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Champions League : milan 2 auxerre 0

MILAN: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Seedorf; Pato, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho

AUXERRE: Sorin; Hengbart, Coulibaly, Mignot, Grichting; Pedretti, Ndinga; Oliech, Langil, Birsa; Jelen

After a goalless first half, Milan beat Auxerre 2-0 thanks to a brace from Ibrahimovic (66' and 69').

Milan’s miserable six-game run of home European games without a win was ended thanks to the influence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who lead the Rossoneri to a 2-0 Champions League success over Auxerre at the San Siro.

With Massimiliano Allegri’s side toiling to create chances, an angled Ronaldinho centre was knocked on by substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng, with Ibrahimovic getting the decisive touch just in front of AJA goalkeeper Olivier Sorin.

Suddenly the pressure was lifted on the Italians, and as their opponents advanced a Ronaldinho surge from the midfield resulted in a pass that further exposed the French defence. Ibrahimovic wasn’t about to pass up the chance, side-footing a neat finish into the corner of the net from 18 yards to score his second goal in three minutes, killing the game off.

This would not be an entirely comfortable evening for the Milanese side, who were poor until they opened the scoring.

Adama Coulibaly came closest for the guests with 22 minutes on the clock, towering above Alessandro Nesta to head against the junction of post and bar from a corner kick.

This was by no means the only chance the Burgundy club had to open the scoring. Just before the interval a Milan corner broke down and as their veteran players lumbered back, the sprightly Burgundy club shot forward only for Steeven Langil to shoot from an impossible angle when two team-mates were waiting in the centre for a simple tap-in.

The Rossoneri had made a woeful start to the game from a defensive point of view, looking incredibly sloppy in the opening minutes. Valter Birsa and Langil were both given sights of goal, though Christian Abbiati wasn’t called into serious action on either occasion.

After these early wobbles, the hosts did get the expect grip on the ball but rarely penetrated. A free kick from Andrea Pirlo was punched away by Olivier Sorin on 22 minutes, while a flurry in the visiting box saw Alexandre Pato have a shot deflected over the top.

Milan perked up following the half-time interval. Pirlo had an effort from distance flash just wide before Luca Antonini’s low, hard cross had no takers moments later.

Only late on, after Ibrahimovic’s double, did Auxerre fight back. A late Dennis Oliech shot drew a save from Abbiati, but the guests couldn’t find even a consolation.

Twelve months ago, the Rossoneri were busy losing 1-0 to Zurich, so although this was by no means an impressive performance, it was a drastic improvement on that nightmarish evening.