Brescia 0-1 Milan: Rebic the hero again for Rossoneri

By Sports Desk January 24, 2020

Ante Rebic was once again the match-winning hero as Milan beat Brescia 1-0 at Stadio Mario Rigamonti to make it three Serie A wins in a row and climb up to sixth place.

The Croatia international scored twice in last week's 3-2 home win against Udinese, including a last-gasp strike, and netted the only goal in Friday's clash with Brescia.

Milan are now unbeaten in five matches in all competitions this calendar year but they also had Gianluigi Donnarumma to thank for this latest victory.

Donnarumma made a number of big saves at 0-0, paving the way for Rebic to fire in the winner with 19 minutes remaining as Milan maintained their upward momentum.

Without the suspended Mario Balotelli against his former club, Brescia nearly opened the scoring 34 minutes in when Florian Aye forced Donnarumma into a low save.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a header kept out earlier in the half and was guilty of missing a sitter five minutes before half-time, the veteran striker somehow failing to find the target from six yards.

Ernesto Torregrossa sent an acrobatic scissor-kick volley just wide and then had a goal ruled out for offside, moments after Dimitri Bisoli's near-post shot was saved by Donnarumma.

Donnarumma was proving to be the busier of the two keepers and he did well to stop two more Torregrossa efforts in quick succession.

It was Milan who opened the scoring with 71 minutes on the clock, however, as Ibrahimovic's cutback was not dealt with by Brescia and Rebic fired home the loose ball from five yards.

Samu Castillejo had a goal disallowed for an offside infringement late on and Theo Hernandez hit the crossbar, though it did not matter as Milan saw things through.

What does it mean? Milan maintain European charge

Milan have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 since Serie A action resumed after the mid-season break, seeing them make up ground on the European spots.

They are now in possession of a Europa League berth, but Stefano Pioli will no doubt be eyeing fourth-place Roma, who are seven points better off with a game in hand.

Donnarumma denies determined hosts

He was at fault for Udinese's opening goal in Milan's 3-2 win last week, but Donnarumma was back to his best here as he kept his side level with a series of saves.

The 20-year-old was kept particularly busy by Torregrossa, who had two shots repelled in the space of 23 seconds just after the hour mark.

Horror moment for Zlatan

Pioli credited Ibrahimovic with helping to improve Milan's fortunes since re-joining the club, but he had an off day here and will not want to watch back his first-half miss.

Hernandez's cross looked a simple one to finish from the edge of the six-yard box, only for Ibrahimovic to place it wide under little pressure. 

What's next?

Milan host Torino in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday, while Brescia are back in action eight days from now with a Serie A trip to Bologna.

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    Every player in the first team squad of an EPL team is a millionaire. Every. Single. One. There are 512 players listed in the first team squads of all 20 EPL sides, an average of about 26 players for each club.

    Manchester City’s 24-man first-team squad is paid an average basic wage of US$8.73 million each, the highest average in the league. Manchester United, which has the highest overall wage bill at US$396 million, pays its 27 first teamers an average of US$7.66 million each. At the bottom of the payscale is Sheffield United, which pays each of its 22 first teamers a basic average salary of US$910,000, while just above them is Norwich City, which pays its 27 first teamers a basic average wage of US$1.2 million each.

    But enough of those big numbers for the moment. The point being made is that EPL players are among the best-remunerated individuals in the global workforce, regardless of industry. The basic wages paid to them comfortably eclipses the wage-plus-bonus-plus-benefits package taken home by some well-paid professionals in other fields. That is why so many people are disappointed at the refusal by EPL players, through their union, the Professional Footballers Association, PFA, to take a pay cut and allow their clubs to breathe in this moment.

    Indeed 92% of participants in a recent YouGov survey believe EPL players should take a pay cut in this difficult time, with another 67% saying the players should surrender at least half of their salaries. 

    People are not stupid. They know greed when they see it. And already, many on that red hot spit known as social media are roasting players for putting greed above benevolence, compassion and basic humanity.

    They ask, how can these players continue demanding their hefty paycheques when many people who work in the unglamorous roles in professional football face the stark reality of being laid off by their struggling employers?

    Indeed, the man leading the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), Gordon Taylor has given life to the term irony by his staunch defence of the players’ rights to not have a dollar docked from their salaries. Taylor himself is a man who lives high on the hog. Afterall he can afford to.

    In 2017, the now 75-year-old was paid a salary of US$2.7 million. No wonder that in this situation he guards his players’ interests like a mongrel, growling as he protects a piece of liver from a pesky fowl in his master’s yard. 

    As Premier League officials meet with club executives and the PFA to reach a common position on wages, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, Daniel Levy has made a clever move in what appears to be a chess match with his own players.

    Levy announced that 550 non-playing staff had agreed to a 20% cut in their wages. He says the move allows the club to keep them all in employment during this period. Levy is among the 550. This move is no doubt intended to guilt trip Jose Mourinho and the 25 members of his first-team squad to do what the cleaning lady, kit man, groundsman, tea lady, club steward and janitor at Spurs have all done.

    Levy never does anything without calculating the ramifications down to the last decimal point.

    In announcing the pay cut, he exhorted players to do their bit to protect jobs. In other words, if Spurs’ players refuse to give up some of their wages, then the tears of any janitor, cleaner or groundsman who gets sent home for good in this period, will be on the players’ expensively clothed shoulders.

    Haters need no invitation to criticise footballers for what they earn and how they live. But this situation is different.

    Habitual haters apart, well-thinking folks are also disgusted that almost a month after COVID 19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO, the richest among us are having to be cajoled into giving up some of their earnings to allow businesses to establish a form of balance in this period of disequilibrium.

    Per capita, the EPL is the richest sporting competition in the world by revenue. So why are its millionaires having to be begged to give up only a little to stabilize the business of the same employers who facilitate their massive earnings? If a janitor can give up 20% in pay, why can’t a man, who’s earning up to 200 times more per month, not do the same? This is unconscionable.

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    Boca Juniors will not be signing Edinson Cavani when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires because the Superliga champions feel he is out of their reach financially, according to the club's president.

    Cavani's seven-year stay with PSG looks set to be coming to an end, with the 33-year-old striker's deal in Paris due to expire in June.

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    "Of course, no one is going to argue that Cavani isn't a great player, but we have to think more about our existing players and believe in them."

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    ROUND-UP

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    Manchester United remain interested in Erling Haaland. ESPN claims the Premier League club are again ready to compete for the forward's services with Real Madrid if the Norway international decides to leave Borussia Dortmund.

    - Will Gareth Bale remain at Real Madrid? The Mirror suggests the Wales international is ready to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his differences with coach Zinedine Zidane.

    Saul Niguez is apparently wanted in the Premier League. AS says Man United are willing to pay around £71million (€80m) for the Atletico midfielder, who has a release clause of £132.5m (€150m).

    Barcelona may be prepared to sell players this close season, but Arthur will not be among them. Sport reports the Spanish champions see the midfielder as a key player. Meanwhile, it is also claimed Gent star Jonathan David has been offered to the Blaugrana.

    Juventus have reportedly secured the futures of two players. Rai Sport understands Blaise Matuidi has extended his contract with Juve until 2021, while Marko Pjaca – who is on loan at Anderlecht – has agreed to a deal until 2023.

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