Milan Hat-Trick Sinks The Dutch

Heerenveen 1-3 Milan GOALS: Jong-A-Pin og. 19’, Gattuso 23’, Inzaghi 69’ (Milan) Pranjic 85’ (Heerenveen) HEERENVEEN (3-4-3): Vandenbussche, Dingsdag, Breuer, Jong-a-Pin, Beerens, Grindheim, Vayrynen, Pranjic, Popov (Henrique 61’), Sibon, Elyounoussi (Kalou 61’). MILAN (4-3-2-1): Dida, Zambrotta, Bonera, Favalli, Antonini, Flamini, Gattuso, Emerson, Kakà (Jankulovski 79’), Inzaghi (Ronaldinho 71’), Shevchenko (Pato 71’). An impressive away win saw Milan march back to Italy with all three points in the bag against their Dutch hosts Heerenveen. An own goal from Jong-A-Pin and a strike from Gennaro Gattuso put the Rossoneri ahead in the first half. Filippo Inzaghi got in on the act in the second half, scoring a goal to make it 3-0. The game was not over however, and with five minutes remaining the home team scored a consolation penalty, ending the encounter with a 3-1 win for the visiting Rossoneri. Heerenveen and Milan had never played against each other before tonight, and so this encounter was a new experience for both teams, with Heerenveen hosting the Rossoneri at the Abe Lentra Stadion in Holland. Heerenveen were considered underdogs in this match, despite playing at home due to the tradition and experience that Milan have in European competition, winning the Champions League twice since the turn of the century. First Half Heerenveen got the game underway and attacked Milan’s goal straight away. The first threat on goal came from the Rossoneri however, as Shevchenko struck a free kick well in the third minute, but goalkeeper Vandenbussche made a great save, and lifted the ball over the bar. In the 7th minute Heerenveen had their chance to score from a free kick, but Dinsdag’s attempt was not troublesome for the visitors. Two minutes later the Dutch were again in front of the Milan goal, but Beerens’ header was well saved by Dida. Despite the fact the Heerenveen seemed to attack frequently, Milan controlled the tempo of the game, passing the ball well when it was in their possession. The pressure from the Dutch was evident however, with three corners going their way in the first fifteen minutes. In the 19th minute of the match the opener was scored, with a cross from Kaka that was deviated into the goal by Jong A Pin. Milan were ahead, and Emerson was impressive in midfield, controlling the play and marshalling the Dutch with authority. The Milan faithful did not have to wait very long for the second goal of the Rossoneri. Kaka’s pass found Gattuso in space and the hard-man hit a very good right footed shot to the lower left corner, making it 2-0 to Milan. At this point some Dutch heads had dropped and Milan were well in control of the midfield. Just before the half hour mark a great run from Zambrotta ended with a cross to Inzaghi, but the poacher did not control the ball well and nothing came of the move. In the 32nd minute an opportunity fell to Elyounoussi, but Dida did well to come off his line and the player shot wide of goal. Milan looked comfortable at this point, and they were quick to extinguish any Dutch attacks with quality defensive play. Towards the end of the half the Rossoneri pushed forward, with Emerson and Zambrotta providing dangerous crosses from the flanks. Perhaps word of Beckham’s imminent loan spell has inspired more training on set piece situations and crossing at Milanello. After a minute of injury time referee Santiago blew the whistle and sent both teams to the change rooms. Kaka was the standout player of the first half, causing havoc for the Dutch, while scoring one and setting the other up. Second Half The second half started with a bang, and it was Milan’s returning hero Shevchenko that provided the opportunity, with a shot from outside the area that just missed the post. The match did not flow at the same pace of the first half, with both teams becoming comfortable with the result. Heerenveen began to gain in confidence and they realized that they had nothing to lose against the mighty Milan. They put more pressure on the visitors and a few chances were created that threatened Dida’s clean sheet, but a mixture of experiences defending and lack of finishing allowed Milan to continue unscathed. The experience of Milan came into play during this second half, with the Rossneri realizing that they could keep constant pressure on their opponents and keep the possession in the Dutch half. This soon put Heerenveen in difficulty, and Shevchenko came close to adding his name to the scoresheet but Vandenbussche came out to deny the Ukranian striker. A very clean game should be applauded as both sides displayed fine sportsmanship throughout the tie, with only one incident requiring the referee to issue a yellow card. In the 16th minute a flurry of Heerenveen substitutions were made in the hope that fresh legs would change the complexion of the game. The substitutions had no immediate effect, and in the 24th minute it was Milan that pushed further forward with a goal from Super Pippo Inzaghi. A pass from Gattuso was neatly slotted to the left of Vandenbussche by Inzaghi, making it 3-0 to the Rossoneri. The comprehensive score line prompted Ancelotti to make some changes, and he sent Ronaldinho and Pato on for Inzaghi and Shevchenko. In the 34th minute Dida made a great save to send Kalou’s shot out for a corner. Three minutes later substitute Pato came close to making it 4-0, but in stark contrast it was Heerenveen that would pull one back with five minutes left on the clock. Favalli’s foul gave the Dutch a spot kick and Pranjic duly obliged, putting the ball into the back of the net and making it 3-1 to Milan. The last few miutes saw the Dutch on the attack, but they could not capitalize from the final ball possession, and after three minutes of injury time Santiago blew for the end of the encounter, leaving the score at 3-1 for Milan, and three points for their trouble.


Anonymous said...

Milain is my favorite ever after

Anjang said...

congratulation for milan and milanisti...

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