SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, December 24, 2012
Michael Bradley went the full 90 for AS Roma as the Romans jumped out to a three-goal lead and dominated AC Milan to continue to keep pace at the top of the standings.
Bradley teamed up with Danielle De Rossi to form Zdenek Zeman's midfield. It was just the fourth time that the two started together, and the first time the pairing led the Giallorossi to victory.
Not only did Roma emerge from the contest victorious, the Romans dismantled their northern league counterparts.
Pablo Osvaldo tested Milan's keeper Marco Amelia with a tricky long-range shot that was parried around the far-right post.
The ensuing corner, however, left Amelia with no chance.
Francesco Totti whipped in an in-swinger that found the head of Argentine defender Nicolas Burdisso, who headed behind Amelia and into goal in the 12th minute.
Roma's keeper Mauro Goicoechea made a brilliant save of his own to deny Stephan El Shaarawry by stripping the young Italian as he attempted to round him after breaking through the last ranks of Roman defense.
Osvaldo then doubled Roma's lead in the 23rd minute as Totti picked up assist number two, this time picking out his teammate in the box from the left for another headed tally.
In the 30th minute, Roma made it three by forcing a turnover deep in their attacking third. De Rossi eventually collected and slipped in a through ball to Erik Lamela, who beat Amelia with ease.
Lamela added his second and the fourth for Roma in the 61st minute with his own headed effort off of a Federico Balzaretti cross.
Roma's young Brazilian defender Marquinhos was sent off in the 78th minute for a blatant hand ball that prevented a clean break for El Shaarawry.
After going up a man, Milan finally found some success, although it changed little other than the final scoreline.
In the 87th minute, Giampaolo Pazzini was fouled in the box by Goicoechea, and the Italian striker converted the ensuing penalty himself to make it 4-1.
A minute later, Pazzini forced Goicoechea into another save that landed right at the feet of Bojan, who tapped home into an empty net.
With the win, Roma remain in sixth spot, two back of Napoli.
Up next for Bradley and Roma is a trip to Naples on January 1st to take on SSC Napoli.