Mixed news for Milan ahead of Real
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There was mixed news for AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri ahead of Tuesday's crucial UEFA Champions League clash against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Milan beat Chievo 3-1 to, temporarily at least, go top of Serie A but centre-back Thiago Silva is a major doubt for Madrid after picking up an ankle injury. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani even joked that he would give his foot to have Silva fit in Madrid, but there was a serious element to his concerns.

The Madrid game will go some way to deciding which of the two European giants - who have won 16 European Cups and Champions League crowns between them - tops Group G. Which is why Milan and Allegri are desperate to have Silva fit.

"We hope he won't miss it but we've got (Daniele) Bonera who's ready to play," he said. "He's got a sprained ankle which our doctors will evaluate. But our squad is certainly ready to play an important game such as Tuesday's against Real Madrid.

"We wanted to win this match so we could go to the Champions League match mentally ready. Chievo played well but what this game showed is that you can't expect to finish a game without conceding a goal, we need to finish games well and to do so we need balance."

We wanted to win this match so we could go to the Champions League match mentally ready.
Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach

Pato scored a brace while Robinho bagged his first successful strike for the Rossoneri deep into injury time. Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up both Pato goals, crossing left footed to the back post where Pato crashed home a volley for the first.

The second was created by some quick thinking as Ibrahimovic got up off the turf to take a speedy free-kick, releasing Pato to fire home high over Stefano Sorrentino. Ibrahimovic was unfortunate to divert a Sergio Pellissier header past his own goalkeeper to give Chievo hope but Ronaldinho played in Robinho to round Sorrentino and slot into the empty net.

Ronaldinho played in an unusual position behind the front two of Ibrahimovic and Pato, giving a clue to how he may be used on Tuesday.

"Ronaldinho had a good game, he moved a lot," said Allegri. "He didn't make life easy (for Chievo) and helped out the defence. He proved he's a player who still has a lot to offer, and he did that (Saturday night)."

Ronaldinho believes he showed his critics that he still has the ability to play in a variety of positions.

"I try to do my best even when I play in the three-quarter position, also to give an answer to all those who say I can only play from a fixed position," he said.

For Chievo coach Stefano Pioli, whose side have been one of the surprise packages so far this season -- they could actually have gone top had they won -- this proved they could compete with the best.

"We were playing against a great team but we tried to match them blow for blow," he said. "However, Milan knew better than us how to exploit their opportunities. I'm a bit disappointed about the defeat because we were in the game right to the death."