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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Milan put an end to San Siro jinx

Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

AC Milan registered their first win at the San Siro this season on Wednesday, beating Cagliari 2-0 despite coach Massimiliano Allegri missing the game through suspension.

• Serie A round-up
• Blog: El Shaarawy inspires Milan

Allegri was handed a one-game ban for his comments to match officials after the Rossoneri's loss to Udinese at the weekend, but his absence did not prevent his team from ending a run that has seen both them and Inter fail to win at the stadium in seven attempts.

A partially-synthetic pitch has been installed in an attempt to improve the quality of the playing surface and assistant coach Mauro Tassotti, although pleased with the win, said the change had created difficulties.

"We are happy with the result and earned three points while having to suffer for it," he said. "We knew it would be this type of match. It wasn't easy to play well with this tension, and we've got to try to take the initiative against every opponent, as we are Milan.

"Clearly we've got to play better than we did this evening, but the team can improve with more confidence. The pitch wasn't helping us tonight. We thought the rain would be enough to wet it, but it was very difficult to play the ball to feet."

The win, however, has done little to ease the pressure on Allegri after a string of poor displays, with Tassotti thought to be among the favourites to replace him.

Club vice-president Adriano Galliani said: "It's clear that we have to find a formation that will bring the best out of the players that we have, and in Allegri and Tassotti we have two great coaches who can do that.

"I want to thank the fans for their support in what has been a terrible start to the season."

And he praised match-winner Stephan El Shaarawy after the striker's two goals secured the points, saying: "We invested a lot of money on him but we thought, and still think, that he'll be an important player. I like him a lot, because he runs like a madman."

Goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, however, was quick to remind the youngster that he still has much to learn, telling the Milan Channel: "El Shaarawy has talent - he also has time on his side as he is still very young.

"He had a great game against Cagliari, but he still has a lot of improvements to make."

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