Live Commentary: AC Milan 1-0 Hellas Verona - as it happened

Live Commentary: Milan 1-0 Verona - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's commentary of AC Milan's 1-0 win over Hellas Verona in their Serie A match at the San Siro.

Clarence Seedorf took charge of his first game as AC Milan manager, as they hosted Hellas Verona at the San Siro.

The home side dominated the proceedings and wasted a number of chances, with Robinho coming close, when he fired an effort against the post.

With eight minutes left to play, Milan finally took the lead, as Kaka won a penalty, which was converted by Mario Balotelli.

Read how the action unfolded below.


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7.15pmGood evening and thank you for joining Sports Mole for live text commentary of the Serie A match between AC Milan and Hellas Verona at the San Siro, where Clarence Seedorf will be taking charge of his first game for the home side.

7.18pmIt has been another busy week for the Milan giants, with plenty of drama dominating the headlines. This time last Sunday, they suffered a shock 4-3 defeat at the hands of Sassuolo, and just a day later manager Massimiliano Allegri was sacked. The 46-year-old was due to leave at the end of the season, but a run of two wins from their previous 11 league games sealed his fate.

7.20pmThe club didn’t take too long to announce their new head coach, and on Tuesday Clarence Seedorf retired from his playing career at Botafogo to take over at the San Siro.

7.23pmThe Dutchman won two Serie A titles and the Champions League twice, during his 10 year spell at the club, and will be hoping to replicate that success in his new managerial role. The 37-year old also played for Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Sampdoria and Ajax, and was capped 87 times for the Netherlands national side.

7.25pmMILAN XI: Abbiati, De Sciglio, Zapata, Bonera, Emanuelson, Montolivo, De Jong, Honda, Robinho, Kaka, Balotelli

7.26pmVERONA XI: Rafael, Agostini, Maietta, Moras, Gonzalez, Romulo, Cirigliano, Hallfredsson, Gomez, Cacia, Iturbe

7.27pmMILAN SUBS: Gabriel, Coppola, Zaccardo, Rami, Mexes, Silvestre, Cristante, Poli, Nocerino, Birsa, Petagna

7.28pmVERONA SUBS: Nicolas, Borra, Albertazzi, Donati, Martinho, Jankovic, Rubin, Donsah, Marques, Cacciatore, Donadel

7.30pmTEAM NEWS: Seedorf gives Keisuke Honda his first league start for Milan, in an attacking line up that sees Mario Balotelli supported by Brazilian pair Kaka and Robinho. Luca Toni has been ruled out for Verona after suffering with flu symptoms, so Daniele Cacia starts up front, while midfielder Jorginho completed his move to Napoli yesterday.

7.32pmMilan will be hoping that Seedorf’s appointment heralds a change in form, with the club 11th in the table, having lost seven league games already this season. They are a huge 33 points behind leaders Juventus, and are 10 points away from tonight’s opponents.

7.35pmWhile the focus will surely be on Seedorf, the visitors to the San Siro will pose Milan a threat. Hellas Verona have been the surprise package of the Serie A season, and they are sixth in the table, having won promotion to the top flight last season. They are among the top scorers in the league having netted 34 goals, and only Juventus and Roma have picked up more points than them at home. Away from home they have been less impressive, having won just twice on the road this season.

7.38pmOn the opening day of the Serie A season, Verona marked their return to the league with a memorable 2-1 win against Milan. The Rossoneri took an early lead in that match through Andrea Poli, but a double from Luca Toni turned the game around, giving them the perfect start to the campaign.

7.40pmMilan have won just two of their past 11 league games, but made it through to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia in midweek. Verona were beaten on their last league outing by Napoli, but had previously won three of their past four Serie A games.

7.43pmPREDICTION: Seedorf will be keen for his reign as Milan manager to get off to a flying start and I think his players will deliver for him tonight. There is plenty of work to be done with the team, but the feel good factor that he brings to the San Siro could see them finish the season strongly. Verona have been impressive and are no walkovers, having already beaten Milan in the league, but their form away from home at the league’s top sides has been poor. I think Milan will have enough strength in attack to win this game 3-1.

7.44pmThe rain is pouring down in Milan, as the players make their way out of the tunnel.

1 minKICKOFF! We are underway at the San Siro!

1 minMilan win the first corner of the match within 30 seconds after good work from Balotelli.

1 minThey make a mess of the set piece and Verona are able to get the danger clear.

2 minThe home team have started this game on the front foot, and Robinho has the first strike on goal, but his low effort is hit straight at the keeper, who claims the ball with ease.

4 minIt has been all Milan in the opening stages, and the home fans are really getting behind their team tonight.

7 minCHANCE! The home side come close to finding the net when Emanuelson bursts onto a loose ball in the box and whips a cross to the back post, that takes a slight deflection, before being pushed away by the keeper.

8 minCHANCE! Kaka is the next Milan player to come close to an opening goal, as he is picked out by Honda's cross, but can't direct his close-range header goalwards.

12 minThe hosts keep the ball for an extended spell, passing it around their midfield, before Kaka is fouled on the right hand side, giving Honda the chance to swing in a free kick.

13 minHonda does indeed take the set piece, but he gets underneath the ball and hammers it way over the bar, instead of trying to find one of his teammates in the box.

14 minCHANCE! Milan are playing some good football, and they carve Verona open, when Kaka slides a pass through to Balotelli, but the striker places his first-time effort wide of the post.

17 minDe Sciglio bursts forward for Milan and whips in a fantastic cross from the right wing, that lands at the feet of Honda, but the Japanese midfielder's first touch is poor and the ball runs through to the keeper.

19 minBalotelli tries his luck from range, after cutting inside from the left, but his powerful effort goes just over the bar. Verona won't want to give him too many chances to shoot, as he certainly has the quality to put those into the back of the net.

21 minThe visitors show a rare glimpse of what they can do as they burst forward on the counter-attack, and the ball falls kindly to Hallfredsson on the edge of the box, but he puts his strike high over the bar.

24 minVerona have started to see a bit more of the ball in the past few minutes and they have won a free kick 25 yards out from goal, with Iturbe standing over it.

26 minIturbe bends in the free kick, but he gets underneath his strike, and powers it over the bar.

29 minMilan play some wonderful football on the edge of the Verona area, as Kaka and Honda exchange passes, but their play is slightly too intricate and the move ends up breaking down.

32 minMilan are pressing the ball high up the pitch and Verona are struggling to get out of their own half. The only thing missing from the home side this evening has been a goal.

35 minRobinho injects some pace into the Milan attack as he picks up the ball in the midfield, before bursting towards the edge of the box, but he sees his powerful effort blocked by Maietta. Moments later Balotelli tries his luck from range, but his curling effort goes high over the bar.

37 minHallfredsson picks up the ball around 35 yards out from goal, and unleashes a well-struck effort, but luckily for Abiatti, it is straight down the middle and he is able to hold on.

39 minCHANCE! Balotelli bursts down the left wing and cuts inside onto his right foot, before powering in a low drive that the keeper manages to palm clear.

40 minMilan have won a free kick in a dangerous position, 25 yards out from goal, after Balotelli is tripped. The striker is surely the favourite to hit this.

40 minCHANCE! Balotelli smashes in a low free kick that is heading straight towards Rafael, but he spills the ball, and is relieved to see his defence clear the danger before any Milan players can respond.

42 minThe home side have completely dominated this first half, and they come forward again with Kaka running towards the edge of the box, but as he tried to slip in Robinho, his final pass had too much weight on it, and ends up running out for a goal kick.

45 minRobinho does brilliantly to get to the byline and pulls back a low cross that is cleared behind just before the arriving Balotelli can meet it.

45 minCHANCE! The corner is cleared to Montolivo, who takes a touch, before lashing in an effort that flies just wide of the post, with the keeper well beaten.

45 minHALF TIME: AC Milan 0-0 Hellas Verona

8.35pmThe referee decides that no stoppage time is needed, and the first half comes to an end. Despite completely dominating, Milan are level with Verona, and will be wondering how they have not found the back of the net.

8.38pmThe home side have enjoyed a huge 76% of the ball in tonight's match. They have fared better in the shots department too, having attempted 13 strikes on goal, with Verona having only 3 strikes.

8.42pmSeedorf will surely be pleased at how his team are playing, and the way his attacking players are linking up in the final third, but will be hoping that they are far more clinical in the second half.

8.45pmWith Alessandro Matri going on loan to Fiorentina, there aren't too many options for Milan on the bench. Bryan Cristante and Valter Birsa are certainly two players available for Seedorf should he think about freshening up the team at some stage over the next 45 minutes.

46 minVerona kick off and we are back underway.

47 minMontolivo gives the ball away poorly in the Milan half and Verona are quick to push players forward. It eventually breaks to Romulo, who tries his luck from a long way out, but scuffs his shot wide of the post.

49 minRobinho does well to get in behind the defence down the right hand side and whips in a cross from the touchline, but it is hit too close to the keeper who hangs on at the second attempt.

51 minVerona show their threat on the counter-attack as Iturbe bursts past a couple of challenges and gets the ball out wide. It is then whipped in to Cacciatore, who is unfortunate to be flagged offside, as he puts the ball wide.

53 minSUBSTITUTION: Milan are forced into a change, as Silvestre comes on for Bonera.

54 minMilan almost get in behind, as Montolivo plays a fine long pass over the top for Balotelli, but the striker's first touch is poor, and the ball runs out of play for a goal kick. If he had got that under control, then he would surely have been through on goal with just the keeper to beat.

56 minCHANCE! Milan hit Verona on the break, after a rare foray forward by the visitors. Balotelli leads the charge and makes his way into the opposing half, before finding Honda in the centre of the pitch. The midfielder takes a touch, before working some space to shoot, but he flashes his left-footed effort wide of the post.

59 minVerona win a free kick deep inside the Milan half and bring a number of players into the box. Romulo steps up to take it, but his delivery is poor and easy for Abbiati to come and claim.

60 minSUBSTITUTION: Verona make their first change of the evening, as Martinho replaces Cacia.

63 minSUBSTITUTION: Honda's first league start comes to an end, with Birsa coming on for Milan.

65 minCHANCE! Verona are enjoying their best spell in the game, and Martinho cuts inside from the left, before drilling in a low effort, that Abiatti beats away at his near post.

68 minOFF THE POST! Milan are inches away from taking the lead! Robinho picks up the ball just outside the box, before lashing in a low strike, that takes a deflection, before crashing off the post.

69 minMilan sense that a goal might be coming, and Balotelli collects the ball on the edge of the box, before turning and firing in a strike, that the keeper does well to hold onto.

71 minThe home side continue to threaten the Verona goal, and the ball breaks to Robinho, who tries to curl a strike past the keeper, but scuffs his effort down the middle.

71 minCHANCE! Verona remind Milan that they still pose a goalscoring threat and Iturbe sees his powerful drive saved by the keeper.

72 minYELLOW CARD! Silvestre is the first Milan player to pick up a booking this evening.

75 minMilan are still dominating, but must be aware that Verona are a constant danger on the counter-attack, as they have proved throughout the evening.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Milan make their final change of the evening, with Petanga coming on for Robinho.

79 minYELLOW CARD! Montolivo is booked for dragging back Romulo.

81 minRomulo has looked the most likely player to score for his side this evening, and shows great skill to get in down the right, but his shot from a tight angle is drilled over the bar.

81 minPENALTY TO MILAN: Milan have been awarded a penalty, after Gonzalez hacks down Kaka, with the ball heading out of play. It was a poor tackle, and the home side have the chance to finally make the breakthrough.

82 minGOAL! AC Milan 1-0 Hellas Verona (Balotelli)

82 minBalotelli steps up to take the spot kick, and slots it into the bottom right hand corner, with the keeper diving the wrong way. Is Clarence Seedorf heading for a winning start as Milan manager?

84 minVerona look for an immediate response, with Romelu bursting down the right wing, before firing in a cross that Abbiati comes out quickly off his line to punch clear.

85 minSUBSTITUTION: Having given away that penalty, Gonzalez makes way, with Jankovic coming on in his place.

87 minVerona are desperately pouring forward in search of a goal and are putting Milan under a huge amount of pressure, which they have dealt well with so far.

88 minThe visitors win a corner, and Gomez Taleb meets it in the middle, but his header is poor, and Abbiati watches it go harmlessly behind for a goal kick.

90 minSUBSTITUTION: Donadel comes on for the final few minutes for Verona, as Cirigliano heads off.

90 minWe are going to have three minutes of stoppage time.

90+2 minIturbe cuts in from the right and lashes in a low strike that just avoids the outstretched leg of Martinho, before heading wide of the far post.

90+3 minFULL TIME: AC Milan 1-0 Hellas Verona

9.38pmMilan hold on to their lead and see out the game, to give Seedorf a win during his first game as manager of the club. Balotelli's penalty was enough to settle the match, and earn his side a well-deserved three points.

9.42pmThe hosts will have been relieved to have won tonight, but in fairness they should have made it far more comfortable. Verona can be proud of their achievements this season, but will rue Gonzalez's rash challenge that gave away the penalty.

9.45pmThat's all we've got time for here. Please stay with us for all of tonight's results and the latest news, but from me, it's goodnight!

Domenico Berardi of US Sassuolo Calcio #25 celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo Calcio and AC Milan on January 12, 2014
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4Juventus97112791822
5Roma86021551018
6Sampdoria8521169717
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12Atalanta BCAtalanta93331413112
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15Genoa9135813-56
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20BeneventoBenevento9009222-200