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The Archive

October 2012

Miccoli bitter about AC Milan draw
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Fabrizio Miccoli has described the 2-2 draw with Milan as ‘half a defeat’, according to most sports betting sites, after Palermo threw away a two-goal advantage.

The Rosanero looked good for all three points until Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy levelled things up in the second half at the Barbera on Tuesday.

“The Coach gave us a good telling off and he was right to,” the club captain, who netted a penalty, noted.

“The result was half a defeat for us because we should have closed out the game…

“To be honest, it is a good job that the game finished when it did because we even risked losing that one. Our performance dipped as the tie went on.”

Palermo are still in relegation trouble given that they have collected only eight points from the 30 on offer so far.

They could drop into the relegation zone if certain results don’t go their way in the remaining Week 10 games.

Abate: It wasn't a penalty
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan’s Ignazio Abate doesn’t think that Palermo should have been awarded the penalty which he gave away on Tuesday night.

The referee pointed to the spot after the ball hit the defender’s hand in the box and Fabrizio Miccoli subsequently gave his side the lead.

“The penalty was dubious,” Abate stated. “It hit my hand, but there was no movement of my arm towards the ball.

“I think it was a bit generous.”

The Diavolo went two goals down in Sicily, but they were able to hit back and salvage a 2-2 draw against the Rosanero.

“At the end of the first half we looked each other in the eyes and we weren’t playing as we know we can,” he added.

“We have to play with intensity as we don’t have quality in the middle and we have to overcome that.

“We’re all on the same page though, we have to continue as we’re doing and now we have Chievo.”

AC Milan tactics anger Berlusconi
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan salvaged a point at Palermo on Tuesday after going 2-0 down, but President Silvio Berlusconi was reportedly left fuming at boss Massimiliano Allegri.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Berlusconi phoned Vice-President Adriano Galliani after the game after being perplexed by the tactical tinkering of the Coach.

The Diavolo started the Stadio Barbera tie with a 3-4-3, but changed to a 3-5-2 and a 4-2-4 as they grabbed a 2-2 draw.

Galliani last night again confirmed that boss Allegri would remain in his place. Milan face Chievo this weekend.

Allegri: 'AC Milan deserved even more'
31.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan “fully deserved” their point in Palermo and explained his continual tactical changes.

The Rossoneri were 2-0 down in Sicily, but fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“I started out with a 3-5-2, then I introduced Urby Emanuelson and had other substitutions in mind,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“I didn’t want to run too many risks in the first half, as we could’ve created dangerous situations with Alexandre Pato.

“This is the first time this season we’ve been able to fight back to get a result, which has to be a good sign. In the second half we created so many chances and tended to just get the final pass wrong.

“Despite playing badly in the first half, the penalty could’ve been avoided. The lads did well after the break and we fully deserved the draw. In fact, we could well have won it.”

During the game Allegri went from a 3-5-2 system to a 3-4-3 and then returned to four at the back.

“When a Coach tries to read a game, he does it over the course of 90 minutes. I really didn’t think we’d be 2-0 down after 47 minutes.

“We got a lot wrong in the first half and the problems arrived, even if by playing badly we shouldn’t have allowed them into the box 30 seconds from the break.

“I think Pato needs to play and rediscover his confidence. We could’ve done better in giving him service. He needs to grow, but put the effort in tonight. For him just being on the pitch is like a weight off his shoulders and he’ll get more and more relaxed.”

Serie A: Palermo 2:2 AC Milan - match report
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Miccoli pen 45 (P), Brienza 47 (P), Montolivo 70 (M), El Shaarawy 80 (M)

Palermo had dominated the first hour and were 2-0 up, but Stephan El Shaarawy completed a Milan comeback to snatch a Coach-saving draw in Sicily.

Max Allegri got a stay of execution with a 1-0 win over Genoa on Sunday and made big changes for this midweek round, switching to a 3-5-2 system with Antonio Nocerino, Mathieu Flamini, Kevin Constant and Philippe Mexes stepping in. He had to do without the injured Robinho, Mattia De Sciglio, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Luca Antonini and Djamel Mesbah. Palermo missed Abel Hernandez and Milan Milanovic, but had a strong record in this fixture, losing just one of the last seven editions at the Stadio Barbera.

Marco Amelia, Nocerino and Palermo’s Massimo Donati were facing their former clubs in Sicily. Daniele Bonera was booked in the opening minute for barging Fabrizio Miccoli off the pitch and will be suspended against Chievo.

Donati was in doubt after pulling up during the warm-up and it was clear he was in no condition to play, so abandoned the match after just six minutes.

There were penalty appeals after Franco Brienza combined with Miccoli to burst into the box, but Kevin Constant went shoulder-to-shoulder. Moments later Alexandre Pato spun round on a long ball, but was closed down.

Miccoli ran on to a Josip Ilicic through ball past Bonera only to drag the angled drive across the face of goal. A fierce Miccoli free kick bounced off Amelia’s chest, but nobody was there to take advantage of the error.

A corner was cleared to the edge of the box for a fine Nocerino volley that Samir Ujkani smothered well. At the other end Santiago Garcia’s header landed on the roof of the net, then Constant’s poor backpass was intercepted by Miccoli, whose powerful finish skimmed the crossbar.

Flamini was booked for dragging down Ilicic and Miccoli curled the resulting free kick inches past the post with Amelia beaten. El Shaarawy’s header was palmed off the line by Ujkani just before half-time.

On the stroke of half-time Miccoli tried to flick the ball between two defenders, but it struck Ignazio Abate’s hand from point-blank range and the referee considered it to be intentional, pointing to the spot. Miccoli buried the low penalty into the near bottom corner despite Amelia guessing the right side.

Urby Emanuelson replaced Flamini at the break for a 3-4-3 formation, but Palermo doubled their lead with a sensational individual strike just a minute into the second half. Brienza was not closed down outside the box and unleashed a screamer that bounced into the far bottom corner with Amelia rooted to the spot.

Allegri took drastic steps, throwing on Bojan Krkic and Giampaolo Pazzini, moving to a four-man defence with Constant and Abate as full-backs.

Ilicic fired over, while substitute Bojan went on a mazy run through four defenders to sting Ujkani’s palms at the near post. Palermo’s Santiago Garcia risked a second yellow for tripping Bojan.

Emanuelson’s curling long-range free kick was spectacularly palmed out from under the bar by Ujkani and Bojan mis-hit from the resulting corner.

Milan thought they were going to equalise on 69 minutes when Abate rolled the ball across the face of goal, but El Shaarawy mistimed his intervention and hit a fresh-air shot from a yard.

That was a warning shot and the Rossoneri did get one back moments later. Bojan ran rings around substitute Mauro Cetto down the right and set up Riccardo Montolivo to strike at the back post.

Miccoli pulled up clutching the back of his right thigh and was able to continue after treatment, but the momentum was very much with the visitors now after Palermo sat too deep on their lead.

The Rosanero paid for that attitude, as Milan completed the comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Ujkani flapped at an Abate cross and El Shaarawy smartly turned in on the half-volley from a tight angle at the near stick.

Amelia captured a long-range Miccoli effort and Ujkani did the same on Bojan.

Palermo: Ujkani; Munoz, Donati (Von Bergen 6), Mantovani; Morganella, Barreto, Arevalo Rios, Garcia (Cetto 68); Ilicic, Brienza (Giorgi 57); Miccoli

AC Milan: Amelia; Mexes, Bonera, Yepes (Pazzini 54); Abate, Montolivo, Flamini (Emanuelson 46), Nocerino, Constant; Pato (Bojan 54), El Shaarawy

Ref: Rizzoli

Dal Canto surprised at El Shaarawy
30.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Padova boss Alessandro Dal Canto has praised Stephan El Shaarawy following his impressive start to the campaign.

The 20-year-old Milan forward has lit up Serie A this season with six goals in the first nine League games, and his one-time Coach at the Veneto club has admitted to being surprised his rise.

“I did not expect him to do so much so quickly,” he told tuttomercatoweb.com. “But I have never doubted his quality.

“He's been given his chance in the team because Milan sold so many champions in the summer, but it's worked.

“Age is only an obstacle in Italian football. We don't give young players enough of a chance in this country.”

He also commented on Massimiliano Allegri's precarious position as Coach of the Rossoneri.

“He's doing a great job,” he said. “Milan have changed so much, so it was always going to be difficult to do well right away.

“Allegri will be able to achieve important results.”

Gasperini: AC Milan are still to be feared
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Palermo boss Gian Piero Gasperini has admitted that although Milan may have not started the season well, they will still be a tough test.

The Rosanero host Massimiliano Allegri's men tomorrow night, and the 54-year-old Coach has warned his players against complacency, as well as commenting on his own team's lowly position in the table.

“Milan have not been getting the results we've all been accustomed to,” he told a Press conference. “It is a difficult period for them at the moment, but they will certainly still be a tough opponent.

“They are at a different level to the likes of Siena and Torino, but we are at home, so we have to go for a win.

“When you look at the table, you have to say that, after so many games, we are not at the bottom by chance, but for a reason. We have to go forward now game-by-game.

“We can look back and say 'we could have picked up more points there', but we have to forget about that and look ahead.”

He also commented on the side's lack of goals – six in nine League games – and also on the recent controversy surrounding poor refereeing decisions in Serie A.

“We are a team that produces a lot of opportunities to score, we have just been wasteful,” he said. “But that happens in football. We have many attacking options, and there's no doubt we have to do more.

“Yesterday was an extraordinary day for the referees,” he added. “I think, and hope, they were just isolated incidences, and that this week they will return to normal.”

Allegri: Palermo will be a tough test
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has admitted that Palermo will prove a difficult challenge as the two meet on Tuesday.

The Rossoneri travel to Sicily to face Gian Piero Gasperini's men, looking for a second consecutive victory for the first time this season, following their 1-0 win over Genoa at the weekend.

“Palermo are doing well,” he told a Press conference. “Gasperini's teams traditionally play good football, and they always perform well at home.

“It will be a difficult game for us, and we will have to defend well against a top quality player like Fabrizio Miccoli.

“We won on Saturday, but we must not forget what has happened lately, because we have very few points. We need to move up the table as quickly as possible, but we can only go forward thinking game-by-game.”

He also commented on some of the players who may feature at Renzo Barbera, as well as praising young forward Stephan El Shaarawy for his recent goalscoring exploits.

“Tomorrow I think Pato will start alongside El Shaarawy. Stephan has played with great quality this season, and has moved into the team really well. Pato played well at the weekend having been out for so long with injury.

“Kevin-Prince Boateng will be out with knee trouble, but Sulley Muntari is back in the squad. We will gradually reintegrate him back into the team though.”

AC Milan squad for Palermo
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel; Abate, Acerbi, Bonera, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata; Ambrosini, De Jong, Constant, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari, Nocerino; Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pato, Pazzini.

Bonera on the defence
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera insists that Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has not rushed his decision to play with a three-man defence.

The Rossoneri are now using a 3-4-3 system after trying a variety of shapes so far during their problematic 2012-13 campaign.

“The Coach wanted to try the three-man defence some time ago,” stated the stopper. “He had already spoken to a few of us about it a while back…”

Milan returned to winning ways against Genoa on Saturday after three straight losses and a week-long training retreat at Milanello.

“That retreat was an advantage to us,” Bonera insisted. “It allowed us to take a lot of components into consideration.

“We certainly didn’t view the retreat as a punishment, we saw it as a way to get out of our delicate moment.

“The game against Palermo will now tell us who we are.”

The Diavolo play the Rosanero at the Stadio Barbera on Tuesday.

Boateng and De Sciglio worry AC Milan
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin Prince Boateng and Mattia De Sciglio are doubts for Tuesday’s Serie A game between Palermo and Milan.

The Rossoneri resumed training at Milanello today, but the midfielder and the defender took no part in the session.

Boateng is struggling with a knee injury, while the young Italian full-back is suffering with a fever.

Christian Abbiati did train as normal and he should return in between the posts at the expense of Marco Amelia.

Pato: 'I'm alive again!'
29.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is doubly overjoyed at last night’s win over Genoa, his first start in eight months. “I am alive again.”

The Duck returned from a lengthy injury lay-off after a series of muscular problems and played 72 minutes of Milan’s 1-0 victory at San Siro.

“I am alive again,” smiled the Brazilian. “I played, I ran, I sprinted and I didn’t feel any pain. I am so happy.

“I like to play and to do well, so it was a very important evening for me. I was able to do everything and felt no pain, so I feel good.

“Unfortunately I didn’t manage to score, but I tried to help my teammates. I hope to score soon, hopefully in the next match.”

Stephan El Shaarawy found the net for a crucial victory, his sixth Serie A goal in nine games and a fine way to mark his 20th birthday.

“El Shaarawy is growing and is a great player,” noted Pato. “He is on the right track and I hope he can do very well at Milan.

“We struggled, but it was important to bring home the three points after recent defeats. Now we must forget all the other results and focus on the next game.”

Serie A Week 10 is a midweek round, so Milan are back on the pitch against Palermo on Tuesday night.

El Shaarawy: 'Best birthday of my life!'
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy admits he was “moved” to score against his old club and revive Milan’s fortunes. “It’s the best birthday of my life.”

The Little Pharaoh turned 20 today and celebrated by netting the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Genoa.

“I am moved, as it’s the best birthday of my life,” he told Sky Sport Italia. El Shaarawy refused to celebrate as a sign of respect for his former fans.

“I am excited and happy, both for the victory and the goal. Is this my Milan? I’m happy people are saying that. I just try to give my all and put myself at the disposal of the Coach.”

The Rossoneri were thoroughly uninspired up until the goal, so El Shaarawy may well have saved Massimiliano Allegri’s job.

“The club has always believed in Allegri. Now we must continue like this and think about the next game. This goal does help boost our morale and I prefer the 3-4-3 system.”

Alexandre Pato made his first start in eight months, although looks far from his best form.

“We know the quality that Pato possesses, as he is a great champion.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan criticism too harsh'
28.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri was pleased Milan managed to beat Genoa “in a difficult atmosphere. So far criticism has been too harsh.”

The Rossoneri were again uninspired, but squeezed past Genoa 1-0 at San Siro thanks to a late Stephan El Shaarawy strike.

“It was a deserved victory and I think so far the criticism has been harsh considering what the lads did on the field,” said the Coach.

“We could’ve scored in the first half and there were several dubious penalty incidents. We also made a lot of mistakes in our passing, which also happened in Malaga.

“We got this result in a difficult atmosphere and I am glad the players reacted to it. I am happy with the win.”

It had been reported Allegri was facing the axe if he failed to win this evening.

“I was very relaxed because the team had always put in strong performances. We just needed to find some belief and confidence, especially in front of goal. With goals everything becomes easier. I experienced a similar situation when I was at Cagliari.”

Milan again used the 3-4-3 system that was given its debut against Malaga in the Champions League midweek.

“We are a little more attacking with this system. It’s difficult to say right now whether it is better or worse than a four-man defence. When 1-0 up we had several chances to double our lead, so we hope to build on that in our next match against Palermo.”

Alexandre Pato made his first Serie A start in eight months and Allegri was satisfied.

“He put in a good performance and was often dangerous. In the last eight months he has basically played a game and a half, so it’s difficult for him to find full fitness straight away. I substituted him because he was tired.

“I think Milan’s ‘cure’ is simply an issue of results and not performances. Our worst game of the season was against Anderlecht in the Champions League.”

Serie A: AC Milan 1:0 Genoa - match report
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: El Shaarawy 77 (M)

Stephan El Shaarawy scored on his 20th birthday against his former club as an uninspired Milan scraped a 1-0 victory on Gigi Del Neri’s Genoa debut.

It was the Last Chance Saloon for Massimiliano Allegri after losing six of his 11 games so far this season, but Genoa had already axed Gigi De Canio this week to bring in Del Neri, here making his debut. Allegri unveiled the 3-4-3 system in the Champions League defeat to Malaga midweek and confirmed it here.

Alexandre Pato got his first start in eight months, but Kevin-Prince Boateng had a knee problem joining the injured Robinho, Mattia De Sciglio, Djamel Mesbah and Sulley Muntari. Christian Abbiati was only fit for the bench after suffering from a respiratory infection. Genoa are without Marco Borriello for six weeks, while Marco Rossi, Damiano Ferronetti, Juan Manuel Vargas and the suspended Michele Canini were also unavailable.

A very powerful but central free kick from Bosko Jankovic was well held, then Pato tried to run at a defender but his through ball for Urby Emanuelson was poor.

Milan ran a huge risk with Cristian Zapata’s dreadful clearance intercepted by Luca Antonelli, Marco Amelia punching the cross on to Ciro Immobile’s chest and lucky to see it ricochet wide.

Ignazio Abate’s deflected cross was palmed out from under the bar by Sebastien Frey and Mario Yepes nodded off target from the resulting corner.

El Shaarawy, on his 20th birthday, went on a scorching run from midfield with shot deflected wide. The corner came to the D for an unmarked Nigel De Jong, whose shot was charged down amid timid appeals for a handling offence.

Pato kept a pass in at the by-line, but hesitated on the pass to El Shaarawy and allowed Genoa to close him down, much to the Little Pharaoh’s frustration. From the corner El Shaarawy flashed a ball across the face of goal, but nobody was ready to tap in from six yards.

Luca Antonini got two injuries simultaneously, as he pulled up clutching the back of his thigh and had a nasty cut to the same knee, so made way for Kevin Constant.

Pato tried turning Cesare Bovo in the box and went down, but the referee waved play on, as the Brazilian seemed to run into him.

Straight after the restart Pato rolled a great ball across the goal, but once again nobody was there for Milan’s easy tap-in.

There were stronger penalty appeals on 54 minutes when De Jong seemed to be clumsily nudged in the back by Andreas Granqvist as he tried to chest down a chipped Emanuelson pass, then the move continued and Frey parried Abate’s angled drive with his feet.

Constant’s header was deflected out for a corner, possibly off an arm, but it was from point-blank range. Amelia smothered long-range efforts from Alexander Merkel and Jankovic.

Pato took the header when he should’ve left it for De Jong right behind him. It was the Duck’s last contribution before he made way for Giampaolo Pazzini.

Milan did eventually break the deadlock with El Shaarawy on his 20th birthday and he refused to celebrate against the side where he grew up. Abate sprung the offside trap and rolled a smart ball across the six-yard box past Pazzini, but this time El Shaarawy was there to tap in at the back post. The Little Pharaoh confirmed his status as the Rossoneri’s most prolific player with his eighth goal of the season in all competition.

Zapata nodded an El Shaarawy corner past the upright, but Emanuelson went close with a scorching first-time shot from the edge of the box that skimmed the bar.

There was a huge scare in stoppages when Immobile turned wide with Amelia well off his line, but he was flagged offside.

AC Milan: Amelia; Zapata, Bonera, Yepes; Abate, De Jong, Montolivo, Antonini (Constant 42); Emanuelson (Nocerino 88), El Shaarawy, Pato (Pazzini 72)

Genoa: Frey; Sampirisi, Bovo, Granqvist, Moretti (Kranjc 68); Jankovic (Jorquera 80), Kucka, Tozser, Antonelli; Bertolacci (Merkel 57), Immobile

Ref: Mazzoleni

Berlusconi: 'AC Milan need looking after'
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi admits the club “needs to be looked after at the moment.”

The patron hit the headlines this week when he was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud, but it was reduced to one year due to a legal loophole and he won’t actually have to serve any time until the lengthy appeals process has concluded.

“I wanted to dedicate myself to a football club that needs to be looked after at the moment,” he said in a Press conference.

“As you know, aside from politics I also deal with the Luigi Berlusconi Foundation, whose mission it is to build hospitals for children around the world.

“I will have to spread my attention around all these different directions, because I intend to dedicate most of my time to my country and continuing the process of modernisation and change.”

Some of Berlusconi’s recent legal problems have seen him hit with huge fines, which some suggest is the reason Milan have had to tighten their belts recently.

This week former Prime Minister Berlusconi also announced that he would not be running for office again.

Ambrosini's El Shaarawy bet
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Today is Stephan El Shaarawy’s birthday and Massimo Ambrosini reveals why he might have to pay for the Milan youngster’s vacation.

El Shaarawy turns 20 today and will take to the field this evening against his former club Genoa.

“This summer in order to motivate him I promised Stephan I’d pay for him to go on vacation if he reached seven goals before December,” Ambrosini told Sky Sport Italia.

“I get the feeling I’m going to have to pay up on that bet. To be honest, I didn’t have much belief he’d get there!”

El Shaarawy is Milan’s top scorer this season with six goals in all competition, so if he finds the net tonight against Genoa then he’ll have an extra reason to celebrate his 20th birthday.

Baresi: AC Milan is a different team
27.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan legend Franco Baresi has commented on the Rossoneri's recent woes, saying there has been 'too many changes' at the club.

A host of star names, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Alessandro Nesta and Clarence Seedorf, left the San Siro side over the summer, and the 52-year-old former defender has lamented those departures, claiming they are to blame for the current malaise.

“Milan this year are a different team,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “There were choices made by the board members to try and instigate a generational change.

“I think, maybe, there were too many changes made at the same time, but the fans will stick with the club.

“This is not an atypical Milan team, but we will see what happens.”

Massimiliano Allegri's team have lost six of their first 11 games in all competitions, and currently sit in 15th place in Serie A.

Mbaye on clubs radar
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter youngster Ibrahim Mbaye is attracting interest from a number of Serie A clubs, according to his agent.

The 17-year-old defender joined the Nerazzurri in 2010 from Senegalese football academy Etoile Lusitana, and his representative has claimed that despite other clubs courting an interest, he will sign a new long-term deal with the San Siro side soon.

“Mbaye is happy at Inter,” Giuseppe Accardi told calciomercato.com. “And in December we will sign a contract that binds us to the club for another three or four years.

“There has been no contact between us and Milan, but I'm not surprised, with his expiring contract, that the Rossoneri are interested. We've also had offers from Napoli and Palermo, but there are no problems with Inter.”

Berlusconi convicted of tax evasion
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison and will be forced to pay part of a €10m fine for tax evasion.

The verdict was delivered by a Milan court on Friday afternoon – six years after the trial which looked at the activity of his Mediaset TV company – originally began.

Legal cases in Italy must pass two levels of appeal before any verdict is made final. The statue of limitations rule on this case expires in 2013.

Berlusconi is expected to appeal.

Allegri: AC Milan must beat Genoa
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri, now using a 3-4-3 formation, is in confident mood ahead of the game against Genoa.

The Rossoneri have had a nightmare start to the season, losing five of their first eight League games – as well as their last three in all competitions.

“We need to play with patience so that we are not betrayed by hastiness,” the tactician stated on Friday.

“We need to go into the game in the knowledge that we will have 100 minutes at our disposal to get the win.

“We have to play a simple game, but we have to win, that is an absolute must, and the players are in the right condition to do so.

“It will be an important match and we want to give the fans and the club a victory which the players deserve for what they are doing on the pitch.

“Genoa? They are a good side, they have technical players and a Coach who looks after the defensive side of things very well.”

The Diavolo lost 1-0 at Malaga on Wednesday, but Allegri saw enough positives in the surprise 3-4-3 formation to continue the experiment.

“We played a good game,” he reflected. “We used a 3-4-3 system for the first time and we’ll go forward with that.

“We conceded a first shot from Malaga after 36 minutes and after we created four or five favourable situations in the game.

“We had important chances, the problem is that we didn’t take advantage of them. The Malaga goal also came from our first and only defensive error.

“I can’t criticise the players. I’m convinced that with this concentration and with some improvements in the final third, we’ll be able to turn the corner.”

Allegri has had to deal with questions about his future for most of this season so far, but he insists he is calm.

“I have never feared the sack even if we are all aware about the moment we are going through. We are working hard to get back up the table and qualify for the next stage of the Champions League.”

El Shaarawy targets Brazil 2014
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan sensation Stephan El Shaarawy wants to become a major player for club and country. “The World Cup is my objective.”

El Shaarawy has made a stunning start to the season and he was selected by Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli for the recent Brazil 2014 qualifiers.

“My objective is the World Cup, but there is the Under-21 European Championship before that,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “That’s important to me too.

“I’m very grateful to Prandelli for throwing me in at such a delicate moment.

“I just want to play as much as possible for Milan and hopefully get into double figures for goals in the League and at least 15 overall this season.”

El Shaarawy, who will be 20 tomorrow, has scored six goals in 11 games for a stuttering Rossoneri outfit this term.

“At this moment in time, we have to stay united and alongside Coach Massimiliano Allegri,” he explained.

“We are all with him, we were at the start and we’ll continue to stand by him. That is all that counts right now.”

Milan have lost their last three games in all competitions. “I know it will be hard to believe, but everyone is very calm within the squad.

“The Coach is hopeful, the squad too, and we’ll get out of this. We know that we are a good squad and certainly not one who should be third from bottom in the table.

“Allegri is a Coach who has always had faith in me, even after the first few games when I didn’t deliver. He’s looked after me perfectly over the last year and a half.”

He was also asked about his preferred position. “A formation with three strikers, where I can play wide. The important thing is to be on the left.”

AC Milan: 'We continue with Allegri'
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has gone on Milan Channel to confirm “We will go forward” with Massimiliano Allegri.

The reports of a sacking intensified after last night’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to Malaga, their sixth loss in 11 competitive games this season.

“We will continue with Allegri,” Vice-President Galliani told Milan Channel this afternoon. “We will go forward with him.

“The President and I are convinced we should go forward with Allegri. The fans must have patience and understand this is Year Zero for Milan.

“We must push on and we will emerge from this moment, with this Coach. I try not to speak too much, because I am constantly asked about the Coach, but this is not our problem.

“We didn’t play badly last night, as we were organised and when Philippe Mexes went so close I thought at the moment things really aren’t going our way.

“I have to thank the fans, as they are fantastic, both the ones in Malaga and those I meet in the street. The Curva ultras were at the Milanello ground the other day and encouraged us. It is not true that they set an ultimatum.”

The most likely candidate should Allegri be fired would be current assistant manager Mauro Tassotti.

Other options include ex-Milan players Alessandro Costacurta – who today declared he’d be happy to take the job – and Frank Rijkaard.

Costacurta would say 'yes' to AC Milan
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan great Alessandro Costacurta has confirmed he would be interested in taking over as Coach of the Rossoneri.

The former defender has been linked as a potential successor to Massimiliano Allegri, and has admitted he would be keen on taking the job – but only once the current boss has turned the recent malaise around.

“Milan have not called me,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “If they called me? It's clear that I would say yes.

“I really hope to coach there one day, but only after Allegri has won Serie A or the Champions League.”

The San Siro side have had a dreadful start to the campaign, losing six of their first 11 games in all competitions.

Albertini: AC Milan must keep Allegri
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan legend Demetrio Albertini has claimed that the Rossoneri should keep faith with Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The San Siro side have had a disastrous start to the campaign – both domestically and in Europe – but the 41-year-old believes that the club should remain confident in the current boss.

“Milan must keep Allegri,” he told reporters at an FIGC Press conference. “Any project started by the Coach needs time. Everyone has to work together to get better results.

“I do not know where this crisis started, but it should be left for people inside the club to understand and fix.

“The logic of changing their market strategy is something everyone can understand, but the current results are visible for everyone to see.

“It is also true though, that the young players that have been brought in need time to grow.”

Milan currently sit in 15th place in Serie A, having picked up just seven points from their first eight games, and also laboured to a 1-0 defeat at Malaga on Tuesday, meaning they have suffered six defeats in 11 games this term.

Some reports are suggesting that Frank Rijkaard has already signed an agreement to become the team's new Coach ahead of the game against Genoa this weekend.

Emanuelson: We can beat Malaga
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Urby Emanuelson is confident that Milan can defeat Malaga when the two teams meet at San Siro in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri were beaten 1-0 in Spain on Wednesday, but the Dutch international is remaining upbeat ahead of the return fixture despite his club’s struggles.

“The next match will be important and I think we will be able to beat the Spanish,” the midfielder noted.

The Diavolo have now lost their last three games, but Emanuelson insists that fortune has also deserted them.

“We had some opportunities to score, but we are going through a difficult time right now and we are lacking a little bit of luck,” he argued.

“We know that in difficult times you have to fight for everything. That's what we did – we played as a team, fought for every ball.

“There is some satisfaction, though, in having caused Malaga some problems. Also, if you look at the game, I don't think we deserved to lose…”

Montolivo looks at the table
26.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo is looking on the bright side of Milan’s latest loss after their 1-0 reverse at Malaga.

The Diavolo suffered a Champions League setback on Wednesday, but they are still second in their section – five points behind leaders Malaga and one ahead of Zenit.

“The group still looks positive,” said the summer signing from Fiorentina.

Nevertheless, Montolivo accepts that the Rossoneri have to improve and that they did encounter problems in Spain.

“We suffered too much in the second half with the men between the lines, then we created some things but not enough,” he added.

“In the first half we could have been more precise in the final third, but we tried to do what the Coach told us and do it well.

“In the second half, it was different, we suffered too much without tightening the midfield and the defence. We have to show more anger on the pitch.

“It was a tactical match in which we didn’t manage to deny them space.”

Rijkaard set for AC Milan job?
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There are reports Frank Rijkaard has already agreed a contract with Milan to replace Massimiliano Allegri.

The Rossoneri are in crisis after losing 1-0 to Malaga in the Champions League this evening, meaning they have suffered six defeats in 11 official games this season.

The Coach insisted he wanted to remain on the bench and when questioned over whether he’d be there come Saturday against Genoa, he replied “you’d have to ask the club.

“I won’t resign, as that isn’t my style.”

Vice-President Adriano Galliani spoke to journalists after the defeat in Malaga and would only say: “I know you always ask the same thing. I’m not changing him.”

Up until now the only real option has been to promote assistant manager Mauro Tassotti if Allegri were to be sacked.

However, 7Gold are now reporting that a contract has already been agreed with former Holland manager Rijkaard.

He is an old hand at Milan, having played for Arrigo Sacchi’s team that conquered the world in the 1980s.

However, Rijkaard is also currently working as the manager of the Saudi Arabian national football team.

He has been the Coach of Holland, Sparta Rotterdam, Barcelona and Galatasaray.

Bonera: 'AC Milan need solidity'
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Daniele Bonera revealed the reasoning behind Milan’s switch to a three-man defence. “We work with the Coach trying to find defensive solidity.”

The Rossoneri made a big change for this evening’s Champions League defeat to Malaga, adopting a 3-4-3 system for the first time.

“We thought we’d create some more density in midfield, seeing as Malaga played these one-two balls on the edge of the box.

“I think defensively we did pretty well, though obviously came under more pressure towards the end when we were looking to score.

“Unfortunately the team is paying a heavy price for every scoring opportunity and we were unlucky, going close to an equaliser with Philippe Mexes.

“It’s true that we went a little too deep as time went on and were unable to be quite as dangerous on the counter-attack as in the first half. At times a three-man defence becomes five and it is difficult to go on the counter when fatigue sets in.

“I think it’s reductive to talk about the system right now. We work with the Coach trying to find the system that will allow us a certain defensive solidity, which at the moment is missing.”

Bonera was asked what Coach Massimiliano Allegri said to the squad in the locker room after their sixth defeat in 11 competitive matches this season.

“The Coach usually struggles to speak after a match, especially as in the heat of the moment you can say things that are not accurate.

“Of course the locker room atmosphere was sad, but we are still in a strong position and have the chance to go through.”

Allegri: 'Ask AC Milan about my job'
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri tried to reassure his squad after Milan’s defeat to Malaga. “Will I stay on the bench? You’d have to ask the club.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 1-0 in Spain this evening, meaning they have lost six of their total 11 competitive matches this season.

“The first half didn’t go badly, but after the break we struggled as we couldn’t emerge from our own half due to their possession and us giving the ball away cheaply,” he told Mediaset.

“We had some good chances in the first half, wasting the final ball and making the wrong decisions. Despite not allowing Malaga that much, we still conceded a goal.”

Allegri shocked many by choosing a brand new 3-4-3 system for this Champions League clash.

“This was our first time using this system and I think it was a decent performance from the team, though we should’ve defended higher up the field.

“I think the team is more protected with this system and of course we will improve with practice. That’s not to say we won’t ever return to four at the back, but right now we need to find some balance.

“The lads gave all they possibly could. We have to improve in the final third, where we often get it wrong, but the team played a good game. I used this system so the wing-backs could get to the by-line and provide more service for Giampaolo Pazzini.”

The Coach is under immense pressure and reports suggest he will be sacked in favour of assistant manager Mauro Tassotti, though Frank Rijkaard is another option.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone after the game, but the President called me today. We all know we are in a difficult moment, I am the first to realise that, but I also say this team will recover due to the efforts they are putting in.

“We’re still in second place in the Champions League group and must now focus on Genoa, who have changed Coach and brought in Gigi Del Neri.

“Will I be on the bench on Saturday? You’d have to ask the club. I am disappointed with the result considering what the lads did, but Milan do not deserve this position in the table.

“How do we get out of this? We beat Genoa on Saturday. It’s the only course of action.”

Ambrosini: 'Not a bad experiment'
25.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini supported the 3-4-3 experiment and felt Milan “have to look at the positives” from their defeat to Malaga.

“We have to look at the positives. It’s a strange time, we gave our all, but right now have some limits and we must overcome them,” the captain told Mediaset.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri shocked many by testing out a new 3-4-3 system in their 1-0 Champions League defeat in Spain.

“We didn’t do badly, but as it is the first time with three at the back we need more practice. It didn’t go badly as an experiment.

“We have to lift our heads and keep working hard, as that is the only way to get through a time like this.

“If you have to work hard when things go well, then you must work doubly hard when things go wrong.”

Milan are still clear in second place in their group after Zenit beat Anderlecht 1-0, but they have only four points compared to Malaga on nine.

Champions League: Malaga 1:0 AC Milan - match report
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Joaquin 64 (Ma)

AC Milan’s new 3-4-3 system showed an improvement in performance, but they were still beaten 1-0 by Malaga after Joaquin made up for a missed penalty.

It was crisis time for the Rossoneri after their worst Serie A start in 70 years, while Robinho, Christian Abbiati, Ignazio Abate and Nigel De Jong were sidelined. Massimiliano Allegri caused shockwaves by sending Kevin-Prince Boateng to the stands and introducing a brand new 3-4-3 system with Mattia De Sciglio and Kevin Constant as wing-backs. Malaga had a 100 per cent record in this Champions League group and were yet to concede, although they were without Nacho Monreal, Sergio Sanchez, Jeremy Toulalan, Diego Buonanotte and Julio Baptista, so Eliseu was moved to left-back.

Riccardo Montolivo had a long-range strike comfortably blocked, while Giampaolo Pazzini’s free kick was well over. Montolivo was booked for a late tackle on Camacho, then Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy just failed to get their heads on to a splendid De Sciglio cross.

El Shaarawy had a great chance when Urby Emanuelson sprung the offside trap on the half-hour mark, but drilled wide of the upright in acres of space.

Malaga were very dangerous on the counter-attack, but young talent Isco blasted over the bar from the edge of the box.

Moments later Isco was on target with an angled daisy-cutter, but Marco Amelia was at full stretch to fingertip it round the far post. Malaga were stepping up the pressure and Martin Demichelis turned over from a corner.

The referee pointed to the spot on the stroke of half-time when Kevin Constant went shoulder-to-shoulder with Jesus Gamez in a really rather harsh penalty decision. Joaquin stepped up and missed, clipping the top of the crossbar!

It had already been raining this evening, but intensified after the break. Emanuelson opted for two shots rather than assists for Pazzini and El Shaarawy in better positions.

There was danger as Isco threaded through for Javier Saviola to spring the offside trap and Daniele Bonera’s challenge was considered clean, as he blocked off the Argentine’s shot. The Milan defender also fell on to the ball with his hand, but that was not a voluntary gesture.

A free kick was touched on for Montolivo’s powerful but central effort smothered by Willy Caballero, while Saviola curled over the bar and Amelia smothered at Saviola’s feet after a Philippe Mexes error.

Malaga did take the lead eventually at La Rosaleda as Joaquin made up for his missed penalty. Francesco Acerbi made the mistake to allow Joaquin to go clear on a Manuel Iturra ball over the top, the finish going in off the inside of the near post as Amelia came rushing out.

Moments later Eliseu pounced on a terrible Constant clearance to unleash a screamer from distance that Amelia fingertipped round the top corner of the net.

Alexandre Pato replaced Constant, moving Emanuelson into the wing-back role. Pazzini’s glancing header on a De Sciglio assist flashed across the face of goal, as he didn’t get enough on it.

El Shaarawy’s finish was charged down after a strong solo run, but De Sciglio got a crucial touch to intercept a cross for Isco clear on the counter-attack. Bojan Krkic replaced defender Acerbi, the ex-Barcelona striker greeted by jeers from the home crowd. Amelia didn’t quite get to a corner, but was fortunate that Eliseu nodded off target.

El Shaarawy created a very good scoring opportunity, chesting down a long ball over the top and shaking off a defender to force a tough save out of Willy at the near post. From the resulting corner, Mexes flashed an angled drive across the face of goal to prompt another set-piece. A long-range free kick was touched on for Pato, who promptly hit teammate Mexes. Malaga also gave a run-out to former Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu, whose Rossoneri career never really started due to a serious injury.

Malaga 1-0 Milan

Scorers: Joaquin 64 (Ma)

Malaga: Willy; Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Eliseu; Camacho, Iturra; Portillo (Onyewu 91), Joaquin (Duda 85), Isco; Saviola (Santa Cruz 70)

Milan: Amelia; Mexes, Bonera, Acerbi (Bojan 79); De Sciglio, Montolivo, Ambrosini, Constant (Pato 69); Emanuelson, Pazzini, El Shaarawy

Ref: Proenca (POR)

Missed penalty: Joaquin 44 (Ma)

AC Milan to go for 3-4-3 against Malaga?
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport is suggesting that Milan will use a 3-4-3 system in tonight’s Champions League tie against Malaga.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri was expected to field a 4-2-3-1 shape with Bojan Krkic stepping in for Kevin Prince Boateng as the player behind centre-forward Giampaolo Pazzini.

However, there are claims this afternoon that the tactician will instead try an experimental 3-4-3 in a bid to cure Milan’s problems.

Milan possible: Amelia; Bonera, Mexes, Yepes; De Sciglio, Ambrosini, Montolivo, Antonini; Emanuelson, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.

AC Milan insist Allegri is safe
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has again dismissed talk that boss Massimiliano Allegri is playing to keep his job.

There have been reports that the tactician could be dismissed should the club fall to another defeat when they play Malaga this evening.

However, Galliani has backed the under-fire tactician. “Allegri will stay at Milan,” the Diavolo official noted.

“The match against Malaga will not be his last one for Milan – definitely not. Let’s end this rumour.

“We want to keep on moving forward with Allegri and he will stay. We have netted 162 points in Serie A with Allegri, which is far more than any other Serie A club during this period.

“And we deserved to get more than just one point in the matches against Parma, Inter and Lazio.

“The success of a club consists of three components – the management, the Coach and the players. I have never thought of separating these things. Thinking like this over the last 26 years has seen us get to the top of the world.

“Football consists of cycles. Look at Barcelona, they are the best in the world but they didn’t win the Liga or the Champions League last season.

“We’re currently in a moment where we aren’t getting the results. Let’s hope that we win tonight against Malaga.

“We need to stay calm and get right back on track all together. The squad is not the same as it was last season, but we simply can’t be occupying the position we currently have.”

Milan, joint third from bottom, have collected just seven points from the 24 on offer in Serie A.

AC Milan opt for Bojan over Boateng
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic will reportedly replace Kevin Prince Boateng in Milan’s line-up against Malaga this evening.

The Ghanaian is expected to be dropped from the starting XI after his disappointing showing in the loss to Lazio at the weekend.

Bojan is thus expected to play behind centre-forward Giampaolo Pazzini in Massimiliano Allegri’s 4-2-3-1 system.

Marco Amelia will start in goal as Christian Abbiati is unwell, while Daniele Bonera should begin at right-back in place of Ignazio Abate.

Alexandre Pato will be on the bench.

Milan (4-2-3-1): Amelia; Bonera, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio; Montolivo, Ambrosini; Emanuelson, Bojan, El Shaarawy; Pazzini.

Tomovic rejected AC Milan interest
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nenad Tomovic has revealed that he rejected summer interest from Milan in order to join Fiorentina.

The Serbian international moved to the Viola from Genoa in August, on a co-ownership, after a year on loan with relegated Lecce.

“Fiorentina first got in touch at the start of the summer, but the move was only completed on deadline day,” the defender noted.

“Milan? I said no to the Rossoneri and I have no regrets about doing so. I’m happy to be wearing the Viola shirt. I think Fiorentina offer me a bigger challenge than Milan would have.”

Tomovic, born in 1987, moved to Serie A in 2009 after a spell at Red Star Belgrade.

Ambrosini: 'My worst AC Milan moment'
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimo Ambrosini concedes “this is the toughest moment I have experienced at Milan” as they try to turn a corner in Malaga.

The Rossoneri have had their worst Serie A start since the 1940s and face their Champions League group leaders in Spain tomorrow evening.

“This is the toughest moment I have experienced at Milan, but it mustn’t frighten us too much,” said the captain in his Press conference.

“We must be concerned and be self-critical, but also have faith in our abilities and restart from there. It is only normal that at a time like this there will be a sense of worry in the locker room, but we need the strength to analyse what is happening and where we went wrong on an individual level.

“We’ve got to have faith in our teammates and the Coach. Victories help self-confidence to grow and this team really needs it.

“At this moment each of us are asked to look within ourselves and find that little bit more. We can emerge from this situation together.

“The fans have been wonderful. They always showed how much they care about the jersey and are proving it even more now that the results are not arriving. They confirmed that yesterday and we are grateful to them.”

Allegri: 'Results unfair on AC Milan'
24.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri insists Milan’s “performances have been better than the results suggest” ahead of tomorrow’s crunch Champions League match with Malaga.

The Rossoneri are in Serie A crisis, though in a better position in Europe thanks to a draw and a win.

“The results penalised us, even though we have done better in the Champions League,” said Allegri in today’s Press conference.

“Tomorrow is an important match and we must focus on that. It will be important because one of our objectives is to get past the group stage. We’ll have to think about Serie A from Saturday and fortunately there’s a long way to go there so we have time to make up lost ground.

“The points in the table do not reflect what the team really deserves, as the performances have been better than the results suggest.”

Allegri tried to defend his work and hinted that the problems were inevitable after releasing so many stars this summer.

“The squad is completely different from last season with players who have different characteristics. We put in a good performance against Lazio and only made a mistake on their third goal.

“Football is wonderful because it is unpredictable and the important thing is that the team continues to play.

“At times football can be difficult to comprehend. You need results, we are not getting them and therefore it is normal criticism will rain down on us.”

Malaga injury worries for AC Milan
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There is mixed news for Milan ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash with Malaga, as Fabrice Olinga returns, but the Spaniards have injury problems.

The Costa del Sol club welcome back Fabrice, who recently scored on his senior international debut for Cameroon.

However, Coach Manuel Pellegrini has numerous absentees for the match, losing full-back Nacho Monreal at the last minute due to a back problem.

Sergio Sanchez, Julio Baptista, Diego Buonanotte and Jeremy Toulalan are all out injured.

Malaga squad to face AC Milan: Kameni, Jesus Gamez, Weligton, Demichelis, Camacho, Joaquin, Saviola, Seba, Willy, Iturra, Duda, Eliseu, Isco, Onyewu, Santa Cruz, Juanmi, Portillo, Recio, Fabrice

Pellegrini: 'AC Milan tough to beat'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini insists troubled Milan “are going to be very difficult to beat” in the Champions League tomorrow.

The Spaniards are sitting pretty at the top of their group after two consecutive victories, while the Rossoneri desperately need a result following dismal Serie A form.

“Against Milan we will have to prove that in this game we are ready,” he declared in his Press conference.

“We do not expect a different team, we anticipate Milan. What has come before won’t be repeated, for better or for worse. I am more concerned about Malaga, though.

“It is not for me to talk of Milan. They are not going well in the Italian League, but in the Champions League they have won four of six possible points.

“They are going to be very difficult to beat. Milan are undergoing a major cyclical change and that has taken its toll in the League, but they have been better in the Champions League. We need to be at our best in order to win this game.”

Pellegrini is keeping a particular eye on Stephan El Shaarawy.

“Milan have very dangerous attackers, they are very difficult to play against, so we have to play a great game.

“The mentality will be essential. Concentration is a basic, but then there is the technical and individual elements that can destabilise a game.”

Joaquin has 'utmost respect' for AC Milan
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Malaga winger Joaquin Sanchez has praised Milan ahead of their Champions League meeting on Wednesday.

The Rossoneri travel to southern Spain to face Manuel Pellegrini's men at La Rosaleda, and the 31-year-old midfielder has admitted that the Milanese giants are still to be feared, despite their poor start to the season.

“There is always the utmost respect for Milan,” he told a Press conference. “They are a team that is very experiences and with some great players.

“They have a group of players who are at a high level and can beat you in any game. We must try to be better than them.

“We must recognise that this is Milan, and they have a great track record in this Champions League.

“We know it will be a tough game.”

Pellegrini: 'AC Milan are still a threat'
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted his side will be up against it when they face Milan in the Champions League.

The Rossoneri have struggled so far this season in Serie A, picking up just seven points from their first eight games. But the Chilean Coach still believes the San Siro side will pose a significant threat on Wednesday at La Rosaleda.

“It is not for me talk of Milan,” he told a Press conference. “They are not going well in the League, but in the Champions League they have won four out of a possible six points.

"Milan are going to be very difficult to beat. They are undergoing a major cyclical change and that has taken its toll in the League, but they have been better in the Champions League.

“We need to be at our best in order to win this game."

The match will also see a straight shoot-out between two of the most in-form attackers in Europe – Isco and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“These two are young people who are great players and have to demonstrate this great projection. Milan have very dangerous attackers and they are going to be very difficult to play against.

“We have to play a great game to beat them.”

Allegri doesn’t fear chop at AC Milan
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is confident that tomorrow’s match against Malaga will not be his last on the Rossoneri bench.

Allegri is under intense pressure after the 3-2 loss at Lazio on Saturday was their fifth in eight Serie A games this term.

“I don’t think tomorrow’s game will be my last,” stated the tactician. “This moment is similar to the time when I lost five games in a row at Cagliari.

“But my team is not in difficulty and we are not playing badly. But football is often decided by certain incidents.

“We have to stay calm. Thinking too much will drive you mad.

“We can’t think about what has happened over the last two years with players that had certain characteristics. Now I need to get the best out of those I have here.”

The Milan squad have been restricted to their Milanello training base this week for a period of concentration.

“The training retreat is something that could be of use,” Allegri added. “It was a decision made by the club at a difficult time. Milan haven’t been this low in the table for years.”

The Diavolo have collected four points from their first two Champions League games of the season so far.

“Malaga play a very offensive brand of football. We’ll have to try and play well in possession because there will certainly be space for us.

“It will be tough and we’ll have to play as we did at Zenit. They are very technical from the midfield onwards.”

Allegri was also asked about the dip in form of Kevin Prince Boateng, a player who is expected to be dropped from the starting XI.

“Boateng played his worst game of the season against Lazio on Saturday, but he has done well on other occasions. The opinions on players change when results change.

“Boateng has played in midfield and as a wide attacker. I think I made a mistake in saying that he was a Trequartista.”

AC Milan name squad for Malaga
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will be without goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, Ignazio Abate and Nigel De Jong for tomorrow’s Champions League game against Malaga.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that the trio will not feature after they were omitted from his 21-man squad.

Abbiati missed the Lazio game with a chest infection, De Jong has a hip problem and Abate hasn’t been taking part in full training over the last few days.

The Diavolo have four points from their two Champions League games so far this term.

Goalkeepers: Amelia, Gabriel, Narduzzo.

Defenders: Acerbi, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata.

Midfielders: Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino.

Forwards: Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pato, Pazzini.

AC Milan still have quality, say Malaga
23.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Malaga are full of respect for Milan ahead of their Champions League game – despite the Italian club’s troubles.

The Rossoneri are actually in relegation trouble at home after losing five of their first eight Serie A games of the season.

However, three of Manuel Pellegrini’s boys are wary of the quality in the Diavolo set-up.

“Although they are having a bad time Milan are still an historic club and we must show them all the respect in the world,” Ignacio Camacho Camacho stated ahead of Wednesday's game.

“Italian teams play a more tactical game and they have some great footballers such as Bojan, who is doing very well.”

Argentine goalkeeper Willy Caballero stated: “We need to play well and maintain respect for an opponent with such a long history as Milan.

“It is an historic match so there will be lots of motivation, but there will be no fear as playing against great teams motivates everyone,” he continued.

“When we qualified for the Champions League we thought of doing well in the competition, not just taking part, and now we are thinking of reaching the next stage, which hopefully we will do by finishing first or second.”

Sergio Paulo Barbosa, known as Duda, mirrored the views of Camacho and Caballero.

“Maybe they are not at their best right now, but they still have great players and a great squad,” the Portuguese midfielder noted.

“They are a very tough opponent and will not make it easy, so we will have to be at our very best. If we win we have a great chance of getting into the last 16, although there is still a lot to play for.

“However, it is Milan who will be under the greater pressure, the same as the other two teams in the group who have not got the points they would have liked.”

Giuseppe Rossi keeping options open
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi has hinted that he could make a move to Serie A in January, but remained coy on which club he may join.

The Italy international has suffered two cruciate ligament injuries over the past 18 months, and has admitted that he just wants to get back playing, whether that is in Segunda Division with the Spanish team, or in Italy.

“My first goal is to return to the field of play as soon as possible,” he told Gr Parlamento. “If that's in Spain or Italy, I don't know.

“I do not know if I will go to Roma. I just want to recover and be comfortable with my knee.

“Inter? Who would not like to play for Inter,” he added. “They are a team that I like, with a project that continues to grow.”

He also commented on the Scudetto this season, claiming it is too early to say Juventus have won the title already.

“It has undoubtedly been a great championship so far, but it is too soon to be saying that no one can catch Juve.

“Napoli are doing very well - I'm happy for the team and for the city. And Lazio are playing some nice football.”

The 25-year-old then remarked on the difficulties surrounding Milan at the moment, following their poor start to the campaign.

“This sort of thing can happen to any team, but I'm sure it will pass and everything will return to normal. It is not easy to lose the players they have, but Milan have some great players that can turn things around.”

Galliani explains AC Milan retreat
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has revealed that he is behind the decision to send Milan’s players into a training retreat.

The first team squad will be confined to their Milanello base this week after the 3-2 loss at Lazio saw them sucked into the relegation zone.

“I assume the responsibility for this action,” the Vice-President noted. “I do not know whether this measure will help.

“However, in the meantime, all of the players will be able to think about what is happening right now.”

The Diavolo, who face Malaga in the Champions League this week, have collected just seven points from the 24 on offer so far this season.

The reverse at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday was their fifth from eight Serie A games so far.

Milan will entertain Genoa next weekend.

Consigli transfer talk premature
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Andrea Consigli has cooled talk that the Atalanta man is of interest to Italian giants Milan.

“Andrea is doing well at this moment in time,” Andrea D’Amico told TMW on Monday morning. “He is proving to be one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the Division.

“I’m not surprised by the interest in his services, but I think it is rather premature to talk about the transfer market.

“And, in all honesty, I think Milan have other problems to deal with at this moment in time.”

Milan No 1 Christian Abbiati is only contracted to the San Siro giants, who are hovering just about the drop zone after a nightmare start to the season, until June 2013.

Consigli is a 25-year-old former Italian Under-21 international who has made seven appearances so far this term.

Boateng faces AC Milan axe
22.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will drop Kevin Prince Boateng from his starting XI as he attempts to revive the struggling side.

Boateng has lacked form this season and the Gazzetta dello Sport says that he’ll now have to win his place back in the first team.

The 25-year-old, who wears the No 10 shirt, has featured in seven Serie A ties and two Champions League games so far this season.

However, he has yet to live up to the form of his past San Siro campaigns and is still waiting for his first goal of 2012-13.

Boateng will thus reportedly be benched for this week’s Champions League game against Spanish outfit Malaga.

AC Milan in Ashley Cole chase
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are among several clubs thought to be preparing a €7.3m offer for Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.

The England international continues to stall over signing a new contract at Stamford Bridge and could be available in January.

According to the Daily Mirror, Milan are among those clubs who have shown an interest in the 31-year-old.

The others are Real Madrid, who would reunite him with Jose Mourinho as a replacement during Marcelo’s long-term injury.

Cole, who can talk to other clubs from January about a possible Bosman transfer next summer, is said to be attainable for as little as €7.3m.

Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Anzhi are all also reported to be tracking the Champions League winner.

Abate: 'AC Milan must act like men'
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Ignazio Abate has urged Milan to “emerge from this difficult moment like men” after a fifth defeat in eight games.

The Rossoneri were beaten 3-2 at Lazio last night, leaving them at risk of being sucked into the relegation zone.

“We didn’t have a great first half, but Lazio found themselves 3-0 up without doing that much,” the full-back told Milan Channel.

“In any case, we didn’t do enough and have to roll our sleeves up, as we cannot slide into certain areas of the table. We mustn’t get involved in these battles, seeing as we are unaccustomed to fighting for certain objectives.

“We have to get unified again and try to play simple football, playing on the counter and taking a provincial approach until we can get a few positive results under our belts.

“There was a fightback from our pride towards the end when we went from 3-0 down to 3-2, but we shouldn’t have to concede three in order to get that reaction. We must emerge from this difficult moment like men.”

AC Milan: 'Allegri stays'
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri “will stay in his place. There is no desire at all to change the Coach,” insisted Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani after the defeat to Lazio.

Saturday evening’s 3-2 loss at the Olimpico represented their fifth defeat in the opening eight rounds of the season. It is their worst start in 60 years.

“This is a difficult moment and we must have to strength to stay calm so we can overcome it,” said Galliani.

“Of course we never seem to get even an ounce of good fortune, but that too will turn in our favour eventually.

“We have to look forward, as on Wednesday we play Malaga in the Champions League and must hope this moment will pass.

“There are some positives to be seen, as Nigel De Jong and Stephan El Shaarawy are playing well.”

Undoubtedly, the disastrous run of seven points from eight games leaves Coach Allegri at risk, but Galliani is adamant there will be no sacking.

“The Coach will stay in his place and must find a way for the team to pick up points and emerge from this moment. There is no desire at all to change the Coach.”

Should Allegri be axed, the most likely replacement would be current assistant manager Mauro Tassotti, who has already worked under Carlo Ancelotti and Leonardo.

Tassotti would also represent a suitable short-term solution, as for next season Milan are already looking to Pep Guardiola or Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti.

Allegri: 'AC Milan risk relegation zone'
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri tried to see the positive side, but confessed Milan “could get sucked back into the relegation zone” after their 3-2 defeat to Lazio.

The Rossoneri have lost a staggering five of the first eight rounds, something that has only happened before in 1930-31, 1938-39 and 1941-42.

“We tried to control the game without leaving ourselves open to Lazio’s counter-attack, all the while creating something up front, but Lazio did what they had to very well,” noted Allegri.

“Tonight the team did create chances and worked hard, so I think there are some positives to take from this match.

“We paid the price for the only two shots on goal that Lazio had in the first half.”

There was at least an attempt at a comeback, as the San Siro giants were 3-0 down before eventually capitulating 3-2.

Milan are only two points off penultimate place and, had it not been for Siena’s six-point penalty, would be two clear of the last spot.

“A Coach will always be put under pressure, but it’s only normal that we have to get back up the standings.

“We’ve got to start picking up points, otherwise we will get sucked back into the relegation zone. Obviously, we must also avoid certain errors.

“Recently the team has not been getting the results it has deserved with performances on the field. In the first half we played the same way we did against Parma.

“Kevin-Prince Boateng? He did not play the first half to the level of his abilities, so I substituted him.”

Serie A: Lazio 3:2 AC Milan - match report
21.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Hernanes 25 (L), Candreva 41 (L), Klose 49 (L), De Jong 60 (M), El Shaarawy 79 (M)

Lazio nearly threw away a 3-0 lead, but further added to Milan’s misery with a 3-2 victory at the Olimpico.

The Aquile were flying high in third place and welcomed a Rossoneri side in crisis who were only in 11th position. Alexandre Pato was on the bench for the first time this season, but Christian Abbiati, Robinho, Cristian Zapata, Sulley Muntari and the suspended Massimo Ambrosini missed out. It meant Daniele Bonera took the captain’s armband.

Lazio had to do without Ederson, Marius Stankevicius and Stefan Radu. Federico Marchetti pulled out in the warm-up with a muscular problem, so made way for Albano Bizzarri.

Nigel De Jong drilled just wide from distance and there were timid penalty appeals for a Kevin-Prince Boateng handling offence, but it seemed to skim off his head and on to his shoulder. Antonio Nocerino’s curler whistled off target, as Milan were pushing forward with very little effect.

It was Lazio who took the lead on 25 minutes thanks to a Hernanes solo effort. The Brazilian went forward through the middle, turned Bonera inside out and the shot from the edge of the box took a deflection off the Milan captain to loop over a helpless Marco Amelia.

It was so nearly 1-1 just 20 seconds after the restart, as El Shaarawy ran on to an Antonio Nocerino through ball and prodded it past the on-rushing Bizzarri, but Andre Dias managed a decisive goalline clearance. The defender celebrated by pumping his fists in the air as if he had scored.

Bizzarri completely missed a corner, but fortunately for him so did the head of Mario Yepes from six yards.

Lazio needed no deflection for their second of the match, as Antonio Candreva unleashed a blockbuster from distance that looped over Amelia’s flailing hands under the bar. The midfielder, who last week earned his Italy recall after three years, hit the unstoppable right-foot strike from 20 metres into the far top corner, as it seemed to swerve in the air.

Luca Antonini tried to dribble through the entire Lazio defence, but was eventually stopped cleanly in the box by Giuseppe Biava.

Urby Emanuelson came on for the second half, replacing the disappointing Boateng. It made little difference, as Lazio added a third to their tally within four minutes.

A Candreva cross was chipped to the left side of the penalty area where Miroslav Klose had peeled off Bonera and was totally unmarked to volley in from eight yards.

Allegri threw on Pato for his first Serie A appearance since February and Pazzini nodded wide, then Bizzarri had to fingertip another Pazzo header out from under the bar. From that corner, Pato’s glancing finish was off target.

Antonini was livid with Alvaro Gonzalez for going down too easily in the box and both were booked for their blazing row.

Milan got one back on the hour mark with De Jong, as Emanuelson’s free kick was rolled across the face of goal where everyone missed it except for the former Manchester City midfielder to get the slightest touch into the far corner.

Amelia parried a Hernanes snapshot and Gonzalez saw the follow-up deflected out for a corner. El Shaarawy’s header was straight into the arms of Bizzarri, as was a Hernanes effort, as Lazio seemed to settle into their lead.

However, Milan made it 3-2 with 12 minutes left on the clock, as El Shaarawy got away from Abdoulay Konko down the left and placed a precise right-foot daisy-cutter into the far bottom corner.

Cristian Brocchi made his comeback with his first game of the season after a career-threatening foot injury and did so against his former teammates.

The Rossoneri were pouring forward in the final minutes, as Mario Yepes only glanced an Ignazio Abate cross with his head and Lazio clung to a suddenly slender lead.

Lazio: Bizzarri; Konko, Dias, Biava, Lulic; Ledesma; Candreva (Brocchi 83), Gonzalez (Cana 71), Hernanes, Mauri (Cavanda 57); Klose

AC Milan: Amelia; Abate, Yepes, Bonera, Antonini (Bojan 85); De Jong, Montolivo, Nocerino (Pato 51); Boateng (Emanuelson 46); El Shaarawy, Pazzini

Ref: Tagliavento

Capello: Allegri is a good coach
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan boss Fabio Capello has praised current Coach Massimiliano Allegri, despite their poor start to the season.

The Rossoneri sit in 11th place in Serie A, 12 points off of leaders Juventus after the first seven games. But the Russia man has given the 45-year-old his own seal of approval, as well as commenting on Saturday's game against Lazio.

“I think Allegri is a great Coach,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I talk often with him, and it is clear he is very well prepared.

“At this time, it is very important that Milan go on to the field without any awe, and that the players play to their maximum.

“The Stadio Olimpico is a traditionally a good place for Milan, and I think the game against Lazio will be a good one.”

Allegri won over by Petkovic
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri is pleased to receive support from Milan, welcomes back Alexandre Pato and admits he’s been won over by Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic.

The Rossoneri step into the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening, albeit with an eight-point gap separating the teams.

“I was pleased to hear Vice-President Adriano Galliani’s comments, but the whole club has shown its faith in the squad and in me,” said Coach Allegri.

“I will admit only seven points in the table isn’t much, but this is a new and young side, so perhaps it’ll take a bit more time. The side put in some great performances, although we must improve on set plays.”

Milan have wasted numerous scoring opportunities this season, leading journalists to ask whether Allegri would like to have the clinical Miroslav Klose in his ranks.

“I don’t miss Klose. We have players who can score many goals, even if the German is an excellent striker. I have been impressed with Petkovic. He immediately understood Italian football, is very smart and has a good squad suited to his characteristics.

“We must be wary, as once Lazio take the lead then they rarely come under much pressure. Both teams realise how important this match is.”

Christian Abbiati, Robinho and the suspended Massimo Ambrosini are out for this game, but Pato returns for his first official game of the season.

“I get the feeling Pato’s return will be different to the others, as he does not have that sense of fear now. Of course, he hasn’t played in a long time and needs a while to settle. Could Pato start? It is a possibility, but I think it’s more likely Giampaolo Pazzini will play.”

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Antonio Nocerino were heroes last season, but have somewhat lost their way recently.

“Boa has never pulled back in terms of intensity or effort. Noce did well at Parma and last year did very well on the inside of midfield. He is not ‘lost,’ but it is important and I know what he can bring to the team.”

Petkovic: 'Lazio admire AC Milan'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vladimir Petkovic insists it is “laughable” to think Lazio could be complacent against Milan. “I see a team that for years has done very well in Europe.”

The Biancocelesti are eight points clear of the Rossoneri in the Serie A table going into tomorrow night’s clash.

“I find it laughable that someone could face Milan with arrogance or a concentration level not up to the task,” noted the Coach in his Press conference.

“Of course it’s not a problem if Lazio are considered favourites. Milan are a great team, which we saw over the last two games despite the results, so we must be ready to suffer and remain 120 per cent concentrated.

“I see a team that for years has done very well in Europe. Their seven points in the table do not reflect the real quality of this side. They are also coming here with anger and the desire to impress.

“Having said that, each Coach has to motivate his squad and take them to the point of self-belief where they will always be a step above the opposition, regardless of who that is.”

Petkovic admitted to fitness doubts over Stefan Radu, Cristian Brocchi, Marius Stankevicius and summer signing Ederson.

“The most important thing is that Lazio win. I don’t know whether it’ll be a decisive result, but we have to face it like every other game, with the pleasure of giving our all without stopping in front of our fans.”

It remains to be seen whether Mauro Zarate will return to the fold after he was frozen out of the last game.

“I just wanted to point out it’s not true that Zarate could get a personal trainer. We want all our players to follow the same exercises and routines. Zarate did warn me he might have one, but we have not prescribed this extra work to anybody.”

Abbiati out of Lazio - AC Milan
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato is back in the Milan squad to face Lazio, but Christian Abbiati, Robinho and Massimo Ambrosini drop out.

The Duck has not played an official game for the Rossoneri so far this season due to his on-going muscular problems.

The Brazilian is named in the 21-man squad going to the Stadio Olimpico for tomorrow night’s match.

However, goalkeeper Abbiati is ruled out with a respiratory infection, while Robinho picked up a thigh injury in training, according to tfbets.co.uk.

Captain Ambrosini is suspended, joining injury absentees Sulley Muntari, Djamel Mesbah, Didac Vila, Rodney Strasser and Bakaye Traorè.

Milan squad for Lazio: Amelia, Gabriel, Petkovic, Abate, Acerbi, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Boateng, Constant, De Jong, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pato, Pazzini

Mauri: 'Focus on football'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stefano Mauri is eager to focus on Lazio’s match with Milan tomorrow night after he was interrogated in Switzerland in a money-laundering investigation.

The midfielder spent two hours discussing a Swiss bank account registered to his parents this week, as police continue their investigation into the betting scandal.

“Finally we can get back to talking about football and the big match against Milan,” wrote Mauri on his official website.

“I am convinced that everything will proceed without problems. I am very relaxed. After a difficult start to the week, albeit one experienced in total serenity, I can’t wait to step on to the field on Saturday evening.”

Mauri was one of those arrested in the betting investigation and kept incarcerated for five days, but has always proclaimed his innocence.

Galliani: 'Pato needs time'
19.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani notes Alexandre Pato’s Milan comeback must be “a gradual process” and opens the door for new investors.

Pato has not played an official game for the club this season due to a series of muscular problems, but featured in two matches for the Primavera youth team and should be in the squad for tomorrow night’s trip to Lazio.

“He is in good shape and training well, so we’ll see when Massimiliano Allegri will use him and for how long,” Vice-President Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“Pato has been out for a long time, so clearly his comeback will be a gradual process.”

Galliani also commented on the continuing rumours that President Silvio Berlusconi is eager to sell the club.

“President Berlusconi has always said that new investors are welcome and the doors are always open. However, I can assure you 100 per cent that right now there are no buyers.

“Our books are basically balanced and at least that’ll give us the financial Scudetto. This is down to partnerships, as fortunately the Milan brand is in a great position and every year we grow in the commercial sector.

“Clearly it’s good to win, but some brands survive regardless of each weekend’s results. Don’t forget Real Madrid remained the top football brand despite not winning the Champions Cup for 32 years.”

Yepes: Every game crucial
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Mario Yepes believes that every game from now on is like a cup final after their poor start to the campaign.

The Colombia international was optimistic when assessing his side's chances of success this year, but claimed that the most important thing is to stop giving away cheap points.

“Is Saturday's game against Lazio a turning point? Every game is so important to us,” he told milannews.it. “We have improved since the start of the season, but we have to get points.

“I am back from the national team and am available for two big games against Lazio and Malaga. Compared to our first few games, we have improved, but we have to start finding points and moving up the table.

He also commented on his relationship with the young players in the squad, as well as his confidence in Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I try to do my best and help the youngsters,” he said. “It is not easy being a leader, but now that we're all back together, we have to focus on Saturday and Wednesday.

“In every game we play for ourselves, for the team and for the Coach. We want to try and bring Milan back to the highest possible position, but if we lose against Lazio it will not be the end of us.”

AC Milan never pondered Allegri axe
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani has insisted that his club have never considered the idea of sacking Massimiliano Allegri.

The tactician’s job is thought to be on the line given the club’s problematic start to the season after four losses from their first seven League games.

But Galliani, speaking ahead of this weekend’s game at Lazio, says the former Cagliari man will turn things around.

“We’ve never thought about changing the Coach,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “We have the greatest faith in Allegri.

“With him at the helm, we collected more points than anyone – 162 points to be exact. He opened a new era and we are sure that we will return to the top.”

Although the Diavolo will be keen to start picking up points on the peninsula, the Vice-President underlined how important next week’s Champions League game against Malaga is.

“We’ve never been eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League and we hope that tradition continues,” he added.

“We must get into the last 16 and then we’ll see what happens. It will be tough against Malaga, but let’s think about Lazio for now.”

Boateng commits to AC Milan
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Kevin-Prince Boateng has dismissed suggestions that he could leave Milan in favour of a switch to Bayern Munich.

The Ghanaian hasn’t had the easiest start to the season and a January move to the Bundesliga has been suggested.

“I’ve heard the story that I’m off to Bayern, but there is no truth in that,” the attacking midfielder noted. “It’s just a rumour.

“I can say something very clearly and that is that I am happy at Milan and I am not ready to leave this club.

“I owe a lot to Milan and I'm not thinking about Bayern Munich or any other team.”

Boateng, whose brother Jerome is at Bayern, joined the Diavolo in 2010 from Portsmouth, via Genoa.

Ibrahimovic: No AC Milan nostalgia
18.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted that he has no regrets about leaving Milan for Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The Swedish international was sold by the Diavolo in August, but he recently claimed that he would happily return to San Siro at some stage.

Nevertheless, speaking to Sky Sport Italia, the former Ajax, Juventus, Inter and Barcelona player insisted he had work to do with PSG.

“I have no nostalgia for Milan,” he claimed. “We, at Paris SG, want to win everything that is possible. We are only half way through the project there.”

Ibra’s agent, Mino Raiola, is also adamant that his client is happy with life in the French First Division.

“Ibra was complimenting Milan when he said that they were the only one of his former clubs who he would re-join,” Raiola noted.

“He found his smile again at Milan after Pep Guardiola took that away from him at Barcelona.

“Zlatan has always said what he feels. He’s said he was happy at Milan, but he could say the same about Paris and you’d have to believe him.

“Will PSG be his last club? I don’t know. This club has an important project and they really wanted him. It would be hard to get better than this.”

Lotito: 'Lazio respect AC Milan'
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio President Claudio Lotito is not fooled by Milan’s current problems. “We must have belief in ourselves while aware we’re facing a great opponent.”

The Biancocelesti are currently in joint third place, while the Rossoneri flounder in 11th ahead of Saturday evening’s encounter.

“We must have belief in ourselves while aware that we’re facing a great opponent. We’ve got to avoid any dips in concentration,” Lotito told Lazio Style Radio.

“Every match is an individual story and this is going to be a very difficult game. It also comes after the break for international duty, when we had so many players all around the world only returning Thursday, so it is not easy to recover physically and mentally.

“I hope the team can maintain the same approach it had against Pescara – that cohesive spirit, determination, eagerness and cynicism.

“Results are achieved through humility, the spirit of sacrifice, merit and respect for your opponents. We have to ensure this team plays a great game, on a par with previous outings.

“The great thing about Vladimir Petkovic is with him every player is a first choice. Those who might be on the bench or in the stands right now have to ensure they are ready. When their moment comes, they must prove all their worth.”

Galliani: 'Lazio - AC Milan not the last for Allegri'
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has reassured Saturday’s meeting with Lazio “will not be the last for Massimiliano Allegri, no matter what happens.”

The Milan Coach has been under pressure after a disastrous start to the season, leaving them in 11th place with just seven points from as many games.

Vice-President Galliani was at Piazza Duomo today for a sponsorship event and declared the tactician was safe.

“The game in Rome will not be, in any case, the last stop for Allegri, no matter what happens.”

Galliani also confirmed that "Robinho and Christian Abbiati are out against Lazio, but we welcome back Alexandre Pato."

Baresi: Allegri needs more time
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan legend Franco Baresi has backed boss Massimiliano Allegri to turn things around at the Stadio Meazza.

Allegri’s job is on the line after four losses in their first seven League games, but the former defender thinks he’ll get things right.

“Allegri won the Scudetto two years ago and he came second last season,” the No 6 told Sky Sport Italia on Wednesday.

“He needs to put together a new team, he needs to gain confidence in the new players and the youngsters who still have to grow. He needs time to get the best out of the players he has.

“Patience is needed. A lot of players left at the same time, perhaps too many, and that created some problems.

“But I’m certain that Milan will return to their high levels because this club remains a strong one and is dedicated to being competitive. Fans shouldn’t be inpatient.”

Milan are next in action on Saturday when they travel to in-form Lazio.

Montolivo wins Bergomi praise
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter legend Beppe Bergomi was left impressed with the performance of Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo in Italy’s win over Denmark.

The midfielder scored the opening goal at San Siro as the Azzurri took control of their World Cup qualifying group with a 3-1 victory.

“In my opinion, Montolivo was Man of the Match,” the former Azzurri stopper told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I believe that his performance was extraordinary. As well as scoring a goal, he also helped to protect the defence.”

Italy won the game despite having Roma’s Pablo Daniel Osvaldo sent off in the 46th minute of the encounter.

Montolivo, initially fielded behind the strikers in a 4-3-1-2 system, now has two goals in 39 caps for his country.

Nocerino: AC Milan are not finished
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino is confident that he and his Milan side will be able to silence their critics this season.

The Rossoneri have had a nightmare start to the campaign as they have lost four of their seven League games, while Nocerino is struggling for a regular shirt due to a system change.

“I don’t know how boss Massimiliano Allegri puts up with you,” he responded to journalists on Wednesday morning.

“We have to wait until the end of the season before making judgements. To do so now would not be very intelligent.

“We’ll work hard to get the maximum out of the season. I’m not saying the Scudetto, but I am talking about second or third.

“Seventh or eighth place is not the best we can do. We are not just any team, Milan are Milan. You have to respect us, to criticise us would be madness.

“This club has made history and you can’t just forget what has happened in the past.”

The Italian international was a revelation last season after he scored 10 League goals following his €500,000 move from Palermo. It has been a different story this term.

“I wasn’t Pele last season and I’ve not turned into a scarce player today,” he continued. “I’ve heard all sorts of things about me since the start of the season, but I’m just working hard in a calm manner.

“I’m being attacked strongly this term because I did well last season. Kevin Prince Boateng is going through the same thing. I’ll get my revenge.

“I hope the Coach changes the system, otherwise I’ll just have to adapt. I can play as a full-back, behind the strikers or on the left-hand side, but I’m not stupid – I know there are better players than me in certain roles.”

Milan are next in action on Saturday when they take on high-flying Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

“Lazio are a side in form, but we’ll take them on with the aim of getting a positive result – that could be the turning point of our season.”

AC Milan's Muntari desperate to return
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari says he can’t wait to get back to full fitness so he can aid his struggling Milan side.

The midfielder damaged knee ligaments in June while having a kick-around with friends in Ghana and surgery was necessary.

“I’m working hard to return as soon as possible,” the former Inter player told Milan Channel on Wednesday. “I can’t wait to return. I want to give my contribution to the team.”

The Diavolo have had a problematic start to the season given that they have lost four of their first seven League games.

“I have faith in my teammates,” he added. “I’m certain that we’ll be able to do well again in the very near future.

“We’ll get to where we want to. Milan are a great side that has to aim for the highest objectives. The current League table lies.”

The Diavolo are in 11th place.

Muntari is looking to return to action before the end of the year.

Abbiati in doubt for Lazio
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati is at risk of missing Saturday’s Serie A tie at Lazio.

The Rossoneri goalkeeper deserted training at Milanello on Tuesday as a result of a respiratory infection.

The veteran is now a doubt for the Stadio Olimpico encounter once the Italian top-flight resumes after the international break.

Milan will already be without Robinho after he picked up a thigh issue yesterday.

Abbiati should be back in time for next week’s Champions League encounter against Malaga.

Galliani would welcome Balotelli
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Adriano Galliani is confident he would be able to get the best out of rebellious Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli. “He’d be on the straight and narrow.”

The Italian international was publicly warned last week that he does not “set a good example” at Eastlands, fuelling rumours of a sale.

“I wouldn’t want to talk about Balotelli, but I cannot deny I have a natural fondness for him,” said Rossoneri Vice-President Galliani today.

“I don’t think it would be so difficult to keep him on the straight and narrow.”

Milan would be hot favourites to sign Balotelli if he were to leave Manchester City, as he has always declared himself a fan of the club.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently said he would like a return just months after joining PSG.

“It would certainly be suggestive, but at the moment highly impractical,” replied Galliani.

Ambrosini: No regrets in staying
17.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini has claimed that he does not regret staying at the club, despite their poor start to the season.

The 35-year-old midfielder has admitted that the Rossoneri have struggled so far in the campaign, but is glad he remained at San Siro.

“I knew there would be difficulties this season,” he told Forza Milan. “Yet I am increasingly convinced that I made the right choice in staying.

“I listened to what my heart and my head was saying. I always expected a different season to the last, but it is beautiful being here and I just have to deal with the problem.”

He also commented on the declining attendances at the Giuseppe Meazza, as well as his ambitions for the future.

“San Siro is not going to be full like it once was, however, the Curva is always full and that is a fact that has to be emphasised. The team feels the support of the hardcore fans, and we want to thank them for their support.

“My desire is to train the youth players when I retire, but I'll leave all doors open. Let's see what comes up, but I'd definitely like to stay at Milan.”

Galliani: Pato to return for Lazio
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has claimed that Alexandre Pato could make his return from injury this weekend against Lazio.

The Rossoneri will look to get their campaign back on track this Saturday as they travel to Stadio Olimpico to face Vladimir Petkovic's high-flying Biancocelesti.

And the 68-year-old administrator has hinted that the Brazilian striker could be included in the squad after suffering a series of muscular injuries since August.

“Pato is much better,” he told ANSA. “He is an important player for us. We hope to have him in the squad for Saturday.”

The vice-President also commented on the club's poor start to the season, that has seen them collect just seven points from their first seven games.

“We are having a complicated time of it,” he said. “We need to recover a lot of points. Lazio are in a much better place, but we will be able to respond.

“We certainly have the means to do so.”

AC Milan suffer Robinho injury
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho could be set for a spell on the sidelines after the Milan man picked up a right thigh muscle problem.

According to Sky Sport Italia, early indications suggest that the Brazilian international will be out for at least 10 days.

The former Manchester City player will thus have to watch the League game against Lazio, as well as the Malaga Champions League tie.

The 28-year-old, who missed a month earlier this season with muscle fatigue, has only made four appearances in Serie A this term – and three of those have come as a substitute.

Wenger: Remain confident in Allegri
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended under-fire Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri, saying it is essential the Rossoneri keep faith.

The San Siro tactician has come in for criticism recently after guiding the Milanese giants to their worst start in Serie A for 80 years, but the former Monaco man has called for calm at Giuseppe Meazza, as well as commenting on the recent Derby della Madonnina won by Inter.

“The fact that things are not going well is there for everyone to see,” he told Eurosport. “But it is essential to remain confident in Allegri.

“When top players like Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic leave, it is normal for the re-building process to take time.

“The quality of the two teams in Milan is less than has been seen in recent years, and the reason for that is of course the economic crisis.

“Nevertheless, it was a very good match, although the Derby was perhaps a little less prestigious than usual.”

Mannone denies AC Milan rumours
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal's Italian goalkeeper Vito Mannone has denied rumours he wants to leave the Premier League club and return to Serie A.

The 24-year-old left Atalanta in 2005 to join the north London club, and had been reported this month as saying he would one day like to sign for Milan.

But he has today renounced those comments, claiming he wants to stay at the Gunners' for 'as long as possible'.

“I want to clarify that the rumours spread have been untrue,” he told the Arsenal Player. “I still have a few years left on my contract with Arsenal and I'm happy to be here.

“I want to stay at Arsenal for as long as possible. I do not want to go anywhere else.”

Mannone has enjoyed an extended period in Arsene Wenger's starting XI of late, having benefited from an injury to No. 1 goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Robinho wants to stay at AC Milan
16.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has played down more links with Santos. “I have a contract with Milan,” stated the Brazilian international.

The 28-year-old started his career with the Brazilian outfit and they later netted him on loan while he was at Manchester City.

However he continues to be linked with the outfit, even though he signed a four-year deal with the Rossoneri in the summer of 2010.

“I don’t know if Santos are really that interested in me or if they are ready to make a concrete offer,” the forward told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“They were my first team and I have always had a special relationship with them, but you have to think about the present.

“Right now I have a contract with the Rossoneri, I want to respect it and I’m happy here because I feel important at this club.”

Robinho has yet to score in four Serie A games so far this term.

AC Milan admit to N'Koulou interest
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan are keeping an eye on Cameroon and Marseille stopper Nicolas N’Koulou, the Italian giants have confirmed.

“He is a player who we have been monitoring since he was with Monaco,” Diavolo director Ariedo Braida told La Provence.

“At the minute, we already have six players in his role and therefore he is not at the top of our list. It’s also not that easy to sign players anymore because of asking prices.

“It would be difficult to sign him during the January transfer window, but we’ll continue to watch him to understand whether he could do a good job for us in the future.”

N’Koulou, 22, signed a four-year contract with his current club after leaving Monaco in June 2011.

Klose 'in great shape' for AC Milan
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Lazio hitman Miroslav Klose warns Milan he is “in great shape” and further boosted by his goals for Germany.

He earned a penalty and scored during the record-breaking 6-1 victory in the Republic of Ireland on Friday night.

It was his 65th international goal, just three shy of the total by legendary Gerd Muller.

“I would never dream of comparing myself to Muller. I already told him in person that he will always be the number one, regardless of statistics.

“I have received criticism, but I keep my mouth shut and let others speak. My performance must be judged after every game and I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

Klose returns to Rome on Wednesday to prepare for this weekend’s showdown between Lazio and Milan.

“It will be a wonderful match and I am in great shape. There is nothing better than playing well, winning and scoring to help a player feel good.

“It often happens to me, of course, but I hope once again Germany can help me in Serie A.”

De Sciglio sees Maldini comparison
15.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mattia De Sciglio is “honoured” by the comparison with Milan and Italy legend Paolo Maldini, though the 19-year-old is arguably more versatile.

“As a right-footed player, I can play on the right or the left of defence. I already played three games there and have done it in the past without problems,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“In fact, when pushing forward I have the option to cut back and shoot with my stronger foot.”

The Under-21 international is breaking his way into the Milan line-up and has been compared with another youth academy product, Maldini.

“Obviously I am honoured by the comparison with a phenomenon beyond reach like Maldini, but I stop there.

“I am young and have to improve in every area of my game. I’ve got to be more attentive when defending, as in Serie A there are players who will pounce on the slightest inch of space.

“Milan is the ideal place to grow, as I get to learn from all these champions.”

Montolivo: 'No AC Milan regrets'
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo insists he has “no regrets” about joining Milan and defends Italy from post-Armenia criticism.

The midfielder left Fiorentina on a free transfer to join the Rossoneri, who are currently in 11th place in Serie A.

“It’s true that Milan are going through a difficult time, but I have no regrets about this decision,” assured Montolivo.

“Aside from this particular moment, Milan remain one of the clubs with more trophies than any in the world.

“When I left Fiorentina, I wanted to give a turning point to my career. Milan were the ideal for that and I remain confident. We will soon get back to being competitive.”

Montolivo plays as a midfielder at Milan, but took the trequartista role for Italy in their 3-1 victory over Armenia.

It remains to be seen where he will play in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Denmark.

“The criticism of our performance in Armenia was unfair. Cesare Prandelli is right when he says that and everyone in the squad agrees with him.

“At the end of the match we all had the sensation we had done well, despite a few mistakes and the fact we have to improve in front of goal.

“We cannot think of dominating every game away from home without suffering or allowing any chances, as that would be arrogant and stupid.”

Ledesma 'fired up' for AC Milan
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Cristian Ledesma is “fired up” for Lazio’s Serie A clash with Milan and hopes he can earn an Azzurri recall.

The midfielder of Argentine origin was called up by Cesare Prandelli, but recently hasn’t been able to break back into the Italy squad.

“I am here, Prandelli knows where to find me,” commented Ledesma.

“As for Lazio, we are fired up for Milan. Even if the team was doing well before the break for international duty, these days off will help us to recharge our batteries.

“Will I stay at Lazio? Of course.”

Allegri: 'AC Milan on the right track'
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri concedes he has been under pressure since the start of his Milan career and suggests the way forward. “We can’t keep wasting chances.”

The Coach is thought to be hanging by a thread after a disastrous start to the season with just seven points in seven Serie A games and the derby defeat to 10-man Inter, leaving them in 11th place.

“There’s not much point talking now. Our objective has to be climbing the table without thinking about the first, second, third, fourth or fifth place,” he told Milan Channel.

“We are in a position that nobody expected at the start of the campaign. We were naive when conceding some goals and in a few occasions also unlucky. We’ve got to improve our defending on set plays, but also be more consistent in front of goal. We haven’t scored many compared to the chances created.”

The players have come out in public to support Allegri, while Vice-President Adriano Galliani also confirmed the club’s faith.

“We started on July 9 with a completely new squad, aware that we would’ve run into some difficulties. I must admit, we’ve had more problems than anyone expected,” continued Allegri.

“We mustn’t see everything as a disaster if the results don’t come. We do have to improve, but these are great professionals and we will climb back up the ladder.

“It is impossible to change everything from one day to another, but we do need to find consistency in our results. This is why it was disappointing to lose the derby when we played good football.

“Many things have been said over the last few months about my rapport with the President, with Galliani and the team. I speak frequently with President Silvio Berlusconi and since I first arrived at Milan we have never had an argument.

“He understands the difficult moment and is disappointed, but he told me to stay calm and encourage the squad. I have always felt this faith in me from the club. Now it’s time to get results. I can only smile at the media furore, as I’ve been up for debate since my first year at Milan. I’m used to it by now.”

The Rossoneri struggled with a series of injuries, as Robinho is not 100 per cent fit and Alexandre Pato hopes to return after the break for international duty.

“Robinho will be very important for us this season, as he has great technique. So does Pato, who is now ready to come back even if he still lacks match fitness. Pato has matured and has a sense of responsibility, so we expect goals.

“The thing we are paying for the most at the moment is our tendency to waste chances. This is why I am calm, as the football is there and we create the opportunities. We need more goals and above all a better average of goals scored from chances created. That has a huge influence on the standings.”

Balotelli 'does not show right values'
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mario Balotelli looks to be on his way out of Manchester City after Brian Marwood pointed out he does “not show the right values and the right behaviour.”

Manager Roberto Mancini has tried to calm the Italian international, but the club appears to have lost patience.

“I think that it’s important to make a good example,” Football Administrator Marwood told the Sunday Mirror.

“I think – and we all know who we are talking about – that you will get people within the system who do not show the right values and the right behaviour.

“In the main, we have a ­fantastic group of players here. I look at Zabaleta, I look at Vincent Kompany, I look at Joe Hart, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott.

“I think we have a lot of players who can behave in the right way. You just have to make sure that THEY are the role models.”

Balotelli has long been linked with a return to Serie A, although there are few clubs who would be willing to take on the £24m striker.

Milan are the most likely option, though financial problems suggest they would only be prepared to bring him in on loan.

SuperMario has never disguised he is a Rossoneri supporter, despite playing for their rivals Inter.

Juventus have also been mentioned in the media, but the fans are unlikely to accept Balotelli into the fold after past controversies.

Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli could also be contenders to give Balotelli a return to Serie A.

Robinho: 'AC Milan can win title!'
14.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has stuck his neck out with a remarkable statement after the derby defeat. “It is not crazy to think Milan can win the Scudetto.”

The Rossoneri are lying in 11th place with just seven points from seven Serie A games and were beaten 1-0 by 10-man Inter.

“You can call me mad, but in my view it is not crazy to think Milan can win the Scudetto,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“We have the team to achieve it. All it takes is two or three good games in a row and you are right back in the race.

“We deserved to beat Inter and it’s a real shame that we went straight into the break for international duty. The wait makes it burn even more.”

Robinho also stood by under-fire Coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose position is at risk going into next weekend’s clash with Lazio.

“Until the team starts winning again, the Coach will always be under pressure. If he is having problems, then so are the players, and it’s a shame he is going through a tough time. I see the Coach acting very normally, though. His approach to the squad is the same as always.”

The Brazilian striker has repeatedly been linked with a return to his old club Santos, possibly as early as January.

“I have a wonderful rapport with Santos, but I don’t know if they made an offer. I am happy at Milan and would gladly stay here for another 10 years. They make you feel like a King, so it’s easy to understand why Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva still have such affection for the club.

“Milan can also be my shop window for the Seleçao, as I want to play in the 2014 World Cup.”

Galliani: 'AC Milan not for sale'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani has blasted reports Milan are in talks to sell some of the club to Russian or Qatari investors.

The rumours have circulated in recent weeks that President Silvio Berlusconi is trying to bring in new figures to eventually take over the club, which he has owned since 1986.

“There are no negotiations to sell Milan shares, not with Arabian nor Russian investors,” Vice-President Galliani told Sportitalia.

“There are simply no negotiations at all.”

El Shaarawy enjoys 'great moment'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is enjoying “a great moment in my career” with starring roles for Milan and Italy.

The ‘Little Pharaoh’ came off the bench in the 3-1 win over Armenia last night and was only denied by a goalline clearance.

“I am very happy with the performance, less so with failing to score,” said the forward who made his first competitive appearance for the senior Azzurri.

“Now we have to look ahead to the next game, because the important thing is to win against Denmark on Tuesday.”

El Shaarawy has become a key figure for the Rossoneri and is now pushing his way into the Italy line-up, even though he doesn’t turn 20 until October 27.

“Do I feel more pressure when wearing the Italy or the Milan shirt? They are much the same. This is a great moment in my career.”

Agent: 'Guardiola to AC Milan is possible'
13.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola could be on the bench at San Siro as boss of Milan, according to his agent.

The 41-year-old tactician has taken a year out of management after guiding the Blaugrana to three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies in four years, but has been constantly linked with some of the top jobs in Europe.

And Jose Maria Orobitg, Guardiola's representative, has claimed that he could join the Rossoneri, whilst also denying rumours that former Camp Nou Coach has already rejected an offer from the Milanese giants.

“It is absolutely not true that Pep has rejected Milan,” Orobitg told tuttomercatoweb.com. “I often speak with Milan, and I can assure you that Guardiola hasn't rejected Milan.

“Pep just wants to enjoy this year and be away from football. It's a sabbatical for him.

“Guardiola to Milan? Everything is possible in the future. Never say never, but now is not the right time.”

Qatar to buy AC Milan stake?
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan chief Silvio Berlusconi is ready to sell 30 per cent of the club to the Qatar Investment Authority, reports the Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Italian giants are not the financial force that they once were as illustrated by their decision to sell Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

In an effort to boost funds, Berlusconi is apparently willing to sacrifice a stake in his club to get them competing at the highest levels again.

The report suggests that the deal could see €250m injected into the Diavolo, which would go on strengthening the squad and patching up the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

The deal could also include some sort of agreement between Berlusconi’s Mediaset media network and Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, the Corriere dello Sport is suggesting that Milan could consider selling a share of the club to an interested party in Russia.

Milan are eleventh in Serie A after collecting just seven points from the 21 on offer so far.

Galliani rejects Guardiola rumors
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani has dismissed speculation that he’s been asked to go and start negotiations with Pep Guardiola.

Reports yesterday suggested that the club official would be sent to New York to meet with the Spaniard who is enjoying a sabbatical from the game.

“There will be no trip to New York for Guardiola,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I will go to the city at some stage, but only to go and see my daughter.”

Guardiola is liked by the Diavolo for the 2013-14 campaign as the future of current boss Massimiliano Allegri remains in doubt.

The Rossoneri have lost four of their first seven League games this season. They’ll face a tricky trip to Lazio when Serie A resumes on October 20.

Nocerino: 'AC Milan need to recharge mentally'
12.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino has admitted he was devastated after the loss to Inter last weekend.

The former Palermo man has conceded that the 1-0 defeat in the Derby della Madonnina was upsetting, but has indicated that, having been left out of the Italy squad, he will use the international break to regroup mentally.

“This next week should be used to recharge the batteries,” he told Milan Channel. “Both physically and mentally.

“Against Inter we lost a bad game, and I'm always sad to lose a derby, but we must remain calm ahead of the upcoming games.”

He also commented on his own start to the campaign, and praised perennially injured teammate Pato.

“This year I have had a difficult start,” he said. “Because of the European Championship I did not do the necessary pre-season preparation.

“I wish Pato a full year of health. When fit he is amongst the top three of four best strikers in the world.”

AC Milan pondered Cigarini offer
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Atalanta’s Luca Cigarini is a player who has attracted the interest of Milan, his agent has confirmed.

“He is a player who Milan like,” Giovanni Bia told TMW on Thursday. “There was contact between clubs in the summer, but then Cigarini returned to Bergamo on loan.

“A January move? It all depends on the desire of Milan and also on whether Atalanta could find a suitable replacement for him.

“After all, Cigarini is not an important player for Atalanta, he is fundamental for them.”

The former Italian Under-21 international, born in June 1986, is actually a Napoli player, but he’s been loaned out to Sevilla and the Nerazzurri since the summer of 2010.

Acerbi targets AC Milan recall
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Francesco Acerbi says he’ll continue to work hard in an effort to become a regular in the Milan starting XI.

The stopper joined the club in the summer from Chievo, via Genoa, but he has started just two matches so far this season.

“I haven’t played much recently, but all of us in the squad respect the decisions of the Coach,” the Italian told Milan Channel.

“I will continue to give 100 per cent in every training season in order to stay in shape and to try to get a game.”

Milan are next in action against Lazio when Serie A resumes on October 20.

“We did well against Zenit in the Champions League,” he said. “However, we were disappointed to lose the derby.

“We created so many chances against Inter, but we couldn’t take advantage of them. Now we are just thinking of Lazio.”

Muntari comeback this year
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Sulley Muntari could be back in action by the end of the year after the Milan man damaged knee ligaments in the summer.

The midfielder was forced to undergo surgery after picking up the problem in a kick-about with friends in Ghana towards the end of June.

The Corriere dello Sport says that the player will soon have a medical in an effort to get the green light to resume training.

The newspaper claims that the former Inter player could be back in action towards the end of November.

AC Milan fly out for Guardiola
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Gazzetta dello Sport is claiming that Milan will fly out to New York for a meeting with available tactician Pep Guardiola.

The Spaniard has been linked with the Diavolo job for the 2013-14 campaign and it seems the Rossoneri are serious about landing him.

The Gazzetta says that owner Silvio Berlusconi has asked Vice-President Adriano Galliani to go and speak with Guardiola who is currently taking a year out in America.

However, competition for the services of the former Barcelona boss will be fierce given that he’s known to be keen on a move to England.

Guardiola would also expect Milan to significantly strengthen their squad over the summer and they may not be in a financial position to do that.

Milan are currently bossed by Massimiliano Allegri, but he’s fighting to save his job after four defeats in the first seven League games of the campaign.

Raiola dismisses Ibrahimovic AC Milan return
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has told Milan fans to forget about a San Siro return – at least for now.

The Swede yesterday admitted that he’d love to return to the Diavolo, a club he left in the summer for Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Mino Raiola has told Sky Sport Italia that Ibrahimovic is focused on becoming a success in France.

“It was just a simple compliment,” Raiola claimed. “It would be a waste of time to get the Milan fans dreaming. It would be better to wake up and think about the future.

“Milan are the only one of his former clubs where he would go back to, but to talk about it actually happening would be excessive.

“He’s happy in France and doesn’t want to go back on his decision. He’ll be a top player for the next few years and he certainly won’t leave PSG for the next three years.

“If at the end of his contract, when he’s 35 or 36, Milan want him then he could go back. He could even become a director…”

Raiola also explained that the principle reason for Ibra’s sale was to do with the financial restraints of the Italian game.

“Milan couldn’t afford a player under certain conditions. Ibra has now joined an ambitious club and he’s part of a great project.”

Giuseppe Rossi aiming for January move
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giuseppe Rossi “can be a serious prospective signing” for Italian clubs in January despite his operation, says his agent.

The Villarreal and Italy forward has been out of action for a year after damaging the same knee ligament twice and went under the knife again last week.

“I think that Rossi can be very useful for many clubs,” agent Claudio Pasqualin told ilsussidiario.net.

“In January he can be a serious prospective signing. Giuseppe can be a bargain at the right price and certain clubs could well think about it.”

The 25-year-old is expected to return in the spring and is of interest to Roma, Juventus, Napoli, Milan and Fiorentina.

Nocerino on scoring record
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Nocerino reveals why he has not repeated the remarkable scoring record he had at Milan last season. “I was more determined.”

The midfielder was the team’s second top hitman behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even netted past Barcelona, but is yet to find the net in 2012-13.

“I really like scoring goals and last season was even able to get 10 of them because I was more determined in front of goal,” he told the Guerin Sportivo magazine.

Nocerino was the bargain of the campaign when signed on transfer deadline day from Palermo for just €500,000.

“It is amusing and we often joke about it at the Milanello training ground. I’m not saying that I’m worth €20m or €30m like Ibrahimovic or Thiago Silva, but in fairness I don’t think I’m worth so little either...”

Mazzone; 'AC Milan or Inter for Guardiola'
11.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Carlo Mazzone remains very good friends with Pep Guardiola and believes “if he comes to Italy it’ll only be for Milan or Inter.”

It was reported this morning that the Rossoneri had proposed a four-year contract worth €6m per season.

“He has friends here and was happy in Italy. If he does return, then clearly it will be to coach a team of great technical potential with important objectives,” Mazzone told MilanNews.it.

The former Barcelona manager worked in Serie A with Roma and Brescia, where he began a long and enduring friendship with then-Coach Mazzone.

“Let’s make it clear, we talk about anything except football. At most I told him to keep going and always keep his feet on the ground. We are bonded by a close friendship, but I do not get involved in his decisions.

“I would be very happy if Pep returned to Italy. Where could he go? Milan or Inter, there isn’t exactly a vast choice. He has had his time in Spain and I think he could come here, though I don’t know whether it’ll be in a day, a year or five years.

“A problem Guardiola might have with Milan would be the requests for players. In any case, from what I’ve read he will stay out of football for a year and let us not forget he has other commitments in his life, like being a father with a young family.

“Pep is a great professional and very focused, sometimes too much. Here’s an anecdote: I remember at Brescia I noticed he never said anything, so I told him loudly to shut up. Of course he replied that he didn’t say anything and I pointed out I was making fun.

“He said that was just the way he was. He didn’t make observations, didn’t complain. He would learn, accept and that was it.”

Ibrahimovic: 'I'd like AC Milan return'
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has sensationally left the door open for a return to Milan. “If they need help, then they know where to find me.”

The striker moved to PSG over the summer in a combined €70m deal with Thiago Silva, but made it clear he was not happy about the departure.

“I want the best for Milan. I was very happy there and felt like I was at home,” Ibra said in today’s Press conference while on international duty with Sweden.

“Milan are one of the clubs I’d love to come back to, if I could choose today. Usually I don’t go back to one of my old teams, but I’d like to return to Milan. It’s a fantastic club.

“I hope the team does well and gets back to winning ways. I can only hope it will all work out for the best.

“If Milan need help, then they know where to find me.”

Mannone: 'I'd love AC Milan move!'
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone added fuel to the fire of transfer rumours by confirming “I’d love to play in Serie A, hopefully with my beloved Milan.”

The former Italian Under-21 international has become a sensation at the Emirates in recent performances and could well push Wojchiech Szczesny on to the sidelines.

“I am happy at Arsenal and want to be Number 1 here,” he told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“Then I’d love to return to Italy and play in Serie A, hopefully with my beloved Milan. I have always supported the Rossoneri.”

Mannone was linked with a move to Milan this week as a replacement for the ageing Christian Abbiati.

“And finally, the Nazionale, which I already experienced at youth level, but the senior Italy squad is very different.

“I had some tough time, as in 2009 I played for 10 games after Almunia’s injury, but the manager did not think I was ready. I was absolutely furious and wanted to leave. Now I understand and have achieved maturity by working hard.”

Bojan on high expectations
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Bojan Krkic has admitted that breaking through at Barcelona as a teenager has created problems for him.

The Spaniard was being touted for greatness after making an impact at the Camp Nou, but he’s found things tough over the last few seasons.

“I’m only 22-years-old,” he told Grada 360. “Sometimes people think that I am older and expect more of me than what I am.

“But I am calm and demonstrate that I have yet a long way to go to improve and learn.”

Bojan spent last season at Roma, but moved to the San Siro this summer following the club’s sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain.

“The experience at Milan has been very positive,” he added. “The atmosphere is fantastic and my teammates have welcomed me.

“There are many new players here and some very important players. The fans are closely linked to the club, they are helping a lot and with a little patience we will get things done.

“Serie A is a difficult League for strikers," he added. "It is much more tactical and attackers have less prominence in terms of opportunities, but for me it is still a very important experience.”

Bojan was also asked for his thoughts on ‘derbies’ – having played in the Clasico, the Rome derby and the Milan derby.

“All three are special and very different,” he explained.

“Barca-Madrid is a worldwide classic, I was shocked by the rivalry and the competition between the players in the Rome derby and I really enjoyed the respect and seniority that permeates at San Siro in the Milan derby.”

AC Milan made Guardiola offer – report
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pep Guardiola has been offered a four-year contract worth almost €25m by Milan, reports La Repubblica.

The Spaniard is being heavily linked with the Rossoneri given the uncertainty over the long-term future of Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The former Barcelona boss is currently taking a break from football, but he’s expected to be back in the game for the 2013-14 season.

According to the Italian newspaper, contact between the Diavolo and Guardiola has already been made.

The San Siro giants have apparently offered him a four-year deal worth €6m a campaign to revive their fortunes.

Guardiola could be assisted by Milan legend Paolo Maldini at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

The Gazzetta dello Sport also linked Guardiola with the job this morning, but they suggested that he would also demand heavy investment from the club on the transfer market.

Allegri to be sacked if...
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan will seriously consider sacking boss Massimiliano Allegri should the side lose against Lazio when Serie A resumes.

The club have continually backed the Coach this season, but his future is again in doubt following the 1-0 derby loss to Inter.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport today, a reverse at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday 20 October could see Allegri dismissed.

If that is the case then Milan would appoint assistant boss Mauro Tassotti on a caretaker basis until the end of the season.

The club would then look to bring in a new tactician in the summer, with Pep Guardiola and Luciano Spalletti possible options.

Guardiola is taking a sabbatical after leading Barcelona to world domination, but he would cost the club €6m a season. He’d also allegedly want around €80m to be spent on new players.

Spalletti would be a cheaper option, but the Italian tactician is contracted to Zenit St Petersburg until December 2015.

De Jong has AC Milan advice
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong has tried to reassure Milan after their worst Serie A start decades. “I had a similar period at Hamburg. We have to stay calm.”

The Dutchman joined in the final days of the transfer session from Manchester City, but has so far been unable to turn their campaign around.

“I had a similar period at Hamburg when I was playing there,” he told onsoranje.nl while on international duty.

“Italians are emotive and passionate, but we have to stay calm. How long will it take to get out of this crisis? Don’t forget 12 players left and two of them were the best in the squad.

“I hope it won’t take too long, but we must be realistic, even if naturally we remain Milan.”

Serie A sides eye Mannone
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter, Milan and Napoli are thought to be eyeing Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone for a return to Italy.

The former Under-21 international shot-stopper has impressed this season in place of injured Wojchiech Szczesny.

However, his contract is due to expire at the end of the season, arousing interest from several Serie A sides.

According to the Daily Mail, Mannone is a target for Inter and Napoli, although the Italian media also include Milan in the running.

The 24-year-old could move in the January transfer window to avoid Arsenal losing him on a free transfer next summer.

Inter would be an unlikely buyer, as they only signed Samir Handanovic from Udinese in June.

Milan and Napoli are on the look-out for younger figures, as Christian Abbiati and Morgan De Sanctis are nearing the end of their careers.

Bojan takes derby positives
10.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan forward Bojan Krkic insists the derby defeat wasn’t all bad. “We saw our style of play improve and develop.”

The Rossoneri were beaten 1-0 by Inter on Sunday night despite playing against 10 men for almost the entire second half.

“It was tough to swallow the derby defeat, as there were certain incidents and details that proved decisive,” wrote Bojan on his Facebook page.

“We are nonetheless happy that we saw our style of play improve and develop. We are eager to give you fans some satisfaction soon.”

Guardiola not interested in AC Milan
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Pep Guardiola is not interested in a possible coaching position at Milan, according to Mexican defender Rafael Marquez.

The 33-year-old centre-back played under the Spanish tactician at Barcelona for two years, and has confirmed that the Champions League-winning Coach would not consider a move to Serie A.

“I have met with Pep a few times during his stay in New York,” he told Cadera SER. “I am sure he'll be back in football soon, and I think it will be in the Premier League.

“He would be the perfect Coach for Arsenal.”

Guardiola has taken a year sabbatical following his record-breaking four seasons at Camp Nou, and has been linked with a number of positions across Europe, including at the Rossoneri and Manchester United.

AC Milan beat rivals for El Shaarawy
9.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The agent of Stephan El Shaarawy says that only Milan’s quick work stopped his client from joining Juventus or Inter.

The teenager was netted by the Rossoneri last summer after his revelatory campaign in Serie B with Padova.

Initially joining the Diavolo on a co-ownership deal from parent club Genoa, he was signed outright this summer.

“The Rossoneri netted him thanks to some speedy business,” representative Roberto La Florio told Sky Sport Italia.

“He was being watched by Inter and Juventus, but Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani, with a lightening strike, signed him.”

The 19-year-old only scored two Serie A goals last term, he already has four in seven games this time around.

“It was clear that Milan would focus on him after they sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” La Florio continued. “He’s certainly very happy with how things are going.”

El Shaarawy’s form has also seen him rewarded with an Italy call-up.

Referee technically inadequate, say AC Milan
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Vice-President Adriano Galliani has become the latest man from Milan to criticise the performance of the referee in the 1-0 defeat to Inter.

Boss Massimiliano Allegri questioned the performance of official Paolo Valeri after the game and Galliani is just as bemused.

“You all saw what happened, the referee was worth four out of 10 on a report card,” the official stated on Monday.

“If all of the newspapers have given a four to Valeri then there must be a reason for it…

“I’ve been told by our lawyers that if I say his performance was technically inadequate then I don’t risk being punished.”

Although the referee dismissed Inter’s Yuto Nagatomo early in the second half, Milan felt that they had a perfectly good goal disallowed and were then denied a Robinho penalty.

“His performance in the whole game was strange,” Galliani continued. “Our problems were compounded by the problems of the referee and that disappoints me.

“It’s a shame as we were the only side who played. I have spoken with Allegri and we’ll look to get out of this situation.”

Milan have now won two, drawn one and lost four of their first seven games, but the Diavolo insist that no coaching change is on the horizon.

“Allegri is not at risk, even if I am certain that our squad is a lot better than what the League table suggests,” Galliani confirmed.

Montolivo: How did AC Milan lose?
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo is struggling to come to terms with the 1-0 derby defeat against Inter. “There was only one team on the pitch…”

The Nerazzurri came away with a crucial victory despite the fact that they had Yuto Nagatomo dismissed early in the second half.

“We deserved to win,” stated the midfielder. “I think it was one of our best games of the season and we deserved to win.

“There was only one team on the pitch, especially after Nagatomo got sent off. Inter played defensively, they were good but lucky as well.”

Inter took an early lead and Milan thought they had equalised thanks to a splendid strike from the Italian international. It was ruled out however for a foul of Samir Handanovic.

“It’s a shame about the disallowed goal,” Montolivo added. “On the pitch, the impression I had was that it should have stood.

“It’s disappointing because it was a great goal, from far out and a tough shot to make. It’s tough because we deserved it. We played really well.”

The former Fiorentina player also believed that his side should have been awarded a late penalty at San Siro.

“The penalty shout with Robinho was a certainty. Regardless of how strong the contact was, the intention was clear and it should have been punished…

“Now we have the international break and then we’ll get back to work against Lazio and we have to start getting points.

“If we had six or seven points extra we could take a hit like this, but we have so few now and we didn’t need this defeat.”

Milan are 11th in the table after collecting just seven points from the 21 on offer.

Allegri: 'Referee ruined the derby'
8.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri blamed the referee for Milan’s derby defeat to Inter. “Let’s just say he was unlucky on decisive incidents.”

The Rossoneri lost 1-0 despite Yuto Nagatomo’s red card after 48 minutes, but they were furious at several controversial decisions.

Riccardo Montolivo’s goal was disallowed for an Urby Emanuelson coming together with Samir Handanovic, while Walter Samuel appeared to block off Robinho in the box.

“Seeing as I never talk about referees, I’m afraid I have to now. The referee affected the game,” snapped Allegri on Sky Sport Italia.

“It was a technical error, as he blew the whistle for half-time 12 seconds early. There was a last man foul on Emanuelson which was given against him. There was maybe a penalty on Robinho, the Nagatomo red card was obvious as he couldn’t not give him another yellow for that.

“This is not an alibi and perhaps today the referee was unlucky, but the incidents were really obvious.

“I have no idea what the referee whistled for on the Montolivo goal. Let’s just say he was unlucky on the decisive incidents, as the goal would’ve been crucial, there was a penalty and Samuel was last man too.

“It’s not as if the referee did us a favour with Nagatomo’s red card, as he obviously stuck his arm out for an intentional handling offence.

“It’s a shame we are running into some decisions that go against us, but we can’t do anything about that. Maybe the referees are on as bad form as we are.

“The season isn’t over, but we have to fight back, use the same intensity and improve on some things.”

Milan are now in 11th place with only seven points from as many Serie A games.

“Of course it’s odd to see Milan in the second half of the table. Unfortunately we didn’t get a result today despite creating many chances and were penalised yet again from a set play.

“Inter never had a shot on goal other than our error straight after the goal and at the end Palacio,” continued Allegri.

“I cannot complain about the lads’ performance. We just needed to be a little quicker and a little more precise.

“We have to look at the performance and improve some things. It’s a shame to lose this way, but we have to accept the result and look at where we got it wrong. At the moment we have conceded seven goals from set plays and that should be avoided. We’ll work on it over the break.

“This derby has not changed anything. I even enjoyed it, as the team played very well and created so many opportunities, but we couldn’t do any more than that other than score a goal. To be fair, we had scored…

“We tried to spread the play, but it was difficult to break down a team that played in defence for 80 minutes.”

Serie A: AC Milan 0:1 Internazionale - match report
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorer: Samuel 4 (I)

Gritty 10-man Inter won an extremely controversial derby thanks to a Christian Abbiati howler, but Milan were furious at a disallowed goal and penalty appeals. The Nerazzurri held on despite Yuto Nagatomo's foolish red card.

This is always a huge occasion in Serie A, but it already felt like a turning point for both sides who have revamped and reduced their expectations this season. The Rossoneri missed Alexandre Pato, Sulley Muntari, Didac Vila, Djamel Mesbah and Rodney Strasser, but revamped the defence with Daniele Bonera, Mattia De Sciglio and Philippe Mexes, while Bojan Krkic was preferred to Giampaolo Pazzini against his old club. The Nerazzurri were again adopting their three-man defence, but Wesley Sneijder, Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic and MacDonald Mariga were unavailable. Antonio Cassano faced his former teammates with Diego Milito and Philippe Coutinho.

There was a special Milan fan in the San Siro stands too – Mario Balotelli.

The first row came after 150 seconds with Max Allegri debating angrily with the referee. From that contested free kick on Cassano, it was whipped to the back post by Esteban Cambiasso where Christian Abbiati completely mistimed his interception, allowing Walter Samuel to nod in with a diving header.

It should’ve been 2-0 moments later, as Abbiati aimed a weak backpass straight to Milito, but a combination of Mexes sliding in and the striker’s timid header ensured he got away with it. El Principe seemed almost too stunned by the howler to make the most of it.

Riccardo Montolivo’s blockbuster from 25 metres out shaved a coat of paint off the post as the San Siro crowd held its breath. Stephan El Shaarawy couldn’t get enough power on his finish under pressure from Yuto Nagatomo, then the Little Pharaoh tested Samir Handanovic from distance as Milan came out of their shell.

Milan again went close, as Kevin-Prince Boateng drilled inches wide from a Bonera pull-back. Emanuelson intercepted a Juan Jesus defensive pass and immediately set up Boateng, who horribly dragged his kick wide.

There was controversy on 39 minutes when Handanovic came flying out to punch the ball away from Emanuelson’s head and with the goalkeeper still down Montolivo fired into an empty net, but the referee had awarded a foul against the Dutchman.

Andrea Ranocchia desperately intercepted a counter-attack in the box, then Handanovic parried a sudden Bojan snapshot at the near post.

Fredy Guarin replaced Coutinho for the second half, but within three minutes of the restart Nagatomo foolishly received a second yellow card for a handling offence. The Japanese full-back stuck out an arm to block Mattia De Sciglio’s header. Javier Zanetti dropped into the right-back role as Inter went to a back four.

Ignazio Abate replaced Bonera and Cassano made way for Alvaro Pereira amid deafening jeers from the Milan fans. Robinho came on for De Sciglio, moving Emanuelson to left-back, as Inter sat back to protect their lead.

There was a double chance for the Rossoneri, as Handanovic palmed away a Montolivo blockbuster, then Boateng crossed to the back post where Boateng acrobatically volleyed into the ground and over.

Another Montolivo screamer from distance was parried into the path of Bojan, who incredibly slipped on the six-yard line with only Handanovic to beat.

Moments later, Alvaro Pereira drilled wide from distance. Pazzini and Rodrigo Palacio were introduced for El Shaarawy and Milito.

Pazzini sprung the offside trap and came sliding in at the back post, but could only skim Robinho’s cross with his studs.

The ball was cleared to the outside edge of the area and Emanuelson’s angled drive was deflected just wide by Walter Gargano.

Handanovic was under siege and desperately flapped the ball off the head of Pazzini in the six-yard box. Palacio had the chance to seal it for 10-man Inter, but hit a weak effort straight at Abbiati.

Milan’s fury exploded on 81 minutes when they demanded a penalty, but instead Pazzini was booked for dissent, as Robinho was pulled back slightly by Samuel when trying to run on to his pass. The Argentine certainly didn’t go for the ball, but the referee judged it to be using his body to shield it rather than fouling Robinho, who did go down rather easily.

Another Montolivo long-range effort was deflected wide by Samuel with Handanovic rooted to the spot.

Milan: Abbiati; Bonera (Abate 50), Yepes, Mexes, De Sciglio (Robinho 57); De Jong, Montolivo; Emanuelson, Boateng, El Shaarawy (Pazzini 72); Bojan

Inter: Handanovic; Ranocchia, Samuel, Juan Jesus; Zanetti, Gargano, Cambiasso, Nagatomo; Coutinho (Guarin 46); Cassano (Pereira 53), Milito (Palacio 72)

Ref: Valeri

Sent off: Nagatomo 48 (I)

Zac's AC Milan-Inter prediction
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alberto Zaccheroni has been on both benches, so gives his predictions for tonight’s Milan-Inter showdown.

The current Coach of Japan won the Scudetto with the Rossoneri in his spell from 1998-2001 and failed to repeat that success on the other side of San Siro in 2003-04.

“I am tied to both clubs, so will enjoy it tonight more as a sportsman than a fan,” Zac told Sky Sport Italia.

“We have seen Massimiliano Allegri more than Andrea Stramaccioni, as this is the Inter man’s first full season. This is perhaps why I am more curious about Stramaccioni.

“Inter have done well in recent years at finding more young talent than Milan, who mainly focused on confirmed champions.

“For now Milan and Inter have very balanced squads, so it may well be down to the Coaches in this game.

“My prediction is that it will end 1-1 tonight.”

Zaccheroni has been the Coach of Japan since August 2010, winning the 2011 Asian Cup.

“For the moment I am happy where I am, but in future if I still have the motivation, then a return to Italian football would be very welcome.”

De Jong: 'I'm a winner'
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Nigel De Jong is looking forward to his first Milan derby tonight. “I am a winner and I always want to win. It’s my mentality.”

The former Manchester City midfielder arrived in the final days of the transfer session and has quickly become a key figure at San Siro.

“I am a winner and I always want to win. It’s my mentality and is about more than words,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I do talk a lot on the field with my teammates, but they are clear and simple ideas, because football is a universal language. I am learning Italian and can understand almost everything if they speak slowly, but another two months and I’ll be fine.

“Where can we win the derby? In midfield, like with every big game. Usually if you take control in the middle of the park, then you can have the better of the match.”

The Rossoneri have stuttered this season and are behind Inter in the Serie A table, although there was a boost with their 3-2 Champions League win at Zenit.

“I think fundamentally our problems revolved around a lack of experience,” continued De Jong.

“This is a very young side and many players were on the bench last season only to be promoted to the first team. It is never easy to change your perspective at a club like Milan.

“We lost to Sampdoria and Atalanta, but with all due respect, I think the only difference between us in those games was experience and cynicism. We’re a new group and are improving game by game.”

Massimiliano Allegri has been under pressure from the media since pre-season, but De Jong assures Serie A is no different to anywhere else.

“I had four Coaches at Ajax, while at Man City they were constantly spreading rumours about a new manager. It is in the interests of the papers to feed those reports, but at the end of the day the club makes the decisions. They say Allegri is our Coach, so he is and we are with him.

“The truth is people forget things so quickly, like the fact Allegri won the Scudetto at his first attempt.

“As for the squad, there is a lot less quality than last season, but I still see great potential. The important thing is that we all have in our minds the desire to get Milan back to where they belong and the willingness to sacrifice for each other.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is not even 20 yet and that is his greatest gift. He doesn’t think, he just goes for it. I hope he continues like this, for him and for Milan.”

Bojan has Milan derby dream
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Bojan Krkic is familiar with the Clasico and would “love to play in the Milan derby” this evening.

The former Barcelona starlet is battling for a starting spot in the line-up against Inter.

“Of course we have to win the derby to make our fans happy and also because we need the three points,” the Spanish international told Milan Channel.

“I am very happy to be experiencing the atmosphere of this game directly. Of course I’d love to play in the Milan derby.

“In Europe there are several really important derby matches that everyone pays attention to. The atmosphere in the Rome derby is also wonderful, as the fans start talking about it a month beforehand.”

Palacio back for derby
7.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Rodrigo Palacio is back in the Inter squad for tomorrow night’s Milan derby, but Cristian Chivu has undergone surgery.

Palacio is named in the side by Andrea Stramaccioni after a month on the treatment table, but Dejan Stankovic, Wesley Sneijer, MacDonald Mariga and Chivu are out.

Chivu underwent surgery this week to correct a problem with his toe and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

Inter squad for Milan: 1 Samir Handanovic, 12 Luca Castellazzi, 27 Vid Belec; 4 Javier Zanetti, 6 Matias Silvestre, 23 Andrea Ranocchia, 25 Walter Samuel, 40 Juan Jesus, 42 Jonathan, 44 Matteo Bianchetti, 55 Yuto Nagatomo; 14 Fredy Guarin, 16 Gabi Mudingay, 19 Esteban Cambiasso, 20 Joel Obi, 21 Walter Gargano, 31 Alvaro Pereira, 41 Alfred Duncan; 7 Philippe Coutinho, 8 Rodrigo Palacio, 22 Diego Milito, 88 Marko Livaja, 99 Antonio Cassano.

Pato back with AC Milan double
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Alexandre Pato made his comeback for the Milan youth team today, scoring a brace in their 2-1 victory.

The Brazilian has not featured since pre-season due to a series of muscular problems that have kept him out of action for the best part of the last two years.

‘The Duck’ played 60 minutes in today’s Primavera youth team match, curling in two free kicks in their 2-1 win over Pro Vercelli.

As there are no reserve leagues in Serie A, players who are returning from injury tend to gain match fitness with the Primavera teams.

As there is a break for international duty next weekend, it is likely Pato will again play with the Primavera against Atalanta.

This should ensure he is ready to feature for the senior Milan squad against Lazio in a fortnight.

Strama: 'Let's see who is stronger'
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Andrea Stramaccioni laughed off comparisons with Jose Mourinho ahead of the Derby della Madonnina. “The pitch will prove who is stronger.”

The young Inter Coach won his only encounter with Milan so far, a 4-2 result handing the Scudetto to Juventus at the end of last season.

“Milan have changed a great deal too, albeit in a different way to us. I think this game will be wide open and you could bet on absolutely any result. It’s a fascinating fixture,” he said in his Press conference.

“We’ve got to prepare for matches with concentration and attention to detail, though of course that is never going to be enough to win.

“The pitch will prove who is stronger between Inter and Milan. My players might be more experienced than Milan’s, but Massimiliano Allegri has more experience than me, so it all balances itself out.

“I am fortunate to have a mixture of very experienced players and some very young figures who can become the future of the team. We are at the start of this journey, so it is best not to crumble when things don’t go well. We’re in decent shape and have an important test to prove our consistency.

“Our project is very clearly defined. We wanted to turn the page and start a new era. We have no remorse for those who are no longer here.”

Wesley Sneijder is out with a thigh strain and is in Los Angeles for a week of physiotherapy, so Philippe Coutinho is expected to start.

“I strongly wanted him here and never had doubts on his performances. Marriage has also given him a sense of stability in his life.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is doing very well for Milan, but they have several dangerous players, so my team must not change its shape just to fit the opposition. I don’t think tomorrow’s result can fundamentally change the direction we are going in.”

Diego Milito said that Stramaccioni reminded him of the great Mourinho, but the Coach laughed off the comparison.

“I do not compare myself to any other Coaches. I am young and trying to learn quickly. Mourinho wrote pages in the history books of various Leagues, so it would be ridiculous to be compared to him.

“I speak regularly to President Massimo Moratti, inform him of what’s happening within the team and I like explaining my views. The President is constantly updated on the squad.”

Giampaolo Pazzini has made it clear he was pushed out of Inter by Stramaccioni, moving to Milan in exchange for Antonio Cassano.

“If I were Pazzini, I’d obviously want to prove to Inter that they were wrong to sell, but that is normal in sport. The same is true for Cassano. We know how good Giampaolo is, we simply had to make a technical decision based on his characteristics.”

Pazzini eyes 'Inter revenge'
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Giampaolo Pazzini admits he wants “revenge” on his Inter doubters in the derby. “The Milan Hall of Trophies is something special.”

The striker was told he was surplus to requirements the day before pre-season training began and eventually joined the Rossoneri in exchange for Antonio Cassano plus €7m cash.

“Who got the better of the deal? I don’t think about these things,” Pazzini told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

“I am very happy to have chosen Milan. It’s true I will be highly motivated in the derby due to how things ended with Inter. Would I like revenge? A little.”

The hitman did take a sideswipe at his former club, though.

“We are talking about two important teams, but when you walk into Milan’s Hall of Trophies, you realise you have landed somewhere truly special.

“Andrea Stramaccioni is at his first coaching job, so he has to grow. Massimiliano Allegri is already experienced and has won a Scudetto. I have fun with Allegri and he is Tuscan like me, so we speak the same language. When he explains movements and uses certain turns of phrase, I feel like I’m a kid again.

“It’s true I need crosses to give my best, but that is reductive, as I scored 120 goals in my career and not all of them were headers. We have to improve overall with our passing, as too often I rarely get hold of the ball.”

Pazzini swapped places with Cassano, who had been his friend and strike partner at Sampdoria.

“Antonio is a special character. In two years together in Genoa we had a lot of fun. He is a very generous person, though of course if you don’t get along with him, then you really don’t get along.

“I just want it to be a wonderful Sunday. It would be fantastic to win the derby, with my goal even more so. Who would I dedicate the goal to? Let me score it first, then we’ll see.”

Milito: 'Go on, jeer Cassano!'
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Diego Milito compares Andrea Stramaccioni to Jose Mourinho and urges Milan fans to jeer Antonio Cassano. “They’ll be doing him a favour.”

El Principe prepares to lead Inter out against their arch rivals in tomorrow night’s Derby della Madonnina.

“Cassano sees the game like few others,” Milito told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “As soon as he turns, he looks for the centre-forward or a teammate making a run. He loves to provide assists even more than score goals.

“The secret of playing alongside him is to watch him all the time, because he is watching you. That means understanding what he’s got in mind and making the right run. It was never that difficult, but as time goes on we are getting to know each other even better.

“Antonio can smash open a game. He wants the ball to his feet and likes to deliver it to your foot.”

Cassano is facing the club he left in the summer and Milan supporters plan a frosty reception for FantAntonio.

“It’s not a problem. If anything, they’ll be doing him a favour. He has too much experience to be troubled by a situation like this. He just gets fired up by it. I swear over the last few days he has been the usual Cassano, joking and laughing all the time. If he feels the nerves for this match, he’s hiding it very well.”

Milito was part of the Treble-winning Inter side and is impressed with new boss Stramaccioni.

“The Coach arrived in a moment of great difficulty for the club and presented himself well. The psychological aspect was crucial, as he quickly managed to gain everyone’s trust.

“Stramaccioni talks a great deal and does so to your face. He always speaks the truth and his mind. I will just say that Jose Mourinho was like that too...”

Allegri hints at derby revolution
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri has hinted at transforming Milan to a three-man defence to mirror Inter in tomorrow’s Derby della Madonnina.

“I think the derby is a different game from all the others, where there isn’t really a favourite, or if so then it is turned around on the night,” said the Coach.

The Rossoneri turned a corner midweek with their 3-2 Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg.

“That victory could mean a lot or nothing at all. We are facing a great team with players like Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel, Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano who have many ‘battles’ behind them.

“Inter are a smart and experienced side as well as having technical qualities. We have to be smarter and sneakier than them. Don’t forget that is a crucial characteristic if you want to win League and European titles.

“What do I envy Inter? Nothing. I am happy to have the lads at my disposal, both for their quality and the enthusiasm they bring. At times we make mistakes and these have to be eliminated.”

Stephan El Shaarawy is expected to start after his stunning form, scoring five goals in his last four games.

“Is El Shaarawy the heir to Andriy Shevchenko? Now all the different comparisons have emerged, but I think he has completely different characteristics to Sheva. He has to grow in many ways, even if he has already improved so much from last season.”

Inter have adopted a new three-man defence and Allegri hints Milan could potentially mirror it on Sunday night.

“I will say we ended the Zenit game with three at the back, something we had already been practising for some time. There are situations in which the team could be called on to play in a different way. I still have to evaluate some things. It could be a way of playing in an even more attacking manner.

“We’ve got to make the crosses for Giampaolo Pazzini more accurate. It’s difficult for me to say right now whether he will start or Bojan.”

Pazzini will be facing his former club, but so will Cassano, who blasted Milan after demanding a transfer this summer.

“Cassano is an extraordinary player and I think few in the world can pass the ball like him, so we must be wary when he has possession,” continued the Coach.

“He was important for Milan, just as Milan was for Cassano. I know President Silvio Berlusconi is in Russia for work commitments tomorrow, so he will not be at San Siro.”

Moratti: 'Coutinho to decide derby'
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Inter President Massimo Moratti sees an even derby on Sunday evening, but singles out Philippe Coutinho to “make the difference.”

The Nerazzurri and Milan have both stuttered so far this season and go head-to-head tomorrow night.

“Could Antonio Cassano be the man who decides the derby? It’s possible, but I think Coutinho will make the difference,” Moratti told the Corriere dello Sport.

“I saw everyone play well and do their duty in the Europa League, especially in the first half. I also really liked Esteban Cambiasso in central defence, as he was talking to his teammates and guiding them with great authority.

“It was a very impressive performance for someone who had only ever played in that role a couple of times. I think we saw the Inter of the future in Azerbaijan and you can tell the team is growing the right way.”

While Inter beat Neftci 3-1 on Thursday, Milan also won in the Champions League midweek by conquering Zenit 3-2 in St Petersburg.

“You can never tell who is the favourite in a derby,” continued Moratti. “Milan won in a difficult arena against Zenit. I’d say we are on the same level.

“I hope it will be a wonderful game for the fans to watch. We are going into it with the right attitude, hope and belief we can do well.”

Montolivo senses scepticism
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo can tell Milan fans and media see them as the underdogs in the derby. “I sense scepticism around us.”

The Rossoneri have stuttered so far this season, but so have their city rivals Inter ahead of Sunday night’s showdown.

“It is a balanced derby with nobody starting out as favourites or beaten,” the midfielder told Il Giorno newspaper.

“We are two teams who are a work in progress. I sense scepticism around us, but that is not a problem. I only acts as further motivation to do well and amaze people.”

Montolivo also praised the new Financial Fair Play rules that are forcing clubs around Europe to rein in their spending.

“In a time of global economic crisis, it is only right that football clubs also tighten their belts. There ought to be more respect for the money that has been wasted over the years. This is a great chance for our football and our young players.”

Cassano expecting derby jeers
6.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Antonio Cassano’s agent knows “there’s no point saying the derby will be a game like any other” as the Inter striker faces his former Milan teammates.

On Sunday night it will be a very tense atmosphere at San Siro, as Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini swapped places in August.

“There’s no point saying the derby will be a game like any other,” smiled agent Beppe Bozzo on TMW.

“This year it will be a game within a game, as all eyes will be on Antonio and Pazzini, who are also two friends off the field. This time it’ll be even more of a derby than usual.”

FantAntonio has been highly critical of the Rossoneri since leaving and is expected to receive a frosty welcome.

“Yes, he probably will be jeered, but the fans should also remember that Antonio contributed to Milan’s most recent Scudetto. There will be talk of who got the better deal in this exchange, but the truth is at the end of the day it was a good move for all concerned.

“Will Cassano celebrate if he scores? It’s a personal matter and I really don’t know.”

Both sides have been stuttering, but got back on track midweek with European victories, though Inter rested most of their stars against Neftci.

“Milan have an excellent squad, but the journey and the efforts in Russia to beat Zenit will be felt. Having said that, it’s a derby with both sides pretty much on a par this season. In fact, Inter could be slight favourites, as they’ve got more petrol in the tank.”

Colomba: El Shaarawy & Cassano key
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Parma Coach Franco Colomba believes the Derby della Madonnina will be a shoot-out between Stephan El Shaarawy and Antonio Cassano.

Inter face Milan on Sunday, and the 57-year-old tactician is of the belief that whoever is the sharper of the two strikers, will guide their side to victory.

“The man of the derby? I have two names,” he toldtuttomercatioweb.com. “El Shaarawy and Cassano. The Italo-Egyptian is proving to be a great players, whilst the Inter man can win a match on his own.”

The one-time Napoli man was also asked who he believed would come out on top at the weekend, after their midweek exerts in Europe.

“Both sides are on the rise after difficult starts,” he replied. “Both teams are playing well in Italy and abroad. Certainly a Champions League win is worth more than a Europa League win, but we must not forget that the Rossoneri will have spent more physically against Zenit.”

Antonini: Derby is crucial
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Luca Antonini has claimed a win in the Derby della Madonnina this weekend will mean everything to him.

The 30-year-old full-back grew up as a supporter of the Rossoneri and has waxed lyrical about the importance of gaining three points against Inter on Sunday.

“The derby is always an important game,” he told the Milan Channel. “But especially for us this time around. We are starting to improve our performances and are getting to the level we want to be at.

“Milan and these colours are everything to me. I have always adored the club, when I was a fan, and even more now that I am a player.”

Antonini also confirmed that, although he only partook in half of Friday’s training, he will be fit for the Derby.

“I had a small twinge from the game against Zenit, so I preferred to only do some of the session. It's ok though, I'll be fine.”

Bonera fears Milito threat
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan's Daniele Bonera is in no doubt about whom his club will have to stop in the derby against Inter.

The two San Siro giants meet at the weekend and the Italian will be keeping a close eye on a certain Argentine striker.

“Who do I fear the most? I would say Diego Milito,” the former Parma man noted. “He’s often done damage to us in the past.”

Milito has actually scored eight Serie A goals in eight games against Milan during his career – two have come while at Genoa, the other six with the Nerazzurri.

The South American celebrated a hat-trick in the 4-2 win when the two teams last met in May 2012.

AC Milan will be back, says Van Bommel
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Mark Van Bommel is confident that former club Milan are back on the right track after a problematic start to the season.

The Rossoneri waved goodbye to a host of veteran players at the end of their contracts in the summer, which included the Dutchman, while they then sold Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain.

“It’s not easy to do well after such big changes, but I’m optimistic,” said the PSV enforcer. “I think that Milan will start to climb back up the table.

“A lot of quality players have left Milan, but new players with quality have arrived.

“They have had a difficult start to the season, losing two games at home, yet the current Milan squad still has a lot of talent, while directors Ariedo Braida and Adriano Galliani are good at what they do.”

Despite no longer wearing the Rossonero jersey, the former Bayern Munich midfielder still follows events at San Siro closely.

“I’m not in touch with boss Massimiliano Allegri, but that's only because I don't even have his phone number,” he added.

“However, I do speak with the players and the staff at Milanello. I talk with a few of the Milan players every week. I always have Milan on my mind.”

Milan, after beating Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday, are next in action against city rivals Inter on Sunday.

“I will be supporting Milan in the derby. It’s an important match and it’s important for Milan to make up for the lost points and climb up the ladder. I’m expecting a great game.”

AC Milan legends hail El Shaarawy
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

A host of former Milan forwards have given their verdict on the budding talent that is Stephan El Shaarawy.

The 19-year-old is making a name for himself this season after netting five goals in his last four games for the Diavolo.

“El Shaarawy has all the qualities needed to become a great player, but he still needs to grow,” stated Dejan Savicevic to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“He’s quick, he has a good shot and he scores with ease. However, if you don’t score goals then people will criticise you in Italy.

“It’s important that he’s scoring in a difficult moment for Milan…”

Andriy Shevchenko is also a fan of the Italian international. “El Shaarawy is fast, technically gifted and he has the freshness that you need in the difficult moments,” the Ukrainian noted.

“Who is he like? I don’t know who El Shaarawy can be compared to. I think that comparisons are harmful, because every champion is different.

“But Stephan has something that reminds me of myself, for example in the way that he accelerates.”

While Sheva was cautious with comparisons, Jose Altafini and Maurizio Ganz didn’t hold back.

“El Shaarawy reminds me of Neymar and Messi,” Altafini claimed. “They have a low centre of gravity. They play with the ball glued to their feet.

“El Shaarawy has already proved that he’s a good player. The important thing is not to bulk him up too much.”

Ganz said: “El Shaarawy reminds me of Neymar because they both like to start from deep. I like El Shaarawy because he’s very good at going straight for goal.

“He’s also an intelligent player, who is now showing that he’s also a scorer.”

Italy call for El Shaarawy?
5.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli is considering including in-form Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy in his latest squad.

The Azzurri will resume their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign this month with games against Armenia and Denmark.

Prandelli is set to name his party on Sunday evening and the Italian Under-21 international could be promoted from the Azzurrini set-up.

The forward won his first full cap in August’s 2-1 friendly loss to England and he could be set for a recall after five goals in the space of 10 days.

Italy Under-21 boss Devis Mangia admitted this week that his squad selection for their European Championship play-off against Sweden would be dictated by Prandelli’s picks.

Prandelli has deprived the Azzurrini of Mattia Destro, Lorenzo Insigne, Fabio Borini and Marco Verratti in recent months.

El Shaarawy 'better' than Ibrahimovic
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

The Milan website has been quick to highlight the impressive scoring streak of young gun Stephan El Shaarawy.

The 19-year-old sensation has grabbed five goals in his last four matches, a better finishing record than Zlatan Ibrahimovic achieved during his San Siro career.

The Swede, sold by the Diavolo to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, was able to score in four consecutive ties, but he only grabbed four goals – and two of those were penalties.

El Shaarawy’s strikes have come against Udinese, a brace versus Cagliari, Parma and Zenit St Petersburg.

The former Juventus and Inter man rippled the net in wins over Palermo, Inter, Fiorentina and Auxerre during the 2010-11 campaign.

El Shaarawy destined to be great
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Padova boss Alessandro Dal Canto says he instantly knew that Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy was going to be a star.

The youngster spent the 2010-11 season on loan at Padova from Genoa and he wasted no time in proving himself.

“I knew that I was dealing with a future champion after just a few training sessions,” Dal Canto noted. “He sees things on the pitch a lot quicker than most others.

“He was such a good player that he discovered himself and I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to train him.”

The Italian Under-21 international has rippled the net with consistency this term in only his second season at San Siro.

“I’m happy for him,” added the former defender. “Because he not only has great technical qualities, he’s also a great guy off the field of play.

“He has time on his side and he is proving that he can be a protagonist even at a club like Milan who are made up of great players.

“His best role? I think that he prefers to start wide on the left in attack.”

El Shaarawy, not yet 20, made his debut for the full Italian side in the August friendly defeat to England.

Abbiati just doing his job
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Christian Abbiati has cooled the enthusiasm about his heroics for Milan on Wednesday. “If I’m still here at this club then there must be a reason...”

The Diavolo got their Champions League campaign back on track last night with a 3-2 win at Zenit St Petersburg.

And Abbiati was one of the key protagonists thanks to a string of fine saves which denied Luciano Spalletti’s side.

“My second half stops were important in terms of how the game ended,” he stated. “I was happy and that was why I celebrated like I did.

“But I don’t read the papers whether I’m playing bad or whether I’m playing well. If I’ve been with the club for as long as I have there must be some reason why…”

The 35-year-old, who joined the San Siro giants in 1998, also congratulated his teammates for their efforts in Russia.

“Everyone did well as we played as a team. It’s tough to win away from home in the Champions League and we did it.

“It was important to get a result here and that’s what we did.”

Champions League: Zenit 2:3 AC Milan - goals/highlights
4.10 || webmaster



El Shaarawy 'enjoys the moment'
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Stephan El Shaarawy is the youngest Milan player ever to score in the Champions League and already looks ahead to Inter.

“It was a very tough game in which we struggled to the end, but we’re very satisfied and will enjoy this victory,” he said of the 3-2 result away to Zenit.

Aged 19 years and 342 days, the ‘Little Pharaoh’ is the first teenager ever to net in this competition for the Rossoneri. It was also his fifth goal in four games.

“With the players we have, we can create many scoring opportunities and this is why we have decided to play this way.

“We started very well and then lost intensity a little, partly due to Zenit’s pressure, but at the end of the day we didn’t lose our shape and won.

“The Coach asks me to come back and help in defence, so I am at his disposal.”

Milan face rivals Inter in the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night.

“This victory gives us confidence and belief ahead of the derby. It’ll be a difficult game, but we will prepare for it as best we can.”

Spalletti: 'Zenit can qualify'
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit Coach Luciano Spalletti insists their Champions League hopes are “not compromised” despite the home defeat to Milan.

Today’s 3-2 result in St Petersburg means that the Russians have lost both their Group E games.

“Tonight Christian Abbiati was really great, as he took two or three shots off the line,” the former Udinese and Roma boss told Sky Sport Italia.

“Our goalkeeper did not have as much work to do. However, we allowed Milan a little too much, so when you’re behind it makes everything more difficult.

“We were able to put things back together, but then we added our own contribution to this defeat. I always look to the potential of my players, but they have to then express them on the field.”

Zenit had fought back valiantly from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with a goal either side of the half-time break, but late on an own goal sealed their fate.

“Before equalising we deserved something more, then some distractions entered the fray that really cannot be allowed in a competition like this.

“Nonetheless, nothing is compromised and my players had better not think that it is. Of course, it’s difficult now, but we can do it.”

Allegri hails amazing Abbiati
4.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Massimiliano Allegri celebrated Milan’s first European away win in two years and singled out Christian Abbiati for praise.

“It’s an important victory, but I am convinced this group will only be decided at the very end,” he said of a 3-2 win over Zenit in St Petersburg.

“The first half was very good, then Zenit made some tactical adjustments and didn’t really let us play anymore.

“I have to praise the lads, as we kept looking for the win throughout the match.”

Stephan El Shaarawy scored a wonderful individual goal, but Abbiati kept Milan afloat with a series of stunning saves.

“Abbiati made some great saves both in the first and second half. He is an excellent goalkeeper who in my two years here at Milan has done great things. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but a goalkeeping error is always highlighted more than any other.”

Milan have a confidence booster going into Sunday night’s Derby della Madonnina against Inter.

“We should avoid conceding goals on set plays. We are going into the derby with a good victory, but we know that it is a one-off match and we’ll play it to the best of our abilities.”

Galliani 'not talking to' Ibrahimovic
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Adriano Galliani insists he is not leaving Milan and asked for patience from fans, but admitted he’s “no longer talking to” Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Vice-President is in St Petersburg for today’s Champions League game with Zenit, which kicked off at 17.00 UK time.

“Stephan El Shaarawy is not even 20 years old yet, so we must stay calm and not put too much responsibility on his shoulders,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“We are a young side and changed a great deal over the summer, so we ask for a little patience from the fans. We’re sure that this team will soon get back to its old glorious self.”

President Silvio Berlusconi announced on Tuesday that there was no truth to rumours Galliani would be axed.

“I am very happy with the words of President Berlusconi, but I never had doubts. There was never the chance of certain changes.”

However, Galliani did confirm Ibrahimovic’s fury at being told to leave Milan for Paris Saint-Germain.

“It is his birthday today and I sent good wishes to PSG, because we’re no longer talking.”

Champions League: Zenit 2:3 AC Milan - match report
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Scorers: Emanuelson 13 (M), El Shaarawy 16 (M), Hulk 45 (Z), Shirokov 49 (Z), Hubocan og 76 (M)

AC Milan fumbled a 2-0 lead, but thanked an own goal, Stephan El Shaarawy’s splendid solo effort and Christian Abbiati’s heroics for a 3-2 win over Zenit in Russia. It's a particularly remarkable result considering Zenit's last European home defeat was in 2008.

Luciano Spalletti and Domenico Criscito welcomed the Rossoneri to St Petersburg for the second Champions League game of the group, which already felt decisive. Zenit were beaten 3-0 in the opener by Malaga, while Milan were held on home turf by Anderlecht.

Bojan Krkic was given a rare start with Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng, while Urby Emanuelson was picked ahead of Antonio Nocerino. Bruno Alves and Igor Denisov were dropped due to poor form, while Axel Witsel – a former Milan transfer target – made his first start since joining from Benfica. Both Criscito and Nicolas Lombaerts wore face masks after picking up injuries at the weekend.

Emanuelson tested Vyacheslav Malafeev in the opening five minutes, but Bojan was offside on the rebound as Milan went looking for their first Champions League away win since November 2010.

The Italians did take the lead with a stroke of luck, as Emanuelson’s free kick from 25 metres took a huge deflection off the defensive wall to leave Malafeev wrong-footed and loop in at the far post.

Emanuelson almost bagged a second just a minute later, as he was at full stretch to turn a Luca Antonini cross on to the side-netting at the back stick.

There was no luck in El Shaarawy’s goal, though, as the Little Pharaoh single-handedly dribbled through the entire Zenit defence and fired past the goalkeeper from 12 yards. It was a wonderful individual effort from the 19-year-old, who started his run in midfield and rode several tackles. Not only was it his fifth goal in four games, but he also became the youngest ever Champions League scorer for Milan aged 19 years and 342 days.

Bojan ran into the box and fell over a risky challenge, but the referee waved play on. Zenit’s first chance came on 23 minutes with Aleksandr Kerzhakov hitting the side-netting, but then a corner led to Roman Shirokov’s glancing header and a splendid Christian Abbiati save from close range.

Vladimir Bystrov blasted well over from distance, as Zenit started to take more possession, and Abbiati held a dangerous cross deflected off Antonini into the path of Shirokov. Malafeev had to scramble back to stop a Boateng cross-shot from going over the line.

Moments later, Abbiati flew to palm a sudden Hulk screamer out from under the bar. From the corner, he blocked Shirokov’s header right on the goalline. Abbiati again got down to beat away a Tomas Hubocan header from a free kick.

El Shaarawy got back to defend and nudged over Viktor Fayzulin on the very edge of the box after a gap had opened up in the Milan line. From that free kick, Hulk’s ferocious low strike was brilliantly taken off the line with one strong Abbiati hand.

However, the goalkeeper was finally beaten in first half stoppages when Hulk ran on to a Shirokov through ball down the left side of the box and smashed the angled drive across Abbiati.

Zenit came out stronger for the second half and equalised almost immediately. As shown many times, Milan have problems from set plays and a Hulk corner was whipped straight to Shirokov for a cushioned header at the back post fairly undisturbed. He had got away from Riccardo Montolivo.

Max Allegri introduced Giampaolo Pazzini for the ineffective Bojan and Boateng’s free header whistled wide from eight yards, as he was a little in front of Abate’s cross.

Play was halted at 58 minutes because a hole was spotted in Abbiati’s net. Curiously, it was Zenit midfielder Bystrov who decided to fix it himself with a few well-placed knots.

The game was more balanced after a period of Zenit pressure and Milan restored their lead. Montolivo’s taut cross from the right was aimed towards Pazzini as he came sliding in at the near post, but appeared to go in off Zenit defender Tomas Hubocan instead from a couple of yards.

Abbiati needed a sensational save to keep his men in front, as a corner came out to Aleksandr Anyukov on the edge of the box and the half-volley was arrowing its way in low at the near post, but the goalkeeper got down quickly to palm it round the upright with one hand. The veteran celebrated as if he’d just scored and it was a save worthy every bit as much as a goal.

Mario Yepes came off the bench and within minutes got booked for an incredibly high flying tackle.

Zenit: Malafeev; Anyukov, Hubocan, Lombaerts (Bukharov 89), Criscito; Fayzulin (Kanunnikov 79), Witsel, Shirokov; Bystrov (Zyryanov 72), Kerzhakov, Hulk

Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Zapata, Antonini; De Jong, Montolivo; Emanuelson (Nocerino 64), Boateng (Yepes 80), El Shaarawy; Bojan (Pazzini 52)

Ref: Brych (GER)

Champions League: Zenit vs. AC Milan - lineups
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit: Malafeev, Anyukov, Criscito, Lombaerts, Hubočan, Shirokov, Fayzulin, Witsel, Bystrov, Kerzhakov, Hulk.

Zenit bench: Baburin, Alves, Luković, Lumb, Zyryanov, Bukharov, Kanunnikov.

AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Zapata, Antonini; De Jong, Montolivo; El Shaarawy, Boateng, Emanuelson; Bojan.

AC Milan bench: Amelia, Mexes, Yepes, Nocerino, Flamini, Robinho, Pazzini.

Perin agent opens AC Milan door
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have made no move for Mattia Perin, but the goalkeeper’s agent wouldn’t be surprised by an offer.

The Diavolo have been linked with the 19-year-old who is on loan at Pescara this season from Genoa.

“There has been no contact with Milan, but Mattia is very happy with the links,” Matteo Roggi told Spazio Milan.

“He’s the best young goalkeeper in Europe and he is certainly predestined for success,” continued the representative.

“I don’t know how much he would cost, that is a question for Genoa and not me. All I do know is that he’ll return to Genoa in the summer and Milan will continue to rejuvenate their squad.

“We’ll just have to see what happens, but who wouldn’t like to join Milan?”

Perin, who was with Padova last season, is contracted to the port club until 2015.

Zanetti to enjoy Milan derby
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Javier Zanetti is refusing to focus on the fact that Sunday’s Milan derby may be one of his last. “We just want to win.”

The Inter captain is now 39 and this may well be his final season as a player with the Nerazzurri giants.

“I’m not thinking that this could be one of my last derbies,” the veteran told Sky Sport Italia. “I'm just enjoying the moment…

“It's a massive game with no favourites. What I can say is that we're in good shape and we're building a side that can last for a long time and be very successful.

“And of course winning the derby would give us even more confidence in our ability.”

Inter are expected to line up at San Siro with a three-man defence following a tactical switch by boss Andrea Stramaccioni.

“We spoke to the Coach about the fact that with the qualities we have in this squad, three at the back might be a solution,” he added. “And so it has proved over the last two games, when we've done well.”

The spotlight this weekend may fall on Antonio Cassano, the Italian forward who joined the Nerazzurri from Milan after putting in a shock transfer request.

“He's a world-class player,” the South American continued. “He feels at home here and we’re working to win lots of trophies together.”

Montolivo looks to silence critics
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Riccardo Montolivo says the scepticism around Milan reminds him of the doubters who questioned Italy ahead of Euro 2012.

“The cynicism being created around Milan is like that which was placed on the national side in the summer,” the midfielder, who helped his country reach the Euro 2012 Final, stated.

“We changed people’s opinions at the time by listening to our Coach and by having faith in our abilities. We need to do the same here.

“Milan are not what people are saying we are.”

The Diavolo have had a problematic start to the season and they’ll take on Zenit in Russia tomorrow after opening their Champions League campaign with a 0-0 against Anderlecht.

“The Champions League is the ideal stage to pick ourselves up,” added the player who has recently returned from injury.

“I missed the Anderlecht game, but I’m happy to be back in the Champions League after my last experience against Bayern Munich with Fiorentina two years ago.

“I’m still not 100 per cent fit and I know that I haven’t given Milan everything that I can yet, but I hope to do that tomorrow.”

Allegri: AC Milan need to improve
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri has claimed his side have to 'improve a lot' if they are to beat Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

The Rossoneri travel to the Petrovsky Stadium to face the Russian champions in the Champions League tomorrow, and the 45-year-old tactician believes his team have it all to do if they are to come away with the three points.

“We have to prove to be a good team on a technical level,” he told a Press conference today. "But we still have a lot to improve on. Zenit are a very good team.

“Russian football has evolved greatly. The arrivals of Hulk and Axel Witsel has seen them make a great leap forward.

“Luciano Spalletti is an excellent Coach. He won the Coppa Italia with Roma, and has won the League here in Russia. His teams always play good football.”

Berlusconi has 'total faith' in Galliani
3.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan owner and President Silvio Berlusconi has claimed he has 'total faith' in the club's Vice-President Adriano Galliani.

Rumours had circulated throughout the Italian Press that the pair, who have worked together for the Rossoneri since 1986, were on the verge of going their separate ways, but the former Italian Prime Minister has today confirmed that his number two will remain at San Siro.

“I take this opportunity to reiterate my total faith in Adriano Galliani,” he told a Press conference today. “There have been some articles relating to Milan and its structure. These articles are devoid of any truth.

“He is one of the greatest men in the game and has been my friend for 30 years. I have unconditional professional respect for him.”

Inzaghi: I miss San Siro
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Former Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi has admitted he misses playing for the Rossoneri, after retiring from the game in the summer.

The 39-year-old forward, who scored over 100 goals for the San Siro club, has conceded that he still yearns to play for Massimiliano Allegri's side, but did acknowledge that he is enjoying his current position as Milan Youth Coach.

“I still miss San Siro,” he told Spanish newspaper El Pais. “I knew it would be tough, but only when you stop and look back do you realise what you've done.

“People still stop me on the street and thank me for what I did at the club, and for that I am grateful.

“But I am living this new adventure now. It is nice to teach the kids, watch them grow day by day and to see them learning from what I have taught them. For me it is a great responsibility.”

He also revealed why he decided to call it a day, despite still scoring goals even at a late stage in his career.

“I had some offers, including one from Granada, whose President came to meet me. But this opportunity at Milan was too big. Milan is Milan. I left scoring a goal at San Siro, and that was emotional for me.

“I had the opportunity to continue at the club with the youngsters, so it just seemed right to quit. I could not stay in Italy and wear another team's shirt. And if I'd have gone abroad, I would have had to leave my family.

“As it is, I have stayed in Milan, and can go out without having to watch what I eat!”

Mesbah: Fiorentina wanted me!
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan full-back Djamel Mesbah has revealed that Fiorentina made a late bid to sign him during the summer.

The full-back was linked with a switch away from the Stadio Meazza, but the January signing from Lecce opted to stay.

“Towards the end of the window, the Viola did express an interest,” the 27-year-old told Sky Sport Italia. “However, by then, I had already decided to stay with the Rossoneri.”

Milan actually agreed a deal with Torino for the stopper in July, but Mesbah refused to join the newly promoted outfit.

Palermo, after selling Federico Balzaretti to Roma, were also being heavily linked with him.

Mesbah has played in just one League game for the Diavolo this season.

Spalletti on crucial AC Milan tie
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit boss Luciano Spalletti has admitted that his side can’t afford to lose to Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Having suffered a 3-0 reverse to Malaga in their opening group game, the Italian tactician knows that his side can’t afford any more false moves.

“The tie against Milan is the game of the year for us, we cannot fail, otherwise we risk not qualifying for the next round,” he stated. “If we play to our best we can beat anyone.”

The Diavolo have had a problematic start to the season, but Spalletti is refusing to underestimate a side bossed by Massimiliano Allegri.

“At the moment Milan are somewhat like us because they are also struggling a little and playing below their potential, but this competition can make you rediscover your best form,” he added.

“Allegri is a quality Coach, he is creative and he has confidence in the job that he is doing. He has maintained the same defining characteristics he had as a player also as a Coach.

“My team has a lot of character and they know how to react to certain situations. We have to be aggressive and score goals.

“Nobody has taken our place in the Russian League, we are still Zenit. That is why it is such an important game against Milan because we got it all wrong against Malaga.”

Changes at AC Milan and Roma?
2.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

There could be some notable boardroom changes at Milan and Roma, reports the Corriere dello Sport.

According to the publication, Roma chief executive Claudio Fenucci could leave the capital club to replace Adriano Galliani as Milan’s Vice-President.

Galliani, should that happen, could then become the President of the Lega Calcio – a position he has held before.

Fenucci may not be the only high profile figure to leave the Stadio Olimpico given that there is uncertainty over the futures of director general Franco Baldini and sporting director Walter Sabatini.

Baldini was recently linked with a director of football role at Premiership giants Tottenham.

Criscito: AC Milan much improved
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zenit St. Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito believes midweek Champions League opponents Milan have 'improved in recent weeks'.

The Italy international, who joined the Russian champions from Genoa in 2011, is wary of the threat posed by Massimiliano Allegri's side, even if they have not made the best start to the campaign.

“Milan are much improved in recent times,” he told Sky Sports Italia. “We must take advantage of the few opportunities that Milan will give us. They have gone through a bad time recently, but they will make it difficult.

“We are playing well, and we hope to win the game. Milan though, have many good players and we will have to remain alert and focused.”

The 25-year-old also remarked on their Italian Coach Luciano Spaletti, who has been rumoured as a possible replacement for his Rossoneri counterpart.

“I don't think he will succeed Allegri. I know that the Coach is very happy in St. Petersburg, and has only just signed a three-year contract.”

Bonera: Milan derby wide open
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan defender Daniele Bonera has admitted his focus is on the Derby della Madonnina this Sunday, despite playing Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old centre-back has conceded that he is thinking only of the match against Inter at the weekend, and believes that game is wide open, with both sides having indifferent starts to the season.

“It will be a special derby match,” he told Sky Sports Italia. “We go into the game with better form than a few weeks ago, but the match itself has its own story.

“The last derby a 4-2 Inter win is in the past, we must now look ahead. Inter are a great team, it is a game which could end in any result.

“We feel strong, but only on the pitch will we see who is the strongest of the two sides.”

Robinho reveals fan snub truth
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Robinho has defended his actions at the end of the game against Parma when he refused to thank the travelling Milan fans for their support.

The Brazilian opted to go straight down the tunnel at the end of the 1-1 draw, despite attempts by Daniele Bonera to get him to acknowledge the Diavolo support.

“I wasn't angry at anyone, not with any of my teammates,” he told Milan Channel.

“I was upset because we could have won against Parma and we didn’t. With all due respect to Parma – we should have taken the three points.”

Robinho returned to action at the weekend after struggling over the first month of the campaign with injury.

“I was out for three weeks and I hope to return to being in top shape as soon as possible in order to help the team,” he added.

“I feel important and I know that boss Massimiliano Allegri believes in my qualities.”

The San Siro giants are next in action on Wednesday when they face a tricky trip to Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.

“They are a strong team,” the South American noted. “They have Hulk, a friend of mine, who has a very powerful shot and he’s a great player.

“However, we can win.”

Milan drew their opening European Cup game this season when they were held to a 0-0 San Siro draw by Anderlecht.

AC Milan squad for Zenit
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has named a 22-man squad for this week’s Champions League trip to Zenit St Petersburg.

The Rossoneri, who drew their opener against Anderlecht 0-0, will take on their Russian opponents on Wednesday evening.

Squad: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel; Abate, Antonini, Bonera, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata; Ambrosini, Boateng, Constant, De Jong, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino; Bojan, El Shaarawy, Pazzini, Robinho.

AC Milan: El Shaarawy not for sale
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Milan have insisted that they have no plans to sell Stephan El Shaarawy to Manchester United or any other interested club.

The 19-year-old is alleged to have caught the eye of the Premiership giants after scoring four goals in six Serie A games to date this season.

“El Shaarawy is an investment for this club and we are very happy with him,” Vice-President Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport Italia.

“Manchester United have fallen in love with him? Our policy is to focus on youngsters and he won’t be moving from here.”

El Shaarawy has been one of the few bright sparks of a problematic start to the season which has seen the future of boss Massimiliano Allegri questioned.

“Allegri has the faith of the club,” Galliani noted. “It is clear that all Coaches are at risk when they continue to lose, but that isn’t Allegri’s case.

“We are convinced that results can only improve.”

Next weekend will see the Milan derby against Inter, but Galliani insists that his side have to take things one game at a time.

“It would be better if we focused on Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League first, even if the Inter game is also very important.”

Ibrahimovic: PSG better than AC Milan
1.10 || webmaster

Source: Football Italia

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says that Paris Saint-Germain are now a better team than Milan following his summer transfer.

The Swede moved to the French capital after the Diavolo accepted around €60m for his services and that of centre-back Thiago Silva.

“I think that this Paris SG side is stronger than Milan,” stated the Swedish international striker. “That is one of the reasons why I moved here.

“With the arrival of Thiago Silva, myself and other important players, PSG were able to buy great quality. At the same time, Milan lost quality.

“I totally believe in the Paris’ dream to become one of the best sides in Europe and the world, but we have to win to do that.”

After a slow start to Ligue 1, PSG are second in the standings – three points behind leaders Marseille.





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