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Saturday, October 27, 2012
AC Milan vs Genoa Report
AC Milan 1-0 Genoa: El Shaarawy strike eases pressure on Allegri
The 20-year-old forward was one of the best on show in a
mediocre performance from the hosts, and he struck late on to dispel
lift some of the current tension around San Siro
A late goal from Stephan El Shaarawy earned AC Milan three valuable points in front of their own fans, as they failed to impress but hit in time to secure a 1-0 win over Genoa at San Siro.
The youngster celebrated his birthday in
style with a simple finish after good work from Ignazio Abate, but there
were few festivities following a less than convincing performance from
the home team.
The Rossoneri, bruised after Champions
League defeat to Malaga which had heaped pressure on Massimiliano
Allegri, started by dominating control of the ball across the pitch,
with Genoa afforded few touches as they defended from deep. Despite this
early possession, however, chances were few and far between for Milan.
Indeed, the visitors were the first to record a shot on target, Bosko
Jankovic trying his luck from distance with a free kick that was saved
comfortably by Marco Amelia.
Cristian Zapata was then left thankful that his mistake did not put the Rossoneri behind
in the first half. Dawdling on the ball, the Colombian defender was
robbed by Luca Antonelli, who tried to find Ciro Immobile in the middle.
Amelia tried to clear only for his punch to hit the forward, the ball
finishing agonisingly wide of the left post to hand Milan a reprieve.
hosts continued to try and open the game, making extensive use of Urby
Emanuelson out wide as they poured forward. However, all too often
Allegri's men fell apart in the final third, poor delivery and stout
Genoa defending frustrating their efforts to get ahead. Mario Yepes had
one of the few opportunities to fall to a player in red and black,
steering a free header over the bar from Luca Antonini's cross.
his 20th birthday on Saturday, El Shaarawy was one of the players who
looked most likely to create something. The youngster troubled Genoa
throughout the opening 45 minutes with his talent on the ball, and went
within inches of creating the goal to break the deadlock. Picking up a
loose ball after an overhit corner, the forward got to the byeline and
drilled across the face of Sebastian Frey's net, but no Milan man
reacted quick enough and a frustrating first period ended with the sides
The game restarted with Milan immediately looking
to take the initiative, and substitute Kevin Constant just missed out on
handing his side the lead. Alexandre Pato left his marker for dead on
the right and squared across the goalmouth, but the midfielder could not
reach the ball and the Rossoblu cleared to safety. Sebastian
Frey was then called into action to save from Ignazio Abate, using his
feet to deflect away the wideman's powerful low effort.
that early flurry, the second half developed in much the same fashion as
before the break. Milan continued to hold the ball but could find no
way through against a Genoa team content to play out a draw and look for
opportunities on the counter, which made for a rather turgid encounter.
At the other end, Genoa sporadically threatened Amelia's net.
Alexander Merkel took a speculative effort which was comfortably claimed
by the goalkeeper, before being rather more strongly tested with 20
minutes left on the clock. Daniel Toszer fired with power from outside
the box, and Amelia had to get down low to hold the ball and keep his
clean sheet intact. Just when the match looked destined to end in
stalemate, however, Milan struck to take the advantage.
were big question marks over Ignazio Abate's positioning as he
overlapped on the right, the midfielder appearing to be in an offside
position when he received the ball. The flag stayed down, however, and
Abate squared for El Shaarawy to net a simple tap-in and, with just over 10 minutes to play, secure three points for an underwhelming Milan.
The win temporarily lifts the Rossoneri to
ninth place in the Serie A, with 10 points from their first nine
outings. Genoa, meanwhile, slip to 11th as they are leapfrogged by Milan
in the standings.