What a great way to start off a promising new year of soccer. Milan retain their second spot in the standings but still need to play the Fiorentina game which was rescheduled due to snowstorms. The return of David Beckham and a 5-2 thrashing of a talented Genoa side at the San Siro. Could things have gone any better for us today? Despite surrendering an early goal, Milan bounced back immediately thanks to some porous Genoa defending. A total of three penalty kicks were awarded, two of which went in.
Ronaldinho's cheeky first attempt was saved, but he redeemed himself on the second effort by firing a rocket into the bottom left corner. Overall, Leonardo tried a few new tactics, some which I deem to be failures, and others a touch of his managerial wisdom.
Now that the always dull brief game summary is out of the way, I'd like to tell everyone to stop e-mailing me about Edin Dzeko! Marco Borriello is scoring goals that Dzeko wouldn't even be able to conjure up in his wildest imaginations. The second Borriello strike was an exact replica of the overhead wondergoal he scored against Parma a few months ago. His formidable partner ship with Ronaldinho is also evident. Here's the Parma strike which is visible at around the 1:20 mark. And compare that goal with the beautiful shot from today. Point being, Marco Borriello is showcasing some world class finishing. He has a more than capable replacement in Huntelaar, who also assisted the game with a penalty of his own. And then there is Inzaghi, who at this point should only be used in emergency situations.
Milan is clearly better with Seedorf playing in the midfield alongside Pirlo and Ambrosini. While Gattuso was a Milan icon throughout the last decade, his better days are well behind him. A player with his skill set (and I use the term skill here loosely) will see rapid decline in his overall performance as the age sets in and legs become wearier during each game. For a major part of the game, he was virtually nonexistent. His once ferocious tackles are now lumbering, clumsy lunges that often make contact with a shinguard rather than a soccer ball.
On the other hand, Massimo Ambrosini is playing the best soccer of his career. He has been an absolute rock for us in the midfield at the most crucial times. He singlehandedly dominated Kaka in the Champions League group stage, and can be seen flying all over the field on a weekly basis, creating plays with his passing and defending. A truly stellar performance that must be recognized by Milan fans worldwide.
Bend it like Beckham was on full display today, and his lobs served as a refreshing reminder as to how crosses should be fed in to the target man. On the other hand, bend it like Oddo consisted of the ball flying into the curva sud, nearly decapitating unsuspecting ultras. I'm also very impressed with the performance of Luca Antoninho, who was everywhere on the field. One might ask if it's possible to win the Champions League when our two fullbacks of choice are the highly inexperienced duo of Luca Antonini and Ignazio Abate. While their defensive abilities leave much to be desired, (Abate was at fault for the first Genoa goal) they are dangerous going forward. Both provide great crosses through the middle, speed, and a bit of creativity. Since our fullbacks seem to be our glaring weakness at the moment, what is your take? Which two fullbacks would you deploy in our formation? Keep in mind Leonardo has stressed that he only wants highly offensive fullbacks in his formation.
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