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Sport Milan wait on Ibrahimovic, Rebic and Calhanoglu as Pioli braces for injury verdicts on star trio

03:27  01 march  2021
03:27  01 march  2021 Source:   goal.com

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Stefano Pioli said he needed to manage Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Milan star looked angry at being substituted against Bologna. “I have to manage him, playing so much I need everyone to be well.” ALSO READ: Jose Mourinho: People look at me with different eyes. Alexis Saelemaekers, Hakan Calhanoglu , Ismael Bennacer, Ante Rebic and Davide Calabria were on the scoresheet for Milan . Sitting sixth in Serie A, Milan are unbeaten in nine games since returning from the coronavirus-enforced break and Pioli is happy with his side’s form.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on target again as Milan beat Lazio 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico to derail their opponents' Scudetto hopes. Juve moved seven points clear at the Serie A summit with a 4-1 win over rivals Torino earlier on Saturday and Lazio were unable to close the gap in their game in hand. Ante Rebic added a third for Europe-chasing Milan in the second half as Lazio, without leading goalscorer Ciro Immobile, fell to just a second loss in 25 league matches. Calhanoglu continued his good form since the restart by opening the scoring after 23 minutes, the midfielder's strike deflecting off Marco

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gave Milan an injury fright in Sunday's dramatic 2-1 win at Roma but boss Stefano Pioli suspects the Swedish striker is weary rather than wounded.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic shows frustration in Milan's game at Roma © Getty Images Zlatan Ibrahimovic shows frustration in Milan's game at Roma

After going close to scoring four times in the opening 10 minutes, Ibrahimovic's influence on the Serie A tussle began to diminish and he was substituted early in the second half.

He looked to have a thigh problem, while Ante Rebic, who scored Milan's winner, and Hakan Calhanoglu also had to be withdrawn because of physical complaints.

After the hectic game that saw Milan end Roma's 16-game unbeaten home league run, Pioli indicated none of the three appeared to be seriously hurt.

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Milan (AFP) - Ante Rebic hit a brace to snatch a late 3-2 win as troubled AC Milan took back-to-back Serie A wins on Sunday against Udinese to close in on the Europa League berths. Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic got his first start in the San Siro after scoring last weekend against Cagliari. The 38-year-old Swede did not get to celebrate on front of the home crowd but he has provided a confidence-boost for the northern giants who have taken seven points in three matches since his return. "We started a little tense," said Milan coach Stefano Pioli . "But I'm satisfied with our performance, we put our heart

Calhanoglu lauded Ibrahimovic , telling Sky Sport: “I think this is the real Milan . “We are a team that always wants to win, with great mentality and passion. Zlatan has helped us with this and it is important for us. “But the championship is not over yet and we look forward to next season.” “I want to stay at Milan . I chose this team with the heart and I still want to wear this shirt,” he said. “I am happy that Pioli has been confirmed. He also went through a difficult moment since everyone was talking about Rangnick.” Milan make the trip to Sampdoria in Serie A action on Wednesday.

"All three have had muscle problems," Milan head coach Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

"At the moment it seems to be more fatigue than serious problems, but tomorrow [Monday] we will evaluate more carefully.

"I have many players, but I hope to be able to recover them all, because we have the most important moment of the season ahead with so many important commitments."

Second-placed Milan return to action on Wednesday when they tackle Udinese at San Siro, and Sunday's win at the Stadio Olimpico means Inter's lead at the top has been trimmed to four points again.

Franck Kessie's penalty shortly before half-time gave Milan the lead, but Jordan Veretout's 10th league goal of the season hauled Roma level soon after the break.


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Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned back the clock with a double as AC Milan beat 10-man 2-1 Sassuolo to move fifth ahead of Roma and Napoli and into the Europa League berths. Fifth place is what we want, but the qualifiers are fine too." Ibrahimovic nodded in Hakan Calhanoglu 's cross after 19 minutes and added a second just before the break. The 38-year-old, who helped Milan to their last Serie A title back in 2011, savoured scoring more than one goal in a Serie A game for the first time in eight years.

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a group of people watching a football game:                      “You go on and score the decisive goal,” coach Ottmar Hitzfeld instructed Dortmund midfielder Lars Ricken just before replacing Stephane Chapuisat in the 1997 final. It took the one-club man 16 seconds to follow his manager’s orders, his delicious chip – with his first touch – securing a famous 3-1 win.                                                                              It had been a game of substitutes: Alessandro Del Piero replaced Sergio Porrini at the break to re-energise the Old Lady after Karl-Heinz Riedle’s first-half double. Riedle had his own premonition, waking at 3.30am on the day of the game in a cold sweat. “I just dreamt that I’ll score two goals,” he panted.

Rebic cracked in a classy winner shortly before the hour mark, with Milan good value given the quality of chances they created.

In terms of xG (expected goals), Milan led 3.1 to 1.4 in the final reckoning, although Roma were 18-17 ahead in terms of shots attempted over the 90 minutes.

Pioli's team have ceded top spot to Inter in recent weeks, but the Milan boss says sitting second is still a mighty achievement.

"If we had been told at the beginning of the season that we would be second at this point in the championship, no one would have believed us," Pioli said.

"I still think there are seven strong teams, who will fight for the top four and at the end of the championship only four will celebrate. With our results we have raised expectations."

He said Milan produced an "exceptional" first-half display, yet the medical checks on Monday could still sour the result.

Roma's players were frustrated to concede the first-half penalty that Kessie converted, and they were then riled not to be awarded a spot-kick of their own late in the game when Henrikh Mkhitaryan felt he was impeded.

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca told Sky Sport Italia: "I don't want to talk about refereeing. It's easy to find excuses. I didn't like some things but I don't want to talk about them."

He said it was "defensive reasons" that caused Roma to struggle against elite teams and spoke of "organisational errors" rather than individual mistakes.

What also irked Fonseca was how Roma began so timidly, allowing Milan to dominate the opening stages and gain an immediate foothold in the game.

If Ibrahimovic's finishing had been slightly sharper, he could have had a hat-trick inside the opening 10 minutes.

"We began the game very badly," Fonseca said. "We were absent for the first 20 minutes, we were passive and against Milan it was difficult to recover."

Milan showed belief in win over Hellas Verona – Pioli .
Milan moved three points behind leaders Inter with a victory at Hellas Verona and Stefano Pioli praised the way they got the job done.Rade Krunic and Diogo Dalot scored superb first Serie A goals to move second-placed Milan three points behind leaders Inter.

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