Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Anderlecht v AC Milan LIVE

Dontcha just love a surprise in the middle of the work day? It's only the biggest game of Sacha Kljestan's career to date, so let's keep you up to date.

Anderlecht: Proto; Nuytinck, Gillet, Kouyatè, Deschacht; Kljestan, Biglia; Praet, Bruno, Jovanovic; Mbokani

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Constant; Montolivo, De Jong, Nocerino; Boateng, Bojan, El Shaarawy



Game on. Expect Kljestan to see a lot of Nocerino as the Mauves vie to advance from a hearty Champions league group.


Milan have come out charging. Kljestan's has lost his first challenge and misfired his first pass. The whole team looks nervous, though.


Kljestan wins a good challenge with Montolivo near midfield to halt a rush.


If El Shaarawy scores with that hair and doesn't do a Kid 'n Play dance celebration, it shouldn't count. Meanwhile, an Anderlecht corner comes to nothing. Bad serve by Biglia.


Anderlecht coming into the game. After some good passing, a Kljestan splitting pass into the wide channel is just a touch too hard for Biglia to reach for a cross.


Forgot to mention that Anderlecht trail second place Milan by two points with two group games left.


Anderlecht threaten twice. First, Abbiati makes a save on Jovanovic as the Mauves break out. Seconds later, Praet shoots just wide from 22.


With Kljestan leading the way, Anderlecht sets up possession, but Mbokani's left wing cross is dealth with easily.


By the way, an Anderlecht win tonight means they can do no worse than dropping into the Europa League round of 32. If Milan wins, they sew up second place in Group C.

Over in Gelsenkirchen, Jermaine Jones and Schalke are carrying play, but still scoreless with Olympiakos. They can clinch advancement with a win tonight.


Anderlecht, who've enjoyed 60% of the ball thus far, win a corner kick. Biglia's serve is better, but Abbiati punches away.


Now an increasingly settling influence in midfield, Kljestan does well to cleanly tackle El Shaarawy on a Milan breakout.

Even with that moustache, Kljestan gets a couple of compliments for his play so far from the commentator.

Kljestan with another pocket pick in midfield to set up possession, and then his pass sets up Mbokani to win a danger free kick. It's a troubling serve that wins a corner, which is cleared away. Can someone besides Biglia take restarts? Hmm...


Milan's first meaningful attack in 10 minutes begets some corner kick pinball that is eventually cleared by Kljestan.


Nocerino sees yellow for stopping Kljestan from taking a quick free kick in midfield.



Despite taking just three shots, Anderlecht look more likely to score at the break with Milan yet to attempt any. After a shaky opening moment, Kljestan has been a standout. He led all players in ground covered in the first half.



Aaaand we're back. No changes for either side.


Milan finally wakes up. The right side of Anderlecht's defense goes missing on a cross and El Shaarawy opens the scoring. 1-0 Milan.


Bruno nearly equalizes from a corner kick, the shot goes just wide.


Kljestan, who still leads all players in distance covered, does two bits of fine work as Anderlecht prowl for a goal. On the next rush, Kljestan gets free down the left, but Mbokani overruns his cross a little and nods over.


Yakovenko is on for the fading Bruno. Directly after, Gillet sees a yellow. A natural winger, he's really struggled at right back tonight.


Anderlecht down to 10 men as Nuytinck is sent off for a foul on free-running recent sub Pato. Not sure about that call.


Of all people, Mexes controls a free kick just outside the area on the right, turns and fires home a surreal overhead kick. 2-0 Milan. I think Anderlecht's CL campaign is cooked.


De Sutter is on for Praet. Shortly thereafter, Mbokani has a meak penalty claim correctly ignored.


After a Yakovenko corner is cleared, Kljestan sends Anderlecht back on the march and De Sutter eventually pokes in from the doorstep. Still 2-1 Milan, though.


Over at Schalke, Fuchs has put the hosts up 1-0 from a Jones assist.


A terrific combo play with Kljestan offers the raiding Deschacht a great chance in alone to equalize... but he wildly fires it wide from the left channel. Simply no excuse for not scoring there.


De Sutter can't quite reach a Yakovenko cross before Abiatti grabs it.


Yakovenko wins a corner, which he then hits straight to the keeper.


On the counter, Pato gets the easy finish. Drive home safely, folks, it's 3-1 Milan.


It's a valient effort from Kljestan & Co. to no avail. They must now hold off Zenit St. Petersburg for third on Matchday 6 to catch the Europa League consolation shuttle. Have a good "Turkey Day Eve" over there.

- Greg Seltzer

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