AC Cesena v AC Milan: 19 Years and Back to the Manuzzi, History Beckons




Dino Manuzzi, Cesena
September 11, 2010 – 00:15 IST 

Milan is poised to unleash the extravaganza of their tremendous strike force in their second league game against Cesena in Emilia-Romagna. The Rossoneri fans are keen to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is expected to start the game alongside Pato and Ronaldinho. Robinho is expected to be sitting on the bench though. This might turn out to be a smart decision, considering Milan’s midweek Champions League clash against Auxerre. Milan has the force and all that they need to do is utilize that force in an efficient manner. 

AC Milan's Ronaldinho (R) and Pato talk as they run during the first day of training of the season, at the Milanello training center in Carnago, northern Italy, July 20, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo (ITALY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

The Brazilian Duo will look to keep the rhythm going

A major setback that the Rossoneri faced in the previous two seasons was injuries. To say the least, the medical team has their work cut out already. Flamini is injured and is out for sure. If the recent training sessions were monitored, one could easily observe Seedorf and Nesta missing. Nesta has been nursing a hand injury and Seedorf  is speculated to have carried a niggling injury after the game against Lecce. Now whether they are really injured or are being deliberately rested for the Champions League remains to be seen on Wednesday. 

Kevin-Prince Boateng is likely to start this game with Pirlo and Ambrosini. Sokratis Papastathopoulos might get a chance alongside Thiago Silva in Nesta’s absence to prove if he has what it takes to be a champion defender. 

Cesena on the other hand is returning to top flight after a gap of 19 years. They frustrated Roma in their first encounter with a goalless draw. Francesco Antonioli, Cesena’s 40 year old Goalkeeper made some crucial saves and will try his best to stop the Milan’s “Awesome Threesome”. 

Ghana national football team’s captain Stephen Appiah, who joined Cesena from Bologna on a one year contract will have the burden of a lot of expectations from the fans and the middle man will try to cause problems for the Milan back line. 


Appiah will have to hold the midfielder together

It was 19 years ago when Cesena hosted Milan at the Manuzzi Stadium. Milan won the game 1-0 thanks to a van Basten strike. The tickets have been sold out for a day which will be very emotional for Cesena fans. Milan would hope to win their second league match and stay on top of the table before they host Auxerre midweek and it would be a major upset even if Cesena can hold the Diavolo to a draw. 

Milan’s possible starting Line up: 

Abbiati, Bonera, Sokratis, Silva, Antonini, Ambrosini, Pirlo, Boateng, Ronaldinho, Ibrahimovic, Pato 

Cesena’s possible starting Line-up: 

Antonioli, Ceccarelli, Von-Bergen, Pellegrino, Nagatomo, Appiah, Colucci, Parolo, Schelotto, Bogdani, Giaccherini 

Milan with its "Allegri" special 4-3-3

TheHardTackle’s Player to watch out for:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) 

The Swede has already expressed his desire to score 25 goals in this season. He was humbled by the overwhelming response that the Ultras gave him when he was unveiled at the San Siro. He would be starting his first game in the Milan jersey. Combine all this with the brilliant form of Ronaldinho and majestic chips of Andrea Pirlo and Cesena have all the reasons to be worried. The lanky Swede is raring to go and so is Milan


TheHardTackle’s Prediction: 

AC Cesena  0-3  AC Milan 


TheHardTackle’s Blast from the past:

  • Somnath

    Cesena is probably the best of the promoted teams, but it’s hard to see MIlan not winning this tie. Watch out for Ezequiel Schelotto, he has been touted to be the next Camoranesi..

  • Dinar

    Am a bit worried about this match as a Milan fan coz…
    Cesena’s record in last 5 matches (although 4 matches must be in Serie B) is quiet good + media has been going gaga over Milan ever since Ibra-Binho have arrived and whether Poker D’ASSI will play together or not. But am quiet confident with Allegri :-)

    This match is also a return for Ambro to Manuzzi where he began his career :)

    Give me a Milan win with a clean sheet and with no injuries nor any kinda niggles here and there.

  • I just hope they don’t play Rino ahead of Boateng. Ambro should not be playing the complete game. Keep Robinho out of this and unleash him midweek. We need some players to be fresh and fit.

    If in the prev season we were without Flamini and Seedorf that was a cause of concern but now I am actually happy that “Seedork” ain’t there:-) Going forward he should be utilized for UCL only as he is a big stage player. I don’t think Serie A motivates him enough. Having said that he did play well against Lecce.

  • LordAnonymous

    The time for the hype and talks to end and the football to begin. Hopefully no injuries for milan during this game.

    Forza milan :)

  • Ha ha ha… Still cannot defend without Nesta doing a little organizing at the back. It is very interesting to see how Thiago Silva turns from a growling Lion to a meowing cat in the absence of Nesta.

    Allegri made some really strange choices: Starting Bonera instead of Zambrotta at the RB, Sokratis instead of Yepes at CB. Experience could have proven crucial at the back. And finally picking Gattuso instead of Boetang leaving the midfield with 3 grand oldies who cannot run.

    Anyway it is way too early in the season and not that Inter were anything but unimpressive (needed a stupid moment from CB to win a game winning penalty).

    In my opinion, the key to Milan’s fortunes will be around Nesta this season. If he stays fit for 30+ games, Scudetto will move across town. Else it is anybody’s league.

  • Somnath

    Yesterday was a day of upsets, Barca lost to Hercules, Roma let in 5 vs Cagliari. Even Blackpool beating NUFC in St James’ is an upset…

  • Oops… Inter were anything but IMPRESSIVE.

  • Dinar

    *****Starting Bonera instead of Zambrotta at the RB, Sokratis instead of Yepes at CB. Experience could have proven crucial at the back.*****


    Bonera ahead of Zambro coz Bonera played as a RB most of the time during pre-season friendlies and Zambro hardly got a kick. Where as Yepes returned from South America only on Friday so it was natural for Sokratis to start once Sandro was rested 😐

    But I do agree with your midfield point, those 3 Senators shouldn’t have played together from start. And Silva dint turn into a cat but it was midfield which made defense look sh!t.

  • Well Bonera over Zambro was equally crazy. Once Nesta was out, the entire backline lacked a sensible head. In that scenario choosing Bonera over Zambro was downright crazy, pre-season notwithstanding.

    And a point regarding Silva, his positioning was real crap which is understandable as his point of reference in defense was missing. Though Sokratis got the brickbats for first goal, the second was all this fault. I guess the team doctor working on Nesta is the most important man in Milan squad now.

  • Completely agree with Arvind.. One of my utmost fear was to let Rino start ahead of Boateng. Pirlo was playing too deep, R80 had a bad day and when that happens Milan lacks creativity. Every time the ball went to Ibra on the right, he gave it to Rino looking for creativity and Rino gave away the ball.. Abate to me is a better prospect than Bonera and …..Thiaginho??????WTF???
    One thing I liked about Allegri.. When Pippo was warming up every one speculated Ibra coming off.. But he made the right decision and went for the kill as Milan had nothing to lose.. If you have it, use it….
    I am not looking much into this defeat though as it happens with every team when so many stars show up in your line-up. It takes a while to build up team chemistry and I have full faith.. Forza Milan!!!!!