SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 25 - 15 Feb 2013 (19.45 UK)
Milan 2 - 1 Parma
Paletta OG 39 (M), Balotelli 78 (M); Sansone 92 (P)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

An own goal from Gabriel Paletta and a second half free-kick from Mario Balotelli gave Milan a 2-1 win over Parma.

The Rossoneri were looking for the three points that would take them, momentarily, back into the Champions League places. And they did so with a front-three of M’Baye Niang, Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Roberto Donadoni’s side meanwhile were looking for their first win in five Serie A games and started with former San Siro pairing Djamel Mesbah and Jonathan Biabiany.

It was a frenetic opening few minutes, with Balotelli and Paletta having half-chances at either end. But it was the away team who were creating the most dangerous opportunities. Biabiany’s pace down the left-hand side was causing Kevin Constant all sorts of problems, but the clear-cut openings just weren’t forthcoming.

The Rossoneri attacking triumvirate almost connected perfectly late on in the half, as Balotelli’s through-ball found Boateng, but the Ghana international’s pull-back for Niang just had too much on it for the young French forward to tap in.

Opportunities may have been few and far between, but that didn’t matter for Massimiliano Allegri’s men, as an own goal gave them the lead with five minutes of the half remaining. Boateng’s cross was poked in by Paletta from close-range under the body of the helpless Nicola Pavarini.

After the break, the hosts came out firing on all cylinders, but were once again unable to convert the few chances they were creating.

Sulley Muntari’s touch let him down early on in the half inside the area, but it was Boateng who wasted the best opportunity. The former Portsmouth man latched on to a Balotelli cross, but could only fire wide of the post from eight yards out.

For the third time this season though, Balotelli was there to bail the San Siro side out of trouble. With 12 minutes remaining, the Italy international curled a 20 yards free kick around the wall and past the goalkeeper to double the Diavolo’s lead.

That wasn't the end of the action however, as with virtually the last kick of the game Nicola Sansone prodded home from close-range to make the final score Milan 2-1 Parma.


Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Yepes, Zapata, Constant; Nocerino, Montolivo, Muntari; Niang (Traore 88), Balotelli, Boateng (Bojan 65).
Parma: Pavarini; Rosi, Paletta, Coda (Benalouane 68), Mesbah; Marchionni, Valdes, Parolo (Ninis 58); Sansone, Amauri (Belfodil 72), Biabiany.
Ref: Massa