Genoa 0-3 Milan: Ibrahimovic and Messias get Rossoneri back on track

By Sports Desk December 01, 2021

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Junior Messias scored as Milan bounced back from successive Serie A defeats in style, beating Genoa 3-0 away from home on Wednesday.

Veteran centre-forward Ibrahimovic punished the poor positioning of a Genoa wall, firing in an early free-kick to settle any Milan nerves.

Messias then scored twice, heading past Salvatore Sirigu in first-half stoppage time before fizzing a low strike into the bottom corner just after the hour mark.

Genoa were hardly able to threaten the visitors, with Milan's dominance duly reflected in the scoreline as the Rossoneri moved to within a point of leaders Napoli.

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in just the 10th minute, bending his free-kick around the centrally positioned wall and into the bottom-right corner, leaving Sirigu with no chance in the Genoa goal.

The 40-year-old started the game in lively fashion, taking six of Milan's first seven shots in the opening 20 minutes, but it was Brahim Diaz who came closest to doubling the visitors' advantage, lashing narrowly over after a superb solo run shortly before the break.

Milan did go 2-0 up soon after, with Messias powering a looping header across goal and over the diving Sirigu after Rade Krunic's shot in the box was blocked and popped up into the air.

Hernani came close to pulling one back for Genoa early in the second half, but his towering header was kept out spectacularly by Mike Maignan before Fikayo Tomori produced a spectacular bicycle-kick clearance off the line.

It was Milan that scored next, Messias steering a low effort into the bottom-left corner to round off a flowing team move and give his side a three-goal cushion, which they held comfortably through to the final whistle.

What does it mean? Milan stabilise to maintain title tilt

Milan's Scudetto hopes had been dented by back-to-back defeats against Fiorentina and Sassuolo as they failed to take the opportunity to leapfrog Napoli, who also suffered their first league defeat of the campaign in that time.

However, the commanding victory not only restores some confidence for the Rossoneri but moves them closer to the leaders, who drew 2-2 at Sassuolo.

Ibrahimovic continues to age gracefully

Ibrahimovic's opening strike means the veteran striker has now equaled Silvio Piola's record for the most goals scored in Serie A after turning 38 years old (31).

Messias brings Brazilian flair back to Milan

Messias' brace made him the first Brazilian player to score twice for Milan in a Serie A away game since Ronaldinho did so against Juventus in 2010.

What's next?

Genoa travel to Turin to face Juventus on Sunday, while Milan host Salernitana on Saturday.

Related items

  • Eriksen links have Brentford boss Frank pinching himself: 'I'd take Mbappe as well!' Eriksen links have Brentford boss Frank pinching himself: 'I'd take Mbappe as well!'

    Brentford manager Thomas Frank hinted at the club's potential interest in signing Christian Eriksen as he bids to make a return to top-level football, and even the rumours have the Danish coach pinching himself.

    Eriksen has not played since suffering a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 opener against Finland in June last year, an emergency that meant he had "died for five minutes".

    He was subsequently fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – while the device could potentially save his life should something similar happen in future, it effectively ended his time at Inter due to Italian football regulations prohibiting professionals from having such implants.

    However, ICD are permitted in other European leagues, and the mutual contract termination between Inter and Eriksen last month means the player is free to seek a contract elsewhere.

    Former club Tottenham, with whom he spent six and a half years, had been mooted as a potential destination, but reports on Monday claimed Brentford had offered him a six-month deal with the option for another year.

    Frank, who coached Eriksen in the Danish youth setup, was initially coy on the rumours, saying: "I can tell you that Christian is a really good player. Everyone knows that. I worked with him in the past.

    "He needs to find a club. I love to speak about players that are in house and go running around training pitch. I don't think I should discuss that. I'm not discussing that too much.

    "I really hope he comes back to top football and plays football again. He spoke to Danish TV about playing at the World Cup and I hope he does succeed for all football, and for Danish fans. He's our biggest star from the Euros, we want the best for him and his family."

    He soon opened up a little more, seemingly confirming Brentford's interest in both Eriksen and Bologna's Scottish left-back Aaron Hickey before also making reference to a joke made about potentially signing Kylian Mbappe in a recent interview.

    "I'm interested in a lot of players, both Hickey and Eriksen," Frank added. "Someone spoke about Mbappe, I'd take him as well!

    "A lot of rumours. I love to discuss if and when we sign a new player and give my insight. We're in the market and we're looking for players."

    Even if Brentford cannot ultimately land Eriksen, Frank believes the fact he was even discussing such a rumour showed just how far the club had come, though he recognised the unusual circumstances of this particular story.

    He added: "We all know the journey this club has been on over the last eight to 10 years. Ten years ago someone would say we're crazy to [think we'd] be linked with Eriksen.

    "We're playing in the best league in the world, the club is progressing, it's positive. There are so many rumours out there, coaches being sacked, new players. I think it's more fun to talk about other things – let's speak about reality.

    "This a player that only plays for the top clubs. Something unfortunate happened with Christian, he deserves to play at the highest level and I hope he does.

    "In normal circumstances, there would be no rumours with a club like us. We should be flattered with Brentford involved with a player of Christian's qualities. It's the same with all the players out there… [Lionel] Messi, Mbappe, Eriksen… if they fill in the criteria, they are right for us."

  • Ronaldo 'cannot do things on his own', says Rangnick Ronaldo 'cannot do things on his own', says Rangnick

    Cristiano Ronaldo "cannot do things on his own" and Manchester United will therefore not look to build their team around one player, according to interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

    The Portugal international has scored 14 goals and assisted three more in 21 appearances since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in September.

    That is double the number of goals than any other United player, with compatriot Bruno Fernandes next on the list with seven strikes to his name in 2021-22.

    Ronaldo's incredible longevity was recognised with a special award from FIFA on Monday after becoming the all-time top goalscorer in men's international football history in 2021.

    But while Rangnick is in awe of Ronaldo's scoring record, he has no plans to centre his United side around the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

    "What he has done with his career so far is amazing: 800 goals in competitive games, which no one has achieved that in the last 80 or 100 years," Rangnick said.

    "That shows what kind of exceptional player he is. But the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world and he cannot do things on his own. 

    "He is one important member of this team and that’s how we have to develop."

    Ronaldo has missed United's last two games – a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round and a 2-2 draw against the same side five days later in the Premier League.

    Rangnick is hopeful of having Ronaldo back for Wednesday's trip to Brentford, which has been rescheduled from last month after a COVID-19 outbreak in the United camp.

    A raft of games have been called off in the English top flight in recent weeks, with bottom side Burnley having as many as four games in hand on some sides around them.

    Thomas Tuchel is among those to have asked for more transparency in terms of games being called off, with Chelsea recently having a postponement request declined. 

    Asked if he feels more should be done to prevent postponements, Rangnick said: "I don't know, I can only speak about our club here, we had some problems four weeks ago.

    "Right now we don't have any issues, we have players available, we haven't had any COVID cases. I can't judge other clubs, it's something the Premier League has to deal with."

    United head to Brentford sitting seventh in the Premier League and with just one win from their last five away top-flight matches. 

    The Red Devils have scored in all 10 of their Premier League away games this season, which is the best-such 100 per cent record in the competition this term. 

    However, three of the last four times they have failed to find the net on the road in the league have been in games in London (v Arsenal, Chelsea and Crystal Palace last season).

  • Watt: Cardinals' playoff defeat to Rams a massive failure Watt: Cardinals' playoff defeat to Rams a massive failure

    J.J. Watt reflected on the Arizona Cardinals' 34-11 playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Rams as "a massive failure".

    The Cardinals ended their season with a whimper at SoFi Stadium on Monday as the Rams dominated the Wild Card round clash between the NFC West rivals.

    Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford ended his wait for a first playoff win, throwing touchdown passes for Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp while running in another.

    Los Angeles will face defending champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida next Sunday in the divisional round. 

    The Cardinals, on the other hand, are left to lick their wounds following a fifth defeat in seven games that brought their campaign to a juddering halt.

    Watt returned from a shoulder injury to face the Rams and the defensive end pulled no punches with his verdict on the Cardinals' performance.

    He said: "It was a massive failure from what we were capable of doing and from what we showed we can do [up until the game Monday], there's no other way to describe it than as a failure.

    Quarterback Kyler Murray endured a game to forget, passing for 137 yards and throwing two interceptions in the Cardinals' first playoff game since 2015.

    He said: "I play to win the Super Bowl. That's the goal, that's the mission, is to win the Super Bowl not to make the playoffs or go to the second round. We fell short."

    He added: "It's disappointing that we didn't make it a game and come out and play the football we know we're capable of playing, that's really the most disappointing part.

    "Losing is one thing, but when you don't even make it competitive, it's another thing.

    "I put a lot on my shoulders, put a lot on myself and to dream of this moment and then be in the playoffs, the first game of the playoffs and then to play the way I did, to play the way we did, it's, like I said, disappointing."

    Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury: "When you're dropping back against that that group, it's not a good recipe.

    "And that's what we've found ourselves in. So, we just made it a tough night."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.