sides are a little sloppy in possession at the moment. Who can find that piece of genius to spring this game to life?
Milan are the quickest out of the blocks and Alexandre Pato tricks his way past a defender down the right-hand side but cannot quite pick out Kevin Constant on the back post.
The players are back out for the second half. Let's hope for a bit more goalmouth action!
At this chilly time of year, not only do the clocks go back but the footballs also change too. Today has seen the introduction of the yellow Nike Maxim Hi-Vis ball across the Barclays Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. Definitely one to brighten up the eyes!
It took an 86th-minute strike from Kevin Prince Boateng to seal this tie last season. Will Milan find a way past a defence which has conceded 12 goals in eight league games so far?
Stephan El Shaarawy is looking to inspire this rather subdued Milan side to victory but the Genoa defence has come up trumps so far. What are your thoughts on the game? Let me know via Twitter @MaxBentley1.
HALF TIME AT GIUSEPPE MEAZZA. MILAN 0 - 0 GENOA. A rather dull encounter so far with chances few and far between. Allegri's side have looked the more threatening but they are just lacking that final pass. Luigi Del Neri will be hoping for things to continue as his side have frustrated Milan in this opening period.
45' + 2'
Nigel De Jong has been a rock in midfield and a crunching challenge leaves Bosko Jankovic in a heap. He lays the ball to Pato, who tries to bundle his way past defenders but loses out. It's been a difficult 45 minutes for the returning Brazilian, he certainly looks a little rusty.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of this first half.
Kevin Constant makes a brilliant interception and raids down the left-hand wing before feeding in Pato. The Brazilian finds himself surrounded by defenders and goes to ground appealing for a penalty, but Paolo Mazzoleni waves play on.
Luca Antonini's game is over and he is set to be replaced by Guinean midfielder Kevin Constant. Down the other end, Andrea Bertolacci also seems to be in some discomfort.
Milan looking to break the deadlock before the break and they come within inches when El Shaarawy's low cross flashes across goal. Where were the Milan shirts to meet it?
Emanuelson plays a glorious ball over the top for Pato, splitting the Genoa defence and with El Shaarawy screaming for the ball in the middle, the Brazilian's cross frustratingly fails to beat the first man. El Shaarawy is livid with his strike partner, that really should have been a goal.
Yellow Card Andrea Bertolacci
Andrea Bertolacci receives the first caution of the game for a mistimed lunge on Luca Antonini.
El Shaarawy tries to play a one-two with Pato on the edge of the box but Granqvist steps in to nick the ball away. El Shaarawy is looking the most likely to open the scoring for Milan at this moment, his quick turn of pace causing problems.
Alexandre Pato goes down under a challenge from Cesare Bovo and the former Roma defender can perhaps count himself fortunate not to receive a yellow card. Mintues later Pato is again sent tumbling, this time by Granqvist. The Genoa defence have not allowed the Brazilian much time on the ball in this opening period.
Genoa are again disorganised from the corner as De Jong is given a free shot at goal from the edge of the box but contrives to scuff his effort into the shins of the nearest Genoa defender.
That's the best we have seen from El Shaarawy so far. The birthday boy coming deep to collect the ball before surging past two defenders and sending a shot towards goal which is deflected wide.
Good chance for Milan. Genoa are sleeping from the corner as Emanuelson plays it short to Antonelli. The left wing-back sends in a deep cross but an unmarked Mario Yepes can only head over the bar.
Montolivo sends a ball to the back post, looking for the run of Antonini but his header is weak and comfortably saved by Sebastien Frey.
Genoa have a good opening when Bosko Jankovic marauds down the right flank but his cutback is excellently intercepted by a backtracking El Shaarawy. The Griffin are slowly starting to settle into this game.
Zapata is once again at fault as he fails to control a high ball and has Daniele Bonera to thank for cutting out Andrea Bertolacci's through ball. The Colombian defender has looked a bit shaky so far.
Nigel De Jong wins a crucial tackle to send Milan on a promising counter-attack, however Emauelson's pass is wastefully overhit. Pato and El Shaarawy had got into good positions in the box as well.
As I say that, Genoa go close to taking the lead. Christian Zapata is caught in possession inside his own penalty box, allowing Luca Antonelli to steal in and cross for Ciro Immobile, whose shot ricochets off Amelia and behind. Real let-off for Zapata there.
Chance of a breakaway for Milan but Riccardo Montolivo's pass, intended for Alexandre Pato, is underhit. Genoa yet to get going in this game.
Urby Emanuelson whips in an inviting freekick from the left but Cesare Bovo rises highest to clear the danger. Milan on top at the moment.
Nigel De Jong finds Alexandre Pato in space on the edge of the box but the Brazilian's first touch is poor and a promising move breaks down.
Luigi Del Neri takes the opportunity to shout orders at his players. I must say, he rather suits that Genoa jacket.
Early pause in play as Luca Antonini takes a whack to the face. He will be fine to continue though.
Bosko Jankovic spanks a swerving long-range freekick towards goal but it is too central and Amelia makes a comfortable save.
Nigel De Jong is caught dallying in possession but Juraj Kucka's interception runs straight into the hands of Marco Amelia.
Ignazio Abate sends a teasing ball into the box but the danger is read expertly by Andreas Granqvist who heads the ball to safety.
Bright start by Milan but no chances to report of just yet. I'm sure that will change soon though...
Massimiliano Allegri is already out of his seat and chanting orders from the sideline. The spotlight is well and truly on the Milan coach this evening.
Stephan El Shaarawy goes on his first mazy run of the day but is halted by a good tackle from Emiliano Moretti.
Early pressure from the away side but Mario Yepes stays calm to play his way out of trouble.
The Milan fans are in fine voice as Paolo Mazzoleni gets the game underway!
Genoa have not won at Milan for 55 years. Can they snatch a win against an out-of-form Rossoneri today? Kick-off awaits...
There is a return to the starting eleven for Alexandre Pato, whose last start came over eight months ago in the Champions League defeat to Barcelona. Birthday boy Stephan El Shaarawy, who turns 20 today, also starts against his boyhood club, where he became the fourth youngest player to play in the Serie A at only 16 years of age.
GENOA (4-4-2): Frey; Sampirisi, Bovo, Granqvist, Moretti; Jankovic, Kucka, Tozser, Antonelli; Bertolacci, Immobile.
MILAN (3-4-3): Amelia; Zapata, Bonera, Yepes; Abate, De Jong, Montolivo, Antonini; Emanuelson, Pato, El Shaarawy.
Here is tonight's team news...
In a week which has seen the departure of one manager and the increased pressure on another, both AC Milan and Genoa will be looking to bounce back to winning ways after suffering losses against Lazio and Roma respectively. Having let a two-goal lead slip at home to Roma last weekend, Luigi De Canio was sacked by the Genoa board and replaced with former Sampdoria coach Luigi Del Neri. Milan have endured their worst league start in 71 years but Massimiliano Allegri has received the backing of Adriano Galliani and hopes to lead the Rossoneri to only their third league win of the season. From the Giuseppe Meazza, I bring you Milan vs Genoa. My name is Max Bentley and I'll be keeping you up-to-date with all the news. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and predictions on Twitter @MaxBentley1.
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