We've got a guide full of information about the best places to shop for AC Milan items online - shirts, jerseys, training tops, jackets etc., with shopping sites ranked based on the quality they offer to an AC Milan fan. Go read it now at our AC Milan shopping page!
AC MILAN BLOG
Read our AC Milan blog for the best AC Milan related commentary, rants, articles and more.
Kevin Prince Boateng has been handed a two-game suspension for his off-pitch dismissal against Roma in Week 10.
Boateng was shown a red card immediately after being substituted during Milan's 3-2 win against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico after appearing to over-vocalise his frustration at the match officials when walking off the pitch.
Accordingly, the player has been found guilty of directing an insult at an assistant and been handed a two-game ban for his action.
Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, has been given just a warning and a €5,000 fine for his stoppage-time dismissal in the same game.
His sending off was adjudged to have been for 'flagrantly challenging a decision of the match official using a disrespectful expression'.
Walter Mazzarri receives the same punishment as Allegri for 'at the end of the game [between Catania and Napoli], turning to the fourth official and disputing the work of the referee in a disrespectful manner'.
Mario Santana of Napoli, Bostjan Cesar of Chievo, Cristian Chivu of Inter, Roberto Guana of Cesena, Antonio Nocerino of Milan, Simone Padoin of Atalanta and Daniele Portanova of Bologna have all received a one-match ban for accumulating yellow cards.
Elsewhere, three of the five Juventus players that were booked during the weekend's clash with Inter - Andrea Pirlo, Simone Pepe and Giorgio Chiellini - have been warned of their future conduct as each player's caution was his third of the season.
Similarly, after the weekend a number of other players have been warned of accumulating yellow cards.
These include Gianluca Comotto of Cesena, Djamel Mesbah and Massimo Oddo of Lecce, Cesare Natali of Fiorentina, Giampiero Pinzi of Udinese and Gaby Mudingayi of Bologna.
Matri sees AC Milan in pole position 31.10 ||webmaster
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has picked 20 players for the BATE Borisov tie – including youth team forward Simone Andrea Ganz.
Ganz, son of former Milan and Inter striker Maurizio, has been included given Allegri’s lack of options in attack.
The Rossoneri tactician only has Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho available up front given the injury to Alexandre Pato, Antonio Cassano’s mystery illness and Pippo Inzaghi’s ineligibility to play in Europe.
Milan are also missing centre-back Philippe Mexes with a hand problem, as well as central midfielder Mark Van Bommel.
There is some confusion over Antonio Cassano’s condition, as Milan confirm he “is not well yet and needs further tests,” while his agent is more reassuring.
It’s still not clear what happened when the 29-year-old was taken ill as the team arrived at Malpensa Airport from Rome after Saturday’s 3-2 win.
There are reports he had a fainting spell in which he struggled to speak or move effectively, so was kept in hospital overnight and will be in the Policlinico in Milan for at least another night.
“Cassano is still not well and we need to perform further tests,” confirmed Milan chief medic Rudi Tavana.
However, Cassano’s agent was more reassuring, even if he released further details of what exactly happened.
“Antonio has recovered all his normal functions,” Beppe Bozzo told Sky Sport Italia.
“Now he can speak normally and no longer has problems, not with his sight nor his balance.”
Clearly Cassano will not travel with the rest of the Milan squad for Tuesday’s Champions League trip to BATE Borisov.
This is the second strange injury to strike the Rossoneri, as Gennaro Gattuso could require surgery and an early retirement after suffering from Sixth Nerve Palsy, a condition that turns one eye outwards and causes double vision.
Second night in hospital for Cassano 30.10 ||webmaster
Scorers: Ibrahimovic 17, 78 (M), Burdisso 28 (R), Nesta 30 (M), Bojan 87 (R)
Alessandro Nesta and a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace gave Milan an impressive 3-2 victory at the Olimpico that adds to Roma's crisis.
The Rossoneri were back on form with six wins from their last seven games in all competition, including three Serie A victories on the bounce. They gave Robinho his first start of the season and Alberto Aquilani faced his former club, even though fellow ex-Romanisti Antonio Cassano (bench) and Philippe Mexes (injured) missed out. Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato and Gennaro Gattuso were among the absentees. Patience was running thin at Roma after a midweek defeat to Genoa, so Luis Enrique reshuffled his side again, as Miralem Pjanic shook off a knock to replace the injured Francesco Totti.
The last three League editions of this fixture ended in draws. As expected, before the opening whistle Milan assistant manager Mauro Tassotti shook Luis Enrique's hand, apologising for having broken his nose during the 1994 World Cup.
Marco Cassetti blasted wide of the near post, while Fabio Borini's turn and strike was charged down for a corner.
Mark Van Bommel needed a crucial intervention to stop David Pizarro tapping in a deflected Pjanic cross totally unmarked.
A not dissimilar move occurred at the other end when Jose Angel cleared a dangerous low pass across the six-yard box.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic put Milan in front after 17 minutes by beating his former Ajax teammate Maarten Stekelenburg. The Swede rose in front of both Juan and Nicolas Burdisso for a powerful header at the near post from Aquilani's cross.
Roma fought back, as Christian Abbiati flapped at a Cassetti cross. Robinho saw Stekelenburg off his line from a Roma corner and tried to audaciously lob from midfield, but it was off target.
The Giallorossi equalised from a set play, which has always been a weakness for Milan's defence. The corner from the left found defender Burdisso, who used his strength to get in front of Gianluca Zambrotta and power home the header from nine yards.
The situation did not last long, as moments later Alessandro Nesta restored Milan's lead. It was another corner from Robinho and the former Lazio man was allowed a free header from eight yards against the team he faced so many times in the Rome derby. Nesta had never previously scored against Roma, while his last goal was in January 2010.
Abbiati needed two attempts to get a Pizarro snapshot under control, but Roma lost Fabio Borini to a muscular problem as he stretched to reach a Jose Angel assist, making way for Bojan Krkic before half-time. The young Spaniard drilled wide, then set up Cassetti only for his first touch to let him down.
Antonio Nocerino was booked and will be suspended for the next Milan game with Catania.
Bojan had a great chance after good work from Osvaldo through the middle, but Abbiati and Zambrotta combined to send him wide and Nesta dived in with a crucial clearance from a yard.
Abbiati flew to palm a screamer of a long-range Pjanic free kick round the far post. From that corner, Burdisso's diving header was fingertipped out from under the bar after a tussle with Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Ibrahimovic was furious with Aquilani when totally unmarked and the midfielder's cross went wayward. Boateng limped heavily when leaving the field for Urby Emanuelson, but strangely he was shown a red card as he got to the bench, perhaps for something he said to the fourth official.
Juan also had an injury, while substitute Erik Lamela's daisy-cutter was deflected wide. From the corner Osvaldo got his head to it from point-blank range, forcing a splendid save from Abbiati.
Aquilani hit a rocket from distance that skimmed the upright and substitute Cassano skipped past Burdisso with some fantastic footwork only to blast the finish well wide.
Milan extended their advantage after a period of pressure. Again it was a corner played short for Cassano, then Aquilani chipped it back into the middle for an Ibrahimovic twisting header. However, replays suggest the Swede was marginally offside.
Ibrahimovic attempted his hat-trick by volleying Cassano's cross over at the back post. Cassano created another on the counter that Nocerino only had to tap in from a couple of yards, but the midfielder incredibly ballooned off target.
It still wasn't over, as Lamela's angled drive was only palmed away by Abbiati into the path of Bojan Krkic to pull a goal back, making it 3-2.
Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri was sent off from the touchline for dissent, joining Boateng, in stoppages. There was panic in the Milan box, as crosses rained in and Abbiati flapped one off the head of Daniele De Rossi, another out of the six-yard box and eventually managed to smother at the near post.
Roma: Stekelenburg; Cassetti, Burdisso, Juan (Heinze 71), Jose Angel; Pizarro, De Rossi, Gago (Lamela 62); Borini (Bojan 38), Pjanic, Osvaldo
Massimiliano Allegri was still not happy with Milan’s performance after crushing Parma 4-1 for a third consecutive victory.
“We had a decent game, but could’ve done better in certain moments,” moaned the Coach.
“It was important to win and give a sense of consistency to our recent results, especially as the table is beginning to stretch out and so it was crucial to stay close to the top.
“When you play every three days it is natural to feel a little tired. We were sluggish in the first half, then picked up after breaking the deadlock.
“When the lads play the way they know how, it’s difficult not to create scoring opportunities. However, we still allow our opponents too many shots from distance.”
Antonio Nocerino was the unexpected hat-trick hero, having previously scored only seven goals in his entire Serie A career.
“He is doing well and we’re all happy for him,” continued Allegri. “Nocerino is playing in his role and giving his best. It may seem strange, but changing position affects everything, from runs into the box to reference points and even posture.”
The Milan Coach won the Scudetto last season, but has still not signed a contract extension.
“I have spoken to the club and we agree on everything. There’s no rush, as the important thing is to reach the top of the table, then we can talk it over during the winter break.”
Antonio Nocerino was the unexpected hat-trick hero as Milan notched up a third consecutive Serie A victory against Parma.
The Rossoneri hoped to continue their strong run of form to climb back up the table. They stunned everyone on Sunday when trailing Lecce 3-0 at the break only to win 4-3. Thiago Silva returned, but Alessandro Nesta dropped out with Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato and Mathieu Flamini. Parma were smarting from a shock home defeat to Atalanta, a game they had largely dominated. Sergio Floccari and Manuele Blasi missed out.
Taye Taiwo flashed an angled drive across the face of goal and Zlatan Ibrahimovic threatened with a fierce strike from a good 30 metres away that whistled wide of the near post.
Parma were dangerous from a corner on 28 minutes, as Cristian Zaccardo nodded it back across the face of goal, striking Christian Abbiati's knee to prevent the Jaime Valdes tap-in.
Antonio Nocerino broke the deadlock at San Siro. Ibra trapped a long ball and pulled it across the box for Nocerino, whose first touch was deflected, but the ex-Palermo midfielder was quickest to react and prodded in the loose ball.
Incredibly, Nocerino got another 120 seconds later! It was a sensational strike, as he chested down and volleyed a fierce left-foot finish into the near top corner from the edge of the box.
Valdes had a chance for Parma, but skimmed the bar with his sudden snapshot. Antonio Mirante was at full stretch to palm an Alberto Aquilani screamer off the line.
Ibrahimovic sprung the offside trap and drew Mirante out wide, but when skipping round the goalkeeper his shot was charged down by Gabriel Paletta.
Cassano should've scored when Ibra knocked back an Ignazio Abate assist, but FantAntonio tried to dribble past two defenders and eventually fired over under pressure.
Ibrahimovic made it 3-0 moments later. Cassano flicked on a long ball for the Swede, who shrugged off Rolf Feltscher to go clear in the box and pass it across the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Parma did get one back with their star player Sebastian Giovinco. Jonathan Biabiany's cross found him at the back post, where he nutmegged Abbiati to put the Ducali on the scoresheet.
Nocerino was the most unexpected hat-trick hero in the Milan squad, as he had only ever scored seven in his entire Serie A career up to date. In stoppages Cassano chipped a cross to the back post for Nocerino's cushioned header.
Franco Colomba is eager for Parma to put the Atalanta defeat behind them, as “we’re not beaten before we start against Milan.”
The Ducali went from heroes to zeroes, as in the space of eight days they beat Napoli at the San Paolo and lost at the Tardini to Atalanta.
“Getting back on to the field three days after that defeat is better than sitting here going over it in our minds,” said the Coach.
“It can happen to win without deserving it, so you can lose against the run of play too. Now we go to face Milan, the reigning champions of Italy and an extraordinary collective who, as we saw in Lecce, when firing on all cylinders leave no chance for anyone.”
The Rossoneri were losing 3-0 at half-time in Lecce, but fought back to win 4-3 with a Kevin-Prince Boateng hat-trick.
“Having said all that, we are not beaten before we even begin against Milan. Our effort must always be optimal, whether facing Milan, Napoli or Atalanta, so it shouldn’t make a difference. There are points up for grabs, even at San Siro.
“They’re not worth double the way points might against another relegation candidate, but are still important. We will try to repeat our good recent performances.”
Sergio Floccari is out of action, while Jonathan Biabiany is struggling with an ankle injury.
“What is the secret to beating Milan? Repeat Sunday’s performance against Atalanta, but without making mistakes.”
Milan performed an astounding comeback from 3-0 down at half-time to beating Lecce 4-3 with Kevin-Prince Boateng's hat-trick!
The Rossoneri's injury crisis is abating and with it the results begin to roll back in. In the last week they beat Palermo 3-0 and BATE Borisov 2-0, so confidence was returning, though Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf and Mathieu Flamini were sidelined. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani were only fit for the bench. Lecce also had absentees, including Julio Sergio, David Di Michele, Stefano Ferrario and Souleymane Diamoutene, but could count on ex-Milan men Massimo Oddo and Rodney Strasser.
The Salentini had lost all three of their home games this season, scoring one goal and conceding six. However, Milan's last win at the Via del Mare was in 2001.
There was a minute's silence and appluse before this and all Sunday's games for the tragic death of Marco Simoncelli in the Malaysian MotoGP this morning. Milan also wore black armbands, as 'Sic' was a huge Rossoneri fan.
It took just four minutes for Lecce to take a shock lead. A fierce Carlos Grossmuller free kick from the outside left edge of the box was whipped into the six-yard box, where Guillermo Giacomazzi got in front of Mario Yepes for a glancing header.
Milan seemed shell-shocked, as moments later Yepes and Christian Abbiati fumbled with a backpass that almost let Daniele Corvia in.
Lecce were clearly more aggressive, much faster and always first to the ball. After a series of crosses were charged down, Christian Obodo stung Abbiati's palms at the near post with a rising strike.
From the corner Grossmuller lopped a pass back into the six-yard box for Corvia's spectacular volley over the bar, though he was offside anyway.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a great chance to equalise on 15 minutes when Robinho placed in the low cross from the left, but Mesbah performed a crucial block at the Swede's feet as he pulled the trigger.
Robinho's cross-shot was cleared practically off the line by Nenad Tomovic before it could reach a totally unmarked Antonio Cassano. At the other end, Cuadrado's screamer flew wide. There did not seem to be a deflection, but a corner was awarded.
From that corner, the referee pointed to the spot, as Abbiati fumbled the ball and bumped into Corvia as he went to recapture it. Replays are inconclusive, as Corvia appeared to be slipping over before there was any contact at all. Ex-Milan full-back Oddo stepped up and converted into the near top corner.
Antonio Nocerino's lob was fingertipped out from under the bar by an acrobatic Benassi.
However, Milan conceded a third following more chaotic defending. Mark Van Bommel gave away the ball in midfield and Luca Antonini redirected a Giacomazzi through ball, meaning Grossmuller was kept onside to slot calmly past Abbiati in a one-on-one.
Massimo Ambrosini's header was off target, but the Rossoneri were totally ineffective in attack and left huge gaps at the back.
Boateng and Aquilani replaced Robinho and Ambrosini at half-time and within 15 seconds the Ghanaian had thumped a half-volley from midfield that Benassi palmed out from under the bar.
Boateng's daisy-cutter of an angled drive was deflected just past the far post, then the corner was put back into the box by Aquilani for Boateng, who smacked a left-foot missile under the bar from eight yards. Milan were back in it with their substitute.
They looked like a completely different team and Boateng pulled another back six minutes later! He received on the edge of the box from Cassano and smashed a remarkable shot with the outside of his right foot that swerved into the near top corner, leaving Lecce stunned.
Boateng totally transformed the match and completed his hat-trick to make it 3-3! Cassano's free kick set up Ignazio Abate and the shot was deflected into the path of Boateng, who did not hesitate to spin round and thump the loose ball in at the near post. Benassi got a hand to it, but not enough to keep the ball out.
Ibra's shot was charged down in the box, as Lecce appeared just as shell-shocked as Milan were in the first half. Nocerino's screamer skimmed the crossbar with the aid of a deflection.
Aquilani's through ball found Cassano, who aimed a delicate angled pass towards Ibra at the back post, but at full stretch he just couldn't get a toe to it.
Milan overturned the game completely with eight minutes left on the clock. A set play was not dealt with and Cassano chipped his pass to the back post for Yepes' cushioned header. They went from 3-0 down to 4-3 up in 34 minutes!
Andrea Esposito is aware of the strengths of weekend opponents Milan but is keen that his Lecce teammates do more than just defend.
Lecce welcome the Rossoneri to the Stadio Via del Mare this weekend in need of the points, but as Esposito points out, having just broken three-game a losing streak with a strong performance away to Genoa.
The defender also maintained that the improvement was by the team as a whole, rather than just the defence.
“Rather than to say we have improved defensively, in my opinion, it is more correct to say that in Genoa there was an increased focus and aggression. We will continue to do so on Sunday even as we face a game on paper that is almost impossible. Facing us is maximum concentration and to do nothing wrong.
Esposito revealed to the club's official website he watched Milan's Champions League win over BATE last night, but is unconvinced that their midweek action will have any bearing on their performance against Lecce.
“Yesterday I followed the game and in my opinion, they did not push hard, after the first goal they controlled the game. I do not think that their midweek commitment will give them any disadvantage on Sunday.”
Back in April 2009, Esposito scored an injury-time equaliser at home for the Salentini against Milan.
“Facing Milan cannot be without my goal coming to mind. It is my only goal in Serie A, I still remember very well the action, with the cross from [Andrea] Zanchetta and my header.
“If I have to pick a particular player to watch out for from Milan, then [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic is a complete player. I think he is the strongest striker we have seen in recent years in Italy.
“As Obodo said, given the quality of the Rossoneri's players we should run more for each other, although we cannot only think of defending. We must try to impose our game.”
Galliani: 'AC Milan are competitive' 19.10 ||webmaster
Adriano Galliani assures Milan “are competitive in the Champions League and Serie A” without their injury crisis.
The Rossoneri saw off BATE Borisov 2-0 this evening to stay joint top of Group H with Barcelona.
“BATE had only a couple of chances and all of them ‘gifted’ by us,” said the Vice-President.
“We’ve had to deal with numerous injuries, so if we have a normal number of absentees, then we are competitive in the Champions League and Serie A. I cannot understand why the media didn’t remind people of that in recent weeks.
“We are improving over time and with these players Milan can do well.”
Massimiliano Allegri can see Milan improving and after the victory over BATE “we want to win the Champions League group.”
The Rossoneri are joint top with Barcelona after a draw and two successes, but in front thanks to their 2-2 result at the Nou Camp.
Tonight’s 2-0 win over BATE Borisov means they will qualify if they pick up three points in the next game in Belarus.
“This evening it was important to win so we could put a deposit down on qualification,” said the Coach.
“Now our objective is to win the Champions League group, as that would be a great result for us.”
There were some nervous moments, as when still goalless Mark Van Bommel gave away a potentially disastrous backpass.
“These things can happen over the course of a match and Christian Abbiati made a wonderful save. From then on it was fairly smooth sailing, but when things look too easy that is when you can get distracted.
“We are rediscovering ourselves. There is an important month ahead in Serie A and the Champions League, so we need to close in on the top of the domestic table.
“I wanted to introduce Philippe Mexes earlier, but it’s important he made his comeback after six months out.
“Taye Taiwo still needs to improve, while Antonio Nocerino and Alberto Aquilani have settled in very well.”
Ibrahimovic: 'This will help confidence' 19.10 ||webmaster
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring this evening and feels Milan’s win over BATE is “important for our confidence.”
The Swede hit the back of the net in the first half and Kevin-Prince Boateng sealed the 2-0 Champions League success after the break.
“We created so many chances and thankfully the goal arrived in the end,” Ibra told Rai Sport.
“We played well and this game is important for our confidence. If the team plays well, then so do I, and we can carry on like that. We combine a great deal in attack and that makes us all more dangerous.”
The results in Group H mean the Rossoneri could already qualify in the next game if they beat BATE Borisov in Belarus.
Meanwhile, Milan visit Lecce in Serie A on Saturday in a bid to close on the top of the table.
“We don’t just want to beat Lecce, but we intend to win every game. If we play like we did tonight, then we can go all the way.”
Champions League: AC Milan 2:0 BATE Borisov - match report 19.10 ||webmaster
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a stunning Kevin-Prince Boateng strike saw Milan comfortably beat BATE Borisov 2-0.
The Rossoneri were joint top of the group along with Barcelona and expected to win this match, though injuries ruled out Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf, Massimo Ambrosini, Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini and the ineligible Pippo Inzaghi and Stephan El Shaarawy. Taye Taiwo and Daniele Bonera had rare starts in defence.
Belarus side BATE Borisov had also faced Milan in the UEFA Cup 10 years ago, losing 2-0 at home and 4-0 at San Siro.
There was a good chance after four minutes, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic only grazed a corner and Alberto Aquilani blasted the poor clearance just over the bar.
Ibra tried to score a wonder goal moments later, his sudden screamer on the bounce from the centre-circle not far off target.
Aquilani went even closer on 11 minutes, as he was given all the time he needed from the edge of the box to pass it towards the net, thumping the base of the near post with Aleksandr Gutor rooted to the spot.
Ibrahimovic volleyed over the bar from nine yards as Antonio Cassano's searching pass found his right boot. Boateng rose to nod in a Cassano cross, but play was halted for a push on the goalkeeper.
Mark Van Bommel might've had penalty appeals for a clumsy Artyom Radkov challenge, but the referee waved play on.
Taiwo's pull-back found Aquilani for a shot straight at the BATE 'keeper. Taiwo went for goal himself with a stunning volley that flashed wide from an improbable angle.
Milan almost gave a goal away on the half-hour mark, as the awful Van Bommel back-pass was straight to Renan Bressan on the edge of the box and only a desperate Christian Abbiati save denied him when one-on-one.
The Rossoneri took the hint and broke through with Ibrahimovic. Abate's cross for Aquilani was charged down, but only into the path of Ibrahimovic for a fierce low finish. It was his 25th Champions League goal.
It should've been 2-0 moments later, as Cassano and Ibra combined for the Swede to chip an angled drive across the face of goal.
Straight after the restart, Milan again risked giving away a goal when Abate's pass was intercepted in midfield, but Mateja Kezman tried to go for goal himself and was charged down by Alessandro Nesta, then Bressan fired the follow-up over the bar.
Abbiati also had to get down to fingertip a Maksim Bordachev angled drive inches past the far post.
Taiwo pulled back for Cassano in the box, but the weak shot was easily blocked by Marko Simic. Aquilani drilled wide as he slipped, but Ibrahimovic ballooned well over from just inside the area.
Robinho was introduced for Cassano and went on the counter from a BATE corner kick, but fired wide after a step-over committed Aleksandr Yurevich.
Ibrahimovic chested an Abate chipped pass, but had the volley charged down by Simic.
Milan did double their lead thanks to a stunning strike from Boateng. The Ghanaian trapped a cross-field pass with a divine first touch on the edge of the box and smacked a rocket that bounced off the underside of the bar. It was absolutely unstoppable.
The game was petering out when Philippe Mexes was given his debut in a Milan jersey, his first match since undergoing knee surgery in April.
Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Nesta (Mexes 84), Bonera, Taiwo; Van Bommel, Aquilani, Nocerino; Boateng (Emanuelson 78); Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Robinho 61)
Thiago Silva has fitness problems ahead of Milan’s match with BATE Borisov, but won’t discuss those Barcelona rumours.
The defender limped off during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Palermo and remains in doubt for the Champions League tomorrow evening.
“I am feeling better, though we’ll evaluate my condition after the afternoon training session. I could also play in midfield, as I am at the complete disposal of the Coach,” he said in a Press conference.
“We aim to do well tomorrow, as we have to repeat Saturday’s performance. We had a great game with Palermo and must give a sense of consistency to our season.
“Our objective in Europe is to win the trophy. We are a big club with a wonderful Coach and aim to go right to the end.”
Yet Thiago Silva has repeatedly been linked with a move to reigning Champions League holders Barcelona.
“I prefer not to discuss this. My agent and Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani deal with my contract and transfer issues.”
However, the Brazilian did give his club a tip for the January window.
“Casemiro is talented and has excellent technique. He is ready for a big club and would be welcome at Milan.”
Allegri requests AC Milan victory 18.10 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri hopes tonight’s victory can be a turning point for Milan’s campaign. “It was clear how important this game was.”
The Rossoneri only had five points from the opening five rounds before cruising past Palermo 3-0.
“Everyone had a good game, although perhaps we weren’t spreading the play enough in the opening minutes,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“Obviously the quality of individuals like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Antonio Cassano and Robinho made the difference and we picked up the pace in midfield.
“Regardless of what the other teams do, the important thing was that we got back to winning ways in a convincing fashion. We have to make up ground for the points we dropped in the first five rounds.
“Tonight’s victory is above all for the three points so we can slowly start climbing the table.”
Allegri wanted a boost after going into the break for international duty with a 2-0 defeat to Juventus.
“Over the past two weeks we have worked more on fitness and hopefully it’ll improve our general performance.
“We were facing an organised Palermo and the overall level of Serie A is very high, so there are no easy tests.
“It’s true we were tired against Juventus, but also played very deep and didn’t move the ball around, so we played badly in Turin.
“Robinho is a player with technique who doesn’t give the opposition any reference points, so it was good to have him back.”
Pippo Inzaghi could not even find a spot on the bench at San Siro.
“Everyone will be useful for this Milan. I had to make choices, the same way I did last season, for the good of Milan. Sometimes I get the decisions right, sometimes wrong, but I understand those who are sent to the stands are upset. They are professionals and understand the situation.”
Serie A: AC Milan 3:0 Palermo - match report 15.10 ||webmaster
Antonio Nocerino, Robinho and Antonio Cassano pulverised Palermo, as Milan are back in business.
The Rossoneri were desperate to make up for a poor start to the season and were remarkably had only half Palermo's points going into the game. They had also lost three of their last four Serie A meetings with the Rosanero and were knocked out in the Coppa Italia semi-finals last term.
Robinho returned from a long lay-off, but Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Alexandre Pato, Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes, Massimo Ambrosini, Gianluca Zambrotta and the suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng missed out. Fabrizio Miccoli passed a late fitness test to start for the Sicilians, while Antonio Nocerino faced his former teammates.
The home side went very close after 12 minutes when a Mark Van Bommel pass took a ricochet to drift into Antonio Cassano's path, but his angled drive flashed across the goal and skimmed the far post.
Alessandro Nesta was inevitably booked for hauling back Miccoli on the counter in midfield. Matias Silvestre charged down a Robinho strike, then Cassano combined beautifully with Nocerino, but Tzorvas used his body to parry at the base of the near post.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic pounced on a poor backpass and immediately sprinted into the box, but the angled drive only shaved a coat of paint off the far stick and he was flagged offside.
More bad news for Milan, as Thiago Silva picked up a knock after 15 minutes and tried to carry on, but eventually limped off to make way for Daniele Bonera.
Robinho had a fantastic double opportunity on 37 minutes set up by an Ibrahimovic cross. His first volley into the ground was beaten away by Tzorvas, then the Brazilian got back on to the ball and once more Tzorvas palmed it out for a corner.
The Rossoneri did break the deadlock with Nocerino, the man who left Palermo in the final minutes of the summer transfer session. Ibrahimovic's chopped cross found Alberto Aquilani's diving header at the back post to put it back into the six-yard box, where Nocerino was unmarked to tap in.
Cassano curled over the bar just before half-time as Milan continued to push, while Miccoli's free kick was off target.
Miccoli was clearly not 100 per cent fit and made way for Edgar Alvarez after the break. There was a long move that Milan failed to finalise by trying to make the finish too spectacular. First Cassano scuffed the volley from Ibra's assist, then the Swede did the same on the follow-up.
At the other end, Bonera had to charge down an Abel Hernandez strike after good work from Eros Pisano.
Milan doubled their advantage with the returning Robinho. It was a well-worked move, as Ibrahimovic's inspired through ball released the Brazilian, who prodded it past Tzorvas with the outside of his right foot from seven yards.
Cassano had the ball in the back of the net, but was clearly offside when completing his give-and-go with Ibra. Cassano's through ball found Ibrahimovic for the Swede to poke over the bar.
Cassano did get his goal eventually with a classic team move. There were a series of passes, concluding with Robinho spreading the play for Ignazio Abate, who pulled back from the by-line for FantAntonio's daisy-cutter finish.
Aquilani pounced on a poor clearance and unleashed a fierce strike that stung Tzorvas' palms. Stephan El Shaarawy came off the bench and his splendid finish from a long Nocerino pass was beaten away at the near post.
Ibrahimovic tried to fire a low free kick directly in at the base of the near stick, but Tzorvas managed to parry for a corner.
Adriano Galliani confirms Milan could bring in January reinforcements after their injury crisis, but Mario Balotelli “is just a friend.”
The Rossoneri are struggling and face Palermo this evening without Alexandre Pato, Gennaro Gattuso, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf, Gianluca Zambrotta, Mathieu Flamini, Mario Yepes and the suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng.
“Starting the season very early for the Italian Super Cup may well have caused us problems, as we’re now paying the price for that schedule,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.
“We cannot forget the numerous injuries. They are not alibis for our difficult start, but simply facts.
“It is true we could take advantage of the January transfer window to reinforce the midfield. The attack does not need any adjustments, so Carlos Tevez will not arrive.”
Milan have also been linked with another Manchester City hitman, namely self-confessed Rossoneri supporter Balotelli.
“Mario is just a friend,” added Galliani. “As for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he is fine and there is no problem. I spoke to him and we cleared the air. He is not tired of football.”
Philippe Mexes is included in the squad for the first time since joining on a free transfer from Roma, as he has taken six months to recover from knee ligament surgery.
Milan could fall nine points adrift of the pacesetters unless they overcome their bogey team Palermo on Saturday night.
Palermo always raise their game for calcio’s giants, but their recent record against Milan is remarkable. The Rosanero have won three of the last four Serie A meetings and also prevailed over the Rossoneri in last season’s Coppa Italia semi finals.
That was before they lost Delio Rossi, hired and fired Stefano Pioli, gambled on the untried Devis Mangia, and sold Javier Pastore, Salvatore Sirigu, Cesare Bovo, Mattia Cassani and Antonio Nocerino (who will start for the opposition at San Siro). Yet in spite of all that upheaval, the Sicilians have made a flying start. Tipped for relegation by some, Mangia’s men are sharing third place with Napoli and Cagliari having gathered 10 points already - just one less than leaders Juventus.
Milan meanwhile are languishing in 15th with five points. “Of course we expected to have more points at this stage, but the season is long and we have time to recover,” said Coach Massimiliano Allegri. The international break was timely for Allegri, giving him a chance to recover some of the players struck down by the club’s latest injury epidemic and devise solutions to the problems that were so evident in the Diavolo’s 2-0 loss to Juventus a fortnight ago. The most pressing of those problems was a lack of pace and mobility, an issue that could be remedied by the return of Robinho. The jet heeled Brazilian is in contention to start after two months on the sidelines.
Milan’s list of injury victims has been trimmed to five names – Ignazio Abate, Gennaro Gattuso, Matthieu Flamini, Massimo Ambrosini and Alexandre Pato. Palermo miss Luca Di Matteo and there is a player suspended on both sides – Kevin-Prince Boateng for the hosts and Federico Balzaretti for the visitors.
Keep an eye on: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan) – Ibra managed to hog the headlines from thousands of miles away on international duty, with his admission that he’s growing tired of the sport. “His comments were blown out of proportion,” insisted Allegri, whilst others speculated that the Swede was angling for a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Another possibility is that he was trying to distract from his poor form – the 2009 Capocannoniere has scored just twice from open play since February.
Last five in Serie A: Milan (D L D W L) Palermo (W L W D W)
Last season: Milan 3-1 Palermo
Stat fact: Milan’s Antonio Cassano and Palermo’s Fabrizio Miccoli are joint top of the assist rankings, with three each thus far.
Milan (probable): Abbiati; Bonera, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Zambrotta; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Cassano
Antonio Cassano thanked Cesare Prandelli for saving his career, but revealed he “will quit in three or four years at the most.”
The Italy striker scored a brace in tonight’s 3-0 victory over Northern Ireland and has been essential during the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
“The important thing was to have a good game tonight, which we did, but now we have to keep this consistency and style in Euro 2012. I think we can continue like this and achieve great things,” he told Rai Sport.
“It was my first time playing with Sebastian Giovinco. We’re both tiny, about 1.40m between us, but got on well together and it’s always easy to play alongside someone with quality.
“My volley was good. Every now and then a compliment is handy, seeing as I’ve been massacred in the media for 13 years!”
However, Cassano revealed he has no intention of taking his career beyond the next few years.
“I’ve been a clown since birth, I’m not capable of being serious! This morning I told Gigi Buffon I’m one of the oldest in the side, but only have 25 caps.
“I keep coming in and out, but in three or four years I’ll stop with the Nazionale. I think I’ll play football for only that time, have a good Euros and a good World Cup, then at the age of 33 call it a day so I can enjoy my family.
“I want to be gone when I’m in good shape, not when I’m struggling. Will that be it for me and football? Of course, playing is the only thing I know how to do! I can’t talk, I can’t do anything.
“For years I have been stressed out, as all I have to do is scratch my nose and I get turned into a problem. Football has been the most wonderful thing in the world for me, but I am a little tired, so I’ll give another three and a half years, then that’ll do.”
When told he hadn’t won much in his career, Cassano took responsibility for his many mistakes.
“Sport gives you back what you put into it. I didn’t put enough in, so I didn’t get much out. If Buffon won 10 times as much as me, it’s because he was the absolute number one in his role. I was one of many.
“Next year I’ll be 30. I would like another three years at the top and then that’s it. Things are becoming routine for me and I’m no good with that kind of situation.”
The Milan man thanked Italy Coach Prandelli for rescuing him during his many problems with Sampdoria and then the Rossoneri.
“I must above all thank Prandelli, as in my moment of difficulty before Spain, I talked to him for half an hour. He gave me his faith and was close to me. It was what I needed to get a strong start with Milan, too. Aside from football, we have a wonderful rapport and I want to thank him, as when everyone criticised me, he stood by my side.
“As for journalists, I’m entirely sure 70 per cent of the problem is me, but when I get it right 30 per cent of the time, the media still say I’m wrong.
“Besides, after me you’ll have Mario Balotelli to talk about for the next 10 years! He’s another good character for you.”
Real Madrid consultant Ernesto Bronzetti laughs off reports Jose Mourinho is trying to reunite with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
There are reports the striker’s unhappiness at Milan is fuelled by his ex-Inter boss calling him to Spain.
“This is a typically Italian soap opera around Zlatan,” FIFA agent Bronzetti told Radio Sportiva.
“I am convinced Adriano Galliani is right, in that there’s no need to worry. I can categorically rule out he’s looking for a transfer.
“Ibrahimovic is happy at Milan and I don’t know a single player who speaks ill of the Rossoneri. He was simply having a moment of disappointment when he said he was bored of football.
“As for the Liga clubs and their managers, they have nothing at all to do with this issue. Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has a rule, he never buys players over 30. He only made an exception for Ricardo Carvalho and does not intend to repeat it.
“This is also why Real didn’t sign Douglas Maicon from Inter.”
Season ticket sales have plummeted 20 per cent over the last three years, but pay-per-view television viewers rose 69 per cent.
The Gazzetta dello Sport today claims since 2008 the fans with season tickets at the stadium have dropped by 20.4 per cent.
In the same period, those signed up to Sky Italia television have gone up by 69 per cent.
Unlike in Britain, there are no rules limiting the transmission of live football, so every single Serie A and B game is available live on pay-per-view television, often at a cheaper rate than in the UK.
However, these statistics do not count those who watch games on terrestrial digital platform Mediaset Premium, which provides even easier access to Serie A and Europa League football.
In the most recent Serie A round, the total combined pay-per-view television viewers for games burst through the 10m mark for the first time.
Highlights on free to air television are also readily available within an hour of the match coming to a close, though this is reduced to mere minutes when it comes to evening games.
This all goes to explain why Italy’s stadiums are only on average 61 per cent full compared to 69 per cent in France, 73 per cent in Spain, 88 in Germany and 92 per cent in England.
Mourinho calls Ibrahimovic to Real Madrid? 9.10 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri gave credit to Juventus and conceded an exhausted Milan had “our worst performance of the season.”
The Rossoneri were beaten 2-0 in Turin with two late goals from Claudio Marchisio, though there had been many chances before then.
“Juve certainly played very well and tonight we weren’t up to the task, as we made a lot of mistakes in the one-on-ones. It’s a shame to concede so late in the day, but Juventus deserved it, truth be told,” said the Milan Coach.
This was their second defeat of the season, the other being against another Scudetto contender, Napoli.
“I don’t think we have a problem in head-to-head matches. Tonight we simply weren’t clear-headed, despite having some good chances and going close to taking home a point.
“In order to win here, you have to play at a certain tempo and we didn’t do that, on top of the individual errors. The team did not play well, both going forward and in defending.
“Juventus deserved it, Milan played badly, it’s only normal that after a month and a half with the same players always having to take to the field, fatigue will set in. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.
“Seeing as we were tired and knew Juve would put on the pressure, we wanted to keep hold of possession, but couldn’t do it. We also saw moves break down because we were always late to the ball.
“Sometimes you take these games to the end with a result and sometimes you don’t. I think this was our worst performance of the season, as we played far better in the defeat to Napoli, but a lot of the credit goes to Juventus.”
Serie A: Juventus 2:0 AC Milan - match report 2.10 ||webmaster
Claudio Marchisio grabbed two late Juventus goals to beat Milan after Kevin-Prince Boateng saw red.
This was the first real test of Juve's Scudetto credentials and they needed a victory to keep up with Udinese at the top of the table. Pirlo shook off a knock to the knee so he could face his former teammates, but Giorgio Chiellini was moved to left-back with Mirko Vucinic the lone centre-forward. Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned midweek against Viktoria Plzen, though Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Gennaro Gattuso, Philippe Mexes and Mathieu Flamini were still sidelined. Kevin-Prince Boateng made his comeback, but felt the problem in his ribs again during the warm-up and only decided moments before kick-off whether to start the game.
The Rossoneri had won their last two trips to Turin, scoring four goals and keeping clean sheets. Their most recent defeat was 4-2 in December 2008, while the fixture hadn't ended in a stalemate since March 2006. This was, however, Milan's first ever visit to the new Juventus Stadium.
Christian Abbiati tipped a Stephan Lichtsteiner cross-shot over the bar, while Claudio Marchisio blasted over and the goalkeeper smothered a long-range Pirlo strike.
Abbiati punched a Pirlo free kick off the line, but Simone Pepe got back to charge down Ibra's half-volley for a corner. Abbiati also smothered when Mirko Vucinic spun round to fire low.
Vucinic went extremely close to an opener on 36 minutes when he lobbed from outside the box, which Abbiati at full stretch fingertipped on to the crossbar, as the ball bounced back off the ground and out.
Juve were dominating as time went on, but Marchisio failed to get power on the finish after a wonderful take and volley on Vidal's ball over the top. Vucinic flashed a shot across the face of goal, whistling past the far post.
Straight after the restart Pirlo's cross found Leonardo Bonucci to try to bundle it over the line with a combination of thigh and chest, but Abbiati somehow managed to keep the ball out from point-blank range.
At the other end, a Cassano pass found Boateng at the back post for a low volleyed cross-shot that Gigi Buffon fingertipped round the far stick.
Vucinic pounced on a poor Mark Van Bommel backpass to run into the box, but Thiago Silva got back and did just enough to put him off.
Alessandro Nesta had been struggling with a knee problem for the entire second half and eventually requested a substitution, so Luca Antonini came in with Daniele Bonera moving to centre-back.
Vidal flashed a dangerous daisy-cutter inches past the far post after Pirlo's dummy let the pass through. Vucinic went even closer, as his curler shaved a coat of paint off the same stick.
Juventus finally took a deserved lead with just four minutes to go. Marchisio burst forward and had a double give-and-go with Vidal and Vucinic to enter the box, then Bonera's desperate attempt at an interception ricocheted in off his shin.
Boateng then received a second yellow card for a bizarre foul, as he seemed to try to slap the ball off Chiellini's head and poked him in the face, requiring a bandage for a cut.
Juve doubled their lead with another odd strike, as Marchisio's volley was probably under control, but Alessandro Matri might've got a toe to flick it on, as Abbiati let the ball squirm between his legs. It was a howler from the goalkeeper.
Milan President Silvio Berlusconi visited the team ahead of their Juventus clash, praising Antonio Cassano and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“In these 25 years that I have owned the club, we’ve been able to make Milan the side with the most international trophies in the world and I have become the President with the most silverware in the history of world football. I think the fans like that too,” said the Italian Prime Minister.
“I’d love to build a stadium just for Milan, but there is a lot of red tape to get over before that can happen. Juventus deserve praise for being able to achieve it.”
There is still an injury crisis at San Siro, but Berlusconi is confident Milan can trouble the Serie A leaders.
“The team does change with Ibra on the field, as he brings strength and physicality to the side that builds for its strikers,” he told Milan Channel.
“Cassano has rediscovered his quality, which nobody doubted, but has given it a sense of consistency throughout the game and the season that he had previously lacked.
“I expect Milan to step on to the pitch to control the tempo and win convincingly, with the full respect of their opponents.”
Mark Van Bommel has pledged himself to Milan, but warned they ought to focus on Serie A rather than the Champions League.
“We had clear scoring opportunities as well as the two we netted against Barcelona, so this team certainly did not play catenaccio,” the Dutch international told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Winning in Europe is very difficult, so I think it’s easier to win the Scudetto again. It’s true we didn’t get off to a good start in Serie A, as we often get too stretched out.
“Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a great player, but we cannot depend too much on him. As for Clarence Seedorf, I see him more as a manager than a Coach in future.”
Van Bommel has to consider his own future too and already has it mapped out.
“When I retire, I want to be a Coach, as I’ll take the two tests I’m missing and start in the youth teams in Holland. I’d like to end my career at PSV Eindhoven, but I have a contract here and am very happy to play another season.
“Milan must know they can count on me, as they had guts to sign a player of my age.”
He was teammates with Andrea Pirlo last season, but they’ll be battling in midfield when Milan visit Juventus on Sunday night.
“Pirlo is a great player and it’s only normal to miss someone like him. I’m not surprised he is doing so well at Juventus. However, now he is our opponent, so we can only focus on winning Sunday’s game.”
Conte: 'AC Milan are Juve's big test' 1.10 ||webmaster
Antonio Conte warns Milan that Juventus will go for it in Turin. “We have a lot of respect for them, but no fear.”
The Bianconeri are joint Serie A leaders with Udinese, but have so far not faced any of the potential title challengers.
“Having respect for a side is one thing, and we have a lot of it for Milan, but fear is another,” said the Coach.
“Our attitude must never change, regardless of who we are facing, because we must always take the initiative. Clearly we are playing against a team of great quality, but that has to represent further motivation.
“It is our first game against a big club, but certainly not our first big game, because every encounter must be treated the right way. They are all ultimately worth three points.
“We are still studying to be among the big teams. We must never forget where we came from, nor what happened to Juventus. That’s all we need to avoid kidding ourselves and provide the grit we need to get back to the top level.
“When we are there, then we can talk about a Scudetto showdown. For now, we just want to understand what level we are at.”
Conte has shown his tactics are adaptable, fielding the 4-2-4 or other systems depending on the occasion.
“I am fortunate enough to have different options in midfield. It has to be an advantage, because having an alternative to the basic system allows us to be unpredictable.
“We know Milan try to win by keeping possession, so there will be moments when we are under pressure. We’re aware of our strengths and weaknesses, so curious to see how we perform in a big match situation.”
Allegri: 'Juventus are Scudetto rivals' 1.10 ||webmaster
Massimiliano Allegri looks ahead to Sunday’s Juventus-Milan clash. “We’re playing a team that will fight to the end for the Scudetto.”
This has not been a title showdown for some years, but Juve go into the game as joint leaders with Udinese.
“Juventus are a new squad who are doing well and can certainly do even better,” said Allegri.
“We’re playing a team that will fight to the end for the Scudetto. Juventus will also be highly motivated and can count on the support of the home crowd in their wonderful new stadium.
“It’s great to see a stadium without barriers, as that represents a step forward for Italian football.”
Milan’s defence of their Serie A title has not started well, notching up only one victory against Cesena.
“At the moment we are still coming back together, because we had so many injuries. Tomorrow will hopefully be the last game with so many players out, as they should return after the break for international duty.
“It’s a good side, as at last we can start to get into the season properly after six games. We would’ve had 12 points by now without the injuries, but that didn’t happen, so we have five points.
“We must continue along this path and build on the fact we’ve kept two consecutive clean sheets and are back to winning ways. A match like this needs to be prepared on a mental level more than a physical one.”
Kevin-Prince Boateng should return for this game, but the likes of Gennaro Gattuso, Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Massimo Ambrosini are still sidelined.
Allegri agreed to Andrea Pirlo’s departure over the summer and comes face to face with the former Milan hero in Turin.
“Andrea is a champion and is doing well, as he plays for a team that makes the most of his qualities. If we leave him space to play, then we’ll be making it easier for him and the strikers.
“I am impressed with Coach Antonio Conte, as he is pushing forward his ideas of football.”
Aquilani: 'AC Milan is like paradise' 1.10 ||webmaster
Alberto Aquilani thanks Juventus for giving him a chance, but “Milan is like Paradise” as he returns to face his former teammates.
The midfielder is still owned by Liverpool, but was welcomed back to Serie A last year in a loan spell with Juve.
The club would not pay the agreed buy-out clause and failed to haggle a lower fee, so he joined the Rossoneri instead in a similar deal.
“Milan is like paradise, as there are the ideal conditions to live well and play football,” Aquilani told the Corriere dello Sport.
“Now I understand why all the players who came to Milan said they felt happy. Now I want to become a key player for this team.
“I didn’t get to play with Liverpool very much and it was difficult to settle in. I thank Juventus, who gave me the chance to play regularly again and to make it back into the Italy squad.
“I came to Milan when it was still possible to resume talks with Juventus, but the Rossoneri confirmed my contract until 2014. I chose to cut my wages so I could thank them for the opportunity they were giving me.
“I am very happy to have made this choice.”
Aquilani returns to Turin to face Juve on Sunday evening and takes on his replacement, former Milan star Andrea Pirlo.
“The fact we swapped clubs this summer is just a coincidence. I don’t think the game will be decisive for the Scudetto, as it’s still too early to say.”
Mirko Vucinic is back from his ban and the Juventus striker reveals he used to be a Milan supporter.
“I admired Dejan Savicevic, just as all the kids in Montenegro did, so it was only natural to support the Rossoneri when he was there,” he confessed ahead of Sunday night’s game.
“It is going to be a battle between top teams. We want to win in order to gain more confidence and self-belief.”
They need the boost, as after a sensational start the Bianconeri have been held to two consecutive 1-1 draws against Bologna and Catania.
“Those results did leave a bitter taste in the mouth. My red card was partly to blame for the Bologna draw and I was so upset. I was convinced I was going to get the ball with that tackle. It’s so strange, as I’ve not been sent off in five or six years,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.
“My first goal in a Juve jersey was against Milan in the Trofeo Berlusconi this summer. I also scored against them in the past, including a brace, so I hope to continue that trend. However, the result and the team are the most important things.”
Vucinic also faced Juventus as an opponent many times and reveals what Milan might be thinking.
“In the past I was always struck by the fact Juve would often fumble a lead to draw or even lose. This season, from within, I can sense much more determination.
“I am very happy to have come to Turin. The negotiations with Roma seemed to go on forever, but in the end it all went well. I had five happy years in Rome, but then had a few problems with the fans and wanted new challenges.”
Abate likely to miss Juventus - AC Milan 1.10 ||webmaster
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is impressed with the new Juventus, but also feels he has found his ideal position at Milan.
Although he netted many times in Turin when wearing the Bianconeri jersey, the Swede has never scored here as an opponent and hopes to rectify that on Sunday evening.
“I played in a position that I really like in the Champions League,” he told Milan Channel.
“I can make many movements forward and back, even to help out my teammates. I have more opportunity to do my thing and the more I get the ball, the more dangerous I can be.”
Juve are currently joint top of the Serie A table and this is their first real Scudetto test.
“They are a very strong side and improved so much compared to a year ago with new players and a new Coach,” continued Ibra.
“Plus they have our man, Andrea Pirlo, who is having a great campaign. We have got to be wary, as it’s going to be very difficult and a big game, but we remain the favourites and must therefore take the initiative.”
The injury crisis is subsiding somewhat with the probable return for this game of Kevin-Prince Boateng, but the likes of Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Gennaro Gattuso are still sidelined.
“Antonio Cassano is doing very well, as he has played in every game and scored important goals. We hope he continues this way. He makes an excellent strike partner because he scores, but also provides many assists.”
Galliani blasts Udinese's Euro snub 1.10 ||webmaster
Adriano Galliani is furious with Udinese after fielding a second string team against Celtic. “This is why Italy are ranked below Cyprus!”
The Milan Vice-President has long been critical of clubs who snub the Champions League and Europa League, which led to the fourth Champions League qualifying spot being taken away from Serie A.
Udinese Coach Francesco Guidolin drew a great deal of criticism when resting almost all his stars in the 1-1 draw in Glasgow on Thursday.
“Every time we play a round in the Champions League, I get a print-out of the current European ranking,” explained Galliani.
“Despite the three victories from Inter, Milan and Napoli, we are in 11th place and even lag behind Cyprus. Do you know why? It’s because some clubs show a lack of interest in the Europa League.
“We even set aside a contribution payment in the Lega to motivate them, but when the games arrive, they rotate the squads.
“The problem in Italian football is not knowing who wins Juventus-Milan this Sunday, but rather the 22-point difference from the English ranking.”
Another reason for Serie A’s downturn in recent years has been the state of stadiums, as only Juventus have inaugurated an arena that they own.
“If all Italian clubs owned their own stadiums, the income would change radically. Unfortunately, we are light years away from this change. What happened in Turin cannot be repeated.
“The only thing we can try to do at Milan is modernise San Siro so we can soon hope to host a Champions League Final.”
Milan visit the brand new Juventus Stadium on Sunday evening and Galliani was at the inauguration ceremony.
“A club that changes its stadium also changes its crowd. Since the Allianz Arena in Munich was rebuilt, Bayern have been consistently sold out, because people are interested in the stadium and not just the match.
“My compliments to the Juve directors who have been able to achieve this great feat.”
Allegri: 'Pirlo left for the challenge' 1.10 ||webmaster
Ahead of facing him in a Juventus shirt, Milan Coach Massimilano Allegri has reflected on why Andrea Pirlo left the Rossoneri this summer.
The 32-year-old ended a 10-year spell at San Siro to make the move to Turin, after enduring a frustrating final year with il Diavolo under Allegri's coaching.
Allegri confirmed why Pirlo left, suggesting it was not because of contract or tactical issues.
“Andrea said the truth: that he was looking for other challenges.
“When you are in the same place for 10 years, you need a change, and he is proving that on the field, understanding that last year he was great when he returned against Bologna to a mezzala role, before losing the season to injuries.”