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Milan in crisis after second defeat

SoccerNews in Serie A 14 Sep 2008

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AC Milan, with superstars Kaka, Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko in their line-up, lost 2-0 at Genoa on Sunday to plunge the former European champions into crisis.

It was Milan’s second defeat in the opening two games of the Serie A season following a 2-1 home loss to Bologna and put renewed pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti, who failed to guide the team into the Champions League this season.

Giuseppe Sculli opened the scoring for Genoa after 30 minutes with Diego Milito adding an injury-time penalty to give the home side their first win against Milan on their own soil since 1983.

Milan are now secomd from bottom, propped up by Cagliari, who are also without a point.

After the match Milan general manager Adriano Galliani issued a warning to Ancelotti.

“He doesn’t risk the sack, but he’d better stop losing,” said Galliani.

Lazio lead the way with a second win in two games secured with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria with Mauro Zarate (seven minutes) and Goran Pandev (72) on target.

Atalanta also have a 100-percent record and are second in the table following a 1-0 win at Bologna with Tiberio Guarente grabbing the only goal on nine minutes.

On Saturday, defending champions Inter Milan clinched their first victory of the Serie A season with a controversial 2-1 win at the San Siro over Catania despite being reduced to 10 men.

Inter, who travel to Panathinaikos in their Champions League opener on Tuesday, had Ghana international striker Sulley Muntari red-carded late in the first half.

They had already fallen behind to a headed goal from Gianvito Plasmati three minutes before half-time, although the strike was greeted with silence as Catania fans had been banned from travelling as part of a nationwide crackdown on hooliganism.

Inter, coached by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, levelled two minutes from the interval when Portuguese import Ricardo Quaresma marked his debut with a deflected goal.

Muntari was then sent-off after flinging an arm into the face of Giacomo Tedesco. The winning goal came five minutes after the break in controversial circumstances.

A corner kick came off the head of Catania’s Cristian Terlizzi and hit the the inside of the far post into goalkeeper Albano Bizzarri’s hands.

Despite Catania’s protests, the referee and linesman both ruled the ball had crossed the line and awarded the goal.

Meanwhile, AS Roma’s build-up to their opening Champions League clash suffered a setback when they crashed 3-1 at Palermo.

The defeat, coming on the back of a 1-1 draw with Napoli two weeks ago, was the worst preparation for Tuesday’s European match against Romania’s Cluj.

Roma took the lead through Julio Baptista after just eight minutes following a flowing move, but they eventually paid a heavy price for being without injured skipper Francesco Totti and striker Mirko Vucinic who pulled out with a back injury just before kick-off.

They were also without Philippe Mexes, Juan and Simone Perrotta and then lost Daniele De Rossi with a neck injury later in the game.

Palermo, with new coach Davide Ballardini having replaced Stefano Colantuono, levelled through a Fabrizio Miccoli drive in the 20th minute after being set-up by Brazilian midfielder Fabio Simplicio.

Miccoli added a second for Palermo in the 56th minute with Edison Cavani scoring the third in the 72nd minute.

“We played below our capabilities at some times, while in others we did quite well without converting the chances,” said Roma coach Luciano Spalletti.

“There is little to complain about, as we lost by a clear margin in terms of the result, but that did not reflect what I saw in the match overall.”

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