Milan produced another inept performance at the San Siro on Tuesday,
drawing 0-0 with Anderlecht in their Champions League opener to make it
four and a half hours without a home goal this season.
Milan fans, having seen Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Antonio Cassano and Thiago
Silva sold in the close season, clearly sensed what was on the cards for
the Group C tie as fewer than 28,000 turned up, leaving the imposing
stadium two-thirds empty.
who were present greeted the final whistle with a deafening chorus of
jeers as Milan stumbled again after starting their Serie A campaign with
1-0 home defeats by Sampdoria and Atalanta.
contrast, there was applause at the half-time interval as the stadium
screen showed Ibrahimovic scoring a penalty in Paris St Germain's 4-1
victory over Dynamo Kiev in Group A.
returning to the group stages after a six-year absence, outplayed Milan
for long periods and had more possession although it was the hosts who
created the clearer openings.
think the team can get better, that is an important factor," Milan
coach Massimiliano Allegri told reporters as he tried to put on a brave
face. "We did create four good scoring chances."
started up front with Giampaolo Pazzini, who last season struggled for
goals with Inter Milan, and Urby Emanuelson, a substitute for most of
goalkeeper Silvio Proto frustrated the home team with some excellent
saves although that will not be accepted as an excuse by the media and
The highlight for Proto came when he blocked a point-blank header from Milan substitute Stephan El Shaarawy just after the hour.
Belgian side's best chance fell to Argentine midfielder Lucas Biglia
who latched on to Dieudonne Mbokani's flicked pass and burst into the
area but shot over with only goalkeeper Christian Abbiati to beat.
he had hit the target Anderlecht would have been celebrating their
first win in Italy in 15 attempts, a run stretching back to 1964.
completely dominated the first half, we presented a tactical and
technical surprise and we kept Kevin-Prince Boateng out of
the match," said Anderlecht's Dutch coach John van den Brom.
proved we have a place in the Champions League. Milan's problems are
not my problems, we analysed their last three games and came back with
the same conclusion, that they are a good team with good players but
they give chances away and space away."
began with a few flowing moves involving Brazilian playmaker Kanu and
Argentine midfielder Biglia. Sacha Kljestan nearly gave them the lead
with a low shot that was turned around the post by Abbiati.
Milan looked disjointed although they did produce some dangerous situations which brought out the best in Proto.
did well to deny close-range efforts from Boateng and Mathieu Flamini
and he also foiled Emanuelson when the forward met Luca Antonini's
raking crossfield pass with a first-time shot.
Shaarawy livened things up briefly after replacing Boateng but a few
dangerous moments were interspersed with shoddy passing which infuriated
Nigel de Jong's lack of creativity also meant Milan were short of ideas in midfield.
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