Milan bag five in morale boosting win
MILAN, Nov 3, 2012 (AFP) - Former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic and Dutchman Urby Emanuelson scored their maiden AC Milan goals as the struggling Serie A giants secured a precious 5-1 win over Chievo at the San Siro on Saturday.
Ahead of a crucial Champions League test against Malaga on Tuesday, Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri had called for his stuttering side to show they can still be a force to be reckoned with.
Giampaolo Pazzini started as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation but barely got a sniff of goal in the opening half as Milan's impressive midfield stole the show.
After winger Stephan El Shaarawy first tested Stefano Sorrentino with a weak shot on the quarter hour Emanuelson's debut Milan goal came moments later.
Guinean defender Kevin Constant's cross from the left wing found its way to the edge of the Chievo area, where it was eventually headed down by defender Marco Andreolli into the path of Emanuelson.
The Dutchman's first-time strike took a slight deflection but beat Sorrentino low to the keeper's right.
Milan's weakness at set-pieces, however, came back to haunt them a minute later when Sergio Pellissier rose above El Shaarawy at the near post to beat a diving Christian Abbiati with a glancing back header to pull Chievo level.
Milan went on to take control but on a rare Chievo foray French midfielder Cyril Thereau forced a diving save from Abbiati when he unleashed an angled drive from the edge of the area.
A minute later Milan took the lead through Riccardo Montolivo, who drove the ball through Chievo's defence following a well-worked move involving Emanuelson, El Shaarawy and Bojan.
Although Abbiati had to look sharp to keep out a low angled shot from Thereau in the 40th minute, Milan extended their lead when Bojan's shot from edge of the area took a deflection off Dario Dainelli before wrong-footing Sorrentino.
Chievo proved more determined in the second half but their resistance was short-lived.
Just before the hour El Shaarway showed nice control on the edge of area to set up Massimo Ambrosini but his shot went high and wide. Constant then sent an inviting ball in for Pazzini only for the ball to be bundled to safety.
Emanuelson was then replaced by Kevin Prince Boateng, and when Constant's low cross came in from the left it was dummied by the Ghanaian for El Shaarawy, whose low strike went just wide.
In the 75th minute El Shaarawy's persistence was rewarded when he left Romanian midfielder Adrian Stoian behind him to latch on to Cristian Abate's cross-goal ball and score his eighth league goal in 11 games.
Bojan was denied his second in the dying minutes when Sorrentino saved his close-range shot after Pazzini's pass in the area.
However, the Spain international played a pivotal role in Milan's fifth with a long, curling pass to El Shaarawy on the left which allowed the Italy international to stroll into the area before crossing for Pazzini, who tapped home from a metre out.