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Anderlecht hold out-of-sorts Milan

Published: Tuesday 18 September 2012, 22.47CET
AC Milan 0-0 RSC Anderlecht
Goalkeeper Silvio Proto put in a command performance for the Belgian title holders as Massimiliano Allegri's side failed to sparkle in Group C.
by Paolo Menicucci
from Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

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Published: Tuesday 18 September 2012, 22.47CET

Anderlecht hold out-of-sorts Milan

AC Milan 0-0 RSC Anderlecht
Goalkeeper Silvio Proto put in a command performance for the Belgian title holders as Massimiliano Allegri's side failed to sparkle in Group C.

A strong team performance combined with the goalkeeping heroics of Silvio Proto ensured RSC Anderlecht earned a goalless draw at San Siro in their opening UEFA Champions League Group C game, with AC Milan yet to score in three home games this season.

The visitors had the better of the first half, but while the Rossoneri improved after the interval, Proto denied Mathieu Flamini and substitute Stephan El Shaarawy, inspiring the Belgian champions to a deserved point.

After losing their first two home matches in Serie A, Milan looked to be short of confidence in the early stages, allowing Anderlecht's Lucas Biglia to direct the game from midfield. Sacha Kljestan had the first attempt on goal, forcing Christian Abbiati into a diving save with a low shot from just outside the penalty box.

Proto then had to make a difficult stop with his legs from a close-range Flamini effort after the ball somehow dropped at the feet of the midfielder in the area. Anderlecht responded quickly and Guillaume Gillet made two dazzling dribbles down the right touchline before unleashing a powerful attempt, which was well kept out by Abbiati at his near post.

Next, Urby Emanuelson's long ball found Kevin-Prince Boateng inside the Anderlecht box. The attacking midfielder controlled with his chest and shot with his right foot but Proto was once again up to the job.

Without a real playmaker in midfield, Milan relied on long deliveries to keep their attackers supplied, and Antonio Nocerino was able to drop a ball behind the Anderlecht back line for Emanuelson. The Dutch international stretched but only just managed to get a touch to the ball with his right foot, failing to trouble the onrushing Proto.

Six minutes after the break, Anderlecht had a great opportunity to take the lead only for Biglia to fire over from a good position after the always dangerous Dieudonné Mbokani found him in space on the right.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri replaced Boateng with El Shaarawy on the hour, a decision which almost paid dividends soon afterwards, yet Proto did superbly to deny the young forward's point-blank header. Emanuelson and El Shaarawy both blazed over from good positions as Milan belatedly warmed to their task, though they never did quite enough to unsettle Anderlecht.

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.17CET

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