Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chievo 0 AC Milan 0: Under-pressure Mihajlovic left to settle for stalemate

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Mar 2016

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Chievo had a late goal disallowed for offside as AC Milan were held to a 0-0 Serie A draw that will do little to quiet speculation over Sinisa Mihajlovic’s future as coach.

Mihajlovic’s men travelled to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi sixth in the table – nine points adrift of the Champions League places – and with reports indicating the Serbian could leave his role at the end of the season.

He remains hopeful of remaining in the job beyond this campaign but Mihajlovic’s players did little to help his cause as they followed up last week’s defeat to Sassuolo with another disappointing display.

There will also be concern over an injury to goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was substituted in the first half following a collision at a corner.

Milan will have felt aggrieved not to have netted the decisive goal 16 minutes from time when Ignazio Abate and Andrea Bertolacci hit the woodwork with successive shots.

Chievo then looked to have won it when Fabrizio Cacciatore – who had earlier been bloodied in his coming together with Donnaruma – saw a header into the bottom-left corner chalked off.

Milan, who were forced into a late change as Jeremy Menez replaced Juraj Kucka after the Slovakia international was injured in the warm-up, spent much of the early stages on the back foot.

Chievo struggled to create much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities despite their superiority.

There was a lengthy stoppage in play following the 16th-minute collision between Cacciatore and Milan goalkeeper Donnarumma, who was forced off three minutes later.

Christian Abbiati came on in the teenager’s place and was almost immediately called into action to keep out Antonio Floro Flores’ low shot with a diving save to his right.

Riccardo Meggiorini was then denied by Abbiati before Keisuke Honda curled just wide from a free-kick at the other end.

Milan improved in the second half but still struggled to test Albano Bizzarri in the Chievo goal, Giacomo Bonaventura firing over and Carlos Bacca heading into the side-netting.

Abate saw his far-post effort tipped onto the post as Milan piled the pressure on the hosts, with Bertolacci’s follow-up thundering against the left-hand upright.

Cacciatore turned home Simone Pepe’s left-wing free-kick in the 90th minute, only to see his goal ruled out as Chievo were denied a win that would have taken them into the top half.

Key Opta stats:

– Chievo haven’t scored a goal in their last seven Serie A matches against Milan.
– The last three Serie A meetings between these sides at stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi have ended 0-0.
– Chievo have only lost one of their last seven home games in this competition (W2 D4).
– Only Roma (13) and Juventus (11) have hit the woodwork more than Milan (10) this season.

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