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The Archive

September 2011

Boateng set for Juventus comeback
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng is winning his battle to be fit in time for Sunday’s Juventus-Milan clash.

The Ghanaian has been struggling with muscular problems for several weeks, but took part in the full training session today and the game between ranks.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri had also suggested there was “a good chance” of seeing Boateng face Juve this weekend.

It would be a huge boost for the Rossoneri, who have been dealing with an injury crisis all month.

Gennaro Gattuso, Robinho, Massimo Ambrosini, Alexandre Pato, Philippe Mexes, Mathieu Flamini and teenage striker Kingsley Boateng are not expected to recover in time.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luca Antonini made their comebacks in last night’s 2-0 win over Viktoria Plzen, while Daniele Bonera is also ready to play.

There are concerns over Ignazio Abate, who had a slight muscular problem during that Champions League tie.

Prandelli looks at Juventus - AC Milan
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cesare Prandelli laughs off recent criticism of Giorgio Chiellini and looks ahead to Juventus-Milan. “It’s going to be very interesting.”

The Italy Coach was asked for his predictions on Sunday night’s big Scudetto showdown.

“One set of players have the Scudetto symbol on their chests, the other is trying with great determination to get back to the top of Italian football after a few years that ended badly,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“They are two important teams and without doubt it is going to be a very interesting match.”

The media has been harsh towards Juventus defender Chiellini so far this season, but Prandelli has not lost faith in the Italian international.

“Chiellini is a guarantee. Andrea Barzagli is also doing well in the Juve defence. As for Milan, Antonio Cassano has been strong since the start of the season, so he just needs to keep it consistent.”

Ibrahimovic: 'Bring on Juventus!'
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic insists he “feels fine” and cannot wait to face his former club Juventus.

The Swedish international returned from a thigh strain in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Viktoria Plzen, scoring one and creating another.

“It was a very important win and, above all, my first goal since the injury,” Ibra told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I am feeling fine and hope to be even better on Sunday. I played the entire game and didn’t feel any problems.

“On Sunday evening it’s Juve, my old club. It is going to be a tough match, but we will go to Turin in order to win.”

Seedorf tired of talking past boos
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf has thanked the Milan crowd for the standing ovation they gave him on Wednesday night, and claimed he is tired of talking about the boos.

The Dutchman played 71 minutes of the Champions League contest with Viktoria Plzen. He has now started every game of the season so far, but admitted when reflecting on the game that he has yet to fully recover from a knee injury.

“It was a good game, we got the first victory in the Champions League and there is much joy. The knee is better, it takes two more weeks to heal completely: it is a bit delicate, but I can play, and well, and so for now it is ok.

“The Juventus match is very timely, we are both well and will be a great match.”

Seedorf was then asked how it felt to receive a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd, with consideration to past years that have seen him booed.

“In 10 years the public have cheered for me 95% of the time I have been here, I'm tired of talking of the past few boos.”

Antonini: 'Referee apologised to me'
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luca Antonini made his comeback in Milan’s “important” win over Viktoria and reveals “the referee apologised to me.”

The full-back had a great scoring opportunity in the first half cut short by an incorrect offside call.

“At the end of the first half the referee apologised to me for that offside decision. It was impossible, as I was coming from behind the line,” Antonini told Sky Sport Italia after the 2-0 victory.

“It was important to get the three points today, we managed it and kept a clean sheet. We could’ve sealed it before the break with all the chances we created, but did well to continue pushing in the second half.

“To begin with we suffered under Viktoria’s counter-attacks, as we wanted to open them up straight away and became unbalanced.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic also returned from injury and inspired Milan by converting a penalty and setting up Antonio Cassano’s goal.

“Ibra is decisive for us and tonight you saw that, as every ball thrown in there is his. He gives us great confidence and then did very well combining with Cassano.”

Antonini went off in the final minutes after suffering from cramp.

Allegri fears fatigue factor
29.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was glad to have Zlatan Ibrahimovic back, but warned Milan’s fatigue will show against Juventus on Sunday.

The Rossoneri beat Viktoria Plzen 2-0 at San Siro with Ibra’s penalty and Antonio Cassano scored the 2,000th Milan goal in the Silvio Berlusconi era, which began in 1986.

“It is an important victory to give consistency to what we did in Barcelona,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We alternated good things with not so good, but overall the win was deserved. Ibrahimovic is an important player and can give great physical presence to the side.”

Ibra had been out of action since before the Barcelona match due to a thigh strain, but played the entire 90 minutes along with an increasingly-tired Cassano.

“When you win, then it helps even physical recovery to speed up. However, for a month we’ve been playing with the same men and so many games in quick succession. Once again this evening we struggled towards the end with fatigue.

“If Robinho and Alexandre Pato recover for Juventus, then it means I’d have more options, or at least the opportunity to rest someone.

“It is a difficult game on Sunday, even if it’s early to talk about it. Juventus have the big advantage of playing only once a week, while we will certainly feel the after-effects of this strain.”

Barcelona conquered BATE Borisov 5-0 in the other Group H tie.

Champions League: AC Milan 2:0 Viktoria Plzen - match report
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Ibrahimovic pen 53 (M), Cassano 66 (M)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one and set up Antonio Cassano's goal as Milan beat Viktoria Plzen 2-0.

The Rossoneri welcomed back Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Luca Antonini from injury, though Antonio Cassano was the only other available striker. Robinho, Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Philippe Mexes and the suspended Gennaro Gattuso were out, plus Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy were not on the UEFA list. Czech champions Viktoria were surprise qualifiers and only missed goalkeeper Roman Pavlik, who still wasn't back since July.

Viktoria had the first chance and a wonderful one it was too, as a Marek Bakos diving header was going to the far bottom corner before Christian Abbiati's fingertip save in the opening three minutes.

Moments later Ibra pulled back for Cassano and his first-time shot was parried by Marek Cech's legs from point-blank range.

Cassano tested the goalkeeper again from the edge of the box, while Ibrahimovic at full stretch couldn't control a Clarence Seedorf ball over the top. Petr Jiracek wasted a promising Viktoria counter-attack by firing well wide.

An Ignazio Abate cross beat Cassano, but found Ibrahimovic totally unmarked at the back post. He controlled and smashed the powerful strike that Cech somehow palmed over the bar from point-blank range.

Jiracek was caught in possession on the edge of his own box, but Ibrahimovic fired straight at the goalkeeper. At he other end a slick Viktoria passing move released Pavel Horvath, but his finish was well wide to waste a great chance.

Seedorf flashed a ball across the face of goal with nobody ready to tap in. Straight after the restart it was Urby Emanuelson's turn to balloon over the bar.

On 52 minutes Ibra flicked up the ball to turn Cisovsky, who stuck out an arm to block. The referee pointed to the spot and Ibrahimovic sent Cech the wrong way to put Milan in front, though Max Allegri didn't see it, as he refused to watch. Cisovsky had already been booked, but was not shown a second yellow card.

It was Ibrahimovic's 24th goal in 79 Champions League games.

Some Ibrahimovic flicks sent a flying pass to Seedorf, who set up Cassano only for the Italian to fire over. At the other end Abbiati did well to palm the cross off Bakos' head and block the follow-up from Horvath.

Milan doubled their lead with a moment of Ibra magic, as his glorious first touch brought down a long ball and immediately sent Cassano through, as FantAntonio delicately chipped it over the on-rushing keeper. It was his first Champions League goal since 2004.

Cassano tried to return the favour with a volleyed pass, but David Bystron was at full stretch to intercept and stop Ibrahimovic going clear. Antonini limped off with cramp to make way for Taye Taiwo.

Alberto Aquilani attempted an audacious rabona shot from nine yards, but only succeeded in hitting a defender in the face.

Viktoria substitute Michal Duris had a great chance in the final six minutes from point-blank range, but Thiago Silva stuck a foot in to deflect it over the bar. A sliding Bystron tackle stopped Cassano getting a third with the last kick of the game.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate (De Sciglio 87), Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Taiwo 78); Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf (Aquilani 70); Emanuelson; Cassano, Ibrahimovic

Viktoria Plzen: Cech; Rajtoral, Cisovsky, Bystron, Limbersky; Pilar (Fillo 75), Jiracek, Horvath, Kolar (Darida 91), Petrzela; Bakos (Duris 67)

Ref: Meyer (Ger)

Champions League: AC Milan vs. Viktoria Plzen lineups
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Emanuelson; Cassano, Ibrahimovic
Milan bench: Amelia, Taiwo, Bonera, De Sciglio, Yepes, Aquilani, Ganz

Viktoria Plzen: Cech; Rajtoral, Cisovsky, Bystron, Limbersky; Pilar, Jiracek, Horvath, Kolar, Petrzela; Bakos
Viktoria bench: Pavlik, Reznik, Sevinsky, Trapp, Fillo, Darida, Duris

'Emotional' Mexes comeback
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Philippe Mexes was “very emotional” at making his comeback after more than five months out, playing for the Milan youth team.

As there are no reserve sides in Serie A, players returning from injury tend to play in the Primavera youth league, so Mexes took part in today’s 3-1 defeat to Chievo.

“It was very emotional stepping back on the pitch after five and a half months out,” the ex-Roma defender told Milannews.it.

“My first sensations were positive, though the most important thing for me was to start playing with a team again.

“As for recovery time, I am ahead of schedule and have been progressing well during the rehabilitation programme.

“Knee surgery is always delicate and requires a lot of time and willpower to come back from. I played 45 minutes today because that was what my body was capable of.

“Now I need more time to get the movements right on the field, but I’m confident I made a big step towards being available. After the break for international duty I should be 90 per cent ready.”

Jankulovski analyses AC Milan opponents
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marek Jankulovski analyses the Viktoria Plzen threat for his former Milan teammates. “It’s not going to be easy.”

This evening the Rossoneri hope to notch up their first Champions League win of the season when welcoming the Czechs to San Siro, kick-off at 19.45 UK time.

“It’s not going to be easy for Milan, just as no Champions League can be, even though there is a vast difference in quality between the sides,” Jankulovski told Milan Channel.

“Viktoria won the League after 100 years, they’re the best side in our country and have never played in a stadium like San Siro. This is the chance they’ve been waiting a lifetime for.

“Plzen are a young side who run really hard and proved it in the preliminary round by eliminating the likes of Rosenborg and Copenhagen, who are accustomed to this level.

“The biggest danger man is Pavel Horvath. He is a little... old, but knows how to pass the ball around well.”

Meanwhile, around 150 Viktoria Plzen fans have arrived in Milan on three buses. There have already been two arrests for carrying knives and 32 fireworks confiscated.

AC Milan - Inter tussle for Tevez
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

After Carlos Tevez refused to play for Manchester City and Roberto Mancini said he was “finished,” Inter and Milan are linked with a swoop.

The Argentine international has handed in transfer requests several times, but a summer move to Corinthians broke down and he remained at Eastlands.

Last night Mancini stated Tevez refused to come off the bench during the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, infuriating the Italian manager.

“Is he finished at City? I don't decide this, but if I did, then yes. I helped Carlos for two years but I cannot accept this behaviour. For me, it's a bad situation because in a game like this it's impossible for one player to refuse to come on, but also for the team because he didn't play.

“If I have my way he will be out of the club. He just refused to go on. I don't know why. I cannot be happy with this situation. Would something like this happen at Bayern Munich, AC Milan or Manchester United?”

Tevez had already been heavily linked with a move to Inter last January and over the summer, while Juventus also took an interest.

However, Sky Sport Italia pundit Gianluca Di Marzio claims another Serie A solution is more likely.

“A real bidding war could break out, but I’d keep an eye on Milan. The Rossoneri are always careful about these deals, as Tevez could arrive on loan or in any case for a reasonable price.

“The rapport between the clubs is excellent, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this move went through.”

AC Milan youngster set for record books
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Simone Andrea Ganz could enter the record books if he plays a part in Milan's Champions League Group H game with Viktoria Plzen.

Should the young primavera striker make an appearance, most likely from the bench, then he will become the club's third-youngest footballer to play in the Champions League.

Current full-back Ignazio Abate holds the record as the youngest, when he appeared for the Rossoneri against Celta Vigo aged just 17 years and 27 days.

Massimiliano Cappellini's name is second in the list. The former striker only made five appearances in total for the club, but one of those chances came in the 1989-90 edition of the tournament at 17 years, eight months and 15 days old.

Should Ganz take to the field, he will replace a current teammate in third. Alexandre Pato made his debut in the competition aged 18 and five months against Arsenal in February 2008. Ganz has just turned 18 himself.

Ganz is the son of former Diavolo forward Maurizio, who scored 19 goals in 40 appearances in the late 1990s. Although the two share the same position, Simone Andrea has been described as possessing a different style of play.

The youngster finds himself in the squad as Massimiliano Allegri's options are stretched amid a continuing injury crisis.

Ibrahimovic back in AC Milan squad
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in the Milan squad to face Viktoria Plzen, but Massimo Ambrosini has not recovered.

Ibra has been out of action for several weeks and returned to training yesterday, so has been included in the 20-man squad.

Luca Antonini and Daniele Bonera also return, but Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Philippe Mexes, Mathieu Flamini and the ineligible Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy are out.

The striker shortage means Coach Max Allegri has called up youth team player Simone Ganz, the son of club legend Maurizio Ganz.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Aquilani, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Ganz

Seedorf: 'AC Milan can win Champions'
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf assures Milan “want to win the Champions League” and praised Antonio Cassano ahead of the Viktoria Plzen test.

“All that counts against Viktoria is the victory,” said the Dutchman of tomorrow’s match at San Siro.

“The three points would be crucial in helping us continue our race towards the knockout rounds.

“Can we win the Champions League? Milan are a great side, so reaching the Final and winning the trophy is our objective.”

There is an injury crisis at the club that has ruled out Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini, Philippe Mexes and possibly Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luca Antonini, Massimo Ambrosini and Daniele Bonera.

With the squad so limited in recent weeks, Cassano has been doing over-time in positions he is not necessarily familiar with.

“When he came here, the whole squad put itself at his disposal. Antonio is repaying the faith the group had in him.

“His attitude is excellent. To play at Milan, you need to avoid certain behaviour. He understood that and his performances on the pitch speak for him.”

Seedorf has also been forced to play more than expected, though at 35 he scored their decisive winner against Cesena on Saturday.

The veteran Dutchman is again expected to start against Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday evening.

Allegri has Ibrahimovic hope
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri warns Milan’s match with Viktoria Plzen “will not be easy,” especially as Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs a last-minute fitness test.

The Rossoneri notched up their first win of the Serie A season on Saturday, beating Cesena 1-0 at San Siro, but are still in the middle of an injury crisis.

“Tomorrow it will not be an easy game, because Viktoria Plzen are a side who did very well in the preliminary round and have good quality, both as a unit and individuals,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“If we want to validate the draw with Barcelona, then tomorrow we have to start winning.”

Ibrahimovic returned to training on Monday, but it remains to be seen if he can feature.

“He’ll only play from the start if he’s in good shape and has a good training session. I’ll see how he does and then decide if we’ll play with one striker or two.

“At this moment Clarence Seedorf knows there’s no time to rest and when I get the chance he will be able to take time out. He is 35 years old, but is still in peak condition because he is an exemplary professional and an example for young players.

“Tomorrow the only player who can recover is Ibrahimovic, though Daniele Bonera is much better and could possibly be at our disposal.”

The likes of Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Mexes are out, though there is hope for Luca Antonini and Massimo Ambrosini.

“We must have the right attitude with focus, spirit of sacrifice and good technique, which is what we did at the start of this season regardless of the unfair criticism,” continued Allegri.

“We paid a heavy price for some mistakes, but also proved we can control the tempo, so we’ve got to think positive. It’s important to top the group, as then we’d be able to face one of the runners-up in the next round.

“We must pick up as many points as possible so we can reach the face-to-face with Barcelona on level terms and gamble it all in that game.

“The victory over Cesena gave us confidence in a time where we were missing results rather than performances. We have great respect for Viktoria and will need a great, very intense game.”

Clubs propose reserves enter Serie B
28.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Italian League is reportedly considering a proposal put forward to allow reserve teams to compete at Serie B and Lega Pro level.

It is one suggestion put forward this week at a conference chaired by Arrigo Sacchi at Coverciano and attended by the heads of youth development at each of Serie A's teams.

Their aim at the meeting is to work towards improving the country's recent track record of producing young Italian footballers.

This particular initiative would be similar to that seen in Spain, where the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Villarreal have reserve 'B' teams competing as high as the Segunda Division, the equivalent to Italy's Serie B.

The idea is that clubs in Italy would then be able to give primavera players a taste of regular competitive football at the professional level.

Tuttosport reports that Fiorentina and Milan are the first to put their names to the proposal, and that Juventus are also in favour of the scheme.

Sacchi is also believed to support the idea, unlike Serie B President Andrea Abodi, who instead wants to develop FIGC's focus on improving infrastructure at clubs.

AC Milan trio recover for Viktoria Plzen
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan are reassured by news Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini are fit to face Viktoria Plzen.

The trio have all missed out on at least the last two Serie A games and there were fears they’d also be sidelined for Wednesday’s Champions League clash.

However, the official club website announced that Ibrahimovic, Bonera and Antonini took part in today’s full training session.

Massimo Ambrosini also hopes to be back for the match with Viktoria Plzen, though there is little chance of seeing Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini or Philippe Mexes.

Pippo Inzaghi is ineligible for the Champions League, as he was left off the UEFA list.

AC Milan track Genoa stars
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan directors were in the stands for Chievo-Genoa, reportedly to watch Cristobal Jorquera and Kevin Constant.

Long-standing director of sport Ariedo Braida was one of the familiar faces spotted at the Stadio Bentegodi for Sunday’s lunch-time kick-off.

Chievo won the game 2-1, but the Rossoneri emissaries were thought to be keeping a close eye on two Genoa talents.

Chilean midfielder Jorquera has been a revelation since he joined from Colo Colo last month and could already be the subject of a bid in January.

His teammate Constant also arrived over the summer, but was already well known to Milan and Serie A thanks to his time playing for Chievo.

There is an excellent rapport between Milan and Genoa, seeing several different transfers worked out in the past year.

Allegri hopes for long stay with AC Milan
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has given his thoughts on the start of the season, starting with his intention to remain at the club for a long time.

The 44-year-old Milan Coach was talking to Rai and responded positively when asked if his intention was to stay at San Siro for the long term.

“I hope so, because Milan is a great club. I'd like to stay a long time, but it always depends on the results. Last year we started well with the Scudetto and now we have also won the Supercoppa, and we hope for a repeat this year.”

Allegri then passed comment on Antonio Cassano's exended run in the team, and how it stemmed on everyone's actions in the summer.

“Cassano is doing very well. There was talk about him in the summer because it seemed he was leaving. Instead, we are very happy, because it was also still Milan's intention not to sell him.”

The Coach has begun the season with a number of absences in attack. Whilst repeating Adriano Galliani's words on the mystery that surrounds Alexandre Pato's injury record, he also confirmed that the club intend to welcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Massimo Ambrosini back for the midweek Champions League tie with Viktoria Plzen.

“It is a strange case because only two years ago to now he has had repeated injuries, and it is normal to think there is something strange.

“We are much better, we have three days available and we hope they are ready.”

Should Ibrahimovic not make the Champions League match, he is thought definitely available the following weekend, when Milan travel to Juventus, and face former hero Andrea Pirlo.

“Pirlo is a great player, in the summer the choice was made by the club and by Andrea. He is over at Juventus, who have conducted an excellent market, and are one of the candidates to win the Scudetto.

“The same applies to Inter. Organically they remain strong and will ultimately be at the top in the fight for the title.”

Allegri then also gave his view on Walter Mazzarri's belief that playing in the Champions League will see a team drop at least 10 points in the League.

“I think that for Napoli being in the Champions League after 21 years, it is a novelty. It is normal to play every three days, especially with the Champions League. It takes away mental energy, you have to be used to it.”

Ibrahimovic to miss Viktoria Plzen?
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini could return for Milan’s match with Viktoria Plzen, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng are still out.

Massimiliano Allegri has a genuine injury crisis on his hands, missing the likes of Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini, Philippe Mexes, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini.

He has only two fully-fit strikers available right now, the increasingly tired Antonio Cassano and teenager Stephan El Shaarawy, while Pippo Inzaghi was left off the UEFA list.

It is reported Ambrosini could be ready to make his comeback after picking up an injury in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona.

However, Ibrahimovic, Boateng and Robinho still look set to miss out after failing to take part in full training today.

It is believed Ibra and Boateng hope to be back in time for next weekend’s Serie A showdown with Juventus.

Seedorf explains AC Milan winner
26.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf admits his strange lob that gave Milan victory over Cesena wasn’t entirely intentional.

The Dutchman gave the Rossoneri their first Serie A win of the season on Saturday evening with a curling shot into the far top corner that took goalkeeper Nicola Ravaglia by surprise.

“Was it a cross or a shot? Well, I sped up a bit and the cross-shot turned into a shot,” confessed Seedorf.

“We have tried these moves before from corner kicks. When I lifted my head and saw two men in the box surrounded by Cesena shirts, I put a bit more power on it and thankfully it went well.”

After the match, Coach Massimiliano Allegri said Milan ought to clone Seedorf to help solve their injury crisis.

“It is a lovely compliment and I thank him for that. We’re in a difficult moment with so many absentees, but are still proving that we are a team.

“Last season we won the Scudetto and struggled in the Champions League, but this year we have to target the ultimate prize in everything.”

The veteran also had words of reassurance for teenage prodigy Stephan El Shaarawy.

“He has talent and character. We’ll give him the time he deserves to grow and then he will become a great champion.”

Allegri: 'Let's clone Seedorf!'
25.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has a revolutionary idea for solving Milan’s injury crisis. “We should clone Clarence Seedorf!”

The Dutchman got the only goal in tonight’s 1-0 victory over Cesena, which represented their first win of the Serie A season.

“Seedorf had a great game. Unfortunately he’s 35 years old and can’t play constantly. Maybe we should clone him!” joked the Coach.

“Antonio Cassano had a great game, while Stephan El Shaarawy needs to be given the time and space to grow. He was less sharp than on Wednesday, but it’s not easy to start at San Siro at his age.”

Taye Taiwo received his Serie A debut, but was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card before half-time.

“Taiwo was playing his first game in a long time, so when attacking he often got his timing wrong, while in defence he was either too tight or too wide, but he didn’t disappoint me.

“We were all a bit sluggish at the end and risked conceding an equaliser, so we should certainly have finished off the game earlier. We had good chances and didn’t take them.

“In any case, the performance was solid and above all we kept a clean sheet.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Cesena - match report
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Seedorf 5 (M)

Clarence Seedorf gave Milan their first win of the Serie A season, beating Cesena with a sudden curler.

The Rossoneri were in crisis with just two points from three Serie A games, although Coach Max Allegri could blame an unprecedented injury list that included Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Luca Antonini, Daniele Bonera, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Mathieu Flamini, Kingsley Boateng and Philippe Mexes. The only two fit strikers started with Urby Emanuelson as trequartista, while Taye Taiwo received his Serie A debut. Cesena had lost all their games this term and relied on Adrian Mutu to turn that around.

Steve Von Bergen deflected a Clarence Seedorf cross on to the side-netting, risking an own goal. From that set play, Seedorf finished the job with a sensational curler into the far top corner to stun Ravaglia, as the goalkeeper was simply not prepared.

Cesena fought back and Gianluca Comotto hit the side-netting, then Christian Abbiati smothered a Mutu daisy-cutter. Emanuelson had penalty appeals for a Martinez handling offence, but the referee waved play on.

Antonio Candreva burst down the right and his cross for Martinez was crucially intercepted by Abbiati with an unorthodox intervention. Mario Yepes and Emanuelson drilled just wide from the edge of the box, then Seedorf just failed to get on the end of Cassano's assist.

Ignazio Abate burst past Marco Rossi, but the ball across the six-yard box was just past Cassano's toe. El Shaarawy hesitated in the penalty area and allowed Comotto to dispossess him.

Cassano was incorrectly halted for offside when he would've been clear on goal. Taiwo had already been booked and was given a final warning for a dreadful scissor-kick challenge on Roberto Guana before half-time.

Marco Giampaolo made a double substitution at the break, introducing Abdel Ghezzal and Eder. However, Milan went close when Emanuelson combined with Cassano to set up El Shaarawy, his angled drive well beaten away by Ravaglia.

Cesena immediately went on the counter and Yepes was booked for bringing down Eder outside the box, but Mutu fired his free kick into the wall.

Marco Parolo's powerful but central snapshot was well held by Abbiati. Milan should've been 2-0 up on 63 minutes when El Shaarawy's dummy let the Cassano pass through, but Seedorf blasted over the target.

Ravaglia turned a Cassano right-foot shot out for a corner, then FantAntonio had strong penalty appeals ignored for a clumsy Rodriguez tackle.

Cesena also complained, as Comotto was furious that Gianluca Zambrotta's shirt-tug just outside the area was not sanctioned.

Pippo Inzaghi got a huge cheer as he came on for an exhausted Cassano in the final nine minutes. Rodriguez charged down Zambrotta's counter and Seedorf's cross was too long for Emanuelson after Inzaghi pounced on Von Bergen's error.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Taiwo (Zambrotta 51); Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Emanuelson; Cassano (Inzaghi 81), El Shaarawy (Aquilani 66)

Cesena: Ravaglia; Comotto, Von Bergen, Rodriguez, M Rossi (Colucci 79); Martinez (Ghezzal 46), Parolo, Guana; Martinho, Candreva (Eder 46); Mutu

Ref: Giannoccaro

AC Milan prepare Amauri swoop
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s striker shortage is likely to prompt a January offer for Juventus outcast Amauri.

The Rossoneri have only Antonio Cassano and Stephan El Shaarawy available for tonight’s game with Cesena.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all injured, while Pippo Inzaghi has not played a full match in 10 months.

The Corriere dello Sport suggests they will make a January swoop for Amauri to strengthen their attack.

The Brazilian, who plays his international football for Italy, is frozen out of the Juventus squad.

His contract expires at the end of the season, but he rejected all transfers to France and Turkey over the summer.

Juve were furious and consider him to be a huge weight on their wage bill, so they would welcome an offer from Milan.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri are also said to be showing an interest in Sami Khedira of Real Madrid for their midfield.

Cesena 'will get result at AC Milan'
24.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Marco Giampaolo’s Cesena haven’t got a single point so far, but he insists “we’re going to San Siro to get a result against Milan tonight.”

The Sea Horses invested heavily over the summer transfer market and had a new artificial pitch installed, but have lost all their games with Napoli, Catania and Lazio.

“We’re going to San Siro to get a result against Milan. We are working to make that happen and must think positive,” said the Coach ahead of the 19.45 UK time kick-off.

“We started out with three undeserved defeats and recognise that tactics count only to a certain degree, as it’s mentality that wins you games.

“The team played three decent matches, but we paid the price for making some mistakes. I know I must justify the fact we have zero points in the table, but at the same time note individual moments cost us dearly.”

Milan are not doing much better, as they have only two points and are dealing with an injury crisis that has ruled out 10 first choice players.

“Milan are a side with great players and above all a winning mentality, which is what allows them to push through this tough moment,” argued Giampaolo.

“Pippo Inzaghi is the perfect example of that, as he is always hungry and will never sit back.”

AC Milan call on youth players
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s injury crisis drags on, as Max Allegri has had to call four youth team players to face Cesena on Saturday.

The Rossoneri are without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Luca Antonini, Daniele Bonera, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Mexes.

With Pippo Inzaghi not match fit after 10 months without a full game, only Antonio Cassano and Stephan El Shaarawy remain as available strikers.

Simone Andrea Ganz is drafted in from the youth squad, as he is the son of former Milan and Inter hitman Maurizio Ganz.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, De Sciglio, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Aquilani, Carmona, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Valoti, Van Bommel, Cassano, El Shaarawy, Ganz, Inzaghi

Stadiums to screen Serie A goals
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italian stadiums will show the goals from other games on the giant screens at half-time and full-time from October 2.

The Lega Calcio confirmed the new approach after a meeting of all the Serie A clubs this week.

The stadiums already flash up the scores from other matches as they happen, including the name of the scorer, but are set to progress.

Instead, at half-time and full-time the giant screens in the arenas will show goals from all the other Serie A fixtures.

That is not all, as the screens will show the arrival of the teams at the stadium, footage of the warm-up and clips from their previous games ahead of kick-off.

“We have the possibility of allowing the spectators to fill in waiting time and enrich the spectacle on the field,” said Lega President Maurizio Beretta.

“One day I would like to project the goals that have just been scored, the way they do in a Champions League Final, but in the meantime let us take advantage of what we can already do.”

Showing instant replays of goals and other controversial incidents has proved tricky, as referees are not allowed to use the footage when making decisions.

Allegri: 'There is no AC Milan crisis'
23.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan are in an emergency situation due to injuries, but with two points from three rounds assures “there is no crisis.”

The Rossoneri welcome Cesena on Saturday evening and have only two points from three Serie A games this season.

“We are coming off some good performances, but without getting results often due to mistakes. There is no crisis,” insisted the Coach.

“In the two situations when we were caught on the break in Napoli, we lacked balance in midfield, but that is also because we just introduced two new figures like Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino. It’s not easy to immediately get that rapport.”

The injury crisis has ruled out Alexandre Pato for a month, joining long-term absentees Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luca Antonini, Daniele Bonera and Philippe Mexes are all doubts for Saturday.

It means the only two fully fit strikers available are Antonio Cassano and teenager Stephan El Shaarawy.

“Cassano is fit and doing well. He must give more, which is true of everyone in the squad,” continued Allegri.

“El Shaarawy is a youngster who absolutely must not have responsibility heaped on his shoulders. He must focus on his innocence and enthusiasm. There will be two strikers against Cesena, they are Cassano and El Shaarawy.

“We need to have a concentrated game, like the one we had on Wednesday against Udinese, as Cesena are organised and dangerous on the counter-attack.

“On Sunday we’ll see how Ambro and Ibrahimovic are doing, as they have a slight chance of featuring in the Champions League, but Boateng is out.

“As for Pato, when there are so many repeated injury setbacks, it is rarely just one factor causing it. We analysed his records since he arrived in Italy and in future must be even more careful in evaluating him. It is interesting to note all Pato’s muscular injuries were picked up at San Siro.”

Serie A Round 1 set for December 21st
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A Round 1 will be played on Wednesday December 21 after it was postponed due to a players' strike.

The opening round of the season was due to take place on August 27 and 28, but was postponed when the Players’ Association (AIC) went on strike.

The Lega Calcio has confirmed the Round 1 fixtures will now be played on Wednesday December 21.

It would be the final game of 2011 for the Serie A teams before they go into the winter break.

Pato out for a month
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have confirmed Alexandre Pato will be out of action for at least a month after suffering a thigh strain.

The Brazilian hitman limped off during the opening stages of the 1-1 draw with Udinese last night.

“AC Milan announce the medical tests undergone by Alexandre Pato this morning highlighted a right thigh strain,” read a statement.

“The Brazilian is expected to be out of action for around four weeks, save for complications.”

It is a heavy blow for the Rossoneri, who are already without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Daniele Bonera, Luca Antonini and Mathieu Flamini.

Pippo Inzaghi made his comeback against Udinese, but after 10 months on the sidelines is not remotely match fit.

Galliani questions Pato injury record
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has revealed his displeasure at Alexandre Pato's recent injury record, and confirmed he is taking action on it.

The Milan Vice-President was talking after the Brazilian striker pulled up during Milan's 1-1 draw with Udinese on Wednesday evening.

The extent of his injury has not yet been confirmed, but reports are indicating he could be out for as long as two months.

“I have had a meeting this morning with the Coach, the trainers and the medical staff to try to understand why this guy has gone through 2008 and 2009 without a problem, and has now stopped for the umpteenth time with a muscle injury.”

Milan are facing an injury crisis, but Galliani refused to put pressure on the situation.

“It is not luck, or bad luck. We have 10-12 players out injured, so it is hard, but it will pass. We won the Scudetto last year and the Supercoppa a month ago. God forbid that we are not happy.

“We are calm, when the injured player recover we will be back to where we've always been.”

Galliani also reflected on Claudio Ranieri's appointment as Inter Coach.

“Well, I never send best wishes, it is unlucky in football. Imagine if he brings back the history of Inter.”

Guidolin grateful for a point in Milan
22.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Guidolin has reflected on a point earned against Milan, and admitted his team were fortunate for that too.

Udinese recorded a 1-1 draw with defending champions Milan, but Guidolin acknowledgeed the Rossoneri could have taken the points.

“The glass is half full. We would not have deserved to win. We'll take the result - we were left sweating, but Milan have played more. We are happy, if not humble for a result like that.

“We say that Milan did not deserve to lose. We are aware that we need to improve on some things that we know - how to close out games, problems in attack. Things to work on.

Guidolin also faced questions on his tactics, where he changed during the game from a 3-5-1-1 to a 4-4-1-1, before then alluding to expectations for the coming year.

“I liked it. Today we lacked brilliance, and felt the weight of games played in quick succession. If you think that we have sold key players and replacing them with young who have to grow up, it is not wrong.

“We can not think that we will be equal to last year. The season will be mild, uncomplicated.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan OK, considering...'
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have just two points from three Serie A games, but Massimiliano Allegri is adamant he’s “happy considering we’ve got no strikers.”

The reigning champions have had a dreadful start to the campaign, drawing with Lazio and Udinese at San Siro, while losing 3-1 in Naples.

“Looking at the table, I can only think we have two points. What else am I supposed to think?” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia after tonight’s 1-1 result.

“Milan had a good game and the lads deserved this point, creating many scoring opportunities and only risking on the counter-attack at the end.

“I am happy with what the team is doing. At this moment in time, this will do. After an unlucky goal and Alexandre Pato’s injury, we could’ve let our heads drop, but instead we reacted well.

“After the three goals conceded from Napoli, we were more careful in defence and held our concentration better.”

Pato limped off in the opening stages, joining the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini on the treatment table.

However, substitute Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench to score his debut Serie A goal.

“Without Pato, we had no more centre-forwards, so had to adapt with Alberto Aquilani, Antonio Cassano and towards the end Urby Emanuelson who were taking that role in turn.

“We hope it’s nothing serious for Pato, but El Shaarawy did well when he was called upon. At the moment we have 12 players out injured and haven’t got a single striker, so I am amazed people can criticise or doubt I can hold on to the bench.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:1 Udinese - match report
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Di Natale 28 (U), El Shaarawy 63 (M)

Stephan El Shaarawy scored his first Milan goal to scrape a point in this entertaining clash with Udinese.

The Rossoneri were in crisis after a couple of 2-2 draws with Lazio and Barcelona, followed by a 3-1 defeat to Napoli that left them five points off the top of the table. It was an injury crisis too, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Luca Antonini, Daniele Bonera and Mathieu Flamini were unavailable.

Udinese, on the other hand, were top of the table with a 100 per cent record and not a single goal conceded. Andrea Coda, Damiano Ferronetti, Antonio Floro Flores, Giovanni Pasquale and Paulo Barreto missed out, but they switched to a four-man defence.

Last season this ended 4-4, meaning in the last six San Siro meetings there were a total 35 goals.

Clarence Seedorf and Kwadwo Asamoah had shots charged down, but Alexandre Pato joined the injury list with a muscular problem, making way for teenager Stephan El Shaarawy.

Christian Abbiati gifted Udinese the opener with an absolute howler! He fumbled a timid cross from Gabriel Torje straight into the path of Di Natale for the easiest of tap-ins.

Abbiati made up for that earlier error by having his palms stung by a Pablo Armero blockbuster.

Milan were unlucky on 40 minutes, as Clarence Seedorf hit a powerful and low free kick that beat Samir Handanovic only to cannon off the base of the far post.

Antonio Nocerino got to a Seedorf cross, but couldn't keep his header down. Another splendid Seedorf assist over the top found Antonio Cassano, but Handanovic rushed off his line to parry from point-blank range.

Milan did get their equaliser with El Shaarawy's first goal in a Rossoneri jersey. The Little Pharaow ran on to a Cassano through ball and wasted no time placing a right-foot angled drive across Handanovic in at the far bottom corner.

Giampiero Pinzi had penalty appeals for a Gianluca Zambrotta shirt-tug. Moments later Di Natale crossed for the on-rushing Pinzi who came sliding in, but his shot hit the inside of the near post and rolled all the way along the line to go back out again.

Max Allegri had to gamble and in the final six minutes gave Pippo Inzaghi his comeback 10 months after a knee injury. However, Udinese nearly won it at the death with Abbiati's tricky low save on Abdi's towering header.

At the 89th minute Abdi chested down a cross for Di Natale, forcing another desperate reaction save from Abbiati.

Inzaghi got into the box and tried to chest down the ball, but he fell under pressure from Maurizio Domizzi and the referee waved away penalty appeals. There was contact, but not enough to prompt a spot-kick.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta (Inzaghi 84); Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Aquilani (Emanuelson 69); Cassano, Pato (El Shaarawy 21)

Udinese: Handanovic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi, Basta; Isla (Abdi 84), Badu, Asamoah, Armero; Torje (Pinzi 62), Di Natale

Ref: Banti

Serie A: AC Milan - Udinese - lineups
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Aquilani; Cassano, Pato

Udinese: Handanovic; Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi, Basta; Isla, Badu, Asamoah, Armero; Torje, Di Natale

Aquilani 'hopes future is at AC Milan'
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani “hopes his future is at Milan and there’s a good chance that will happen,” said the Liverpool man’s agent.

The midfielder joined the Rossoneri on loan with the agreement the move will become permanent if he plays at least 25 official games for the club.

“I really hope he’ll play many more and there’s a good chance that will happen,” agent Franco Zavaglia told ItaSportPress.it.

“Last season at Juventus he notched up quite a few games despite the fact he couldn’t play in the Europa League as he’d already featured with Liverpool.

“We will see. There are some pre-agreed conditions with Milan and we hope his future is here.”

Inzaghi back in AC Milan squad
21.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi is back in the Milan squad for tomorrow’s match with Udinese, but the injury crisis drags on.

Veteran Inzaghi has finally recovered from knee surgery and scored six goals in a game between ranks this week.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri has given SuperPippo a spot in the squad and he could well be on the bench.

This is because options are very limited at the moment, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini are out of action.

Allegri has confirmed Alexandre Pato will once again partner Antonio Cassano.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes, Aquilani, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Valoti, Van Bommel, Cassano, El Shaarawy, Inzaghi, Pato

Guidolin: 'AC Milan are a wounded lion'
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Guidolin is top of the table, but urges Udinese to “stay humble” when visiting “wounded lion” Milan on Wednesday night.

The Friulani are already five points clear of the reigning champions and go head-to-head at San Siro in a game that ended 4-4 last season.

“It is very difficult for Milan to get two games wrong in a row, so we are certain they’ll be very concentrated and fired up after the defeat to Napoli,” warned the Coach.

“We expect them to react with pride, class, temperament and the spirit of a top club. We’ll be facing a wounded lion, who dominated in Naples for the opening 20 minutes.

“As for us, we’ll have to rely on every weapon we’ve got. I want to see a spirit of sacrifice from everyone, paying attention to each little detail. We are still a work in progress and I haven’t got to know all the lads yet, so it is too early to judge this team. I just want to get to 40 points as soon as possible.”

Udinese are already on the way, having notched up three consecutive victories between Serie A and the Europa League, while they still have a clean sheet domestically.

“I hope the team has listened to my message: ‘Fly low and go to San Siro with great humility.’ Then we’ll get the response on the pitch.”

Gattuso optic nerve paralysis
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso has been diagnosed with sixth nerve palsy, a paralysis of the optic nerve.

The Milan midfielder was suffering from blurred vision before the opening game with Lazio and went off after a few minutes when he felt increasingly dizzy.

“Gattuso has been diagnosed with sixth nerve palsy and is undergoing further tests to evaluate how long he will take to recover,” explained Coach Massimiliano Allegri in today’s Press conference.

The condition is associated with dysfunction of the cranial nerve and the symptoms include double vision. The eye can turn towards the lesion, giving the sufferer a cross-eyed appearance.

It is important to note Gattuso requested a substitution after accidentally colliding with teammate Alessandro Nesta, almost giving away a Lazio goal.

Allegri: 'You can't doubt AC Milan'
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri hails Udinese, but feels Milan were “penalised by refereeing decisions” in their Napoli defeat.

The Rossoneri are already five points off the top of the table after Sunday night’s 3-1 thrashing at the San Paolo.

“We played well with a few mistakes and were penalised by refereeing decisions. It’s true that we have to improve, be more focused and embrace the spirit of sacrifice, though,” said the Coach.

Without only a pair of 2-2 draws against Lazio and Barcelona, the pressure is on to deliver a victory on Wednesday night, especially against current Serie A leaders Udinese.

“The Friulani are doing very well, as are Cagliari, Napoli and Juventus, plus can be proud they have not yet conceded. We’ve got to be wary, as at the moment we are paying a heavy price for every single slip-up.

“There’s no point looking at the table now. It’s true we only have a point and maybe it’s fair enough to say the leaders are breaking away, but our quality remains the same and cannot be put in doubt after the Napoli defeat.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini and Mathieu Flamini are still out of action.

“Ibra won’t recover in time for Cesena, but should be ready for Juventus. The same is true for Boateng, while Robinho won’t make it. Gattuso is undergoing tests on his optic nerve to evaluate his recovery time.

“If Pippo Inzaghi is ready to play some of the game, then I’ll bring him with us on the bench. I can confirm Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano will play up front. I could place Thiago Silva in midfield, as he did well there in the past.”

Seedorf: 'Napoli were lucky'
20.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf insists Milan were not out-played in their 3-1 defeat to Napoli. “They only left their own half five times.”

The Rossoneri suffered a heavy loss at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening and are already five points off the top of the table.

“OK, so we conceded seven goals in three official games, but I am still sleeping soundly,” Seedorf told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“You have to look at how those goals were conceded. We were beaten by Djibril Cissè, Miroslav Klose, Barcelona and Edinson Cavani, who are all in great form. I don’t think that’s anything to be ashamed of. Our defence still works.”

Milan now have to get back on their feet against Udinese on Wednesday night in Serie A Week 4.

“We are not worried or tense. Napoli made the most of all their scoring opportunities. They only left their own half five times and scored by pouncing on ricochets.

“At the moment we are unlucky, so I didn’t see Milan in trouble.”

Abbiati: 'Napoli were hungrier'
19.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati declared Sunday's opponents Napoli 'had more hunger' for the win on Sunday, but promised that Milan will bounce back from defeat.

Talking to Sky Sport Italia after the match, the goalkeeper reflected on the defending champions' first League defeat of the season, and a poor defensive record so far this season.

“Seven goals in three games is a lot, but there was some bad luck on both the first and third goals.

“It was a shame to see them equalise after only two minutes, that was our mistake. There was a rebounded header that fell to [Edinson] Cavani.

“The second was Cavani striking it very well though. I have seen it 15 times already, I seem to be well placed.

“Cavani kicked hard, but when you are beaten at your [near] goal-post, it is always the fault of the goalkeeper. With the second goal, they were able to score it before we could.

“They had more hunger than us. We were wrong because we allowed them to play on the counter-attack, and they like to play that way.”

Abbiati was defiant in stating Milan will bounce back from the defeat though.

“It means that they have started strongly, but there are still 36 games to play, the road is long.

“There is a desire for redemption after suffering a defeat in the early days. We will do well and we start with our heads high, because we are the champions.

“The next game against Udinese will not be easy, but we play at our ground and we will not give up.”

Allegri 'played into Napoli's hands'
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri feels Milan played into Napoli’s hands at the San Paolo. “We gave them chances we knew we shouldn’t have done.”

The Rossoneri had gone in front with a wonderful Alberto Aquilani diving header, but Edinson Cavani’s hat-trick turned it all around for a 3-1 result.

“It was a fairly odd game, as we held possession and took the lead, but it was wiped out immediately by a lucky goal,” said Allegri.

“We conceded on the counter, which we knew Napoli were going to do. We also wasted a few opportunities to make it 2-2 and with the third goal Cavani did very well to believe in it.

“It was a strange match in which I’m happy with what the lads did overall, though we need more determination in some moments.

“All this is without taking anything away from Napoli, who played their style and took advantage of the chances we allowed them.”

Milan have only one point from their opening two games against Lazio and Napoli, while the 2-2 draw at Barcelona midweek also prompted criticism.

“We’re not worried. We all have to relax, know we are a big club who can have a couple of setbacks in terms of result, but the performances were decent. The only concern is that we conceded five goals in the first two Serie A rounds,” continued the Coach.

“The full-backs have to be faster at getting back to help the defence. We certainly made mistakes on the counter-attack.

“Napoli tended to play on the break, which was unusual considering they were the home team. They are very fast and we should’ve done better in stopping that weapon.

“The team took the right approach and deservedly took the lead. Unfortunately, we allowed Napoli the opportunities that we knew full well we should not have given them.”

Serie A: Napoli 2:2 AC Milan - video highlights
18.9 || webmaster



Serie A: Napoli 2:2 AC Milan - match report
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Aquilani 12 (M), Cavani 14, 37, 51 (N)


Edinson Cavani's hat-trick demolished Milan 3-1 and confirmed Napoli's status as genuine Scudetto contenders.

This was a very early Scudetto showdown and came just days after the Partenopei had a confidence boost with their 1-1 draw away to Manchester City. Ezequiel Lavezzi badly bruised his ankle in that Champions League game, but passed a last-minute fitness test to start.

The Rossoneri snatched a 2-2 draw in Barcelona, but went into this match without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Philippe Mexes, Pippo Inzaghi and Mathieu Flamini. Thiago Silva was also in doubt after suffering from a stomach bug.

Last season was the first time in 12 years that Milan conquered the San Paolo. The atmosphere in the packed arena was spectacular.

Milan took the initiative early on and broke the deadlock at the 12th minute, as Antonio Cassano whipped in a cross from the right for Alberto Aquilani's diving header into the far top corner. It was his first goal for the Rossoneri and a very well taken one at that.

However, barely 60 seconds had passed when Napoli equalised. Christian Maggio knocked down a free kick for Edinson Cavani, whose first-time shot was low through Christian Abbiati's legs at the back post.

Aquilani's inspired pass released Antonio Nocerino, but Morgan De Sanctis smothered at his feet. At the other end Lavezzi's rapid counter was just a little behind Cavani, allowing Abbiati to recover. Clarence Seedorf's free kick was deflected for a corner.

Napoli took the lead for the first time with a classic counter-attack. Walter Gargano started the run from the edge of his own area and surged forward, rolling across to the left for Cavani's powerful strike high at the near post.

It should've been 2-2 moments later when Cassano won back possession and placed a cross-field pass to send Aquilani clear on goal, but his daisy-cutter was parried by De Sanctis at full stretch. Aquilani went close again from distance, drilling just wide of the upright.

Cavani completed his hat-trick after the restart. Marek Hamsik's shot had been beaten away by Abbiati, but as the move continued El Matador pounced on an Alessandro Nesta clearance to volley in from the edge of the box.

Pato was booked for simulation in the penalty area, but moments later Milan should've had a penalty when Paolo Cannavaro punched Nocerino's cross out of the air. The referee and linesman only awarded a corner. Nesta risked a red card for a reaction foul, as he shoved Salvatore Aronica after the Napoli man had trodden on his foot.

Pato nodded Cassano's cross from the by-line over the bar, while Blerim Dzemaili's sudden blockbuster skimmed the upright. Stephan El Shaarawy was given his Milan debut in place of Aquilani.

Cavani fired straight at Abbiati from a Goran Pandev through ball, then moments later acrobatic Juan Zuniga defending stopped Pato in the Napoli box.

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Dossena (Zuniga 78); Hamsik (Dzemaili 65), Lavezzi (Pandev 81); Cavani

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera (Antonini 65); Nocerino, Van Bommel (Emanuelson 65), Aquilani (El Shaarawy 77); Seedorf; Pato, Cassano

Ref: Tagliavento

Serie A: Napoli - AC Milan - lineups
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Dossena; Hamsik, Lavezzi; Cavani

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Bonera; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Aquilani; Pato, Cassano

Lavezzi fitness test for AC Milan
18.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ezequiel Lavezzi could well recover in time to face Milan this evening, as Napoli plan a last-minute fitness test.

‘Pocho’ limped off during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City due to a heavily-bruised right ankle.

He was initially ruled out of tonight’s Serie A showdown at the Stadio San Paolo, but the latest reports suggest he could make a lightning recovery.

“I will only play Lavezzi if he is 100 per cent fit,” insisted Coach Walter Mazzarri during Saturday’s Press conference.

If the medical staff do not give the all-clear, then the most likely option to replace Lavezzi is Blerim Dzemaili in the trident with Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani.

Another alternative is the more attack-minded Goran Pandev, while Giuseppe Mascara and Mario Alberto Santana are also ready to step in.

Juan Zuniga is a different approach altogether, as he would help protect the midfield more.

Allegri defends troubled AC Milan
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri defends his tactics against Barcelona and is confident Milan can trouble Napoli despite an injury crisis.

The 2-2 Champions League draw at the Nou Camp was a great result, but some in the Italian and European media criticised the Rossoneri for their approach.

“We did not employ catenaccio tactics. We simply used our characteristics,” insisted the Coach.

“Barcelona always dominate possession against every team in the world. However, while they score hatfuls of goals against the others, they only had three shots on target with us.

“We had an excellent 25 minutes and certainly could’ve done better on the counter-attack, but it remains a wonderful performance, even if we didn’t attack the way we usually do.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho missed out on that game and are still injured, while Massimo Ambrosini dislocated his shoulder and Kevin-Prince Boateng pulled a muscle between his ribs.

“Gennaro Gattuso has a problem with his optic nerve,” added Allegri. “Tomorrow evening we will step on to the field with two strikers, who will be Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano.”

The clash with Napoli at the San Paolo was one of the deciders for the Scudetto last season and could be again in 2011-12.

“It is going to be an important game, as Napoli have reinforced the midfield and strengthened the squad, so I consider them candidates for the Scudetto.

“Our options are limited by injuries, but we will go to Naples looking to play a great game. It is in these situations that the side can prove its strength. Don’t forget we started slowly last season too, then found our balance and won the title.”

Thiago Silva invites Hamsik to AC Milan
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva is looking forward to facing Marek Hamsik tomorrow, but “I hope he can be my Milan teammate next season.”

The Napoli star had been heavily linked with a move to San Siro early in the summer, but the clubs could not agree on a transfer fee.

“It would be so much better if Hamsik were playing this game with a Rossoneri jersey,” smiled Thiago Silva in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He has incredible technique and class. I hope he can be my Milan teammate next season.”

That is, of course, assuming the Brazilian stays with his current club after new reports of interest from Barcelona.

“I personally did not say no to anybody, but that’s because I was never contacted. In any case, I consider it unfair to reject any option out of hand, as you never know what could happen in future. I did the same in Brazil.”

Thiago Silva was back on the Blaugrana radar after his stoppage-time header to snatch a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

“We worked hard on our tactics and they rarely got into the box. Dani Alves even told me at the end of the match that Barcelona ‘couldn’t find space in your defence.’ That was a great compliment.

“If we continue working the way we are now, then we could win the Champions League this year. It remains the first objective for me and I think about it continually.”

Montolivo 'no longer a Fiorentina player'
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo “is no longer a Fiorentina player. He confirmed his desire to leave. This farce is over.”

The midfielder had begun contract renewal talks on Friday evening and many were hoping for a breakthrough, as his current deal expires in June.

However, the meeting with patron Andrea Della Valle proved disastrous and it does not seem as if the situation can be recovered.

“Montolivo proved he is no longer a Fiorentina player,” declared President Mario Cognini in a video clip on the official club website.

“He confirmed his desire to leave and now the matter is closed. He explicitly said he has ambitions for a more successful club than Fiorentina. He does not believe in our project.

"We get the feeling the player heard calls from outside sources. By reacting like this, he proved he is no longer a Fiorentina player and does not belong here.

“However, Montolivo is under contract and remains at the disposal of Sinisa Mihajlovic, so the Coach will decide whether to play him or not.”

AC Milan decimated against Napoli
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho, Massimo Ambrosini and Gennaro Gattuso are out of Milan’s trip to Napoli.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri released the list of 21 players travelling to the San Paolo for Sunday night’s Serie A game.

Ibrahimovic is still sidelined with a thigh problem, while Robinho is yet to play this season due to a groin strain.

Boateng limped off during the 2-2 draw with Barcelona and there are reports he may have suffered a stress fracture to his rib.

Captain Ambrosini has been ruled out for a month after dislocating his shoulder.

Milan squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma, Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Yepes, Aquilani, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Valoti, Van Bommel, Carmona, Cassano, El-Shaarawy, Ganz, Pato

Montolivo - Fiorentina talks collapse?
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Riccardo Montolivo’s contract talks with Fiorentina have definitively broken down.

The midfielder had been due to give his answer in a meeting with President Andrea Della Valle.

However, the Corriere dello Sport suggests Montolivo reached the deadline and asked for more time to consider his position.

Della Valle had asked for a “yes or no answer,” so was allegedly infuriated by this latest setback.

Agent Giovanni Branchini is flying in to broker talks, but it is believed this could be the definitive breakdown of negotiations.

Montolivo’s current contract expires in June 2012, so he could leave as a free agent at the end of the season.

Pato: 'We're going to Napoli to win'
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has promised that Milan go into the weekend clash with Napoli with the aim of winning the game.

In light of a number of key absences in attack, speculation is that Massimiliano Allegri could be tempted to field similar tactics to that seen against Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek.

Brazilian forward Pato demonstrated his responsiveness to the team's reliance on him on the counter-attack, by scoring inside 25 seconds of kick-off in Spain.

However, where they eventually went on to draw with the European Cup holders, the No 7 believes the team go into the weekend trip to Napoli with the intention of picking up all three points.

“Napoli is a team that is doing well, as they proved in the Champions League, but the fact remains we are going there to win.

“It is true that the championship is long and there are still many matches. However, every point counts in the end and is likely to be important.

“That is why I will do everything to gain success, and I would be happy to also score the decisive goal.”

Pato scored on his Serie A and Milan debut in January 2008 against Napoli, and from his first 128 games as a Rossoneri player, has scored 58 goals in all competitions.

Only Andriy Shevchenko, with 76 goals, has a better record at the club from the same number of opening games.

Montolivo begins Fiorentina talks
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has begun contract renewal talks with Fiorentina, but the initial meeting revealed little progress has been made.

Montolivo and his agent are understood to have met with the Viola's owner Andrea Della Valle to hold preliminary talks over the terms of a new deal.

Whilst it is believed the finer points of any contract - including Montolivo's reported desire for a buy-out clause - were not discussed at this meeting, Firenzeviola.net report that the meeting was a 'weak opening' to proceedings.

Montolivo recently expressed his openness to re-start negotiations, having previously rejected several contract offers from the club during the 2010-11 season.

After today's meeting, he and his agent are set to next convene with Della Valle on September 24 for round two. Montolivo's current deal expires next summer.

Lavezzi unlikely to face AC Milan
17.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The latest reports from Naples suggest Ezequiel Lavezzi will not recover in time to face Milan on Sunday night.

The striker limped off during the 1-1 draw with Manchester City and, although tests ruled out fractures, he suffered heavy bruising to his ankle.

“Lavezzi did not train with the rest of the squad on Friday and only underwent physiotherapy sessions,” reported Sky Sport Italia.

“He even struggled to put his foot on the ground. If he doesn’t train again today, then he is definitively out of the game with Milan.

“Lavezzi will do everything he can to be there, but at the moment Goran Pandev is set to start in his place.”

Pandev would complete the trident with Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani, though other options include Mario Alberto Santana, Giuseppe Mascara and even Juan Zuniga.

AC Milan would swap title for Champions League
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani says he’d gladly see Napoli crowned Scudetto winners if that meant Milan won the Champions League.

“I’d sign that deal straight away,” the Rossoneri Vice-President told Radio Kiss Kiss on Friday afternoon.

“In all seriousness, it’ll be a very balanced championship seeing as there is more than one club who could win the title.”

We may get an early indication of where the championship could end up seeing as Milan travel to Napoli this weekend.

“It has always been a fascinating game,” Galliani continued. “In the 1980s, there were some real champions on the field of play when these two sides met.

“It’s good news for the Italian football scene that Napoli have returned to being such a strong team.

“They’ll have their say in where the Scudetto ends up this season, I’m sure of that…”

Napoli could actually move five points clear of Milan after just two games should they win at the San Paolo on Sunday.

Cavani: Napoli can dream
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Edinson Cavani insists that Napoli have a right to dream ahead of Sunday’s clash against champions Milan.

The Azzurri were a revelation last term when they finished the season in third place to qualify for the Champions League.

And having marked their Champions League debut with a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, the Stadio San Paolo side are looking to again impress against Milan.

“It’s only normal to dream,” Cavani told Radio Marte. “I’ve been dreaming since I was a young boy. My father taught me that dreams help you to never give up, they enable you to reach objectives.”

Napoli are being considered as serious Scudetto contenders this term and Cavani thinks they’re good enough to beat Milan this weekend.

“This squad is made up of great men and this characteristic is what pushes us on the field of play,” added the Uruguayan.

“Milan have great champions, but we have a squad made up of some excellent players and we’ll look to give joy to our fans.

“We have to just play every single game as if it is a Final,” he continued.

“It won’t be easy to repeat what we did last term, but I’ll give everything I have for my teammates and for Napoli.”

Nocerino ready for Naples return
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sunday’s Stadio San Paolo clash between Napoli and Milan will be an emotional one for Antonio Nocerino.

The Rossoneri midfielder was born in Naples in April 1985 and grew up supporting his hometown club.

“The San Paolo always brings up emotions for Nocerino,” his agent, Marco Sommella, told Radio CRC.

“Playing against Napoli is always a special game for Antonio because he is a son of the city, a Napoli fan.

“However, he’s an experienced player and a professional. He knows that he will have to give his best against them.”

The Italian international was linked with a summer move to Napoli while he was still on Palermo’s books.

However, he joined Milan on transfer deadline day for just €500,000 as the Rosanero would have lost him on a Bosman next summer.

Pato hails El Shaarawy
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato has been left impressed by the ability of Milan new boy Stephan El Shaarawy. “He’ll be a better player than me!”

The attacking midfielder, who will only turn 19 in October, joined the Rossoneri this summer from Genoa in a co-ownership deal.

“I really want to play alongside him,” the Brazilian told Milan Channel. “He’s a boy who will do better than me – I’m sure of that.”

Pato may get his wish this weekend as an injury crisis means that the club’s attacking options against Napoli are limited.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri can only count on Pato, Antonio Cassano and El Shaarawy for the San Paolo showdown.

El Shaarawy, an Italian Under-19 international whose father is Egyptian, has only appeared in three Serie A games during his career.

Napoli - AC Milan not a title decider
16.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

This weekend’s Napoli-Milan game will mean nothing in terms of the Scudetto race, says Rossoneri official Adriano Galliani.

The two title contenders meet at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night, but Galliani is under-playing the importance of the tie.

“It would be excessive to talk about the Napoli game as a Scudetto clash,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “This is just the second game of the season…”

Napoli won their opening match of the campaign at Cesena, while Milan had to fight back to salvage a 2-2 draw against Lazio.

The Italian champions will also arrive in Naples with an injury-hit squad.

“We’ll be without Kevin Prince Boateng, Massimo Ambrosini, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gennaro Gattuso, Robinho, as well as Pippo Inzaghi and Mathieu Flamini,” Galliani added.

“We’ll have many absences, but we have other players. We also had to deal with injuries last term.

“I’m not the Coach, but we have two champions like Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano in attack. Stephan El Shaarawy, our third attacker, will be on the bench.”

Both sides were also in European action this week as Milan drew 2-2 at Barcelona, while Napoli grabbed a 1-1 at Manchester City.

“Milan did what Napoli did in the Champions League, it’s just that we played against the best side in the world,” the former Lega Calcio chief noted, before praising the performance of Alessandro Nesta in Spain.

“He’ a great champion who is 35 and Lionel Messi is a lot younger. When Nesta is in form he and Thiago Silva are the best centre-back pairing in the world.”

Ambrosini adds to AC Milan crisis
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan will have a decimated squad against Napoli after results of tests on Kevin-Prince Boateng and Massimo Ambrosini.

The Rossoneri earned a 2-2 draw away to Barcelona last night, but picked up a series of fitness problems too.

The official club website released a statement this evening confirming Boateng’s x-rays came back clear, so there are no fractures to his ribs, but the muscular problem on his torso is still causing a great deal of pain.

Ambrosini also underwent tests today and it’s discovered he dislocated his right shoulder during the game at the Nou Camp.

“His return to football is expected in three to four weeks, excluding complications.”

It’s a double blow considering Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also likely to be out of action after damaging his right thigh during training on Monday.

Robinho also missed the Barcelona game with a groin problem and remains in doubt along with Gennaro Gattuso.

Barcelona look to Thiago Silva
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva’s goal against Barcelona revived their interest in the Milan defender, confesses his agent.

The Brazilian rose above the crowd to nod in the last-minute equaliser in their 2-2 Champions League draw.

“Milan were very lucky to score in stoppages and it is certainly an important point,” agent Paulo Tonietto told Calciomercato.it.

“I heard from Thiago and obviously he was very happy with the goal. After all, being able to time his runs to head the ball is one of his characteristics and he showed that last night.”

Thiago Silva had been linked with a move to Barcelona over the summer and this performance only intensified reports of another attempt in future.

“It’s true, we had already talked about Barcelona in the past and it can only make us happy that the Blaugrana are tracking him. After all, they are currently the best team in the world.

“However, it’s normal for the world’s best to be interested in great players like Thiago Silva. He is happy at Milan and only recently extended his contract until June 2016.”

Nesta on the defensive
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alessandro Nesta has looked back on Milan’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona following his own stunning Nou Camp display.

The veteran Italian was arguably one of the Rossoneri’s best players on the night and a major reason why his side left Spain with a point.

“We started the game well, but then we did suffer a little after that,” the former Lazio and Italy defender noted.

“It’s not easy to play against these types of champions. You can’t take that many risks and they’re very dangerous in one on one situations.

“We had to back off and then try to win back the ball…

“We conceded some stupid goals, especially the first. Nevertheless, we defended well against a team who play good stuff in attack.”

Milan, who drew 2-2 with Lazio on Friday evening, are now back in action this weekend when they travel to Napoli.

“We’ll go there with the same motivation as we had at Barcelona,” the World Cup winner continued. “We want to win and we’ll just look to give it our all.”

Galliani admits to AC Milan fortune
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has admitted that his side were lucky to net a 2-2 draw at Barcelona on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri took the lead in the first minute with Alexandre Pato and equalised in the last with Thiago Silva – but Barcelona proved their class in between.

“We were very lucky,” the official stated.

“You could see they had 70 per cent possession, but Barcelona are amazing with the ball at their feet. You just can’t get it off them.”

Although the European champions twice rippled the net against the San Siro giants, Galliani was happy with how Milan did at the back against a goal machine like Barca.

“The defence did very well, especially Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta in the centre,” he continued.

“We struggled a lot against Dani Alves, but contrasted him better when Urby Emanuelson came on.

“It’s not catenaccio though,” he insisted. “It’s just that because they keep the ball so well, you are forced to go deeper and can never get out.

“What I do want to point out is their three strikers always come back to help out the midfield and that is why Barcelona dominate. They all work so hard.”

Galliani is known for his unique facial expressions, hand gestures and excitable passion while watching games from the stands, but he admits he was on his best behaviour at the Camp Nou.

“I was sat next to the Barcelona President so had to stay still and not move a muscle,” he added. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life…”

Zambrotta: 'It could have been 2-0 for us'
14.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gianluca Zambrotta was happy with a point at Barcelona, but he does admit to some Milan regrets.

The Rossoneri collected a 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, yet the former Barca defender thinks his side could have made an even better start than they did.

“In the first 15 minutes, we could have gone 2-0 up,” he said after Alexandre Pato had given his side the lead early on.

“Nevertheless, we can return home convinced that we had a good game.

“After the first goal we went a bit too deep and made too many mistakes, but overall we must be happy with this result against what is currently the best team in the world.”

The former Italian international is also confident that last night’s result will help them ahead of the trip to Naples this weekend.

“It’s easier to go to Napoli now as this is an important and morale-boosting result for us,” added the World Cup winner.

“We know it’s complicated, as Napoli are in great shape, but we now have the time to prepare for this match.”

The Rossoneri started their League campaign on Friday with a 2-2 draw against capital outfit Lazio at the Stadio Meazza.

Champions League: Barcelona 2:2 AC Milan - highlights
14.9 || webmaster

Barcelona 2:2 AC Milan by Tiziano Crudeli
14.9 || webmaster



Pato: 'I saw a gap and ran at it'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato explains what he was thinking when he scored the fifth fastest Champions League goal ever.

The Brazilian hitman netted just 24 seconds into the 2-2 draw between Milan and Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

“As soon as the game kicked off, I saw a gap and I ran at it,” he grinned on Mediaset Premium. “Barcelona are a very strong side, so we’re perfectly happy with this result.

“It was difficult to play and we wanted to have more time on the ball. At the end, when Antonio Cassano went off, I was too isolated in attack.

“Fortunately Thiago Silva scored that goal and got us a deserved equaliser. Now we can look ahead to Serie A and Napoli.

“Everyone was tired, but I only played 10 minutes against Lazio on Friday, so I wasn’t terribly match fit.”

Barbara Berlusconi: 'An unforgettable night'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Director Barbara Berlusconi enjoyed an “unforgettable” night in which her boyfriend Alexandre Pato scored at the Camp Nou.

“It was a very emotional night and so much suffering, but that’s football! These nights are unforgettable,” said the daughter of President Silvio Berlusconi.

She was in the stands when Milan held Barcelona to a thrilling 2-2 draw with Pato netting after 24 seconds and Thiago Silva scoring the last-gasp equaliser.

“We played against the best team in the world and emerged with our heads held high. Milan proved themselves solid, united and scored two great goals.”

It is widely reported she is being groomed to take over as President of the Rossoneri from her father, who is also Prime Minister of Italy.

Barbara has been dating Milan striker Pato since the summer.

“Now I am in the Board of Directors and learning from those who made history in Italian football.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan could've won'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri thinks Milan could’ve won against Barcelona had they been sharper on the counter-attack after their amazing start.

“The team did very well at the start, then we got a bit too deep, mainly because of Barcelona’s pressure. We could’ve done better with some counters and keeping possession, but it wasn’t easy,” he said after the 2-2 draw.

“I don’t think we allowed Barca many chances and could’ve gone 2-0 up straight after the opener.”

Alexandre Pato scored after 24 seconds, making it the fifth fastest goal in Champions League history.

However, Barcelona fought back to lead 2-1 and had 70 per cent of the possession before Thiago Silva’s last-gasp header from a corner.

“The lads did well not to lose their heads after going behind and were rewarded for all the hard work and sacrifice they did over the 95 minutes,” continued Allegri.

“I didn’t expect this, as it’s not easy to come here and score twice. We all realised it was difficult and held firm, as Barcelona are capable of scoring three goals in five minutes.”

Antonio Cassano was quiet, while Kevin-Prince Boateng went off with a back injury during the first half.

“Cassano, like all the others, worked to help out the team. I was convinced he’d have a great game, otherwise I wouldn’t have fielded him. He did create an interesting opportunity, but four days after the high tempo game against Lazio, fatigue was always going to be an issue.”

Allegri argues his approach was not negative against the reigning European champions.

“We had two options, which was to push forward as quickly as possible, the other was not to give away silly fouls or let ourselves get taken on one-on-one. I think we did that pretty well and defended well around the box.

“At half-time I asked the lads to be sharper when we had the ball, which we did very well on the goal, but after a while we started giving away possession far too cheaply.”

Thiago Silva: 'I was nervous!'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva admits he was “a bit nervous, certainly” when nodding in Milan’s last-gasp equaliser in Barcelona.

“I was a bit nervous, certainly,” he said after his header from Clarence Seedorf’s corner kick, securing the 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.

“We worked hard on this in training, so in the end found an important goal. Now we have to keep this level of calm, as on Sunday we face another great squad like Napoli.”

Barcelona are European champions and the undisputed best side around right now, but Thiago Silva notes Milan had a game plan.

“We didn’t only hope to win here, but also at San Siro. It’s important to keep calm and we know that we made a lot of mistakes today, especially when defending, but the two goals were crucial.

“It is always difficult to play in the Champions League, but we have just started and hope to slowly improve. It’s the most important competition for a player.”

It’s all level in Group H, as Viktoria Plzen drew 1-1 with BATE Borisov.

Champions League: Barcelona 2:2 AC Milan - match report
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Pato 1 (M), Pedro 36 (B), Villa 50 (B), Thiago Silva 92 (M)

Alexandre Pato gave Milan the perfect start and Thiago Silva the ideal ending, as Milan drew 2-2 with Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Adriano Galliani dubbed this 'The Derby of the World' between currently the best side on the planet and the club with the most international trophies in history. They hadn't crossed paths since the 2005-06 semi-final and their record was perfectly balanced at four wins each and three stalemates.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Philippe Mexes, Taye Taiwo, Mathieu Flamini and the suspended Gennaro Gattuso were unavailable, so Antonio Cassano started with Alexandre Pato and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Barcelona's Carles Puyol was only fit for the bench and ex-Udinese star Alexis Sanchez sidelined, but Pep Guardiola opted for an all-attack formation with Pedro Rodriguez completing the trident. Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets formed an unusual central defensive partnership.

It took just 24 seconds for Milan to take advantage of this rather mismatched pairing, as Pato flicked it between them and burst forward with his notorious pace to coolly slot past the on-rushing Victor Valdes. It was the fifth fastest goal in Champions League history.

Barcelona kept possession in their usual style, as the visitors clearly focused on the counter-attack. A corner fell to David Villa at the back post, but he only hit the side-netting, while Pato was halted by a very tight offside decision when clear on goal again.

Christian Abbiati got down to beat Leo Messi's daisy-cutter round the post, but Pato drew away three defenders and rolled across to the unmarked Boateng, who blasted over. Seydou Keita then had to sprint back to intercept Pato again.

Messi curled a free kick over the wall and on to the top half of the near post at the 19th minute. Barcelona switched to three at the back to avoid the immense pressure they were under from Pato.

Villa volleyed over the bar and Abbiati parried from point-blank range as Dani Alves threaded through for Messi. Boateng had a back problem against Lazio on Friday that flared up again, so made way for Massimo Ambrosini. It pushed Clarence Seedorf into the trequartista role.

Alessandro Nesta was having a fantastic game and stood his ground to block Andres Iniesta's slalom in the box.

However, Barcelona did equalise when Messi drew three defenders to the by-line and somehow managed to squeeze a pass between them for the unmarked Pedro Rodriguez to tap in from three yards.

Iniesta also picked up an injury and was replaced by Cesc Fabregas. Dani Alves nutmegged Gianluca Zambrotta to release Messi, but the offside flag was raised. In first half stoppages a Thiago Silva error risked another counter, but Ignazio Abate stretched his neck for a decisive intercepting header.

After the restart Xavi's screamer stung Abbiati's palms for a corner. Sergio Busquets earned a very soft free kick for a nudge from Cassano, but with that set play David Villa curled a powerful right-foot strike into the near top corner to put Barcelona in front.

Nesta had to time his tackle perfectly to stop Messi's trademark run just as he was pulling the trigger from six yards. Urby Emanuelson replaced Cassano for a 4-4-1-1 system. Puyol made his comeback after knee surgery the day after the Champions League Final and Barcelona had 70 per cent of the possession.

Pato's weak header from a Seedorf corner kick was all the Rossoneri managed to create. Alberto Aquilani replaced Mark Van Bommel.

However, in stoppages Seedorf curled in a corner kick and Thiago Silva was far more reactive than those around him, soaring above a crowd of Barcelona players for a wonderful header.

Barcelona: Valdes; D Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal; Keita (Puyol 67), Xavi, Iniesta (Fabregas 39); Villa (Afellay 83), Messi, Pedro

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel (Aquilani 77), Seedorf; Boateng (Ambrosini 33); Cassano (Emanuelson 61), Pato

Ref: Atkinson (Eng)

Barcelona - AC Milan official lineups
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona: Valdes; D Alves, Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal; Keita, Xavi, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro

Barcelona bench: Pinto, Puyol, Maxwell, Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Afellay, Adriano

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng; Cassano, Pato

Milan bench: Amelia, Yepes, Bonera, Antonini, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Emanuelson

Cassano will play, say AC Milan
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has rubbished speculation that the Rossoneri will only field one striker against Barcelona.

Given the absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Pippo Inzaghi, it was being suggested that the Italian champions would field a 4-3-2-1 system.

Galliani, however, has told Sky Sport Italia that such a formation doesn’t fit in with the philosophy of the San Siro giants.

“Our history is 4-3-1-2,” the official noted on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the Champions League clash.

“We’ve always played with two strikers and we’ll play in that way this evening. Therefore, Antonio Cassano will be on the pitch.”

The Italian will partner Alexandre Pato in attack, with Kevin Prince Boateng expected to create behind them.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that Ibra’s muscle injury could see him ruled out of action for the next month.

Sponsorship deal between Taçi Oil and AC Milan
13.9 || webmaster

Milan, September 9th 2011 - Taçi Oil, the largest oil company in Albania, has signed an annual sponsorship deal with AC Milan for the 2011-2012 season as a premium sponsor.

Taçi Oil has had a close association with Milan for many years. Since 2008, it has been the main sponsor of Milan Junior Camp in Tirana, recognizing an opportunity to highlight its ability for growth and continuous improvement. To date, the event has involved about 1400 Albanian young players between 8 and 16 years, some of whom have had the unique opportunity of being welcomed into the great family at the annual Rossoneri Milan Junior Camp Day in Milan.

The combination of Taçi Oil and Milan has over the years led to the creation of numerous other initiatives, such as two friendly matches between the Rossoneri club in Albania, in 2008 and 2009 in Tirana where the likes of stars such as Maldini, Kaka and Beckham played. In addition, this year there has been an expansion of activities of the Milan Junior Camp in neighboring Kosovo and in the town of Pristina, in 2010 Taci Oil promoted the Tirana Park in Milan, an event dedicated to families that involved thousands of families for a whole weekend and the Milan School Cup, a tournament for schools in the capital.

The deal, which took place thanks to the help of Infront, official advisors who also aid the club in searching, choosing and managing sponsors, was signed this morning in Milan's headquarters in the trophy room by Adriano Galliani, vice president and managing director of Milan, Rezart Taçi, president of Taçi Oil and Marco Bogarelli, president of Infront Italy.

"The signing of the deal is only the natural evolution of a well established relationship between Taçi Oil and its president that has been ongoing for many years," said Adriano Galliani, vice president and managing director of Milan. "In what is a very particular moment for Italian football, champions of Italy Milan continue to be the most sought after club by other companies who are looking to expand their commercial options and give their name more visibility. The deal also highlights the excellent and very productive working relationship we have with our advisors, Infront, in terms of sponsors and they continue to be a vert strategic element in our partnership."

"We have followed Milan with satisfaction from the 2010-2011 season," said Marco Bogarelli, President of Infront Italy. "This new agreement, is the basis for solid and durable partnership and will allow the team to break into a new growth market such as Albania. Conversely sponsors will allow the company to benefit from the brand strength Milan as a means of international communication."

During the meeting, Rezart Taci said: "As well as thanking my friend Adriano Galliani for having invited me to this magnificent hall with all the trophies at their headquarters and Infront, headed by Marco Bogarelli, for giving me this opportunity, I would like to underline that it is a real honour for me personally and also for the Taci Group to be undertaking a new challenge in Italy along with AC Milan.

“AC Milan have always been a symbol of strength for my family and I, of determination and success, the same values with which I have based my professional career on. I love Italian football which I believe is still the best in the world. I hope, thus, that as well as bringing my group commercial success this deal will also represent the future when it comes to further international investments in the Italian game. Italy, in my opinion, is the most beautiful place in the world with infinite natural beauty and culture and from a personal point of view, aside from the bond I have with the club, I still prefer to bring my guests to Italy and to the San Siro than to England or Spain.”

Barcelona vs. AC Milan probable line-ups
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas; Villa, Messi, Iniesta.

Barca subs: Pinto, Adriano, Fontas, Keita, Thiago, Afellay, Pedro.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Emanuelson; Seedorf, Boateng; Pato.

Milan subs: Amelia, Yepes, Bonera, Antonini, Aquilani, Ambrosini, Cassano.

Barcelona - AC Milan is 'Derby of the World'
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Tuesday’s showdown between Barcelona and Milan has been labelled as the “Derby of the World” by Adriano Galliani.

The two teams meet in their opening match of Group H as the Champions League kicks off this evening.

“Barcelona are the best team in the world right now, but Milan are the club with the most titles,” the Rossoneri Vice-President noted.

“Therefore, this game can be called the Derby of the World.”

Former Barca ace Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be missing from this global tie though after he picked up an injury in training on Monday.

That initially led to the understanding that Antonio Cassano and Alexandre Pato would start in attack, but that may not be the case.

As boss Massimiliano Allegri is also without the injured Robinho and the unavailable Pippo Inzaghi, there are suggestions that he could just start with Pato up front on his own.

The suggestion made by the Gazzetta dello Sport is that the Brazilian will be backed up by Kevin Prince Boateng and Urby Emanuelson in a 4-3-2-1.

Allegri doubts Ibrahimovic will make Napoli
13.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has said that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a doubt for next weekend's clash with Napoli.

Milan confirmed earlier today that the 29-year-old had sustained a muscle injury in training and would not feature in Tuesday's Champions League clash against his former club Barcelona.

Allegri has now also stated he is unlikely to feature for next Sunday's League fixture: “It is nothing serious, but it is difficult for him to recover in time for Napoli.”

The Coach was speaking ahead of the champions' clash with Spanish counterparts Barcelona, where he also hinted at dropping Antonio Cassano, in favour of playing just Alexandre Pato in attack.

Allegri confirmed Kevin Prince Boateng is passed fit for the Camp Nou match.

No panic from Ibrahimovic loss for AC Milan
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan insist there is no panic in the camp after star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out of the Barcelona showdown.

The Swede was expected to lead the line against his former club on Tuesday, but a muscle problem has seen him sidelined.

“We’re calm and tranquil,” Rossoneri Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted on Monday afternoon.

“Alexandre Pato and Antonio Cassano, two champions, will now play instead. I’m not crying about this situation.

“We are champions of Italy and this is not a knock-out match at this stage. There will be other games to come…”

AC Milan lose Ibrahimovic for Barcelona
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have been dealt a massive blow with the news that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out of the game against Barcelona.

The Swede picked up a muscle problem in training earlier today and will miss the Champions League showdown with his former club on Tuesday.

The ex Inter and Juventus man is now also a doubt for the Serie A game at the weekend against Napoli.

The loss of Ibra will give boss Massimiliano Allegri some selection problems as he has now just two fit strikers in the squad.

With Robinho also sidelined with injury and Pippo Inzaghi excluded from the Champions League squad, the Rossoneri have just Antonio Cassano and Alexandre Pato available for selection.

AC Milan squad for Barca trip
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has named a 21-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League game at Barcelona.

Taye Taiwo and Gianluca Zambrotta are available after struggling with fitness issues, but Robinho isn’t there after he failed a fitness test.

The absence of the Brazilian means that the Rossoneri travel to Spain with just three forwards after Pippo Inzaghi was omitted from the Champions League squad.

Goalkeepers: Abbiati, Amelia, Roma.

Defenders: Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Nesta, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta, Yepes.

Midfielders: Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel.

Attackers: Cassano, Ibrahimovic, Pato.

No Barcelona fear for AC Milan
12.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has told his side to show no fear when facing Barcelona on Tuesday. “We are Milan!”

The two teams meet in one of the most eagerly anticipated ties from Matchday 1 of the Champions League.

“We have great players,” the tactician stated on Monday. “We are Milan and anything can happen in football.

“We can’t take on Barcelona with any kind of fear, but we have to respect them and look to do well in both the defensive and attacking phase.

“We are taking on the team who is playing the best football there is at the moment, but we need to play with focus.

“We have to avoid making the same mistakes as we did in the first 20 minutes against Lazio.”

The Rossoneri were 2-0 down against the capital club on Friday, until Antonio Cassano created one and scored the other in the 2-2 draw.

However, despite that display, the Italian international looks like he will be dropped at the Nou Camp.

“Cassano was excellent against Lazio, but, because of his characteristics, Alexandre Pato is the favourite to start alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”

While Pato could be brought into the side, Allegri may also choose Antonio Nocerino instead of Massimo Ambrosini in midfield.

Boateng: 'Let's stop Barcelona's brain'
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng is confident Milan can make an impact against Barcelona. “Nobody is unbeatable. We need to stop the brain...”

Both teams drew 2-2 in their domestic games on Saturday evening, as Barça threw away a 2-0 lead against Real Sociedad, while the Rossoneri fought back from 2-0 down to hold Lazio.

They go head-to-head at the Nou Camp in the opening Champions League match on Tuesday night.

“If I thought we couldn’t win, then I wouldn’t be playing football. I dreamed of a game like this since I was a kid. Nobody is unbeatable,” smiled Boateng in the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We have to stay solid and united, because we’re on their turf and must defend well. In attack we have exceptional strikers and sooner or later we will score. I think it’ll end 1-1.

“If we don’t give Xavi and Andres Iniesta time to think, then it becomes very difficult for them to find the net. Those two are the right and left side of the Barcelona brain. Without the brain, teams cannot play.

“Who is Milan’s brain? Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan drags us all forward and is very important for us.”

Boateng snapped at the Milan fans after Saturday night’s game, as San Siro was not sold out.

“In all honesty, I thought it would be full. We’re champions of Italy, it was Friday night and the game was interesting. I was quite surprised, as the fans are the most important component in football. If I’m tired, then I keep pushing for them.

“Some fans weren’t happy with the transfer campaign, but we can’t buy an Ibrahimovic every summer. When I arrived last year, nobody knew who I was, but I proved myself. We don’t need more stars, but rather people who help the squad and in that sense the club had an intelligent approach.”

Sanchez out of Barcelona - AC Milan
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexis Sanchez is out of Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Milan and could be sidelined for up to two months.

The Chilean was a €37m summer signing from Udinese and had a very bright start to his Nou Camp career.

However, the 22-year-old was stretchered off during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad.

Sanchez has now been diagnosed with a torn muscle in the back of his right leg, so he is expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks, confirmed the official Barça website.

It’s a heavy blow for the Blaugrana, who threw away a 2-0 lead in San Sebastian and will face Milan on Tuesday evening in the Champions League.

Pep Guardiola ran few risks, as he initially rested Leo Messi, David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Eric Abidal for their Liga match.

Montolivo considering new Fioentina deal
11.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina patron Andrea Della Valle personally offered a new contract extension to Riccardo Montolivo last night.

The club owner had stated he would meet with the player, whose current deal expires in June 2012, ahead of the Serie A opener with Bologna.

It is reported Della Valle met with Montolivo and President Mario Cognini, proposing a long-term contract with a wage increase.

The former captain had rejected several extensions over the last few months and turned down a move to Roma.

Della Valle said he wanted “a yes or no answer,” and it’s now rumoured the deadline is the end of next week.

Fiorentina demand Montolivo answer
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina patron Andrea Della Valle has warned Riccardo Montolivo, “I need a yes or no answer.”

The former captain’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has repeatedly rejected a renewal, but negotiations have resumed.

“I will talk to him today and it’s necessary we have absolute clarity,” explained Della Valle.

“I need a yes or no answer. I know he wants to renew, so we’ll talk it over and in the next few days you’ll know more.”

There was also controversy around Alberto Gilardino, who complained at the ‘silence’ from the club over his future during the transfer session.

“That is all over and done with. This is an important season for Gilardino and he’ll want to do well in the lead-up to the European Championship. He had a few problems last year, but will return to being the great striker we knew.

“Now we have a competitive squad and Fiorentina must entertain us, which they didn’t do last season.”

Ancelotti tips AC Milan for the title
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Ancelotti tips Milan to retain their Scudetto and reveals what he’ll be doing while he waits “for a call from the Premier League.”

The former Chelsea and Rossoneri manager is now working as a television pundit for Sky Sport Italia after his dismissal from Stamford Bridge.

“It’s only right to have a break after 13 years of working continuously,” he told Tuttosport newspaper.

“This will also give me an opportunity to get up to date and study the various different Leagues. If I was to return to work, I’d prefer to wait for a call from the Premier League. In the meantime I want to enjoy this new experience as a pundit.”

Ancelotti started by casting his eye over the campaign ahead and tips his former club to take the title.

“I think Milan are still the favourites for the Scudetto. When you win, it brings a special enthusiasm to the locker room.

“I’d say Milan are a step above the rest, who in this order are Roma, Juventus, Napoli, Lazio and Inter.”

Juventus inaugurated their new stadium this week, the first club-owned arena in Serie A.

“It is a masterpiece and I’d love it to act as an example for other clubs. Being on the bench surrounded by your fans is a wonderful thing and ought to be the norm.”

Ancelotti had also been one of the main contenders for the Roma bench before it was handed to Luis Enrique, who has been having problems with Francesco Totti.

“Francesco remains the undisputed symbol of Roma.”

Ibrahimovic: 'If we play like this in Barcelona...'
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hopes Milan learned the Lazio lessons. “We were asleep. If we play like that against Barcelona...”

The reigning Serie A champions began the defence of their title with a 2-2 draw at San Siro last night, but were trailing 2-0 after 22 minutes.

“At the start of the game we were literally asleep,” said the Swedish striker, who scored in the fightback.

“Fortunately we recovered later and put things partially on the right track, in fact we should’ve won it.

“This is an attitude we absolutely cannot afford against Barcelona, as that will be an extremely difficult game. If we play like that at the Nou Camp...

“In any case, our objective is to do our best on the night and see how it plays out.”

Milan open their Champions League campaign with a trip to Barcelona on Tuesday evening.

Gennaro Gattuso is in doubt for that clash after hospital tests for dizzy spells following his substitution against Lazio last night.

Clarence Seedorf, Robinho and Gianluca Zambrotta were left out of Friday’s game as a precautionary measure.

Gattuso released from hospital
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso was released from hospital after tests for problems with his eye and head last night.

“He was feeling very dizzy, but now he is doing better,” said Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The Milan midfielder went off during the opening minutes of the 2-2 draw with Lazio at San Siro.

He had already suffered from blurry vision over the last few days, then received a blow to the head in a collision with Alessandro Nesta.

The club confirmed Gattuso was taken to the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Milan and given the all-clear after tests.

It remains to be seen whether the veteran will be risked for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Barcelona.

Aquilani on 'emotional' AC Milan debut
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani was content with his Milan debut, although “we always want to win. I felt emotional before kick-off.”

The midfielder was in the starting XI for the 2-2 draw with Lazio on Friday night, a game that opened the Serie A season.

“It was an intense match, we had the chances to win, but at the end of the day can be happy with the point,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“This is a positive result, even if we always want to win. I will admit I felt emotional before kick-off, but once the game started I focused only on playing.

“Now we have to look ahead and keep working for the next games, as we are Milan and we want to win.”

Aquilani was brought in on loan from Liverpool to play on the left side of a three-man midfield.

“I do like this position, even though it has been a few years since I played there.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan could've done better'
10.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri admits Milan “could’ve done better” in their 2-2 draw with Lazio, but put it down to a lack of preparation time.

The Rossoneri scrambled back from 2-0 down after 22 minutes on home turf in their Serie A opener.

“We hadn’t played together in a long while, as the internationals had only just returned, so the squad only managed to prepare for this game yesterday,” explained the Coach.

“For example, Mark Van Bommel is no longer a young man and only came back from international duty on Wednesday, but he had a good performance. I am also happy with Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino.

“We could’ve done better, but we reacted and in the second half created many chances. We won the ball back often, but also allowed too many counter-attacks. Lazio caused us problems and are very strong in attack.

“The fact remains it’s no good for us to take such long breaks. We will soon get back in shape.”

Milan have a race against time to do that, as on Tuesday they travel to Barcelona for the Champions League opener.

“As we saw tonight and from pre-season matches, we’ve got to improve and rediscover the defensive solidity we had last year,” continued Allegri.

There were injury scares for Kevin-Prince Boateng when he landed awkwardly on his shoulder, while Gennaro Gattuso was taken to hospital after a knock to the eye.

“Boateng is fine and Gattuso is undergoing tests.”

It’s reported Gattuso had problems with his eyesight even before kick-off, so the knock in a collision with Alessandro Nesta prompted his early substitution.

Serie A: AC Milan 2:2 Lazio - match report
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Klose 12 (L), Cisse' 22 (L), Ibrahimovic 29 (M), Cassano 33 (M)

Antonio Cassano's Milan came back from 2-0 down in a spectacular draw after Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse' scored on Lazio debuts.

The Serie A season kicked off at San Siro with the reigning champions beginning the defence of their title against a Lazio side who pushed hard for Champions League football last term.

Robinho, Clarence Seedorf and Gianluca Zambrotta were not risked ahead of the trip to Barcelona, so with Philippe Mexes, Taye Taiwo and Mathieu Flamini sidelined, Alberto Aquilani made his first appearance in a Milan jersey. Lazio lost Lorik Cana, Stefan Radu, Giuseppe Sculli, Marius Stankevicius and the suspended Federico Marchetti. Djibril Cisse' and Miroslav Klose got their Serie A debuts, while goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri had his first League game in two and a half years.

Lazio last conquered San Siro in Serie A with a 1-0 result on September 3, 1989. That was followed by 13 defeats and eight draws, but they were also unbeaten here since September 2008.

Aquilani should've given Milan the lead after seven minutes when a wonderful Ibra through ball released him clear on goal, but he hesitated and fired straight at the goalkeeper from six yards. Moments later, Stefano Mauri flashed a ball across the face of goal, but Klose couldn't quite make contact at full stretch.

Lazio broke the deadlock with Klose taking under 12 minutes to mark his Serie A debut. It was a well-worked move, as Klose hooked a Mauri ball past Alessandro Nesta with his right foot to fire low from nine yards with his left. However, there were some doubts over a handling offence.

It was so nearly 2-0, as Cisse' pounced on a defensive error when Nesta crashed into Gennaro Gattuso, but Christian Abbiati beat the shot away and Klose fired wide under pressure. Gattuso picked up an eye injury during that incident and had to make way for the not 100 per cent fit Mark Van Bommel.

Lazio did double their lead with another goal from their debutant strikers. Cisse' powered in the header between defenders to put Mauri's cross into the near top corner. Abbiati was rooted to the spot.

Milan got themselves back into the game when Cassano sprung the offside trap from an Aquilani ball over the top and rolled it back into the middle for Ibra's easiest of tap-ins.

Kevin-Prince Boateng unleashed a snapshot that Bizzarri just about turned round the near post. However, from the corner Cassano got a glancing header that squirmed past the goalkeeper at the back stick to equalise.

Lazio should've been back in front when Abdoulay Konko burst down the right, but his pull-back for an unmarked Hernanes was somehow scuffed wide!

Right after the restart, a Cassano solo effort saw his angled drive flash inches past the base of the far post. Boateng then just missed with a diving header, but landed awkwardly and was able to continue after treatment to his shoulder.

Milan were now dominating and Cassano almost scored a sensational goal. He chested down Ibra's chipped pass and smacked a shot against the base of the near post. Moments later Cassano turned provider for Boateng, his volley stinging Bizzarri's palms as it headed towards the top corner.

However, there was a huge scare when Abbiati rushed off his line and missed the ball, but Nesta stuck to Cisse' like glue to acrobatically block the finish in front of an open goal.

Klose was getting tired and made way for Alejandro Gonzalez, while Antonio Nocerino made his Milan debut in place of Aquilani. Alexandre Pato was also thrown on as the Rossoneri pushed to win in the final stages. Senad Lulic made his Serie A bow, but Mauri was booked for taking too long to leave the field.

Bizzarri plucked an Ignazio Abate cross off the feet of Ibrahimovic, then Lulic desperately anticipated Cassano on the counter. Cassano theaded through to release Ibrahimovic, but Bizzarri got down to beat away the angled drive.

In stoppages Pato fired over the bar from a very promising position and wasted Milan's opportunity to win. Ibrahimovic then stumbled over a combination of the ball and Luciano Zauri when Giuseppe Biava made a mistake in the offside trap.

There was controversy at the 95th minute of stoppages when Milan were awarded a corner, but the referee called a halt to the game before it could be taken.

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Gattuso (Van Bommel 20), Ambrosini, Aquilani (Nocerino 68); Boateng (Pato 75); Ibrahimovic, Cassano

Lazio: Bizzarri; Konko, Biava, Dias, Zauri; Ledesma, Brocchi; Cissè, Hernanes (Matuzalem 85), Mauri (Lulic 79); Klose (Gonzalez 68)

Ref: Rocchi

Montolivo back in Fiorentina talks
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fiorentina have confirmed that contract talks with international midfielder Riccardo Montolivo have resumed.

A split seemed inevitable over the summer after the former Atalanta player refused to sign an extension to his present deal that expires in June 2012.

However, after a transfer failed to materialise, Montolivo is now considering putting pen to paper at the Stadio Franchi.

“We are working on it after a small door was opened,” director Sandro Mencucci told reporters.

“There won’t be an immediate solution though. That’s why I ask for silence to give us time to work on a renewal.

“Our intention is to find a solution that suits Fiorentina and Montolivo. We’ll see if the contract is for another two years or longer.

“There is no deadline set and it’s not Fiorentina’s style to give anyone an ultimatum.”

Speculation suggests that the Tuscan club are ready to offer the player a contract until 2014, but the agreement will probably have a transfer rescission clause inserted into it.

Thiago Silva respects Lazio
9.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan defender Thiago Silva expects Lazio, tonight’s Serie A opponents, to be a threat in the Scudetto race.

The Rossoneri begin the season as favourites to retain their Italian title, but the Brazilian is impressed by the capital outfit.

“We have a Scudetto to defend and we can’t disappoint the expectations of our fans,” the stopper noted.

“However, Lazio will be fighting, like us, for the title. They have become stronger with Djibril Cisse and Miroslav Klose now in attack.

“I think the game against Lazio will be our most difficult in the League between now and December.”

The Lazio tie arrives just days before Milan’s big European game when they face Barcelona on Tuesday in Spain.

“The championship and the Champions League are two totally different competitions,” the Brazilian added.

“Boss Massimiliano Allegri has made it clear this week that we have to just concentrate on Lazio. We’ll switch our attention to Barcelona on Saturday.”

We'll attack AC Milan, warns Reja
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio boss Edy Reja has conceded that he would have preferred to start the season with a home game against Chievo. “But we can cause Milan problems.”

The capital club were set to face Chievo in Week 1 until strike action saw the opening round of games postponed. They now face champions Milan at San Siro on Friday.

“Milan will be favoured and I would have liked to start at the Olimpico against Chievo,” the tactician noted on Thursday.

“However, this game can provide us with some answers. It’s an important test that will help us understand what we can achieve this season.

“Milan have incredible potential, but we have the quality to do well.”

Reja is sometimes considered as a cautious Coach, but he’s suggested that his team will play to win at the Meazza.

“We have some excellent attacking options available to us which can cause Milan some difficulties.

“Our approach to the game will be different from last season. We’re more attacking,” he continued.

“[Summer signings] Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse are class players and we have a quality squad. If we’re focused then we can cause Milan some problems.”

Reja was also inevitably asked about Mauro Zarate, the Lazio fan favourite who was loaned to Inter on transfer deadline day.

“It’s a closed chapter,” the former Napoli man added. “I just hope that Mauro does his best for Inter. He has a great opportunity and I hope he can show off his qualities.”

AC Milan can beat Barcelona, says Robinho
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan can go to the Nou Camp next week and beat European champions Barcelona, insists Robinho.

“It will be a difficult game, against the best side in the world,” the Brazilian noted on Milan Channel.

"It is best though to start our Champions League campaign against a tough team like Barcelona, rather than begin with an easy team.

“It’s a tie that all players would want to play in. In my opinion, Milan have the right men to play a great game and win in Barcelona.”

The two continental giants meet in Spain next Tuesday in their opening game of Group H, which also contains BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen.

However, before that tie, the Rossoneri will have to begin the Serie A season with a match against Lazio on Friday.

“We hope to start the campaign well,” added the former Real Madrid and Manchester City attacker.

“It’ll be a hard game, but as we are playing at home in front of our fans, we are desperate to win it.”

Allegri places Lazio above Barcelona
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has underlined the significance of Friday’s game against Lazio.

Although the Rossoneri will face Barcelona in a massive Champions League match next week, he’s just focusing on their first Serie A tie of the season for now.

“We won’t talk about Barcelona until we get to Spain,” the former Cagliari tactician said on Thursday afternoon.

“The game against Lazio is our most difficult from now until December. It’s an important match as it could allow us to go to Barcelona and Napoli with the right mentality.

“Friday’s game will be tough because it is our first match for 20 days if we ignore the Como friendly.

“Fortunately our physical and mental condition is good, a few of our internationals got a game this week and this is a good thing.

“You have to be ready mentally to play this type of game. Lazio will be fighting for the championship this season.

“They have strengthened and have been playing as a team for a year – even if they now have Cissè and Klose in attack.

“They’ll play an open game and I don’t think they’ll play as deep as they did a year ago. It will be a great game.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic declared himself fit to start earlier today, but Brazilian international Robinho is unlikely to be available.

“I think it’ll be hard for him to be ready,” the tactician added.

“The new signings? One from Alberto Aquilani or Antonio Nocerino could start the game against Lazio.”

The reigning champions will begin the season as Scudetto favourites, but the Italian is eager to reserve judgement on whether the new Milan is stronger than the previous one.

“We’ll wait until June and then see what we have won.”

Marino expects Milan derby for Scudetto
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Atalanta technical director Pierpaolo Marino believes the 2012 Scudetto will remain in the city of Milan.

“The title race is between two clubs,” said the official. “It will be Milan or Inter, even if I do hope that Juventus or Napoli will get involved.

“If I had to place a bet then it would be on the Milanese teams,” he added in an interview with Itasportpress.

Reigning champions Milan will begin the campaign as favourites, but the former Napoli director general rates Inter.

“I don’t know if Inter are weaker following the sale of Samuel Eto’o to Anzhi,” he continued.

“With Diego Forlan, Giampaolo Pazzini and a Diego Milito who could return to his levels of two seasons ago, Inter have what is needed to take on Milan.”

Ibrahimovic ready for Lazio
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan ace Zlatan Ibrahimovic has declared himself fit to face Lazio on Friday. “We’re still the best.”

The Serie A campaign will finally kick off tomorrow and Ibra is ready to feature despite being troubled by an ankle problem.

“My ankle is now fine and therefore I’ll play against Lazio,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

“I can’t wait for the season to begin after the start was postponed because of the strike.

“To be honest, I don’t totally understand why we did strike. All I know is that we can now finally get under way.”

Milan dominated the championship last term and the Swedish international is confident that his side have only improved over the summer.

“We’ll still be the favourites,” he added. “We come out of the transfer market as a stronger squad. We’re even better than last term. I like all of the summer signings.”

When asked about city rivals Inter and European champions Barcelona, who they play next week, Ibra insisted he was just focused on the Diavolo.

“I don’t know if Inter are weaker after the sale of Samuel Eto’o, you’ll have to ask them,” he continued.

“Milan are in my mind, I’m not thinking about others. Not even Barcelona. My first objective is to do well against Lazio.”

Montolivo to renew with Fiorentina?
8.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo and Fiorentina have reportedly moved closer in negotiations to extend his contract.

The midfielder was expected to be sold over the summer after he refused to prolong his present agreement which expires in June 2012.

However, talks over a renewal have now resumed and progress is understood to have been made.

Given that the Viola don’t want to lose him for nothing next summer, they’ve offered him fresh terms until 2014.

However, it’s understood that a rescission clause will be inserted which means he would be able to leave if any Italian club meets that specified figure.

That transfer fee could be set at the €7m mark.

Gattuso seeks another Scudetto
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Gennaro Gattuso would prefer to target more Scudetti with Milan than the Champions League, but first expects a tough Lazio test.

The Rossoneri begin the defence of their title with the Serie A season opener on Friday evening.

“Lazio are a side who will make everyone suffer this season. We face this match with great respect, without thinking about the tour de force that follows,” he told Sportitalia.

The game is played on Friday so that Milan can better prepare for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Barcelona.

“I remember so well that night when Milan beat Barcelona 2-0 at the Nou Camp in 2000,” grinned the midfielder.

“I was on the field, but just 24 hours earlier we’d lost to Spain in the Sydney Olympics. We took the plane four hours after that match to go straight to Spain and at the end of the match I was shattered.

“Obviously, this is a totally different team, as we know we’re facing the strongest side in the world who have played the best football of recent years. It’s very difficult to beat Barcelona, but you can do anything in life with a bit of luck.”

Milan won the Scudetto after a seven-year wait, but Gattuso would still prefer to keep focusing on domestic titles rather than go for the Champions League.

They currently have 18 Scudetti, so two more will give them the second permanent star on their shirts.

“Without doubt the second star would be more impressive to me and there’s great pride in carrying that on your jersey.”

Lazio lose Cana for AC Milan trip
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio will be without Albanian midfielder Lorik Cana for Friday’s clash against Milan after he picked up an injury in training.

The summer signing limped off during yesterday’s session and has now been diagnosed with a first degree right thigh strain.

“Therefore the athlete will not be available for Friday evening’s game in Milan,” read a note on the official club website.

Lazio are also without Stefan Radu because of a knee inflammation and the suspended Federico Marchetti.

There are fitness doubts over Giuseppe Sculli, Guglielmo Stendardo, Libor Kozak and Marius Stankevicius.

Moggi tips AC Milan and blasts Inter
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Luciano Moggi has tipped Milan to retain their Scudetto and Juventus to surprise, but “Inter are selling up shop now Massimo Moratti’s in charge.”

The former Juve director general at the centre of the Calciopoli scandal is now a pundit and spoke to Radio Manà Manà about the new campaign.

“Milan are light years ahead of the others,” said Moggi. “However, I have doubts Inter can do well now that Moratti’s back in charge and taking care of business hands-on.

“The Nerazzurri President has started selling up shop rather than making intelligent sales and he’s signing poor replacements. I don’t think they are competitive.

“Milan worked very well on the transfer market. The Antonio Nocerino deal to replace the injured Mathieu Flamini proves there is logic behind the way this team has been assembled.

“Napoli also did a good job, strengthening in defence with Miguel Angel Britos, then midfield thanks to Blerim Dzemaili and Gokhan Inler. Above all, they have left the skeleton of the side intact from last season.”

Lazio and Juventus have bought some big names over the summer and revolutionised their squads.

“I think those two will fight for fourth place.”

Nocerino to prove worth at AC Milan
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is desperate to illustrate that he is a player worthy of the Milan jersey.

The Italian international joined the Rossoneri on transfer deadline day for just €500,000 – a year before his contract in Sicily expired.

“This isn’t a point of arrival for me, it’s a point of departure,” the competitive central midfielder commented.

“I want to convince those people who chose me that they haven’t made a mistake in bringing me here.

“It’s now up to me to take advantage of this opportunity.

“I have not won anything in my career and I want to win, especially now that I am at a club which has won more than anyone else.

“I informed myself of Milan while on international duty, but everyone knows the history of this very important club.”

Nocerino, born in April 1985, has spent the last three years with the Rosanero after his 2008 switch from Juventus.

“Palermo allowed me to grow and if I am here then I owe it to them,” he continued. “Where will I play? Wherever I am needed.”

It was believed that Nocerino would join Milan next summer, but a six-month injury to Mathieu Flamini saw them bring forward his arrival.

Aquilani not a clone for Pirlo
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Aquilani has silenced comparisons between himself and Andrea Pirlo. “We’re different players.”

The two midfielders have swapped clubs this summer after Pirlo joined Juventus and Aquilani moved to Milan via Liverpool.

“It would be wrong to compare Pirlo and I,” the Italian international stated on Wednesday afternoon. “We are two totally different players.

“Saying that, Pirlo is a great and it is an honour for myself to be likened to someone like him.”

Aquilani was netted by the Italian champions after boss Massimiliano Allegri asked for a new midfielder.

“I played in a deeper role at Juventus last term,” added the Roman. “But I can play on the left of a diamond or a four-man midfield.”

It had looked like Aquilani would be forced to go back to Anfield this summer until Milan made a late bid for his signature.

“Every player wants to be a part of Milan,” he added. “Milanello is also incredible. It offers you everything.

“Now that I am here I want to win something important as my honours’ list isn’t that rich. I want to re-affirm myself here.

“I’ve been at Milan for 10 days and I’ve had the time to ponder and understand that this is a glorious club, one of the most important in the world.”

AC Milan move possible for Amauri
7.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

One of the agents representing Juventus’ Amauri has opened the door for a possible January move to Milan.

The forward has been paired with the Rossoneri over the last few days after Juve failed to move him on in the summer.

“Let’s leave this until January, but there was a conversation with Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani,” Ernesto Bronzetti told Odeon TV.

“If a few things fall into place then, at that stage, Amauri could be a source of interest.”

The Brazilian-born Italian international frustrated Juve officials over the summer after he refused to leave the club.

The Bianconeri were keen to see him go given that he earns almost €4m a season and has less than a year left on his contract.

“Marseille offered him a deal, but it was worth around €7m over three seasons,” Bronzetti continued.

“This season he’ll get €3.8m from just Juventus.

“There was interest too from Genoa, Palermo, Fiorentina and Parma, but they couldn’t handle his salary.

“Amauri also took the decision to stay for family reasons.”

Boateng keen for action
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng is thankful that Serie A will finally kick off this weekend. “It has been a long summer.”

The championship failed to start in August after the Week 1 games were postponed due to strike action and the international break then caused a further delay.

“I can’t wait to start,” the versatile midfielder told Sky Sport Italia ahead of Friday’s opening game between his Rossoneri and Lazio.

“Pre-season was very long and all of us are anxious to start kicking the ball around on the field of play again.”

Milan will start this season as favourites after winning the Scudetto last term, but Boateng respects their rivals.

“There are some very interesting teams around,” continued the former Portsmouth man. “Juventus, Napoli and Lazio have all reinforced over the summer.

“However, we want to win everything and we’ll be totally focused on all of the competitions we appear in.”

AC Milan face Barcelona exam
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Clarence Seedorf believes next week’s game against Barcelona will reveal a lot about the true strength of Milan.

The two teams meet in the Champions League on Tuesday when the Italian Scudetto holders arrive at the Nou Camp.

“We need important tests like the one on Tuesday to understand how far we can go this season,” the Dutchman, 35, told Milan Channel.

“Barcelona are the best of the best right now and we’ll be able to verify our value in the game against them.”

Milan have made it clear that after triumphing domestically, they want to win Europe’s premier club competition this term.

And Seedorf thinks that Italian international Antonio Cassano could help them achieve success in 2011-12.

“I don’t know what happened after the Italy-Spain match last month, but he seems different,” added the midfielder.

“He’s not the same guy in training or off the pitch. If he can keep up all of these little improvements then he could be decisive for us.”

Montolivo focused on Fiorentina
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo says he has no concerns about the season ahead after he refused to sign a contract extension at Fiorentina.

The midfielder is only tied to the club until June 2012 and a proposed summer move never materialised.

“I’m calm about everything,” the international, who has been stripped of the Viola captaincy, told Radio Blu.

“I have a good relationship with the fans, even if I haven’t had the easiest of summers.”

Despite so far refusing to put pen to paper, Montolivo insists he’ll continue to give his all to the Fiorentina cause.

“Fiorentina were always in my thoughts over the summer and I just focused on training well, I wasn’t thinking about the transfer rumours,” he continued.

“The club are free to do what they believe is right to me. All I can do is to work seriously and then we’ll see what happens.”

Fiorentina are hoping to speak with the player in the near future in a bid to get him to sign a new deal in Tuscany.

Ferguson admits to Maldini desire
6.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he once made the mistake of asking about the transfer status of Paolo Maldini.

Speaking to the Corriere dello Sport during a visit to Rome, Ferguson was questioned about which Italian player he would have liked to have signed for the Old Trafford outfit.

“I once asked Maldini’s father Cesare about him,” the manager noted.

“He looked at me as if I was a madman and that response was enough to understand that the answer would be no.

“I also loved Gianfranco Zola a lot. He always played with a smile and with the right sporting spirit.”

Being in the Eternal City, Ferguson was inevitably asked for his thoughts on Francesco Totti given his difficulties so far this term.

“Totti is the symbol of Roma, he’d never want to leave the club just like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes at United,” Ferguson added.

“Totti needs to be kept at a certain level for Roma, just as I do at United. I may not let Giggs play every week but he’s always there. It could be the same for Totti.”

Turning to tactics, Ferguson hailed the work of Arrigo Sacchi in the late 80s for changing the face of the Italian game with his 4-4-2.

“Sacchi changed Italian football. He got rid of Catenaccio by proposing a high pressing game, with a Maldini who pushed forward on the flank.

“It was a change of mentality and it was the same for Fabio Capello’s sides.

“The Italian mentality was to attack with caution. Then all of a sudden there was no Catenaccio, but a four-man defence, with a side that attacked rather than waited to counter-attack.

“It was a great change.”

The Scot was also asked for his thoughts on Napoli’s chances in the Champions League after being paired with Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Manchester City.

“Napoli are in the most difficult group, the group of death,” he noted. “If they can get through that group then they can do anything.

“When there is a draw you hope to avoid long trips, to avoid Turkish and Ukrainian sides because those far away games are a problem. The other thing is to pick up 10 points.”

Serie A will start
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Serie A will kick off on Friday with Milan against Lazio after an agreement over the collective bargaining contract was reached.

A dispute over the deal, between the League and the AIC – Italian Players’ Association, saw Week 1 postponed due to strike action.

However, after numerous rounds of talks, an interim agreement which expires in June 2012 was signed by Lega President Maurizio Beretta and AIC chief Damiano Tommasi today.

“The clubs have received a lot of what they were wanting,” Beretta noted. “It’s an innovative agreement.”

Tommasi commented: “We’ll play. You have to credit the players for the good sense they have shown in these talks.

“If, as Beretta says, the clubs have received a lot, then there won’t be a need to discuss too much when it comes to the new deal which will be required once the interim one expires.”

The Italian top-flight campaign will thus begin this weekend with Milan-Lazio on Friday evening at 19.45 UK time.

The Saturday night match is Cesena-Napoli, while Juventus-Parma opens Sunday at 11.30. Palermo-Inter concludes Week 2 at 19.45 on Sunday September 11.

Thiago Silva hungry for success
5.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Thiago Silva only has one thing on his mind when it comes to Milan and the 2011-12 campaign. “I want to win.”

The Brazilian, 26, was a key element in the side that won the Scudetto last term and he wants success to now flow at San Siro.

“I want to win, win and win,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “There is little to smile about unless you’re able to do that.”

The Rossoneri will begin the season as favourites to triumph in Serie A, but the South American has his eyes on an even bigger prize.

“I want the Champions League and I don’t feel like an outsider to win that competition either,” he continued.

Inzaghi set for Atalanta return?
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pippo Inzaghi is furious at being left off Milan’s Champions League list and could return to his former club Atalanta in January.

The striker has been out for several months with a knee injury and, although he has now recovered, Coach Massimiliano Allegri opted to leave him out of the UEFA list.

Allegri has confirmed Inzaghi was angry at the decision and it is now reported they could part ways in January.

Atalanta would be willing to bring SuperPippo back into the fold, where he scored 24 goals in 33 Serie A games in 1996-97.

Another of the 38-year-old’s former clubs, Parma, are also interested in giving him another chance.

Flamini sets AC Milan timetable
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mathieu Flamini is out for six months with a knee injury, but the Milan midfielder is already hoping to make it a rapid recovery.

The former Arsenal star suffered a devastating knee ligament injury during the Trofeo Berlusconi win against Juventus last month.

“The knee is fine now, the swelling has gone down and I no longer feel pain after the operation,” he told Larqué Foot.

“Now I have to recover as quickly as possible. I hope to be back fully available for Milan in the first few months of 2012.

“I expect a very satisfying year, then after that I can think about France. I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the idea of wearing the Bleus shirt again.”

Fiorentina confirm Montolivo talks
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo is still at Fiorentina and “from Wednesday we will start to discuss his future and try to continue our adventure together.”

The midfielder was stripped of the captaincy and lambasted by fans after refusing to sign a contract extension, as his deal expires in June 2012.

An expected summer transfer did not materialise when he turned down Roma and the Viola rejected Milan’s offer.

“From Wednesday we will sit down with Montolivo and start to discuss his future,” general manager Sandro Mencucci told SportItalia.

“We will try to continue our adventure together. As for Alberto Gilardino, there have been a lot of rumours and many of them untrue. He is crucial for us.”

Fiorentina will present new signings Santiago Silva to the media later today.

“El Tanque is an excellent player who can do very well in Florence,” added Mencucci.

Abbiati: 'AC Milan second only to Real and Barca'
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati feels Milan are now among the best in Europe. “Only Real Madrid and Barcelona are stronger.”

The Rossoneri crashed out of the Champions League against Tottenham last season, but had to do without a host of players, including the cup-tied Antonio Cassano, Mark Van Bommel and Urby Emanuelson.

“It’s not easy to replace a champion like Andrea Pirlo, but Alberto Aquilani and Antonio Nocerino are two Italian internationals,” the goalkeeper told the Corriere della Sera.

“Are we competitive in Europe? Only Real Madrid and Barcelona are stronger. Anything can happen over 180 minutes, as last season we went out against a technically inferior side.”

Paloschi: 'My future is at AC Milan'
4.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Paloschi has joined Chievo this summer, but insists “my future is at Milan.”

The Under-21 international striker grew up in the Rossoneri youth system and is considered the heir to Pippo Inzaghi.

“I thank Chievo, who gave me the opportunity to make up for lost time,” said Paloschi.

“Next season I will try to come back to San Siro. Everyone aspires to the Rossoneri jersey and I have already played in that team, so my future is at Milan.”

The forward has recently been out on loan to Parma and Genoa.

Why Forlan is out, but Nocerino in
3.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Diego Forlan and Antonio Nocerino both played in the Europa League preliminary round, but only one can feature in the Champions League at San Siro.

Inter were stunned to discover today that Forlan cannot be used in the Champions League until January.

This is because he played in the Europa League third preliminary round with Atletico Madrid.

However, Milan signing Nocerino also played in the same round, but is available for European competition straight away.

The reason for the discrepancy is that Palermo were eliminated in the third round, whereas Atletico Madrid went through to the Europa League proper.

“As a rule, a player may not play in a UEFA club competition for more than one club in the course of the same season,” reads the UEFA rule book.

“Exceptionally, however, a player who has been fielded in the first, second or third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League is entitled to play in the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League for another club as from the group stage, provided that his former club did not qualify for the group stage of either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League.”

The mistake Inter made was not reading the rules properly, as they didn’t realise Atletico Madrid’s qualification – even without Forlan taking part in the final play-off round – automatically cup-tied him.

To make matters worse, the Nerazzurri only realised this after they had handed in the UEFA list, so players like Luc Castaignos and Andrea Poli are left off while Forlan is included despite being ineligible.

'Optimism' on Serie A strike
3.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Players’ Association is “moderately optimistic” the strike can be called off for Week 2, while the FIGC insists football “must” resume.

Week 1 was postponed on the weekend of August 27-28 when the AIC protested at the union of Serie A clubs (Lega) refusing to sign a collective bargaining contract.

Negotiations have continued over the last week and an interim agreement proposed.

“We received the proposal from the Lega’s meeting on September 1 and are working on it,” read a statement from AIC President Damiano Tommasi.

“There is moderate optimism.”

However, the Federation is determined to push through an interim deal to keep the sport going to the end of the season.

“There are now the conditions in place for the AIC to sign the collective bargaining contract,” read a statement from the FIGC.

“We are certain that Serie A must start next week.”

Inzaghi angered by AC Milan axe
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that Pippo Inzaghi was frustrated at being left out of their Champions League squad.

The tactician decided to omit the striker from his 25-man list given concerns over the veteran’s fitness.

“I spoke to Pippo,” the former Cagliari Coach noted. “He didn’t take the news well, but that is only understandable.

“However, I told him that we’ll wait for his return in January in the hope that he recovers full fitness by then.”

Inzaghi, 38, has a special relationship with European club football given his immense scoring record on the continent.

In 115 games, he has grabbed 70 goals and is just two shy of Raul’s 72 total. The former Real Madrid man is currently the all-time top scorer in European competitions.

Allegri has only four strikers available to him for the group stages – Antonio Cassano, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho.

Montolivo denies AC Milan deal
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo has rejected reports that he has agreed to join Milan in 2012. Fiorentina have also revealed that he snubbed a move to Roma this summer.

“I’m just concentrating on Fiorentina,” said the former Viola captain. “I have no verbal or written agreement with any other club.”

Montolivo was made available for transfer by the Tuscan side after he refused to sign an extension to his contract that expires next June.

Milan were strongly paired, but it has now been revealed that Roma made an offer for the former Atalanta playmaker.

“There was interest in him from a big Italian club and that was Roma,” Viola sporting director Pantaleo Corvino noted.

“However, it was the player himself who turned it down. He told us that joining Roma would have been an act of treachery towards the Viola fans.

“We missed out on an important economical opportunity there, but the positive side was that it demonstrated his attachment to Fiorentina.

“We can’t deny that Montolivo has betrayed us though. We wanted to make him the symbol of Fiorentina.

“Nevertheless, what has just happened will allow us to sit around a table again and discuss his future.”

If Montolivo isn’t convinced to put pen to paper on a new deal then he could leave Tuscany on a free transfer next summer.

Inzaghi out of Champions League
2.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has omitted veteran striker Pippo Inzaghi from his Champions League squad.

Despite his prolific record in the competition, Allegri has only opted for four strikers to take part in the group stages.

“It was a difficult decision to make,” the tactician admitted. “I hope he can return as soon as possible.”

Goalkeepers – Abbiati, Amelia, Roma.

Defenders – Abate, Antonini, Bonera, Thiago Silva, De Sciglio, Mexes, Nesta, Taiwo, Yepes, Zambrotta.

Midfielders – Ambrosini, Aquilani, Boateng, Emanuelson, Gattuso, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel.

Attackers – Cassano, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Pato.

Friendly: Como 1:2 AC Milan - highlights
2.9 || webmaster



No Inzaghi and El Shaarawy in AC Milan's Champions League list
1.9 || webmaster

Here is AC Milan's Champions League list:

Abate, Abbiati, Ambrosini, Amelia, Antonini, Aquilani, Boateng, Bonera, Cassano, Thiago Silva, De Sciglio, Robinho, Emanuelson, Gattuso, Ibrahimovic, Mexes, Nesta, Nocerino, Pato, Roma, Seedorf, Taiwo, Van Bommel, Yepes, Zambrotta.

No Inzaghi and El Shaarawy.

'Montolivo has AC Milan deal'
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The transfer window may now be closed, but the rumours continue to circulate regarding the future of Riccardo Montolivo.

The midfielder was expected to be sold by Fiorentina after he refused to sign an extension to his contract that expires in June 2012.

However, despite links with a number of different clubs, he has remained at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Nevertheless, according to Mediaset, the Italian international now has a verbal agreement to join Milan next year on a Bosman.

The former Atalanta player, it is claimed, will be handed a four-year San Siro contract worth €3.5m a season.

AC Milan reveal Nocerino details
1.9 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have revealed that they concluded the deal for Antonio Nocerino just 40 minutes before the transfer window closed.

“The idea to sign Nocerino was born while I was in the office yesterday,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani noted.

“Someone told me that there was a chance that he could be available. That’s when I made a move and the deal was done at 6.20pm last night.”

Nocerino has arrived from Palermo, primarily to replace Mathieu Flamini in the squad after he was ruled out of action for six months with knee trouble.

The Italian champions moved calmly in the window, even if they did spice things up with their promises of a mysterious Mr X signing.

“That player was always Alberto Aquilani, since the very start of the window,” the official insisted. “I can say that we got our primary target.

“A mark for our transfer campaign? I can’t judge myself. The results this season will determine our vote.”





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