Palermo vs. Milan  0 - 4


Serie A wrap: Ibra treble fires Milan to victory

4 March 2012 13:42

AC Milan moved further ahead of Serie A title rivals Juventus after a crushing 4-0 win over Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Saturday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the star for Milan, scoring a hat-trick as Massimiliano Allegri's side moved three points clear of Juventus after they could only draw 1-1 against Chievo.

Milan never looked like losing in Sicily, with Ibrahimovic netting his hat-trick in 13 first-half minutes to ensure the contest was all but over by half time.

After dominating the opening exchanges, the Swede broke the deadlock on 22 minutes, curling the ball home after being played through by Robinho.

Nine minutes later Ibrahimovic had his second, taking advantage of a four-on-two situation as he cut inside defender Eros Pisano and stabbed the ball in from the edge of the box.

The imposing striker was relentless and secured a truly memorable hat-trick in the 35th minute.

Ibrahimovic executed a masterful 30 metre strike, using Andrea Mantovani to disguise his effort and caress the ball past a rooted Emiliano Viviano.

Milan picked up where they left off after the restart as they peppered the Palermo goal with shots.

After Abate shot over, Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Stephan El Shaarawy all forced saves from Viviano.

Palermo could withstand the pressure no more and found themselves four goals down after 58 minutes.

Stephan El Shaarawy whipped in a dangerous ball that Thiago Silva nodded into the back of the net.

Milan's joy at winning was increased later on Saturday when Chievo scored a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Juventus in Turin.

Defender had given the hosts an early lead at the Juventus Stadium, but Antonio Conte's side failed to extend their advantage despite several good chances.

And they were made to pay when Boukary Drame squeezed a shot through a crowded penalty area and into the back of the net with 13 minutes remaining to give Chievo a share of the points.

Juventus remain undefeated for the season, but their 12th draw of the campaign sees them slip three points behind Milan in second place, albeit with a game in hand.


Winning performance pleases Allegri

4 March 2012 03:11

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allergi praised his team's focus as they stretched their lead at the top of Serie A on Saturday.

Allegri's side ran out 4-0 winners over Palermo thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick, putting them three points clear of Juventus after they could only draw with Chievo.

"It hasn't been easy. It is never easy to win matches," Allegri said.

"The team has made a good performance in the first half of the match and we have had 15 minutes, which have been very positive."

"We have shot many times at goal and have created many occasions. We have found the goal when we have decreased a bit the pressure."

"In any case we have deserved to win. We have limited Palermo and their best skills and this is has been achieved thanks to the guys."

While still juggling a Champions League campaign along with their domestic efforts, Allegri said the Serie A title was still a long way from being assured.

"The team has made a great performance. We are now in an important moment of the season, since there are always fewer matches to be played and the objectives are always closer," he said.

"If we don't want to miss any of our objectives, we should always be playing like this, especially in terms of attention, concentration and technical performance."

"This result doesn't represent any warning to Juventus. In order to hold our position of leader of the table, we had to win. We'll surely be the leader till Wednesday, and then we'll see."


Serie A preview: Top two seek to retain supremacy

2 March 2012 23:50

AC Milan and Juventus are both in action on Saturday, and will surely hope to avoid the controversy that dogged their meeting last week.

The top two teams in Serie A clashed at San Siro last weekend, with league leaders Milan retaining a one-point advantage over second-placed Juve following a 1-1 draw between the two heavyweights.

Milan were aggrieved not to take a 2-0 lead in the match when the assistant referee failed to award a goal to Sulley Muntari.

The Ghana international's header appeared to have crossed the line by as much as a metre, only to be clawed out by Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, subsequently fooling the match officials.

Buffon later stood by his actions, saying although he instinctively plucked the ball out of his goal, he would not have corrected the referee's mistake even if he had the opportunity to do so.

Milan's displeasure with the outcome is understandable - the reigning champions may continue to top the standings, but they have played one game more than Juve, who can move into first place with victories in their next two matches.

Next up for Milan is a trip to face eighth-placed Palermo, while Juve - still unbeaten in 24 league matches this season - host 10th-placed Chievo in Turin.

On Sunday, all eyes are likely to be on struggling Inter Milan and under-fire coach Claudio Ranieri.

Without a victory from their last eight matches in all competitions, Inter host mid-table Catania at San Siro.

The other big match of the day takes place in the capital, when fierce local rivals Roma and Lazio meet at the Stadio Olimpico.

Also on Sunday, Parma are at home to Napoli, Novara go to Bologna and Fiorentina host Cesena.

Lecce await the visit of Genoa, Cagliari travel to face Siena and Udinese are at home to Atalanta.

Later in the week, Juve visit Bologna on Wednesday in one of three fixtures rescheduled due to bad weather.

The other matches see Catania go away to Cesena, and Parma host Fiorentina.

Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +48 84
2 38 +41 80
3 38 +17 64
4 38 +9 62
5 38 +20 61
6 38 +3 58
7 38 +6 56
8 38 +1 56
9 38 -2 51
10 38 -10 49
11 38 -5 48
12 38 -2 46
13 38 -6 46
14 38 +0 44
15 38 -9 43
16 38 -10 43
17 38 -19 42
18 38 -16 36
19 38 -30 32
20 38 -36 22
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