A first-half header from Mario Balotelli gives AC Milan a 1-0 half-time lead over Serie A opponents Livorno.
A first-half header from Mario Balotelli has given AC Milan a 1-0 half-time lead over Livorno in Serie A this afternoon.
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Milan carved out the first opportunity of the game as Robinho broke down the left before cutting the ball back to the charging Kaka, whose shot was expertly blocked by the retreating Leandro Rinaudo.
AC went close again minutes later, this time as they crashed the ball against the woodwork following a great run from centre-back Adil Rami who managed to get his head to a crossed delivery.
The hosts found themselves in inspired form in the first period, as Robinho and Balotelli linked up well to find Kevin Constant, who was denied by a sprawling save from Francesco Bardi.
The visitors struggled to carve out an opening and they were almost punished by Kaka just before the break, but the Brazilian saw his drilled effort scrape just wide of the post.
It looked as though the teams were to head into the interval level, however Balotelli stood up late in the half to head home a cross from Constant to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Result: Atletico ease into quarter-finals >