Milan's superstars humbled
Updated: September 12, 2010, 8:27 AM BSTCesena's bright start to the Serie A season continued as the newly-promoted side stunned the superstars of AC Milan at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi.
Fabrizio Castori's side kicked off life in the top flight with a creditable point at last year's runners-up Roma, and followed that result up with a deserved triumph.
Erjon Bogdani and Emanuele Giaccherini grabbed the goals in the opening period for the hosts, who will enjoy the distinction of sitting second in the standings for a few hours at least.
The visitors kicked off their season with a 4-0 demolition of Lecce but this result will be an early wake-up call for coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose miserable night was capped when Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a penalty four minutes from time.
Milan playmaker Ronaldinho came close to opening the scoring inside 10 minutes with a close-range effort but Francesco Antonioli was equal to it and turned the ball over the bar.
The visitors thought they had taken the lead on 24 minutes when Alexandre Pato fired home but the referee brought the play back for a free-kick with the assistant's flag raised for offside.
Cesena took the lead against the run of play on 31 minutes.
Matias Schelotto created the chance with a cross from the right which Bogdani met with a firm header beyond the sprawling Christian Abbiati.
The hosts were denied a second nine minutes later as Sokratis Papastathopoulos produced a superb last-ditch tackle to check the run of Bogdani, but Cesena's second goal was not much longer in coming.
With a minute remaining before the interval, Bogdani turned provider with a defence-splitting pass for Giaccherini who slid the ball beyond Abbiati into the right corner.
Pato was again frustrated on 52 minutes when he got the ball in the net again, this time the Brazilian was thwarted as the referee blew up for handball.
Ibrahimovic looked the man most likely to pull one back for Milan but was first denied by Antonioli before a narrow offside call stopped him in his track with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Antonioli denied Ibrahimovic again inside the last five minutes before Milan suffered a final insult.
Cesena defender Yuto Nagatomo fouled Filippo Inzaghi in the area, prompting the referee to point to the spot, but Ibrahimovic fluffed his lines as his spot-kick hit Antonioli's right-hand post.
Saturday, September 11, 2010