Sunday, December 7, 2008

Milan 1 - 0 Catania

Serie A Week 15 - 7/12/08 (14.00 UK)
Milan 1 - 0 Catania
Kaka 65 (M)
Stadio Meazza

Kaka snatched a crucial victory that keeps Milan in the title race, but it was tough going against Catania.

The Rossoneri plunged into crisis this week, as after disappointing draws with Portsmouth, Torino and Lecce, they crumbled to two straight defeats. The 3-1 thrashing at Palermo left them six points off the leaders and Wednesday's 2-1 extra time Coppa Italia exit to Lazio thumped confidence further. Catania weren't doing too well either with one point from their last two games, but they held Milan to two 1-1 draws last season.

Coach Walter Zenga was suspended for insulting the referee, joining Matias Silvestre in the stands, while Christian Terlizzi and Cristian Llama were injured. The home side missed Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf, Pippo Inzaghi, Andrea Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Alessandro Nesta and Marco Borriello, but welcomed back Kaka and Gennaro Gattuso.

Andriy Shevchenko's diving header turned a Kaka cross over the bar, then he would've been clear on goal had Alexandre Pato calibrated the pass correctly. Pato's free kick reached Paolo Maldini for a volley that was heading into the far bottom corner before Albano Bizzarri got a hand to it for a great save.

However, at the other end moments later Giuseppe Mascara unleashed a daisy-cutter that cannoned off the inside of the upright! Less than 60 seconds later, Kaka also hit the woodwork with a similar shot from outside the box thanks to Bizzarri's fingertip save!

Emerson nodded a Pato corner on to the roof of the net and Bizzarri turned a Kaka snapshot on to the side-netting.

There was a great chance on the counter when Kaka flew up the field and sent Sheva out wide, but the Ukrainian tried to pass it back to his teammate rather than go for goal and it was put out for a corner.

Milan were peppering the Catania goal with shots and before half-time Bizzarri smothered a Marek Jankulovski screamer, while Pato was perhaps harshly booked for simulation.

Mathieu Flamini accidentally clattered into Emerson and the Brazilian had to be replaced at half-time by Giuseppe Favalli, moving Gianluca Zambrotta into wide midfield.

Kaka dumped Pablo Ledesma in the box by rolling the ball around with the sole of his foot and the curling finish was inches wide.

On 64 minutes a stunning Pato free kick of rare power was fingertipped out from under the bar by an acrobatic Bizzarri! From the resulting corner, Kaka's header seemed like an assist for Shevchenko, but he was anticipated by a defender's ankle and left the goalkeeper stranded!

Pato at full stretch couldn't quite reach Kaka's pass, then Flamini's shot was deflected wide. From a Catania corner Kaka sparked the counter, but his cross flashed past both Jankulovski and Shevchenko from six yards.

For all their opportunities, Milan nearly conceded an equaliser, as Giuseppe Mascara's header brought a desperate one-handed flying save out of Christian Abbiati.

Gattuso was booked for a sliding tackle and will be suspended for next week's crunch tie with Juventus. Catania wanted a penalty in stoppages for Kakha Kaladze's handling offence, but it was ball-to-hand and the referee waved play on.


Milan: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Emerson (Favalli 46), Flamini; Kaka, Shevchenko (Antonini 81), Pato

Catania: Bizzarri; Silvestri, Stovini, Terlizzi (Tedesco 63); Sardo, Ledesma, Carboni, Biagianti (Plasmati 68), Sabato; Mascara; Paolucci (Martinez 74)

Ref: Gervasoni

Channel 4


Mas Java said...

Though dominated the game Milan had to work hard to get a score, bravo Milan keep on track, let's get the title for this season. And for this owner's blog thanks for the chance to leave comment here, sucsses for you!
by masjava,