Milan beat Parma in nine-goal thriller


AC Milan edged a nine-goal thriller with Parma at the Stadio Tardini to join Juventus and Roma at the top of Serie A. Jeremy Menez was on target twice, once from the penalty spot, in a game which saw both sides end the game with 10 men, Daniele Bonera and Felipe both receiving their marching orders. Milan were never behind, but Parma refused to lie down with Antonio Cassano equalising Giacomo Bonaventura's opener and Felipe bringing them back into the game after Keisuke Honda and Menez had given the Rossoneri a cushion. Nigel De Jong restored Milan's two-goal advantage, but Alessandro Lucarelli replied before Menez thought he had put the result beyond doubt. An extraordinary own goal from Mattia De Sciglio gave Parma hope, but they were unable to find an equaliser to round off one of the most spectacular games in Serie A in years. With Fernando Torres picking up an injury which prevented him from making his Milan debut, Bonaventura took his bow and, after missing a good early chance, he opened his Milan account in the 25th minute with a clever dummy freeing room for him to turn the ball in. Their lead lasted only two minutes before Cassano headed in De Ceglie's cross from the left against his former club. Ten minutes later a bullet header from Honda restored Milan's lead, from Ignazio Abate's cross, and a generous penalty when Menez went to ground easily as soon as he entered into the area allowed the Frenchman to give the visitors a two-goal lead at the break. Jorquera's sliced shot became an assist for Felipe to bring Parma back into the game, and when Bonera received a second yellow card, it looked like Parma might have a chance. But Cassano then lost the ball cheaply just inside the Milan half, allowing De Jong a clear run through with the Parma defence all in the opposition's half. The Dutchman managed to remain a step ahead of the retreating defenders before prodding his shot past Mirante and into the bottom right-hand corner. It was an attacker who made the mistake, and a defender who tried to resolve it with Lucarelli's header five minutes later setting up a grandstand finish with Parma back to within a single goal. The numbers were evened shortly after when Felipe was sent off, and Menez then scored Milan's fifth, taking advantage of a defensive mix up, nudging the ball across the face of goal and running round the back of Mirante before backheeling the ball in. There was even more late drama when Mattia De Sciglio's wild backpass ended up in his own goal with Diego Costa injuring himself attempting to clear. He had to play the seven minutes of stoppage time with a muscular injury, but Parma were unable to test him as Milan held on.