Resting some of their main players, Massimiliano Allegri’s experiment especially in midfield and at the back prove costly for Ac Milas as defensive errors that the Red and Black squad rarely made gave Palermo an advantage in the Italian Cup first leg.
The home team have to thanks their winter signing, Urby Emanuelson, who scored the equalizing goal that save Milan the blushes of losing at San Siro, the Duthman scored his first goal for the Rossoneri that ties the game in the 2-2 scoreline.
Playing with a few reserve players at the back, Milan actually started the game very well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally scored his first goal from an open play since January. The Big Swede strike a firs time ball from Massimo Oddo’s cross in a lovely way, leaving Palermo keeper, Salvatore Sirigu, stranded without knowing which way Ibra directed the ball. The goal lifted the home team’s confidence as they dominated the game playing some lovely combination that carved open the visitor’s defense couple of times.
However, just as Milan puts their authority on the game, Palermo surprisingly scored a goal out of nowhere as Javier Pastore latched on to a nice through pass and without any difficulty beating Marco Amelia in the Rossoneri’s goal. The Red and Black squad’s defender Sokratis Papasthopolous take pretty much of the blame as he was very late in tracking Pastore’s run, which actually pretty visible. The Argentinian goal growth the away team confidence as they can start their initial plan on playing from the counter attack.
As the first half ended in a 1-1 draw, the home team started pretty well again in the second period, but once again as they started to dominate the game, Palermo struck again from Abel Hernandez’s wonderful goal from the right side of Milan’s defense. The young striker received a fine through ball from Pastore and despite in a very tight position he somehow managed to squeeze the ball pass Amelia’s net.
The goal complicates things for Milan as they keep pushing forward but sometimes left gaps at the back, however the home team’s persistence payed off after substitute player, Emanuelson, struck his first goal for the club midway in the second period. The equalizing goal happened after a wonderful show of strength from Ibrahimovic that somehow managed to brake his way pass several Palermo defender before having his shot blocked, and fortunately the rebound fall right into the Dutchman’s feet that easily finish it pass Sirigu.
The 2-2 scoreline doesn’t change until the end of the game despite both teams’ effort in getting a winning goal especially Milan, who are obviously trying to get the winning goal that would give them a slight advantage in the second leg. However, the away team did their home work very well and pretty much earned the result through their hard work on the pitch especially in defending. The draw give Palermo a slight advantage as they got two away goals that might be useful in the second leg, although the Rossoneri’s chance isn’t entirely closed as they can always goes through by beating the Rossanero at Renzo Barbera.
Ac Milan v Palermo 2-2 (1-1)
Goals: Ibrahimovic 4, Emanuelson 76(Milan); Pastore 14, Hernandez 53(Palermo)
Milan: Amelia; Oddo, Thiago Silva, Papastathopoulos, Antonini; Flamini, Pirlo, Seedorf (Emanuelson 56); Boateng (Gattuso 80); Ibrahimovic, Cassano (Robinho 63)
Palermo: Sirigu; Cassani, Goian, Bovo, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Nocerino, Acquah; Pastore (Miccoli 86); Pinilla (Ilicic 46), Hernandez
photo credit: americanistadechiapas