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Milan made to work hard for victory at Zenit

Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 20.00CET
FC Zenit St Petersburg 2-3 AC Milan
The five-time champions brushed off domestic travails and a spirited Zenit fightback to end the hosts' 16-game unbeaten home run in Europe.
by Richard van Poortvliet
from Stadion Petrovski

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Match statistics

ZenitMilan

Goals scored2
 
3
on target11
 
7
off target8
 
7
Corners13
 
2
Offsides0
2
Fouls committed17
 
13
Yellow cards4
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Possession (%)51
 
49

Standings

Last updated: 16/10/2012 18:47 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 3 October 2012, 20.00CET

Milan made to work hard for victory at Zenit

FC Zenit St Petersburg 2-3 AC Milan
The five-time champions brushed off domestic travails and a spirited Zenit fightback to end the hosts' 16-game unbeaten home run in Europe.

AC Milan bounced back from surrendering a two-goal advantage to condemn Group C rivals FC Zenit St Petersburg to a first home defeat in UEFA competition in four years.

Unbeaten on home soil in Europe in 16 games, Zenit's proud record looked in grave danger when Urby Emanuelson and Stephan El Shaarawy put the Rossoneri two up inside 16 minutes. However, Hulk and Roman Shirokov combined either side of half-time to level the scores – until Tomáš Hubočan unwittingly turned into his own net on 75 minutes.

Luciano Spalletti's team, seventh in the Russian Premier League, seemed to be lacking in confidence from the outset. Their fragile morale was dealt another blow on 13 minutes, Emanuelson's free-kick wrong-footing home keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev via a deflection off Shirokov's shoulder. Things swiftly went from bad to worse when El Shaarawy evaded a couple of Zenit challenges before firing past Malafeev for a fine individual goal – his fifth in four matches.

If Zenit were on the ropes, they refused to throw in the towel. Christian Abbiati, a virtual spectator for half an hour, did brilliantly to parry Hulk's swerving shot and Shirkov's header from the resultant corner. He then produced an even better stop, showing impressive strength of wrist to parry Hulk's venomous free-kick.

He was finally beaten, though, in first-half added time. Shirokov was again at the fore, putting through Hulk who finished with aplomb. The roles were reversed four minutes after the interval when Hulk swung in a corner from the right which left Shirokov with a simple header past the stranded Abbiati.

With the game now thrown wide open, both sides sniffed their first victory of the group stage. The visitors got it, though in hugely fortunate fashion. Riccardo Montolivo's cross appeared to be harmless, yet Hubočan found himself in an awkward tangle and contrived to turn it beyond Malafeev.

There was still time for Abbiati to rescue his team once more with a stunning save to thwart the marauding Aleksandr Anyukov. Zenit therefore remain without a point ahead of the visit of RSC Anderlecht on 24 October, when Milan go to Málaga CF.

Last updated: 27/11/12 19.34CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009509/postmatch/report/index.html#milan+beat+spirited+zenit

Lineups

zenit

Zenit

milan

Milan

16
MalafeevVyacheslav Malafeev (GK) (C)
32
AbbiatiChristian Abbiati (GK) (C)
2
AnyukovAleksandr Anyukov
Yellow Card34
10
BoatengKevin-Prince Boateng
Substitution81
4
CriscitoDomenico Criscito
17
ZapataCristián Zapata
6
LombaertsNicolas Lombaerts
Substitution90
18
MontolivoRiccardo Montolivo
11
KerzhakovAleksandr Kerzhakov
20
AbateIgnazio Abate
14
HubočanTomáš Hubočan
Yellow Card71
Goal75
22
Bojan KrkićBojan Krkić
Substitution52
15
ShirokovRoman Shirokov
Goal49
Yellow Card87
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
Yellow Card36
20
FayzulinViktor Fayzulin
Yellow Card12
Substitution79
28
EmanuelsonUrby Emanuelson
Goal13
Substitution64
28
WitselAxel Witsel
34
N. de JongNigel de Jong
29
HulkHulk
Goal45+2
77
AntoniniLuca Antonini
34
BystrovVladimir Bystrov
Substitution72
92
El ShaarawyStephan El Shaarawy
Goal16
Yellow Card40

Substitutes

71
BaburinEgor Baburin (GK)
1
AmeliaMarco Amelia (GK)
3
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
5
MexèsPhilippe Mexès
9
BukharovAleksandr Bukharov
Substitution90
7
RobinhoRobinho
18
ZyryanovKonstantin Zyryanov
Substitution72
8
NocerinoAntonio Nocerino
Substitution64
24
LukovićAleksandar Luković
11
PazziniGiampaolo Pazzini
Substitution52
82
LumbMichael Lumb
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
99
KanunnikovMaksim Kanunnikov
Substitution79
76
YepesMario Yepes
Substitution81
Yellow Card85

Coach

Luciano Spalletti (ITA) Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee

Felix Brych (GER)

Assistant referees

Mark Borsch (GER), Stefan Lupp (GER)

Fourth official

Mike Pickel (GER)

Additional assistant referees

Deniz Aytekin (GER), Robert Hartmann (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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