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February 8, 2012
• Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
Referee: P. Mazzoleni
• Attendance: 31384
Well, that's just about it from me, folks. Thank you for following the game on Goal.com and hope to see you again for the weekend's Serie A action. Until then, stay classy.
And there's the full-time whistle!! Juventus have triumphed 2-1 at San Siro after what ultimately became an absorbing contest. The Bianconeri had the better of a doubt first half and deservedly took the lead through debutant Caceres. Milan responded brilliantly, though, and levelled through El Shaarawy but Caceres came up with a goal worthy of winning any game to nick it for Juve.
90' + 1'
El Shaarawy tries his luck from distance. However, it deflects off Robinho and goes harmlessly wide. Robinho's claiming Storari says otherwise. End result: kick-out for Juve.
We're going to have two minutes of added time.
Chance for Lopez ... No, the Argentine is offside. To be honest, though, it looked like the former Catania man had made a mess of the opening by showing too much of the ball to Storari.
Antonini finds some space down the left flank once more but this time his cross is easily cleared. The game now being played almost entirely in the Juventus half. The Bianconeri are looking solid, though.
Mark van Bommel
Allegri has responded to that cracking goal from Caceres by throwing on Maxi Lopez for van Bommel. Can the Rossoneri salvage a draw in this first leg clash?
Goal Martín Cáceres
GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! IT'S CACERES AGAIN - AND IT'S A BEAUTY!!!!!!! Vucinic releases Giaccherini down the left-hand side. The winger's cross is cut out by Ambrosini but the midfielder's header only goes as far as Caceres, who returns it with interest, the Uruguayan curling the ball past Amelia from the edge of the area. What a goal from Caceres! What a debut!
However, Robinho's corner is absolutely abysmal. The fraudulent Brazilian fails to even get the ball over Giaccherini, who was standing just ten metres away.
Antonini emerges with the ball from the back and leads a terrific surge forward, eventually earning his side a corner with his fantastic endeavour.
Giaccherini breaks away down the right flank but he has nobody up with him in support and his attempted cross to his nonexistant team-mates is, unsurprisingly, easily collected by Amelia.
Mayhem in the Milan penalty area as Vucinic tries to get a shot away but the sub just cannot bring the ball under his control. The Rossoneri lucky to survive that scare.
Sloppy play from Ambrosini allows Juve to attack through Vucinic, who then tries to sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box. Amelia cannot hold it but Quagliarella is unable to pounce on the rebound and Milan clear.
Yellow Card Fabio Quagliarella
Quagliarella and Vucinic combine well but then Quagliarella is dispossessed by Thiago Silva and the forward then picks up a booking for going right through the classy Italian defender.
Another chance for Ibra, who finds some space in the area only to see his shot blocked by Barzagli. The ball comes back to him once more and he tries his look for a second time only to see Chiellini make a terrific last-ditch intervention. Juve now hanging on. What a turnaround!
IBRA SCORES!!!!! ... BUT NO, IT'S BEEN RULED OUT! Van Bommel's shot from the edge of the box ricochets into the path of the striker and he coolly slots the ball past Storari into the bottom right corner of the net. However, the referee has ruled that the ball struck Ibra's hand. He's not complaining too much, so it must have been the right call.
Double change for Juve in response to Milan's equaliser, with Del Piero and Borriello making way for Quagliarella and Vucinic up top.
Alessandro Del Piero
We've got ourselves a decent game now. Borriello releases Del Piero with a terrific lay-off but the No.10 just did not have the legs to get away from the Milan defence. Del Piero tries to cut back inside onto his right foot but he loses possession under pressure from Mexes.
Goal Stephan El Shaarawy
GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL! Well, that had been coming. Not for long, but it had been coming all the same. Ibra drops deep once more before playing a lovely ball down the line for Antonini. The left-back stands the ball up to the back post for Ambrosini, who cleverly heads it back across the goal for El Shaarawy to tap home. Game on!
Ibra's definitely come to life anyway. The former Juve man bamboozles a couple of Bianconeri defenders with some terrific footwork before backheeling the ball into the path of Ambrosini only to see the ball cleared.
In fairness, Milan have lifted themselves after falling behind and van Bommel has just volleyed wide from the edge of the area. More improvement required, though, no doubt about that.
Milan earn themslves a free-kick on the left-hand side and Ibrahimovic tries his luck from distances. However, the Swede never really got a hold of that one and his low, bouncing effort is easily dealt with by Storari.
Goal Martín Cáceres
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL! Juve finally make the breakthrough. The ball is played through for Padoin, but he collides with Thiago Silva and the ball rolls free for Borriello. The striker's shot is stopped by Amelia but Caceres is on hand to tap in the rebound. Fully deserved opening goal for the Bianconeri.
Del Piero is hassled and harried by Ambrosini but he remains calm and plays a one-two before curling high and wide.
Great ball in from Del Piero but Ambrosini manages to clear. Juve threatening once more, so we've pretty much picked up where we left off at the end of the first half.
Yellow Card Philippe Mexes
Another yellow card for the Rossoneri and this time it's gone to Mexes, who inexplicably decided to go straight through the back of Borriello when the ball was just simply not there to be won.
Milan get us back up and running at San Siro. No changes for either side, it seems.
Right, the players are just in the tunnel now so we'll be back underway in a few moments or so. Let's pray this game improves in the second period.
And that's half-time, folks. Not a great game, it has to be said, but Juventus boss Antonio Conte will be pretty pleased with what he's seen. The visitors have been much the better side. The Bianconeri have not had that many chances but Milan have created absolutely nothing.
It's a poor set-piece, though, and Milan clear easily. Just a minute of normal time to be added at the end of a first half which has yet to really catch fire.
Van Bommel dives in on Pirlo. The Dutchman is protesting his innocence, claiming he got the ball, but this will be a good chance for Juve to get the ball into the box with half-time approaching ...
Yellow Card Massimo Ambrosini
Ambrosini cynically drags back Caceres, who's gotten up and down this right flank well so far tonight, and that's a booking for the Milan midfielder.
The subsequent set-piece eventually drops for Padoin but his snap shot from the edge of the area flies harmlessly wide.
Great ball forward by Barzagli is taken by on the side of his foot by Del Piero, who then attempts to cut inside Mexes only to see the covering van Bommel clear for a corner.
The Brazilian centre-half just lost his footing as he was intercepting an attempted through ball and appeared to strain a leg muscle. Doesn't appear to be anything too serious, though, and he looks set to continue in a moment or two.
Worrying scenes for Milan as Thiago Silva's currently down injured.
WONDERFUL SAVE! Giaccherini cuts inside onto his right foot and tries his luck from distance. He very nearly gets lucky too as his strike takes a deflection but Amelia does brilliantly well to tip the looping shot over the bar. Milan rocking at the minute.
SO CLOSE FOR JUVE! Giaccherini finds himself in space in the left-hand side of the penalty area. His first shot on goal is blocked but he gets a second bite at the cherry only to slice the ball wide. Del Piero is furious with the winger for not squaring the ball as he would have had just one Milan defender on the line to beat.
Ambrosini does really well to earn Milan a corner, which then causes havoc in the Juventus defence before the ball is cleared. Zlatan's not happy (nothing new there!) as he felt he was being held.
Close call there as Del Piero shows good strength to win a header, which drops to Borriello on the edge of the box. The Bianconeri forward falls to the floor once more under pressure from Thiago Silva but the referee doesn't want to know.
Del Piero floats the ball to the back post but Estigarribia is unable to get on the end of it. Juve still on top, though.
Caceres loses his footing and Ibrahimovic pounces on the loose ball before slipping it infield to Seedorf. But again the move breaks down. Just on Caceres, he's been reasonably prominent down this right flank so far. Padoin's also slotted in well.
Seedorf wrongfoots former team-mate Pirlo but the Dutch veteran's midfield into the box is desperately poor. Juve try to counter, with Pirlo leading the charge forward, but Antonini eventually clears for the hosts. Mexes currently down at the moment, though.
Juventus on the offensive again down the right-hand side and the ball is pulled back to the edge of the area to Estigarribia. He tries his luck but the less said about that effort the better.
Plenty of big hits going in now. The first involved the referee and van Bommel and, remarkably, it was the Dutchman who ended up on the deck. Moments later, Pirlo collides with Ibra. Only one winner there but Ibra wanted a free. No dice, much to the Swede's annoyance.
Milan have a decent chance to counter when van Bommel wins the ball inside his own half and releases El Shaaraway but the youngster's attempted pass to Ibrahimovic is easily cut out. Milan really yet to get going tonight.
Borriello involved twice more in quick succession. First, the on-loan Roma forward collapses in the area and appeals for a penalty - on what grounds, I have no idea. Moments later, Pirlo steps inside van Bommel and tries to play a one-two with Borriello - but to no avail.
Barzagli cuts out an attempted cross to Ibra at the far post and the ball ultimately arrives at the feet of the van Bommel, but he is unable to pick out El Shaarawy's run in behind the Bianconeri rearguard.
Better from Milan. Ibrahimovic makes a bit of a nuisance of himself on the edge of the Juventus box and the ball hops up for Seedorf who controls before spinning and then getting a volley away. Always going wide, though.
Juventus, who are actually playing a 3-5-2, have really imposed themselves on this one and are looking very comfortable in possession. Milan currently struggling to string more than a couple of passes together.
Del Piero leaves Mexes for dead with some nimble footwork but the World Cup winner is then crowded out in the area. Juve doing all the pressing at the minute.
Juventus have definitely settled the better of the two and the first shot of the game comes from the visitors, but Borriello's long-range effort was never troubling Amelia. Still, the former Rossoneri forward looks lively enough early doors.
Pretty subdued start to the game. Borriello embarked on a strong surge forward but tried a one-two with Del Piero but the No.10's attempted flick did not come off.
Del Piero and Borriello tip off and we're up and running at San Siro.
Right so, nearly time for kick off at a bitterly cold San Siro. Plenty of changes to both sides but this should be a great game nonetheless, with both coaches having talked up the importance of striking a psychological blow against their principal Scudetto rivals.
As for the Bianconeri, there is a start for legendary No.10 Alessandro Del Piero, who scored one of his trademark curlers in the previous round against Roma, while Antonio Conte has followed through on his promise to start Martin Caceres, Simone Padoin and Marco Borriello, all of whom arrived in Turin during the January transfer window.
So, the big news there is obviously that Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri has decided to start with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who on Monday was suspended for Milan's next three games in Serie A for slapping Salvatore Aronica in the face during last weekend's 0-0 draw at San Siro. Stephan El Shaarawy will get another chance to shine after being recalled alongside the Swede. Urby Emanuelson is also back in the mix, while Marco Amelia takes over in goal from Christian Abbiati, who was forced over during the interval on Sunday.
As for the visitors, Juve are going with 4-2-4 tonight: Storari; Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Pirlo, Padoin; Giaccherini, Borriello, Del Piero, Estigarribia.
And here is the Milan starting line-up: Amelia; Bonera, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Emanuelson; Seedorf; Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy.
Right, with the pleasantries out of the way, let's move on to the team news. However, before we do so, I'd just like to let you know - in case you have not already heard - that Fabio Capello, who has previously coached both of the sides in action at the Giuseppe Meazza tonight, has just stepped down as England coach. Keep up to date with that sensational breaking news elsewhere on our sight. Here, though, we're going to focus on Milan versus Juventus.
Good evening, folks, and welcome to Goal.com’s LIVE commentary of the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final clash between AC Milan and Juventus at San Siro. I’m Mark Doyle and, as ever, feel free to get in touch via Twitter by addressing your thoughts on the game to @goal_intl.
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