Bonaventura’s first half strike inspired Milan to what was only their second victory of 2015. The Italian midfielder has proved to be a revelation since his summer move. Late on in the contest substitute Pazzini wrapped up the points scoring from the spot.
This is how the teams lined up:
AC Milan’s XI: Abbiati; Bonera, Rami, Bocchetti, Antonelli; Montolivo (Van Ginkel 79′), De Jong, Poli; Bonaventura; Destro (Pazzini 63′), Menez (Cerci 86′)
Cesena’s XI: Leali; Nica (Capelli 66′), Lucchini, Volta, Renzetti; Giorgi, De Feudis (Carbonero 74′), Ze Eduardo (Mudingayi 42′); Brienza; Defrel, Djuric
Ref: Dino Tommasi
Goalscorers: Bonaventura 22′ & Pazzini 89′ (Milan)
Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
Milan thought they opened the scoring after two minutes however the goal was chalked off after it was ruled offside. This showed the intent from the home side that they wanted to bounce back from their disappointing 1-1 draw with Empoli at home last week.
Cesena did have their part to play in the half too. As Milan were attacking and sending so many players at any given chance it left the hosts exposed on the counter. The Seahorses came close on a handful of occasions and were close from opening the scoring if not for a crucial intervention from Salvatore Bocchetti stopping Milan Đurić. Another occasion which saw the visitors go close was when Franco Brienza played a ball into the box which Ze Eduardo failed to meet.
Milan did break the deadlock however after 22 minutes courtesy of the little Italian, Giacomo Bonaventura. The 25 year old continued his good form since his summer move from Atalanta. The goal came about when Jérémy Ménez, who has been at the forefront of things at Milan this season found the Italian International on the edge of the box who drilled in a low precise effort past Nicola Leali.
Leali had to react quickly not long after the hosts took the lead by stopping Ménez’s tame effort. Nigel de Jong’s fierce tackle saw Ze Eduardo replaced by Mudingayi after 42 minutes. The Rossoneri could count themselves lucky that they preserved their slender lead going into the break. Giuseppe De Feudis’s volley from close range was stopped brilliantly by Italian veteran, Christian Abbiati. Stopping the strike with one hand.
After the interval, Milan continued pressing Cesena in the hope of finding that decisive second goal. It was the same combination from the opening goal that so nearly provided the second. Jack Bonaventura struck the post with a volley after Ménez’s cross.
There was a scare for the hosts after 55 minutes however as the ball was played across the Rossoneri’s goal with Adil Rami getting a decisive touch to prevent any danger.
Ménez’s delicious ball found substitute Giampaolo Pazzini who headed just over, however the Italian proved more successful from the spot when Antonelli was dragged down following a free kick. Pazzini scored the penalty doubling Milan’s lead and securing only Milan’s second win of 2015.
After the game a frustrated Cesena boss, Di Carlo had a few words to say:
“We didn’t do that well in the first half, yet Christian Abbiati performed a stunning save to keep the result safe.” The Italian told Sky Sport Italia
“When you play against Juve it means using up a lot of energy, so we needed time to recharge the batteries.”
“In the second half we had two or three chances to not only equalise, but also go in front, while Milan were reduced to counter-attacks and that penalty.”