Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ignominy

Leonardo

Milan 0 Zurich 1

This game was to be played in AC Milan's natural habitat, where the music brings about superhuman abilities in the players. But this lame reason wasn't going to bail the team and management out of the domestic mess they find themselves in. After the humbling at the weekend at the hands of Bari, this side and Leo were under pressure to perform. They have been seeking opportunities to prove their critics wrong, and when provided with fixtures against Bari, Zurich and Livorno, they make a hash of the games.

Zurich were hit for 5 by a rampant Madrid team in their last outing. They were coming to the Meazza with a 3 game losing streak. So, things for them wasn't all rosy as well. But going ahead in the 10th minute did help. What was Pirlo doing at the near post one must ask. He could have cleared the shot, but stood and watched it roll into the back of the net instead. Kaladze also left no favors undone by letting the person he was to mark, and the eventual goalscorer unmarked. We haven't been able to defend from set-pieces for over 3 seasons now, and we clearly need a new defensive training staff. Abate impressed from the right back position with his passes and his crosses. Inzaghi was wasteful all evening, to the point that he could have had a hatrick. Pato's lack of interest was glaringly evident, and missed a good one-on-one with the keeper, a chance that should have been buried taking into account his quality. With Ronaldinho on the bench, greater movement in attack was expected and there was. Seedorf also had a chance from a promising position which he drilled over the crossbar. Flamini was having a reckless first half, a form he has been carrying for quite sometime.

Second half saw the introduction of Ronaldinho and Zambrotta. Flamini and Seedorf made way. A flurry of shots/headers came Leoni's way. These were efforts of Ronaldinho, Inzaghi and Pato. He dealt with them professionally. Not later, to intensify the night's horror, Nesta limped off and was replaced by Oguchi. The pairing of Oguchi and Kaladze would scare any Milan fan. The magnitude of Milan's attack was getting a bit difficult for the Swiss defense. But they had luck on their hands and they managed to stand their ground. The away team still were deadly on the counter, and we needed Storari to save the day yet again on a couple of occasions. Zurich closed down Milan very well, it was indeed a supreme job. The Diavoli were finding it difficult to find space or raise the tempo of the game.
Zambrotta at the end, hit the crossbar with his long distance effort. And that sealed the 3 points for the visitors.

Many people believe that the team and management are responsible for the current situation. They fail to recognize Leo's involvement. The manager is tactically inept, and is currently incompetent. He isn't capable of holding this dressing room together. Sure, he has an average group of players at his disposal. But they are better than the results that they are obtaining. And it is the coach's mandate to get the best out of the team. He is just too nice for this job, as many would say and agree. He doesn't have the steel or the stomach for it. And he could well be managing his very last game for Milan, this weekend, as he faces off against Conte's Atalanta. And I would be more than happy to bid him adieu.

Scorers -
Milan - /
Zurich - Tihinen 10'

video

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