x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Seedorf strikes as stuttering Milan see off brave Bologna

AC Milan's unconvincing form continued yesterday, but at least they managed to pick up their second league win after leaving it late to beat a defensive-minded Bologna at the San Siro.

AC Milan's unconvincing form continued yesterday, but at least they managed to pick up their second league win after leaving it late to beat a defensive-minded Bologna at the San Siro. Clarence Seedorf grabbed the winner in the 75th minute after Bologna had held firm against Milan's steady, yet rarely convincing attacks. Milan brushed away the early-season cobwebs with a 2-1 win at Marseille in the Champions League in midweek, but while the European competition appears to suit the Rossoneri, Serie A continues to pose them a few problems.

After losing heavily to city rivals Inter Milan, they were only able to pick up a point at Livorno last weekend. And the same 0-0 scoreline appeared to be in the air for much of the 90 minutes at the San Siro today as Bologna defended deep and in numbers, leaving just Marco Di Vaio and Marcelo Zalayeta alone in attack. When it looked like it was not going to be Milan's day, Seedorf, who took the plaudits for the way he replaced Ronaldinho in Marseille on Tuesday, raced forward to unblock the game.

Andrea Raggi backed off and invited the Dutch midfielder to progress into the penalty area. Once he had passed Raggi's half-hearted challenge, he slid the ball past Viviano into the back of the net from close range. The performance indicated that Milan are still short of their top form, but the result at least takes them back in the right direction after picking up just one point in their last two Serie A matches.

City rivals Inter came from behind to beat Cagliari with two Diego Milito goals, trumping Capucho Jeda's penalty opener. Sampdoria beat Siena 4-1 to go joint top with Juventus, who made it four wins from four in the Serie A with a 2-0 win at home against newly promoted Livorno on Saturday night. Vincenzo Iaquinta and Claudio Marchisio scored in the first half to help Ciro Ferrara's side bounce back from an uninspiring 1-1 Champions League draw with Bordeaux in midweek, but the Turin club owed the three points to the inspired form of Gianluigi Buffon, the world's most expensive goalkeeper. Buffon pulled off save after save to keep Livorno out, including a superb second-half double stop from Tomas Danilevicius, keeping out the Lithuanian's free-kick then, when Juventus' defence failed to react after thinking the ball had gone out, Buffon beat away Danilevicius' header.

"For seven or eight months I have felt really good," Buffon said. "I've had no muscles aches or other physical problems and I still enjoy playing as much as I ever have." * With agencies