AC Milan stutter at home against minnows Catania

AC Milan stutter at home against minnows Catania

Serie A giants AC Milan rallied to settle for a 1-1 home draw against brisk guests Catania Saturday at the rainy Giuseppe Meazza, dpa reported.

Veteran Filippo Inzaghi replaced the injured Brazilian Pato and levelled before the break after a majestic drive from defender Ciro Capuano.

Catania impressed with speed and aggressiveness that brought them close to scoring already on two minutes, with Adrian Ricchiuti pouncing on a loose ball to force Christian Abbiati's save.

Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic failed to provide pressure upfront after scoring a Champions League brace against Auxerre in mid-week and Inzaghi on 13 minutes badly squandered from close range off a Kevin Boateng feed.

The fast Sicily guests showed no respect for the seven-time European champions and took the lead on 27 minutes through Capuano's smashing long-range volley after a drooping clearance by Andrea Pirlo.

There was more trouble for Milan's defence in the following minutes despite the presence of mainstay Alessandro Nesta as Ricchiuti fired wide off a counter attack and Argentine compatriot Maxi Lopez tried a high lob.

The 37-year-old Inzaghi, who filled in for the injured Brazilian Pato, did not miss his second chance on 45 minutes and flicked home a low precise assist that Brazilian Ronaldinho squared from the left.

There were no goals in a second half that saw Catania slow down their hectic pace and display good defensive skills as Milan lacked clear ideas as they struggled to step up their pressure.

European and Italian champions Inter Milan are level with Milan and Catania on four points before tackling hosts Palermo Sunday after a 2-2 draw at Dutch champions Twente.

Surprise leaders Chievo are at home with newcomers Brescia.

Lazio came from behind to win 2-1 away to Fiorentina earlier Saturday to draw level with Chievo at the top on six points ahead of Sunday's games.

Goals from Cristian Ledesma levelled and Libor Kozak reversed Adem Ljajic's spot kick as Fiorentina remained on one point and continued a winless run that began last season in late March.

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