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Sunday, April 18, 2004 

Siena 1 - AC Milan 2

Milan came away from the Franchi stadium in Siena with an important three points that takes the Rossoneri to 75 points and a step closer to the title. A Kaka header on 80 minutes sealed the victory after an Enrico Chiesa penalty had cancelled out Andriy Shevchenko's opener.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti fielded a 4-3-2-1 formation after Filippo Inzaghi and Jon Dahl Tomasson were ruled out, leaving Shevchenko as the lone striker supported by Kaka and Rui Costa. However, Alessandro Nesta returned to the line-up after recovering from injury while Massimo Ambrosini came into midfield in the place of Clarence Seedorf. Milan started in bright fashion when Shevchenko broke free and the striker's cut-back found Kaka who saw his drive cleared by Leandro Cufre, with goalkeeper Marco Fortin beaten.

On a wet and slippery pitch, Dida was tested twice from long range by Enrico Chiesa but it was Milan that broke the deadlock after 26 minutes as Rui Costa hit a low shot from the edge of the area only for Fortin to push the ball into Sheva's path and the Ukrainian gleefully side-footed home from close range for his 21st Serie A goal of the season. Moments later, the striker almost made it two but this time Fortin was able to turn away a header at the back post.

Kaka then tested the 'keeper from 20 metres but luckily for Fortin he was able to block with his feet and then gather the loose ball. Siena drew level on 36 minutes when Shevchenko leapt with the rest of the wall at a free-kick on the edge of the area and Chiesa's drive hit the forward on the elbow leaving referee Pierluigi Collina to point for a penalty. Chiesa then stepped up to send Dida the wrong way.

Milan, however, were straight back on the attack and Ambrosini sent a header over the bar just before the break. Ancelotti made no changes at half-time and Milan continued to press forward, with Andrea Pirlo sending a powerful first-time effort from 25 metres just over the bar, then Sheva saw a low shot go wide of the post following an excellent pass from Rui Costa. Fortin was under pressure again on the hour-mark when Rino Gattuso ran from deep and fired in a stinging drive which the 'keeper parried.

On 72 minutes, Ancelotti sent on Marco Borriello for Rui Costa and moments later Sheva slipped as he was about to shoot. Siena were reduced to ten men on 79 minutes when Simone Vergassola received a second yellow card for a trip on Kaka. A minute later, Milan were in the lead as Borriello dived to head-on a Pirlo corner and Kaka reacted quickly to send his own diving header into the net from five metres. The Rossoneri controlled the game from then and Gattuso went close with another powerful shot. There was one moment of tension in the Milan area when subsitute Nicola Lazetic curled a shot over the bar and at the other end Borriello saw a close-range effort deflected just wide.

Goalscorers: 26’ Shevchenko (M), 38’ Chiesa su rigore (S), 80' Kakà (M)

SIENA: Fortin; Cirillo (38’st Menegazzo), Juarez, Mignani, Cufrè; Taddei, Vergassola, D'Aversa, Guigou; Flo (28’st Lazetic), Chiesa (33’st Ventola).
Coach: Papadopulo
Subs not used: Farelli, Junior, Lazetic, Cucciari, Argilli, Menegazzo, Ventola

MILAN: Dida, Cafu, Nesta, Maldini, Costacurta; Gattuso (44’st Brocchi), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Rui Costa (28’st Borriello), Kakà (39’st Serginho); Shevchenko. Coach: Ancelotti
Subs not used: Abbiati, Laursen, Simic, Brocchi, Seedorf, Serginho, Borriello.

Referee: Collina Yellow cards: 36’ Pirlo (M), 46’, 79' Vergassola (S), 86' Borriello Red cards: 79' Vergassola for second yellow card Added-time: 2’fh, 5’sh

source: acmilan.com.


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