MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 19: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of AC Milan celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League group H match between AC Milan and FC BATE Borisov at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on October 19, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Italian Serie A 2011, Week 10: Milan Dismantle Catania, 4-0

Milan ease to a 4-0 victory over Catania, while Atalanta, Lecce, Chievo, Lazio and Udinese all claim three points to round out the weekend. Remember, both Genoa - Inter and Napoli - Juventus were called off due to floods.

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AC Milan Vs. Catania: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Stars In 4-0 Milan Victory

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the star of the show in AC Milan's 4-0 victory over Catania on Sunday. He may have only knocked one of the goals in himself, but the Swede dominated the match, providing perfect passes to feed Robinho on the left flank. The win may have showcased Ibra, but it also showed a Milan back to their glories last year -- a rossoneri side intent on not just challenging for the title, but claiming it once again.

The match started off poorly for gli elefanti as Milan quickly swarmed the goal. In desperation, Davide Lanzafame took down Robinho from behind, earning himself a yellow card and causing Andrea Gervasoni to point to the spot. It was Ibrahimovic, of course, that took the penalty, easily putting it past Mariano Andujar  to give Milan the lead on eight minutes.

Ibra's penalty conversion may have been simple enough, but the pass that set free Robinho and panicked Lanzafame was certainly impressive -- and the Swede would continue in the same manner for the rest of the match. A long, soaring pass landed perfectly for the Brazilian, who twisted and turned before putting it in the back of the net for Milan's second.

At this point, Catania looked utterly defeated, but they still had over an hour to endure. Any shot the visitors managed to get off went invariably wide, with Christian Abbiati rarely challenged. No wonder Vincenzo Montella looked ready to climb into bed and pull the covers over his head, hiding from the big bad world.

It just got worse for Catania, who had been experiencing quite a good run of form before their trip to the San Siro. Sure, Francesco Lodi managed to score, but considering it was in his own goal, it wasn't exactly a positive for Catania. Again it was Zlatan that created the goal, his pass cutting through the defense like a warm knife through cheesecake. Robinho was there once again, sending the ball across the face of goal. Lodi attempted to deny an onrushing Clarence Seedorf, but in the end simply managed to put the ball over the line.

Just when the rossazzurri thought it couldn't get worse, it did, with Gianluca Zambrotta putting in the fourth and final goal for Milan. Alberto Aquilani sent in a hard free kick that Andujar could only push away, causing both Zambrotta and Mario Yepes to fall upon it like hungry wolves desperate to put their name on the scoresheet. It was Zambrotta that claimed the goal, however, as Montella stood on the sidelines, rain mingling with his tears.

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AC Milan Vs. Catania: Two More For Milan Give The Home Side A 4-0 Advantage

We've seen this one before from AC Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic slices a pass through the Catania defense, with Robinho waiting on the left side to send the ball towards the goal. This time, though, Clarence Seedorf managed to get on the end of the pass. Or someone did, anyway. It's most likely an own goal, that most dubious of distinctions, will be awarded to Francesco Lodi of Catania.

Just two minutes later, Gianluca Zambrotta adds another for Milan. Alberto Aquilani's free kick was pushed away by a diving Mariano Andújar, but he only managed to put it in the path of both Mario Yepes and Zambrotta. Zambrotta was the one that put the ball in the back of the net, and now it's 4-0 Milan.

Fifteen minutes remain to play, and you have to wonder if Catania will even bother anymore. Vincenzo Montella's team had been impressive in recent weeks, undefeated through six, but only a miracle will save this team now.

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AC Milan Vs. Catania: Ibra's Pass Feeds Robinho, The Brazilian Makes It 2-0

Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- when he is on his game, there is no denying he is one of the best forwards in football. The Swede left behind the sulky deportment for the match against Catania on Sunday, and within 25 minutes everyone has been reminded of why AC Milan remain favorites for the scudetto. After converting a penalty in the eighth minute, Ibra made mouths drop with his long pass to Robinho, setting the Brazilian free on the left. Robinho did a little shimmy around two Catania defenders (I believe that, by law, I'm meant to make a reference to samba here) and then stuck in Milan's second.

But Ibrahimovic still isn't finished. Just a minute later, another cutting pass sliced through the Catania midfield. It should have been 3-0 to the home side, but Clarence Seedorf just couldn't get on the end of it. The Elephants look rather defeated already, despite having 60 minutes left to play.

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AC Milan Vs. Catania, 2011 Serie A: Lineups; Early Penalty Conversion Gives Milan The Lead

Less than ten minutes into the match at the San Siro, and Catania -- one of the darlings of Serie A this season, have already fallen behind. Milan flew into this match, attacking instantly, flooding the area with bodies. Gli Elefanti panicked a bit when Robinho got loose with the ball, prompting a rash challenge from behind by Davide Lanzafame. The defender was rewarded with a yellow as the referee rightly pointed to the spot, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic neatly knocked it into the left-hand corner.

This match is shaping up to be a cracker. Massimo Ambrosini earned his own yellow card just a couple minutes after the penalty kick. Catania had appeals for a handball in the area waved away. Meanwhile, the visitors remain determined to get forward and score.


Lineups

AC Milan: Christian Abbiati; Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera, Thiago Silva, Gianluca Zambrotta; Alberto Aquilani, Massimo Ambrosini, Clarence Seedorf; Urby Emanuelson; Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Catania: Mariano Andujar; Davide Lanzafame, Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicola Legrottaglie, Nicolas Spolli; Marchese, Sergio Almiron, Francesco Lodi, Ricchiuti; Alejandro Gomez, Gonzalo Bergessio

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Novara Vs. Roma, 2011 Serie A: Roma Victory Keeps Novara In The Relegation Zone

Despite the lack of goals for 70+ minutes, the match between Novara and AS Roma was rarely boring. For much of the match, Roma applied plenty of pressure, but just couldn't find a way into the net. Novara, for their part, made quick on the counter, and with the likes of Marco Cassetti and Rodrigo Taddei in the Roma back line, it was easy enough for the home side to create chances, even if they rarely troubled Maarten Stekelenburg.

That all changed around the 60th minute. As Roma began to look truly threatening, Attilio Tesser panicked, and decided a point would be better than none at all. With a mindset that reflects Novara's standing in the table (18th, with just one win), the mister pulled forward Takayuki Morimoto, who'd been one of his side's better players, and replaced him with Luigi Giorgi, a defender.

Such a strategy backfired, however, with Roma needing just ten minutes to find their way through the allegedly tighter Novara defense -- coincidentally, the same about of time that Bojan Krkic had been on the pitch. Bojan looks better in every appearance, and today showed his worth with a low shot from just outside the box, put through on a pass by Miralem Pjanic. Just three minutes later, Pablo Osvaldo, looking every inch a mighty pirate with his flowing locks and battered visage, headed in Roma's second, with the goal again created by Pjanic.

Novara threatened at the end, but efforts by Riccardo Meggiorini and Marco Rigoni both went just wide. Roma head home with a 2-0 victory and temporary possession of sixth place.

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