AC Milan stun city rivals Inter Milan in Serie A

September 29th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

AC MilanMilan, Sep 29 (DPA) AC Milan beat holders Inter Milan 1-0 in a tense city derby at the end of a fifth Serie A weekend that saw the champions being leapfrogged by Lazio.Brazilian star Ronaldinho left his mark on the first game he played from the start here Sunday, putting Milan one up on 36 minutes with a great header off a precise cross that his compatriot Kaka centred from the right flank.

The former Barcelona forward was the Devil’s top signing in the summer but had failed to convince as he played only part of the early games of the season.

Ronaldinho squandered his first pass but provided two good feeds before the winning header, not one of his trademark feats, that he celebrated with a few dance steps under the Giuseppe Meazza grandstand.

“I’m very happy to have scored my first goal in such a great game,” Ronaldinho said. “It’s for the fans who make me feel at home. The more I’m here at Milan, the more I feel at home.”

His winning goal pushed Milan on nine points and held Inter in joint-third position on 10 alongside Udinese and Catania. Lazio lead on 12 points, having won 3-1 earlier Sunday at Torino, and Napoli are second on 11.

After a slow start, Gianluca Zambrotta fired a high drive in the 13th minute and four minutes later Douglas Maicon provided a great assist for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had his spurt thwarted by the intervention of Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

The towering Ibrahimovic forced a difficult save after Ronaldinho in the 25th minute called his compatriot Julio Cesar to a prodigious dive to deflect his fierce volley.

A further threat for a rather slow Inter came in the 43rd minute as Brazilian Pato had a breathtaking break blocked by Julio Cesar.

Brazil Mancini opened Inter’s equalising efforts early in the second half, aiming a feeble header with the back of his head, while Ronaldinho in the 57 minutes tried a grossly wide shot from the distance, and Kaka did even worse one minute later.

Coach Jose Mourinho tried to shift Inter’s gears just before the hour, bringing on strikers Julio Cruz and Adriano for Mancini and Marco Materazzi.

As Milan deftly slowed down the game through their good midfield control, a wide drive from Cruz on 66 minutes was followed by a similar mistake from Ibra.

The situation grew dire for Inter in the 76 minutes as Nicolas Burdisso received his second yellow card for flooring Kaka in midfield.

Kaka had a tight-angle drive saved, and in the 80th minutes the just-fielded Dejan Stankovic slammed a smashing shot for the great deflection from Abbiati.

Ronaldinho gave way to Andriy Shevchenko with six minutes to go, and the Ukrainian had a great drive deflected with one minute left, while Adriano squandered Inter’s best chance in injury time.

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