Milan beat Fiorentina amidst fears of Kaka’s departure

January 18th, 2009 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

AC MilanRome, Jan 18 (DPA) AC Milan beat Fiorentina 1-0 as Brazilian Pato was on target in a late game in the Italian Serie A.Die-hard Milan fans took the stage Saturday early in the game as they loudly protested against the possible sale of Brazil star Kaka to Manchester City, a transfer that the Italian club said they are evaluating and that could take shape next week or at the end of the season.

As the crowd relentlessly chanted “Kaka is not for sale,” the offensive midfielder was as fully convincing as his young compatriot striker Pato, who put the Devils (AC Milan) ahead on seven minutes off a feed from Czech Marek Jankulovski.

After last weekend’s brace in a 2-2 draw at Roma, the 19-year-old Pato showed not to have lost his form as he stormed into the area and beat Marco Storari with a low drive by the far post to the left of the goalkeeper, who was filling in for the injured Frenchman Sebastien Frey.

Montenegro’s Stevan Jovetic, also aged 19, tried a first attempt for the Florence guests, but his fast drive flew narrowly wide to the right of Christian Abbiati.

A Riccardo Montolivo swerving drive forced Abbiati’s great save in the 34th minute, as Milan seemed to lose control of the game under Fiorentina’s hammering attacks.

David Beckham also made a serious attempt at scoring before the break, but had his shot saved by the diving Storari.

The English star veteran seems to have become a mainstay in Milan’s midfield despite having joined them just three weeks ago on a two-month loan transfer from Los Angeles Galaxy.

A furious pressing early in the second half bore no fruits for Milan, who had to thank Abbiati for a couple of crucial saves as the Tuscany guests resumed their equalizing efforts.

Argentine Alberto Santana fired an impressive drive that, albeit central, gave Abbiati a chance to display his reflexes and, a few minutes later, the goalkeeper deflected with his boot a Montolivo effort.

Another long-range drive from Santana flew wide shortly after Fiorentina’s new arrival Emiliano Bonazzoli came on for a two-pronged attack next to the rather indifferent ex-Milan striker Alberto Gilardino.

The win strengthened Milan’s third place, pushing them to within six points of leaders Inter Mlian, while Fiorentina lie fifth next to Genoa and risk to be leapfrogged Lazio.

Earlier Saturday, Siena edged lowly visitors Reggina 1-0 as Liechtenstein striker Mario Frick came on from the bench to give Siena a second-half winner.

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