Wednesday, September 30, 2009

mighty minnows

Marco Storari

Milan 0 Bari 0
Bari are a newly promoted side to the Serie A. They created waves of excitement in the Serie B last season with their manager Antonio Conte. The Italian is now managing Atalanta and being linked with the Juventus hot seat in the summer, and so they(Bari) don't really have a very famous or skilled man in Giampiero Ventura. However, they are a brave side, that attacks the big boys instead of adopting a coy approach. They implemented this against Inter and put up a good fight. They were going to do the same against us, and were set to be duly rewarded.

Players from Bari, right from the kick off were very quick in their game play. They knew the aging legs of Milan couldn't cope up with that kind of radical pace. And they used their pace to admirable effect. Kaladze was deputizing for injured Silva, and for a change, dint head into his own net on a clearance. Ambrosini was quite eager to get back to the bunker as his rash tackles earned him a deserved yellow. Bari continued with their fearless approach. Our defense struggled with their extensive attack. Rivas was going to be their best player, and after a mesmerizing run which consequentially had Milan players toppling around him, missed the target on the finish. It would have been easy to forget which was the home team, and which was supposedly the better team if you were a random bloke switching channels. Storari's saves were keeping us in the game, and that was going to be the script for the rest of the night. I feared trusting Kaladze, and my fears nearly materialized when he almost did a 'Georgia'. Pirlo moved up the pitch more often than usual, which was an interesting tactic. He was playing better in his advanced role. This game was proof again that Ronaldinho has lost the ability to run past defenders. Pirlo had a chance to give us the lead from 33 yards out, and Ronaldinho amazingly missed on the rebound. Storari had to come to our rescue, yet again, after a hilarious mistake from Kaladze. Pato was a live-wire and his pace was catching the defense out of position quite often. Ronaldinho evoked a top class reflex save from the keeper. During the game, I realized that Rivas is a lad we need to keep our eyes on. His pace and trickery will come cheap in an inflated transfer market. Abate was skinned by him on several occasions but the Italian improved defensively in the second half. Towards the end of the game, Storari saved us from sheer humiliation on a number of occasions.

Draw against Bari at home is a good indicator of our credentials. Only a few sides in the Serie A can achieve this feat. We did, and saved losing purely because of a pint-sized man in gloves. If this wasn't embarrassing enough, we go on to lose against Zurich. More on that later, but lets get geared for the worst in the coming weeks.

Scorers -
Milan - /
Bari - /

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