Livorno 0-0 Milan: Amaranti Hold Disappointing Rossoneri

Huntelaarr Livorno held a lacklustre Milan side to a goalless draw at the Armando Picchi on Saturday evening, and Leonardo may be regretting his decision to leave Andrea Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi on the bench.

Vittorio Russo shuffled his pack for tonight’s match, bringing in Leonardo Miglionico, Luigi Vitale, Mozart and Davide Moro. Meanwhile there were also plenty of changes for the Rossoneri from the game against Inter, as Leonardo selected Massimo Oddo, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

The home side started well, and Marco Storari’s palms were stung by Cristian Raimondi’s blast after Nico Pulzetti’s shot was well blocked by Thiago Silva. Cristiano Lucarelli then headed over from a corner in the 10th minute completely unchallenged as the visitors struggled to hold onto possession.

Livorno remained the better side in the early stages, but were struggling to create a clear cut opportunity for either of their strikers to capitalise on. Meanwhile, Clarence Seedorf was beginning to impose himself on the game as Milan made an occasional venture into the Amaranti’s half.

The hosts then had the best chance of the half in the 19th minute. Lucarelli lost his marker, Alessandro Nesta, at a corner and was unchallenged as he rose for a header but sent it just wide of Storari’s left hand post.

Milan were stirred into life, but Alexandre Pato and Huntelaar were somewhat starved of service in attack as the hosts’ defence held firm.

Livorno almost took the lead in the 34th minute with a dangerous free kick from Antonio Candreva, but it was well saved by Storari. Moments later, Pato had time to turn his man in the penalty area and set himself for a shot, but Alfonso De Lucia made a good stop at his near post.

Candreva had been causing problems throughout the half for the Rossoneri defence and brought a yellow card from Thiago Silva on 40 minutes. Storari was once again forced to into a save by Candreva from the resulting long range free kick.

Huntelaar managed to test De Lucia with a header from close range as the half drew to a close, but the teams went in goalless at the break.

The sides were unchanged as the second half kicked off, which continued in the same fashion as the first. Thiago Silva was caught completely out of position in the 50th minute to let Lucarelli into the penalty area, but Moro’s eventual shot was deflected wide.

Milan’s inefficiencies in attack caused Leonardo to ring the changes 10 minutes into the half, with the hapless Ronaldinho replaced by Andrea Pirlo and Filippo Inzaghi coming on for Huntelaar.

While Pirlo had impressed in the trequartista role for Italy in midweek, Leonardo ordered Seedorf to push into the gap vacated by Ronaldinho, with Pirlo sitting deeper. The effect that the Italian had was more than noticeable.

The Rossoneri had an excellent chance on the hour mark after another burst forward by Ambrosini was illegally halted, but Pirlo’s free kick from 20 yards out crashed back off the crossbar.

Pirlo was spreading the play with ease and giving Seedorf a more pronounced role behind the strikers. The Italian’s influence forced Livorno into a change as Russo threw Antonio Filippini into the fray at the expense of Mozart.

Despite Filippini’s introduction, the Amaranti were still being overrun in midfield, and Inzaghi fired just over the bar after 66 minutes. Shortly after, the veteran threw himself at a cross by Flamini but couldn’t make contact with a gaping goal at his mercy.

The visitors were now by far the better of the two sides as Livorno were unable to cope with Pirlo’s creativity. Ignazio Abate was sent on to provide some fresh legs and sent in a dangerous ball shortly after coming on, but Pato’s volley flew high over the bar.

As the game ticked into injury time Milan threw more bodies forward, but the Amaranti’s defence was compact and resisted the visitors’ attacks. Moreover, Livorno pressed forward and forced the Rossoneri into a number of defensive errors.

No goals were forthcoming, however, and Vittorio Russo will be delighted to see his side take away a point.


~ by footballdirecta on September 12, 2009.

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