AC Milan vs Lazio, final score 1-1: Biancocelesti battle back to secure a point

Claudio Villa

Lazio came from a goal down to secure a 1-1 draw with AC Milan at the San Siro. However, it's still 24 years since the Eagles last defeated the Rossoneri on this ground in Serie A.

Kaka re-opened his Milan account nine minutes into the second half to put the home side ahead. Michael Ciani equalised for the Eagles and couldn't have picked a better time to score his first Lazio goal. The Frenchman handed Vladimir Petkovic a vital reprieve as the Bosnian battles to keep his place on the Lazio bench. However, the knives remain out for Massimiliano Allegri after another frustrating display.

The home side were without injured quartet Matias Silvestre, Daniele Bonera, Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini, while Philippe Mexes was suspended. Mattia De Sciglio returned after an injury layoff and fit-again goalkeeper Christian Abbiati had to be content with a place on the bench. Gabriel retained the gloves in the Milan goal.

Diego Novaretti and Lucas Biglia both picked up injuries during Lazio's 2-0 victory over Cagliari on Sunday evening. They joined Abdoulay Konko, Senad Lulic, Giuseppe Biava and Stefano Mauri on the sidelines. Miroslav Klose was fit enough to start after coming off the bench to score and win a penalty against Cagliari. Hernanes, Alvaro Gonzalez and Cristian Ledesma made up a new midfield trio after the three were unused substitutes at the weekend.

The Rossoneri dominated the first half as the visitors looked to contain and keep their shape. Mario Balotelli and Kaka both tested Federico Marchetti from distance early on. Kaka continued to be a threat. The Brazilian fired over from inside the area before nutmegging Stefan Radu and rolling an effort inches past the far post.

Gabriel ran out to fist clear Ledesma's free kick and ended up taking out his own captain Riccardo Montolivo in the process. Montolivo soon recovered to sting Marchetti's palms ten minutes before the break, as the home side retained the ascendency in the pouring rain.

Yet another disappointing display by Hernanes resulted in the Brazilian being hauled off at half time. The midfielder was largely anonymous during a poor first half and replaced by Ogenyi Onazi.

Lazio began the second half the brighter of the two teams. Antonio Candreva removed the defensive shackles to advance forward and scuff a shot wide. Moments later, a fortunate ricochet saw the ball fall into Klose's path. The German wasn't expecting it and a poor first touch sent the ball into Gabriel's grateful arms.

The hosts looked to re-affirm their attacking intent. Valter Birsa flicked the ball over Ciani before firing wide of the near post. Moments later, Milan finally found a way through thanks to the genius of Kaka. Balotelli fed the Brazilian, who cut inside to fire a rocket of a shot past a static Marchetti and into the top corner.

Instead of spurring on Milan, the goal buoyed Lazio and forced them out of their shell. Suddenly, the Eagles looked menacing going forward and Candreva's balls into the box were causing Milan's defence plenty of problems. The Italian international provided the assist to bring the Biancocelesti back on level terms on 72 minutes. Ciani took advantage of poor marking to nod a low cross underneath Gabriel to silence the San Siro.

Lazio could have won the game on more than one occasion late on. Onazi threaded through for Klose to fire a weak shot at Gabriel when the German really should have done better. Milan were almost undone by another quick counter attack. Candreva stretched his legs with a mazey run, before rolling across for Sergio Floccari, but the substitute's low shot was easily held. Allegri's side were whistled off the pitch at full time by fans who have clearly lost patience with the current setup.

AC Milan: Gabriel; Abate, Zaccardo, Zapata, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Muntari; (Poli 75) Birsa, (Matri 75) Balotelli, Kaka (Robinho 84)

Lazio: Marchetti; Cavanda, Ciani, Cana, Radu; Gonzalez, Ledesma, Hernanes; (Onazi 46) Candreva, (Pereirinha 90+2) Klose, Perea (Floccari 68)

Goals: Kaka 54 (M) Ciani 72 (L)

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