Pirlo strike puts Milan top

Italy midfielder scores spectacular long-range goal as AC Milan win 1-0 at Parma to go ahead of Inter in Serie A.

    Pirlo wheels away after scoring a screamer to put the Rossoneri top of the league in Italy [AFP]

    Andrea Pirlo netted a rare but brilliant goal to give AC Milan a 1-0 win at Parma and send them top of the Italian Serie A ahead of Sunday's games.

    The Italy midfielder, who started his career as a second striker but has dropped deeper and deeper in recent seasons, let fly from almost 40 metres on 26 minutes to smash the ball into the top corner of the net.

    Milan moved onto to 11 points from six games ahead of champions Inter Milan, on 10, who host rivals Juventus in the pick of Sunday's main programme of matches.

    "It's our first win away from home," captain Gennaro Gattuso, reborn this term having almost left for Olympiakos in the close season, told Sky.

    "We are still a team which is rebuilding and there's lots more to do."

    Array of attacks

    Massimiliano Allegri's side were good value for their victory given an array of attacks and only poor finishing from forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho stopped them from extending their advantage in the first half.

    Results & fixtures

    Saturday October 2

     Parma 0-1 AC Milan
     Udinese 1-0 Cesena

    Sunday October 3

     Lecce v Catania
     Bologna v Sampdoria
     Chievo v Cagliari
     Fiorentina v Palermo
     Genoa v Bari
     Lazio v Brescia
     Napoli v Roma
     Inter Milan v Juventus

    Ibrahimovic, who had scored five goals in all competitions since his arrival from Barcelona, recovered from a minor knock to start but often drifted to the left in the first half with Ronaldinho returning to the lineup just behind the front two.

    The Brazilian, who normally operates on the left, went close twice in the second half while Robinho again missed the target before being replaced by the fit-again Alexandre Pato.

    Ibrahimovic famously scored twice for Inter Milan at Parma's Stadio Tardini in 2008 to secure the scudetto but the Swede looked so comfortable in their rivals' colours it is easy to forget his past allegiance.

    Parma were quiet apart from a late onslaught although ex-Milan forward Hernan Crespo had an early appeal for a penalty turned down after Alessandro Nesta's challenge.

    In the early game, Medhi Benatia scored deep into stoppage time to seal bottom side Udinese's first win of the season with a 1-0 home victory over Cesena.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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