AC Milan

AC Milan-Livorno: Rossoneri Suffers Disappointing Draw

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 31:  (R to L ) Marco Boriello of Milan battes for the ball with Dario Knezevic of Livorno during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Livorno at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 31, 2010 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images
Robin SAnalyst IJanuary 31, 2010

AC Milan squandered the chance to close the gap on Italian Seria A league leader Inter after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Livorno.

It completes a miserable week for Leonardo's side, following their shocking Coppa Italia defeat to Udinese.

The opening minutes of the game really lacked any pace with both teams creating very little. David Beckham was toeing with the defenders and he floated in a great cross in the starting stages of the game, only to see the weak header from Clarence Seedorf easily saved by Livorno goalkeeper Francesco Benussi.

In the 16th minute, Ronaldinho came close to scoring with a long-range free kick which goalkeeper Benussi struggled to keep hold of, but somehow gathered the ball off the line.

Later in the 37th minute, Ronaldinho went even closer when his ferocious shot struck the upright.

But the Rossoneri eventually took the lead just before halftime: Beckham's well directed cross was cleared by Benussi, but went to Massimo Ambrosini, who then turned and hooked the ball home.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came on as a halftime substitute to replace the injured Marco Borriello. He got into the action right away and forced a save from Benussi. Huntelaar got even better opportunities later on, but kept missing the target with his wayward long range shots and mediocre headers.

Immediately after 53 minutes, Livorno scored, much to the surprise of the Milan faithful. A mis-hit Claudio Belluci shot from outside the penalty box was directed home by Lucarelli from close range, which eased past goalkeeper Cristian Abbiati.

Milan went in search for the winner and created an awful lot of chances, but could not find a way past a battling Livorno side.

In the dying minutes of the game Milan tried everything to break down the away side, but with little success. Finally, the resistance of Livorno earned them a well deserved point much to the disappointment of Milan supporters and Leonardo.

A lacklustre performance against a relegation-threatened side is simply not what you would expect from the Scudetto hopefuls.

Elsewhere, Inter's match at Parma was postponed because of heavy snow. The gap between Inter and Milan at the top of the table is eight points, with both teams having played 21 games.

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