MILAN BLUSHES SPARED BY SALA STRIKE
By James Burton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sala's goal was his first for Milan and came after a hopeful punt into the Bologna box broke invitingly to the 26 year old defender and he made no mistake from eight yards out.
The result is rough justice on Bologna who had fought back from a 2-0 half time deficit. Giacomo Cipriani and Guiseppe Signori grabbed the goals for Bologna as they erased two first half efforts from Andrei Shevchenko.
The opening goal of the match came totally against the run of play. Signori, Tomas Locatelli and Massimo Tarantino each had Milan's young goalkeeper Christian Abbiati stretching to keep his side on level terms as the Bolognese laid siege to the Rossoneri goal in the opening quarter of the match.
Bologna's failure to profit from pressure was to prove all the more costly when Shevchenko gave Milan the lead after twenty seven minutes with a goal that had more than a hint of offside about it.
As the ball was laid forward to the Ukrainian, the Bologna defence stepped forward to spring the offside trap but the linesman failed to raise his flag and Shevchenko slotted the ball past Gianluca Pagliuca from the edge of the box.
Shevchenko then doubled Milan's lead just eight minutes later. Ibrahim Ba found space to attack the Bologna box and after drawing Pagliuca the Frenchman slipped the ball into the path of Shevchenko to finish from close range.
In between the goals Leonardo struck the woodwork as Milan turned the screw on their opponents but Bologna weren't finished and were left feeling cheated on the stroke of half time.
Paolo Maldini gave away a penalty for pulling down Cipriani seven yards from goal in the closing minutes of the half but although the Milan captain was the last defender the referee chose not to book Maldini let alone the issue the standard punishment in these situations of the dismissing the offender.
Former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Enzo Maresca summed up Bologna's half by having his spot kick saved by Abbiati.
The fightback began straight from the restart when Cipriani exposed the weakness of the Milan central defensive area to score his first ever goal in Serie A. The youngster then added his second with a powerful and well-placed header after Signori had whipped in a cross to the edge of the box for Cipriani to meet.
Seven minutes later Cipriani returned the favour by pushing the ball into the path of Signori for the veteran striker to hammer the ball past Christian Abbiati with just eight minutes left to play.
Even after Sala had rescued Milan Signori almost stole the points but this time he was denied by a fine save from Abbiati.