Monday, February 28, 2011
Pato fires AC Milan to victory over Napoli
Alexandre Pato scored one goal and set up another as AC Milan dismissed Napoli 3-0 to open up a 5 point lead at the top of Serie A. In what was hailed as the match that could decide the Scudetto, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Pato scored second half goals to seal an AC Milan victory in a match where second placed Napoli failed to direct a single shot on target. Ibrahimovic converted from the penalty spot in the 49th minute after defender Salvatore Aronica handled the ball in the penalty area. In the 77th minute, Pato displayed great composure after steaming down the left flank and patiently waiting for Boateng to find space in the box before threading a delicate pass to the Ghanaian midfielder who slotted the ball home. Two minutes later, Pato displayed his cool yet again by chasing a through ball that left him in front of two Napoli defenders, before carving out that extra yard of space to curl a rocket of a shot into the far right corner of the net. In this game, Pato recalled the great Alessandro Rivaldo and his ability to wait for defenders to commit themselves into making a move before finding either the open man or the back of the net. Milan are now 5 points clear of Leonardo's Inter, who kept up the pressure at the top of the table with goals from Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto that earned them a 2-0 victory over Sampdoria over the weekend. The Rossoneri now face Italy's most successful club, Juventus, on March 5, while Inter have an easier match-up with Genoa on March 6.