Ending the Italian Serie A week 32 with a tough away game against Fiorentina, the league leader, Ac Milan, come away with a rather hard fought victory despite actually controlling the most of the game.
Two first half goals from Clarence Seedorf and Alexandre Pato was enough in the end despite Manuel Vargas deflected shot and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s rather curious sending off gives a difficult end for the Rossoneri as they are forced to held on to their lead.
Playing away against a pretty in-form Fiorentina’s team, Milan that needed a win to return the gap back within three points from their closest rival, Napoli, started the first period in a commanding fashion as they dominated the game with some nice movement from Ibrahimovic and Pato up front. However, it was Seedorf that surprisingly opens the scoring for the Rossoneri after playing a very nice link up play with Ibra and Pato.
The goal spurred Fiorentina on as they try to equalize immediately using their strength on the wing, but despite the absence of Alessandro Nesta, the Milan back line stood firm to the test very well. Although the Viola seemed determined to get the equalizing goal, Milan simply showed that they are class above the home team as Massimiliano Allegri’s team keeps on creating chances through some sublime moves on the pitch.
After wasting several good goal scoring chances, Pato finally kept his 100% goal scoring record against Fiorentina after the striker tapped in Keving Prince Boatent’s cross from the right side. Receiving a through ball from Ibrahimovic, Boateng squares the ball to the Brazilian wonderkid that easily stuck out his foot and put the ball easily pass Artur Boruc in the Fiorentina’s net.
The second goal that comes just before the half time simply calm things down for the Rossoneri as they started the second period again in a very commanding fashion and should have really sealed the game if not for Ibrahimovic’s unluckiness in front of the goal. As the match grows, things gets more intense as Fiorentina players started to get emotional and trying to provoke their opponents and the referee in getting some of the decisions.
In the heat of the moment, the Viola scored a rather fluke goal after Vargas pounce on Ricardo Montolivo’s spilled shot, to pull a goal back for the home team. The shot was actually looking to go wide and can be anticipated by Milan’s keeper, Christian Abbiati, but the ball accidentally hit Rino Gattuso before going in so it simply deceive Abbiati.
Despite the goal, Fiorentina still have problems in controlling the match, however late in the second half a rather bizarre thing happened as the referee suddenly sends Ibrahimovic off the pitch for what it appeared to be an alleged swearing at the linesman. The replay suggested that the striker didn’t actually square off at the linesman which make the decision rather controversial as after the match the Swede international also stated he wasn’t directing his badmouth towards anyone in particular.
Despite finishing the game with 10 men, the Rossoneri stood still as they held on to a very precious victory that keeps their distance from their rivals until another week. However, the controversial sending off for Ibrahimovic might be something that Milan would probably questioned in the future, although there are reports that the Swede could already missed the next game after picking up a yellow card earlier on that match
Fiorentina v Ac Milan 1-2
Goals: Vargas 80 (Fio); Seedorf 9, Pato 41 (Milan)
Fiorentina: Boruc; Comotto, Gamberini, Natali (Kroldrup 56), Pasqual; Donadel (Behrami 62), Montolivo, Vargas; Santana, Ljajic (Babacar 46); Gilardino
Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Yepes, Thiago Silva, Zambrotta; Flamini, Van Bommel, Seedorf; Boateng (Gattuso 77); Pato, Ibrahimovic
photo credit: americanistadechiapas