Kaka proved he is fully recovered with a magnificent performance and hat-trick in this drubbing of Reggina.
There was no room for error as the Rossoneri needed a win to avoid falling seven points behind Fiorentina. Last week's 3-2 defeat at Juventus was a blow, but even worse was their dismal home form, winning just five times at San Siro. Reggina were on a high after beating Sampdoria 1-0, though they remained in the bottom three and had scored just once in their previous six away games. Curiously, this fixture hadn't ended in a draw for nine editions, since the 2-2 in December 1999.
Alexandre Pato returned from a mysterious muscular injury to sit on the bench, though Daniele Bonera and Massimo Ambrosini were banne
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MILANELLO - Here are the called up Milan players for the match against Cagliari: Dida, Kalac, Bonera, Cafu, Favalli, Kaladze, Maldini, Simic, Ambrosini, Brocchi, Gattuso, Gourcuff, Kakà, Pirlo, Seedorf, Inzaghi, Pato, Paloschi. Not called up: Digao, Aubameyang. Unavailable: Jankulovski, Oddo, Serginho, Emerson, Gilardino, Ronaldo. Suspended: Nesta.
Andrea Pirlo's last-gasp penalty was saved as another disastrous Milan home performance further dampened their Champions League hopes.
The Rossoneri lost to local rivals Atalanta in January's rescheduled game and were desperate to avoid a similar outcome with the Champions League spots four points away going into this weekend. Kaka, Ronaldo, Pippo Inzaghi, Marcos Cafu, Emerson, Marek Jankulovski and Serginho were in a packed treatment room, while Moris Carrozzieri and Coach Gigi Del Neri sat out bans for the visitors. Atalanta's last Serie A victory here was a 1-0 result on March 17, 1991.
Gennaro Gattuso scored against Atalanta in January and almost did it again after eight minutes, but he blasted a poor clearance over the bar from the D.
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MILANELLO - Here are the 18 players called up by Milan for tomorrow's game: Dida, Kalac, Bonera, Favalli, Kaladze, Maldini, Nesta, Oddo, Simic, Ambrosini, Brocchi, Gattuso, Gourcuff, Pirlo, Seedorf, Gilardino, Paloschi, Pato. Not called up: Fiori, Digao. Unavailable: Cafu, Jankulovski, Serginho, Emerson, Kakà, Inzaghi, Ronaldo.