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Pato, Ronaldinho clinch seven-goal thriller

Goal.com
Nov 23, 2009 at 02:24pm IST

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New Delhi: AC Milan's upturn in fortunes continued at San Siro with a thrilling 4-3 win over Cagliari in the 13th matchday of Serie A.

Clarence Seedorf, Marco Borriello, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho scored the goals for the home side in a see-saw encounter that will live long in the memory. Alessandro Matri, Andrea Lazzari and Nene replied for the visitors.

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After a miserable start to the campaign under new coach Leonardo, the Rossoneri had been picking up recently and went into this game full of confidence.

FINALLY :AC Milan players celebrate during the Serie A match against Cagliari.

Milan were not at full strength as Daniel Bonera, Oguchi Onyewu, Marek Jankulovski, Rino Gattuso and Mathieu Flamini were injured, with Alessandro Nesta suspended. Kakha Kaladze replaced the latter alongside Thiago Silva, while Ronaldinho, Alexandre Pato and Marco Borriello launched a trident attack.

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Cagliari, who had won four on the trot coming into the game, were minus star man Andrea Cossu who was banned. Lino Marzoratti and Francesco Pisano were injured as Alessandro Matri partnered Jeda up-front.

It took Milan just five minutes to break the deadlock, and it was Clarence Seedorf who got the goal. The Dutchman threaded through to Borriello, who turned the ball back into his path to sidefoot the ball home.

A couple of minutes later there was huge controversy as Matri raced onto Andrea Lazzari's pass and seemed to be taken down by Dida, but the referee waved away the appeals.

Matri soon had a smile on his face as, on nine minutes, he put Cagliari back on level terms, placing the ball into the bottom corner from Lazzari's hooked cross.

Lazzari and Matri were causing all kinds of problems, and the latter's powerful volley was pushed away with some difficult by Nelson Dida. On 19 minutes Dida produced a brilliant save from Jeda after good work again by Matri.

Dida was a busy man, and he saved well from Lazzari's header, before coming to the rescue once again from a Matri one-on-one.

A second Cagliari goal was inevitable, and it finally arrived on 28 minutes through Lazzari. The 25-year-old was completely unmarked at the back post from Jeda's pass, and he buried his angled drive into the far corner.

Milan had been second best, but an incredible burst before half time saw them score two goals in the space of a minute. First Borriello nodded home from a corner after Federico Marchetti somehow had clawed out Pato's initial header. Then, Pato arrowed home an unstoppable rocket into the top corner of the net to send the crowd berserk.

Milan carried on where they left off at the start of the second half, and Pato lashed wide from 25 yards out. The Brazilian also headed off-target.

Cagliari missed a good opportunity to equalise on 55 minutes, though, as Lazzari rose unmarked to head wide.

Milan were threatening on the counter, and just past the hour mark a break led to Borriello being taken down in the area by Davide Astori. The referee awarded a penalty, andRonaldinho sent Marchetti the wrong way.

Dida continued his fine afternoon with another smart save from Daniele Conti, but the Brazilian could do nothing on 68 minutes as Cagliari substitute Nene re-opened the game by firing past the goalkeeper from Lazzari's through pass.

Another Cagliari substitute Joaquin Larrivey had the chance to make it 4-4 with five minutes remaining, but he headed straight at Dida from close range.

This success takes Milan temporarily up to second, while Cagliari's four-match winning streak comes to an end.

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