Monday, October 17, 2005

[acmilaniacs] Digest Number 233

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1. Milan 2-0 Cagliari
From: Sarah Fletcher <>


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 10:56:59 +0200 (CEST)
From: Sarah Fletcher <>
Subject: Milan 2-0 Cagliari

Serie A Week 7 - 16/10/05 (19.30 UK)

Cagliari 0 - 2 MilanGilardino 1 (M), Shevchenko 27 (M)Stadio Sant'Elia

Alberto Gilardino and Andriy Shevchenko ensured Milan ended Cagliari's unbeaten home record after a year.

The Sardinians were unbeaten at the Stadio Sant'Elia since October 2004 when, funnily enough, the last side to win here was Milan.

The Rossoneri left Christian Vieri and Marcos Cafu at home, while Kaka and Andrea Pirlo were also rested in favour of Manuel Rui Costa and Johann Vogel. The injured Alessandro Nesta was replaced by 39-year-old Alessandro 'Billy' Costacurta. Cagliari dropped their trident attack in favour of a more solid 4-4-2 with Mauro Esposito partnering David Suazo.

It couldn't have been a worse start for the Sardinians, as within 25 seconds Milan had broken through. Alberto Gilardino was surrounded by four Cagliari defenders, but they couldn't clear the ball and the ex-Parma striker was allowed to turn in a weak finish from eight yards.

The visitors also stuttered in defence soon after and Suazo's effort was cleared for a corner, then Nelson Abeijon's header was off target. Honduras international Suazo went past three men before his shot was comfortably saved by Dida, as the early goal forced Cagliari to come out of their shell.

Dida was forced to work a little bit harder on Bega's precise header from a corner kick, but the worst panic came from a wayward Serginho backpass. His looping header was completely off course and nearly beat his own goalkeeper.

Esposito spun round for a quick volley that Dida captured and Milan finally showed their face at the other end of the field on 23 minutes when Andriy Shevchenko's drive dipped just over the bar.

For all the chances that Cagliari wasted, Milan made the most of their few opportunities with European Player of the Year Shevchenko. The Ukrainian dummied a pass from 20 metres only to unleash a powerful strike into the bottom corner of the net, taking Fabian Carini by surprise.

There was another blow for the Sardinians, who lost Alessandro Conticchio to injury and chose to replace a furious Abeijon with Andrea Cossu.

Serginho was forced into a decisive challenge to prevent Esposito turning inside the area on the stroke of half-time.

Little changed in the two attitudes after the break, as Clarence Seedorf's fierce shot was just off target, but Dida needed two touches to get a powerful Suazo volley under control from Antonio Langella's cross.

Moments later, Jaap Stam intercepted Esposito's centre as Langella came hurtling in at the back post.

Gennaro Gattuso also aimed a snapshot at the Cagliari goal, but it whistled wide of the upright.

Milan thought they had nabbed a third on 61 minutes when Serginho's low cross reached Shevchenko and his effort was deflected on to the crossbar, but the move was halted anyway for the Ukrainian's offside position.

Paolo Maldini also nearly scored an own goal, but once again Dida was more attentive than his team-mates.

Substitute Kaka went close within minutes of stepping on to the field, his close-range finish aimed straight at goalkeeper Carini. Pisano sprung the offside trap, but couldn't keep his volley on target, and Langella's effort was over the bar.

In an important moment for the Rossoneri, Pippo Inzaghi made his comeback from surgery in the summer, as he has been plagued by injuries over the last two years.

Dida was again tested in the final minute by Honduras international Suazo, and Canini had to push Kaka out wide as he burst through the centre, but Cagliari never found a way back after their dismal start to this game.


Cagliari: Carini; Lopez (Pisano 66), Canini, Bega, Agostini; Conticchio (Langella 31), Abeijon (Cossu 31), Budel, Gobbi; Esposito, Suazo

Milan: Dida; Stam, Costacurta, Maldini, Serginho; Gattuso, Vogel, Seedorf; Rui Costa (Kaka 67); Shevchenko (Inzaghi 82), Gilardino (Jankulovski 78)

Ref: Messina


*Forza Milan!!!*

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