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milan 4 parma 0 : bravo cassano!

Milan-Parma, Formazioni Ufficiali/Official Lineups:
MILAN: Abbiati, Oddo, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini, Gattuso, Van Bommel, Merkel, Seedorf, Ibrahimovic, Cassano.
PARMA: Mirante, Gobbi, Lucarelli, Paci, Zaccardo, Valiani, Dzemaili, Candreva, Giovinco, Amauri, Crespo.

Great performance of the rossoneri today at San Siro! AC Milan beats Parma 4-0, goals by Seedorf, Cassano and twice score by Robinho!

Milan’s injury hit squad was still nowhere near full strength, and although he was due to play, Pirlo suffered a setback in training to keep him out too, so in Allegri’s 4-3-1-2, Christian Abbiati started in goal, behind a slightly more recognisable back 4 than in recent times with Massimo Oddo on the right, the number 1 partnership of Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta in the middle, and Luca Antonini on the left. In midfield, Van Bommel retained his spot, along with Gennaro Gattuso and Alexander Merkel. Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic started up front with Antonio Cassano, with Clarence Seedorf back in the side behind them.

The game (like many of Milan’s this season) started off at a frantic pace, with Clarence Seedorf involved instantly after returning from injury. As Gennaro Gattuso won the ball back, he managed to find Clarence Seedorf with a little bit of space. The Dutchman took a few strides forward, and unleashed a strike at goal! The shot was a decent one, and it forced Mirante in to making a smart save, but the keeper was not beaten, and despite threatening otherwise, the scores remained level very early on.

With just 7 minutes gone, Milan took the lead! After Alexander Merkel showed good pace and dribbling on the left, he cut inside and took a shot, however, his effort was deflected out towards Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The swede intelligently played a through ball in to space, and Seedorf had already started making the run. Picking up Ibra’s superb pass, Seedorf touched the ball past Antonio Mirante, before walking the ball in to the empty net! A cool, calm and collected finish after a cool calm an collected ball from Ibrahimovic!

Within minutes of a world class save from Abbiati to deny Giovinco, Milan had doubled their lead! Once again, some excellent work from Alexander Merkel lead to the goal – but this time there was a difference. Merkel picked out Antonio Cassano, who ran in towards the box, and layed the ball off to Gennaro Gattuso at the edge – this was just the first part of the 1-2 though, as Gattuso flicked the ball over the Parma defenders, straight to Cassano! Cassano managed to bring the ball down with an excellent first touch, before calmly slotting the ball in to the bottom right corner to score his first goal for the Rossoneri!

Almost 28 minutes in to the game, Milan’s lead could easily have been 3! By this stage the Rossoneri were dominating, and were clearly the better side, with any half chances for Parma few and far between to say the least. Clarence Seedorf was just outside the left edge of the box, when he managed to pull it back across goal! The ball sqqueezed through and it seemingly found its way to Alexander Merkel, but Merkel completely missed the ball whilst swinging for it! He was very unlucky, but his ‘air shot’ was nowhere near the ball, and so the lead stayed at 2-0.

Shortly after, there were another two oppertunities to take the lead, this time through Antonio Cassano, and then Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Cassano’s chance came after a run just outside the box. The italian turned inwards and struck the ball ferociously with power at the goal of Antonio Mirante – however, the goalkeeper did well to punch the ball over the bar. Ibrahimovic’s effort was one where he perhaps should have passed – after some good footwork he found himself approaching the 6 yard box, and Antonio Cassano fired in a superb ball for him which he just got on to, before taking the shot, but his effort went wide.

The half came to a close with the Rossoneri still in complete control. Milan were looking comfortable at the back, and impressie going forward, not a single player was having a poor game, and they had a 2-0 lead to boot! Parma never really got going, and the front 3 of Giovinco, Crespo and Amauri hadn’t really tested Abbiati’s goal.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half were fairly quiet, with little action in front of goal. Milan did have one or two half chances though. Firstly Van Bommel smashed the ball goalwards, and the deflcted shot found it’s way in to the path of Clarence Seedorf, however, he fired over the crossbar. Secondly, Milan should have had a penalty, after Ibrahimovic’s free kick struck a Parma defender’s arm in the wall, but the referee either didn’t see it, or didn’t think it was a penalty, as the game played on. Meanwhile, Parma rarely threatened and the Rossoneri’s back 4 looked solid.

With 58 minutes on the clock, Allegri decided to take off Clarence Seedorf for Robinho – and the dutchman walked off to rapturous applause, after a very good performance.

This proved to be an inspired substitute after just 3 minutes! Despite Parma looking like they might get back in to the game, Milan added to their lead! After a run in to the box on the left from Antonio Cassano, the Italian intelligently managed to flash it across goal, and Ibrahimovic let it run behind him for Robinho to run on to it and score with a very neat finish in to the bottom corner! Instant impact from the substitute, and a goal and an assist wrapped up for Antonio Cassano! As a result of the goal, with all 3 points secured, Massimiliano Allegri decided to bring on Flamini for Gattuso. Seconds after, the lead could have been 4! After an awesome low ball across the box for Robinho by Ibra, but Lucarelli did well to get something on it to stop him scoring!

Nearing the 65 minute mark, Milan crushed Parma’s spirit even further by adding yet another goal! Robinho once again on the scoresheet! Mark Van Bommel managed to pick out Antonio Cassano, who took the ball in his stride and dribbled at the Parma defence! The Italian continued without being stopped until around 20 yards out, where he had Ibrahimovic to his right, and Robinho to his left! He chose the unmarked Robinho, and the Brazilian made no mistake whatsoever in slotting the ball neatly in to the back of the net past the helpless oncoming Antonio Mirante! With the game well and truly done, Allegri gave Pato a run out in the center forward role, and a rest for Ibrahimovic with a sub.

Parma had another half chance within the next 10 minutes, but again Abbiati was on top. Truth be told, Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta completely dominated defensively, it once again showed how much better defensively Milan are when paired together. Thiago Silva was excellent at attacking the Parma forwards, and any time they did get a bit closer to goal, Alessandro Nesta was there to clean up any mess, the pair complimented each other wonderfully, and meant that there was a solid foundation to base attacks on.

The game ended as the last 10 minutes fizzled out quite quickly, the only chance coming from Pato’s effort inside the box, but he didn’t strike it cleanly and it went wide. It was a very comfortable performance, and possibly the best kind of preparation for the Spurs game. There were no fresh injuries, Ibra, Gattuso and Seedorf earned some rest, Flamini, Pato and Robinho had some rest – and the Rossoneri racked up 4 goals whilst looking rarely troubled at the back, an excellent victory!

Best Moment: Robinho’s second goal, to seal the victory

Man of the Match: Antonio Cassano, a goal and 2 assists!