Mon, Apr 02, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Milan frustrated yet again after goal-line controversy


Serie A leaders AC Milan dropped two precious points by drawing 1-1 at Catania on Saturday in another match featuring controversy over a goal-line clearance.

Milan appeared to be on course for a fifth straight league win when Brazilian Robinho put them ahead in the 34th minute after a clever one-two with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Nicolas Spolli, one of seven Argentines in the Catania starting lineup, then leveled for the Sicilians just before the hour.

The visitors said later they should have been awarded a goal in the 71st minute when Robinho had a shot cleared off the line by Giovanni Marchese, with goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo beaten.

It was impossible to tell from television replays whether the ball went over the line and Milan players did not protest at the time, but Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was adamant.

The most controversial call came in the key 1-1 draw with Juventus when, with Milan leading 1-0, a Sulley Muntari header clearly crossed the line, but officials failed to spot it.

Milan’s visit to seventh-placed Catania looked a tricky assignment, three days after a 0-0 draw in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg match against Barcelona.

Both sides went close in a lively opening, before Robinho swapped passes with Ibrahimovic and clinically beat Carrizo.

It was harsh on Catania, who almost grabbed an immediate equalizer when Alejandro Gomez’s dipping shot rattled the bar.

Catania dominated after the restart as Gomez had a goal disallowed and Pablo Barrientos saw a shot cleared off the line by defender Luca Antonini.

The equalizer finally came in the 57th minute when Nicola Legrottaglie headed on a corner for Spolli to beat Christian Abbiati from point-blank range.

Following the Robinho controversy, Carrizo made a superb stop from Philippe Mexes’ header.

Ibrahimovic had four chances late in the game, first shooting across the face of the goal from a good position, then seeing a nonchalant chip tipped over by Carrizo.

The goalkeeper foiled the Swede again by diving at his feet to block a shot and Ibrahimovic had another goal-bound effort blocked by Marco Motta.

Catania went down the other end and Julio Izco’s effort was blocked by Antonini in the last action of the game.

In Saturday’s other match, Parma defeated third-placed SS Lazio 3-1.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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