Saturday, April 21, 2018

AC Milan 1 Verona 1: De Jong red card piles pressure on Mihajlovic

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Dec 2015


Pressure mounted on AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after his side failed to beat Serie A’s bottom club at home, drawing 1-1 with Verona and having Nigel De Jong sent off.

Cesare Prandelli has reportedly been lined up to take over at San Siro and Mihajlovic’s position was weakened further despite Milan’s run of only one loss in their last 10 matches.

Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca linked up for the opener shortly after half-time, the Colombia striker finishing from close range for his first goal in seven games after Adriano had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside.

Milan’s lead was short-lived, though, as De Jong was dismissed for bringing down Leandro Greco in the box, Luca Toni stepping up to level the scores – his ninth league goal against Milan.

The frustration of the home fans was made clear when Riccardo Montolivo’s substitution with 10 minutes remaining was loudly jeered. 

Despite being winless in Serie A and rooted to the foot of the table, Verona started on top, with Artur Ionita scuffing a shot at Gianluigi Donnarumma and Eros Pisano heading a corner wide.

M’Baye Niang had the Rossoneri’s first sight of goal in the 16th minute, firing a low drive wide of the near post, before Adriano missed the target from a corner.

Milan should have taken the lead just before the half-hour mark when Bacca found Bonaventura with a reverse pass, but Pierluigi Gollini saved the tame shot with his legs and the rebound landed in his hands.

Verona could have had a penalty when Alex pulled down Toni in the box before Adriano had the ball in the net after turning home Bacca’s pass, only for the assistant referee’s flag to wrongly deny him, with both attackers in line with the last defender.

Both teams had chances early in the second half, Ionita putting Greco’s cross wide of the post and Gollini keeping out Bonaventura’s header.

Milan took the lead after 51 minutes, Adriano poking a throughball into the box for Bacca, who emphatically powered in his eighth Serie A strike of the season.

The visitors were level within five minutes. De Jong, on his first start since September, clumsily brought down Greco in the box and was given his marching orders and Toni beat Donnarumma with the spot-kick.

Verona could sense a chance to seal their first three points of the season and a first win away to Milan in 26 attempts, with Federico Viviani blasting off target from a good position.

Andrea Bertolacci placed a volley just wide with seven minutes to go as Milan pressed, but neither side could find a winning goal and Mihajlovic’s days may now be numbered. 


Key Opta facts:

– AC Milan have collected the same number of points as they did under Filippo Inzaghi last season after 16 matches (25).

– Five of Carlos Bacca’s seven goals this season have been scored at San Siro.

– Luca Toni has scored nine goals in 17 Serie A appearances against Milan, four of which in the last four games he played against the Rossoneri.

– This game saw the most cards of this Serie A season (nine yellows and a red).


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