19 September 2012 00:36
AC Milan’s stuttering season continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Anderlecht on Tuesday.
Milan have struggled to replace stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva – who both made big-money moves to French giants Paris Saint-Germain – and lost their first two home fixtures of the Serie A season.
And their poor form at home did not stop in continental competition, with Anderlecht of Belgium coming away from the San Siro with a deserved point.
The visitors started well with Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati called into action regularly, with Guillaume Gillet going the closest to opening the scoring.
Milan also had chances, with Mathieu Flamini firing a low drive at the feet of Anderlecht goalkeeper Silvio Proto while Urby Emanuelson’s half-volley was also saved.
The best chance of the match fell to Anderlecht though, with a sublime through-ball from Dieudonne Mbokani putting Lucas Biglia through on goal early in the second half.
Biglia wasted the chance though, firing his effort over the bar to the relief of the increasingly frustrated home fans.
Milan coach Massimilano Allegri introduced Stephan El Shaarawy on the hour-mark for the below-par Kevin-Prince Boateng and the substitute was lively.
He had a near-post header saved by Proto shortly after coming on before he hit a clever pass for Emanuelson, who failed to make the most of the chance, shooting high and wide.
Allegri would have been disappointed with his side’s failure to create clear-cut chances in the latter stages though as they continued their sloppy start to the 2012-13 campaign.
In the other Group C fixture, Malaga eased to a 3-0 win over Zenit St Petersburg in their Champions League debut.
Early goals from Isco and Javier Saviola in the first 13 minutes set up Malaga’s win, although the Russian side had a series of chances to at least pull a goal back.
They were made to pay for their missed opportunities when Isco sealed the win 14 minutes from time with his second strike.
Despite selling Santi Cazorla and Jose Rondon in the off-season, Malaga sit second in La Liga and are unbeaten in all competitions this season.