Goal-shy Milan look to Europe to shrug off poor form
Milan and Zurich both enter tonight's Champions League tie at the San Siro in poor form.
Milan have managed only two wins and three goals in their first six rounds of Serie A action under new coach Leonardo, while Zurich have suffered two straight losses in the Swiss league and have fallen 13 points adrift of leaders Young Boys after only 11 matches.
The difference lies in how each club began their European campaign. Filippo Inzaghi scored twice in Milan's 2-1 win over Marseilles, while Zurich were beaten 5-2 at home by Real Madrid.
Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has noticed that his team seem to perform better in Europe than domestically, and he pumped the Champions League music into the club's changing room before a 1-0 win over Bologna earlier this month.
"For some reason, whenever we hear that music we play better," Galliani said.
However, Milan's home form will be a worry for Galliani. The Rossoneri have scored only one goal in three home games this season after finding the target in every fixture at the San Siro last term, in all competitions. They were whistled off the field after a 0-0 draw with newly promoted Bari on Sunday.
"The fans' whistles are deserved. We're having a hard time imposing our game and they want to see a better show," Leonardo said. "We've got to control the ball better and be more aggressive."
Kaka's departure to Real Madrid is starting to weigh heavily on Milan, with Ronaldinho out of form and unable to take over the playmaker position consistently. Clarence Seedorf has performed better directing strikers Alexandre Pato and Inzaghi.
"Any game could be the one that becomes the turning point," Galliani said. "Let's let [Leonardo] do his job."
Milan beat Zurich twice, 4-1 on aggregate, in the first round of last season's Uefa Cup.
Zurich gave Madrid a scare two weeks ago before the Spanish giants scored two late goals to gain a respectable result against the Swiss champions – but it has been all downhill since for coach Bernard Challandes.
His side lost at Young Boys 3-0 last Wednesday, then slumped to a 2-1 home loss against Neuchatel Xamax over the weekend.
A simmering dispute between Challandes and standout midfielder Almen Abdi came to a head on Monday with an announcement that the 22-year-old Switzerland international will join Serie A team Udinese next season.
Abdi scored 19 goals in Zurich's title-winning campaign last year but has recently been left on the bench, reportedly because he refused to sign a new contract.
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 Grace Dent on TV: Extreme Couponing, My Strange Addiction, and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, TLC
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.