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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 28, 2008

Serie A: Ronaldinho spoils Jose's derby debut

MILAN, September 28 (Serie A) - Jose Mourinho tasted his first Milan derby and his first defeat as coach of Internazionale on Sunday night, going down to Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan.

Ronaldinho scored his first goal for the Rossoneri in the 36th minute and his goal proved to be enough to down the defending champions.

Inter lost Nicolas Burdisso to a red card in the 77th minute while Marco Materazzi was also sent to the stands from the Inter bench after protesting vociferously in a fiery end to the match in front of 80,000 fans at the San Siro.

It was a very tight beginning to the 269th Milan derby with the fear of falling behind prevailing over the ambition to go ahead.

It was not until the 14th minute that the first shot on goal arrived with Gianluca Zambrotta drilling a left-footed strike over the bar from 25 yards.

Inter's best chance fell to Zlatan Ibrahimovic three minutes later, but his control from Maicon's pass took the ball just too close to Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

Milan's Brazilian connection then moved up the gears as Ronaldinho and Kaka were both involved to set up Pato for a shot which Maicon blocked.

Ronaldinho then exchanged passes with Kaka twice with the latter pulling the ball back from the goal line for the former to volley at Brazil number one Julio Cesar, who pushed the ball behind for a corner.

Pato was adjudged to be offside when Zambrotta lifted the ball over the Inter defence in the 35th minute and Inter were claiming another offside which did not arrive in the build-up to the opening goal seconds later.

Ronaldinho sent a long ball into the path of Kaka, who seemed to be level with the last Inter defender when he started his run which culminated in a cross into the middle where Ronaldinho headed powerfully into the top right-hand corner.

Just before half-time Kaka appealed for a penalty when he was blocked by Javier Zanetti after yet another slick combination with Ronaldinho.

Mourinho waited just 10 minutes into the second half before making a tactical change with midweek match-winner Julio Cruz replacing defender Materazzi and Adriano taking the place of Mancini in an adventurous four-man attack for the Nerazzurri.

It worked against Lecce on Wednesday when Inter even had five strikers on the field, but Milan proved to be of a different calibre and to make matters worse, the visitors lost Nicola Burdisso to a second yellow card for a foul on Kaka in the 77th minute.

They risked ending the game with even fewer players as they lost their patience with referee Emidio Morganti after he failed to see Mathieu Flamini elbow Adriano inside the penalty area.

Mourinho was warned by Morganti, who showed a red card to Materazzi on the bench as he continued his protests.

All that could have made Mourino's evening worse would have been a goal from Andriy Shevchenko and he almost obliged two minutes from time, firing a shot just over the bar from 10 yards.

Adriano could have snatched a point at the death but he headed wide with only Abbiati to beat in stoppage time.

AS Roma gave their stuttering Serie A campaign a boost when they beat in-form Atalanta 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, while Mauro Zarate scored a brace as city rivals Lazio went top with a 3-1 win at Torino.

Roma defender Christian Panucci opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a shot that took a sharp deflection from Atalanta's Thomas Manfredini on the way into the net.

Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic swivelled to hammer in a deflected Jeremy Menez cross and make it 2-0 in the 32nd.

Last year's runners-up Roma, without several unfit regulars including captain Francesco Totti, resisted sustained pressure in the second half to claim a win that gives them seven points from five games.

Lazio have five points more after Goran Pandev set them on their way in Turin by driving a loose ball into the bottom corner on the half hour.

Argentine forward Zarate wrapped things up in the second half, rifling in from outside the box and converting a late penalty for his sixth goal in five games.

Torino, who finished the match with nine men after keeper Matteo Sereni was sent off for fouling Cristian Brocchi to concede the penalty and Francesco Pratali went for a second yellow, pulled one back with a stoppage-time Nicola Amoruso penalty.

Napoli are second with 11 points after they won 1-0 at Bologna with a German Denis goal three minutes from time.

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