AC Milan crash at home to Bologna in Seri A league opener

September 1st, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Milan, Sep 1 (DPA) AC Milan opened their Serie A season losing 1-2 at home against Bologna, who rejoined the top flight after three Serie B seasons.The Devils had new Brazilian arrival Ronaldinho playing upfront behind veteran Filippo Inzaghi, but stuttered early in the game Sunday and fell behind when Marco Di Vaio in the 18th minute volleyed home from inside the area.

Two chances went begging when Inzaghi missed off Ronaldinho’s feeds, but midfielder Massimo Ambrosini in the 41st minute nodded home Milan’s equaliser off a precise cross from the Brazilian.

Milan had almost gone two down earlier in the first half when Di Vaio failed to finalize a counter attack, but the Devils firmly took control of the game after the break.

Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko came on to rejoin his former club after two seasons at Chelsea, and Ronaldinho began providing a series of sweet assists that Seedorf, Inzaghi and Sheva failed to convert into goals.

Bologna seemed to be on the ropes, but came close with a high Di Vaio drive in the 66th minute and scored the winner 13 minutes later as Francesco Valiani pounced on a loose ball to drill a fierce drive.

“It was quite a strange game, a surprise of the early part of the season, when some teams are not yet fully ready,” said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“I don’t think we made big mistakes. We attacked for 90 minutes and were punished in two circumstances when Bologna had their best chances. We could have been more solid in the final minutes, now we must find the time to adjust the team with its new elements.”

Roma also opened in dismal fashion before their home crowd as 10-man Napoli held them to a 1-1 draw at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Alberto Aquilani put Roma ahead after a tactical start, controlling with his chest a Daniele De Rossi feed to fire past Gennaro Iezzo.

Things seemed to get easier for Roma when Fabiano Santacroce dismissed on 53 minutes for a foul on Mirko Vucinic, but the gritty Naples guests managed to equalize two minutes later through Slovak Marek Hamsik, who acrobatically tapped in a ball he had nodded against the bar.

The opening game of champions Inter Milan was also dismal Saturday as they drew 1-1 against gritty hosts Sampdoria after Udinese beat guests Palermo 3-1.

In other Sunday action, Torino secured a 3-0 win over promoted Lecce and Lazio came from behind to snatch a 4-1 win at 10-man Cagliari. Lazio’s Argentinian Mauro Zarate scored a brace, while Uruguay’s Diego Lopez was dismissed on the hour.

Promoted Chievo also rallied to beat Reggina 2-1, Atalanta won 1-0 over newcomers Siena and Catania edged Genoa 1-0.

A late top-billing game between Fiorentina and Juventus closes the season’s first round of games at Florence’s Artemio Franchi.

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