Alessandria 0-1 AC Milan: Balotelli saves the Rossoneri’s blushes
AC Milan beat Alessandria 1-0 in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final, in the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night.
The Diavolo took the lead 43rd minute through Mario Balotelli, who converted a penalty after Luca Antonelli was idiotically fouled. In the second-half, despite I Grigi growing in confidence, the team from Piedmont were unable to get back into the match.
It took thirty minutes for Milan to create the first chance as Alessandria successfully held the Rossoneri off at arms-length. Luiz Adriano won the ball back outside the penalty box before he played in Jose Mauri, who laid the ball off to Andrea Poli, but Poli’s shot was saved expertly.
Milan were starting to look dangerous and should have taken the lead. Keisuke Honda lifted a pass in behind the Grigi defence and into the path of Balotelli. However, the 25-year-old put his effort wide of the post when he only had the keeper to beat.
Yet, Balotelli did give his side the lead just two minutes later. Luca Antonelli steamed forward and was ludicrously brought down by Santiago Morero in the penalty box. Balotelli comfortably converted the following penalty.
Milan started the second-half on fire and should have doubled their lead. Following some defensive confusion from L’Orso, Balotelli burst into the penalty box and pulled the ball back to Honda, but his shot was bravely deflected wide by the head of Roberto Sabatto.
Towards the end of the match Alessandria were growing in stature, however they were unable to breach a seemingly imperious Rossoneri defence.
In fact, Milan looked more likely to score next as in the 83rd minute, M’Baye Niang was slipped in behind the Grigi defence, but his driven shot struck the post.
The result leaves Alessandria with a lot of work to do in the second-leg should they want to reach the Coppa Italia final.