A.C Milan have succesfully continued thier impressive form to keep pace with leaders Inter Milan after a dominant performance in the Eternal city of Rome, that saw them defeat Lazio 3-0 with the help of from Sir Golden Balls(Beckham) who had two assist on the Night to help Milan move into the second spot in the table only 6 points behind Mourinho's Side and capitalise on Juve's slip up yesterday afternoon.
Milan were Missing Paolo Maldini and Matthieu Flamini through suspension.Others whom also missed the encounter because of long term casualties were Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Emerson, Marco Borriello, and Kakha Kaladze.
Carlo Ancelotti opted to start Clarence Seedorf over Ronaldinho who was originally projected to start, alongside Kaka and Pato up front. He utilized Philippe Senderos and Daniele Bonera, to denied Favalli of a role in defense. Lazio coach Delio Rossi employed his traditional 4-3-1-2 formation, with Mourad Meghni playing behind Goran Pandev and Mauro Zarate in attack.
The Rossoneri quickly got the Game underway in the Italian capital, as they hoped to maintain their impressive ten year unbeaten run against Lazio alive. However it was the home side that started brighter, as they had a number of opportunities, including an early claim for a penalty, when Pandev appeared to be fouled by Ambrosini in the area.
Both sides looked cautious early on as they could not even string together some free flowing passes, as the teams opted to commit some clumsy fouls which led to Ambrosini recieving the first booking of the game 16 minutes in. a few moments later Lazio found themselves in an interesting position as they were awarded a foul from about 25 yards out after Senderos softly brought down Zarate from behind.
The match continued in similar fashion for the next ten or so minutes, as neither side created any clear cut opportunities. The goalkeepers looked solid, so did the defenders, who all looked confident when challenging for the ball.
Having said this, the home side were certainly looking better when surging forward in attack.
The Rossoneri started to put some possession together by then however,
which in turn resulted in some great opportunities on goal, most notably one that fell to Pato.
The young Brazilian, who had barely seen the ball to this point, was played through wonderfully and seemed to have the goal at his mercy, however Muslera got there first to amazingly deny him the opportunity.
Incredibly on 36 minutes, Zarate was denied by Abbiati in a one-on-one situation in the area, after he was played through expertly by Pandev on the right. The Milan keeper was quick to react though, as the Lazio striker was denied in his attempt to dribble around him.
As the first half neared an end, Milan created a moment of Brilliance as they managed to break the deadlock through Pato, completely against the run of play. Kaka’s pass wide to Beckham was then cut back into the area by Golden Balls, who found an unmarked Pato who managed to beat Muslera at the near post with a fine finish. It was the young Brazilian’s tenth goal of the campaign, as he continued his impressive run of form this season.
Lazio then had several chances to equalize immediately after the Pato goal, with one in particular that fell to Siviglia on the 45 minute mark when the defender failed in his attempt to tap it in past Abbiati from about six yards out.
Right on the stroke of half time, Pato scored his second in minutes, with a great header from an even better ball from Beckham once again. The goal did not stand however, as the Brazilian was in an offside position, meaning that Milan would have to be settle for their one goal advantage at the break.
The Biancocelesti got the second half underway, But they were immediately dispossessed of the ball, as Milan quickly managed to move forward early. Radu’s fouled Beckham and got booked after just one minute of play, resulting in a free kick from a dangerous crossing position for the Rossoneri.
Beckham stepped up to take the free kick, and his glorious ball into the area was met by the head of an unmarked Ambrosini, who scored Milan’s second of the night. Lazio’s nightmare defending set pieces led to that goal, as the Milan veteran was easily able to head the ball home from inside the six yard box, and give his side a two goal lead.
The Rossoneri were all but dominating their opponents in the opening stages of the half, as they prevented Lazio possession of the ball for long periods of time, and managed to frustrate their fans, who quickly became discontent with their side’s performance. In an attempt to fix his teams Performance, Delio Rossi made the first change of the clash on 65 minutes; when Simone Inzaghi was brought on to replace Meghni in attack.
Soon following the substitution however, Pato was offered the chance to make it three, as he was clean through on goal once again. However this time the Brazilian’s final touch was too heavy, which allowed Muslera to beat him to it, and deny him of his eleventh of the season.
Kaka had a massive chance to do likewise after 73 minutes, when he was sensationally played through by a wonderful Beckham again. The Brazilian was successful in beating Muslera in their one on one battle; however the post stopped him from hitting the back of the net and get his name on to the score sheet.
As the half approached the final ten minutes, the home side gave everything they had, however it was Milan that made ammends on the counter attack, when Kaka slipped home the Rossoneri’s third after 83 minutes. An impressive one-two between Seedorf and the Brazilian was enough for the playmaker to easily stroll into the area and beat Muslera at the near post to make it three.
That’s how it would end in Rome, as Milan recorded their thirteenth victory of the season, thanks to goals by Pato, Ambrosini and Kaka. The result allows the Rossoneri to rise to second place, ahead of Juventus while Lazio slips to tenth, and they now find themselves nine points adrift of the fourth and final Champions League qualifying position.
The Scudetto race is bound to get exciting now as Milan will Face Inter in two weeks time.
Lazio (4-3-1-2): Muslera; De Silvestri, Siviglia, Rozenhal, Radu (Kolarov, 74’); Brocchi (Dabo, 74’), Ledesma, Matuzalem; Meghni (Inzaghi, 65’); Pandev, Zarate
Milan (4-3-2-1): Abbiati; Zambrotta (Darmian, 86’), Senderos, Bonera; Jankulovski; Ambrosini, Pirlo, Beckham; Kaka (Shevchenko, 86’), Seedorf; Pato
42’ Pato (Milan)
48’ Ambrosini (Milan)
83’ Kaka (Milan)