After a promising start by Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, it was Milan who dominated the major part of the game but failed to take advantage as the two teams had to share points leaving Milan three points behind current leaders Inter.
Though Milan was without their star performer Alexandre Pato, they were riding high after winning five of their last six games. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was picked ahead of David Beckham whereas Roma welcomed David Pizarro and Julio Sergio.
Roma, who were on a great unbeaten run since October 28th, could have taken the lead but De Rossi’s right footed strike went wide of the far post. The stadium almost went crazy with pleasure but Christian Abbiati saved Baptista’s strike on goal.
Milan had to wait till the quarter of an hour mark before Daniele Bonera sent in a cross only to see Marco Borriello heading it wide. The Rossoneri then started to gain possession as Borriello squandered another chance off a Ronaldinho slide-rule pass.
Roma came close before half-time when Mirco Vucinic found Baptista whose shot was misdirected away from the far post. Milan too, came close from a corner when Luca Antonini was left unmarked only for him to smash the ball over the bar. Antonini was in the thick of things again when his cross was met by an unbalanced Flamini who fired it wide at the far post.
In the beginning of the second half, Borriello skipped past Juan and smashed an angled drive at the near post, but Julio Sergio flung himself to somehow deflect the shot wide off his knee.
On the hour mark, Roma welcomed Italian striker Luca Toni for Baptista – but without much effect. The best chance of the game came for Milan in the 70th minute when a misunderstanding between Riise and Julio Sergio let Huntelaar through, but the goalkeeper did well to block the striker’s chip. Soon after this, Beckham and Ignazio Abate replaced Antonini and Flamini respectively.
Roma’s best opportunity came with fifteen minutes to go when Vucinic headed a Risse cross wide of Abbiati’s left hand post.
Milan dominated possession and Huntelaar had a golden chance to win it for Milan in the end but he ended up heading a Pirlo cross over the bar when it looked easier to score.
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan)
He was a little slow to start with but was the dominating force behind Milan’s superb display in the second half. He controlled the midfield with his vision and passing precision.
TheHardTackle’s REFEREE REPORT CARD
Name: Paolo Tagliavento
Grade: A – Excellent.
Venue: Stadio Olimpico
Roma Line-Up: Julio Sergio; Cassetti, Burdisso, Juan, Riise; De Rossi, Pizarro, Taddei, Perrotta, Baptista (Toni 58’); Vucinic
Manager: Claudio Ranieri
Cautions: Nicolas Burdisso(40’), David Pizarro(80’), Rodrigo Taddei(85’)
Sent off: None
Milan Line-Up: Abbiati; Bonera, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini (Abate 71’); Flamini (Beckham 71’), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Huntelaar, Borriello (Inzaghi 78’), Ronaldinho
Cautions: Mathieu Flamini(30), Daniele Bonera(38), Andrea Pirlo(90)
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