Monday, October 5, 2009


Mauro Tassotti

Atalanta 1 Milan 1

Most people thought that this was the make or break game for Leonardo. The challenges after this game would only get tougher for the rookie tactician. And he was obliged to deliver a favorable result. It wasn't until the 83rd minute when Leonardo took his first gulp of fresh air. It was at that very moment when Ronaldinho returned a favor to his Brazilian counterpart.

Atalanta are rock bottom of the league and have employed the skills of Conte to bail them out. Milan, usually should have run riot, but obviously, this isn't Milan. Atlanta played long balls, and into the box where Tiribocchi was using his strength to displace the visitors defense. Seedorf appeared to be pulling the creative strings from midfield. Pato had been asked to involve himself more in the game, and was seen to be playing at a deeper position than usual. Atalanta take the lead, and how. 3 defenders on Doni, leaving Tiribocchi completely unmarked to slot the ball past a hapless Storari. Did Doni resemble Messi on the day? No, but still he had 3 defenders on him. Atalanta players were keen on taking the opposition out, instead of going for the ball, whenever Milan decided to throw players into the opposition box. We were neither physically superior, neither were we technically superior. This was being amply demonstrated during the game. In the second half, Milan thought its best to just keep the ball. How Pato missed from six yards out remains an absolute mystery. What I find outrageous is that the home team was reduced to 10 men in the 39th minute, and it took us until the 83rd minute to level the score. We even failed to stamp our authority on the game. How toothless have we actually become? Gattuso is too busy gathering cards, which gives me an understanding that he wants to start a collection. Nesta has shown human tendencies, and Abate is no 'Cafu.' There are weaknesses all around this team, and Leonardo is most certainly not equipped to deal with this situation.

They say he has two games to save his job. Two games being against AS Roma and Real Madrid. They also say that he has to win both these games to keep himself seated as the gaffer. That is probably half the reason why he lost his voice minutes before he had to give his post-match comments. The international break would have given him time to rethink his strategies and approach. He needs to mend his ways and bend this team. He needs to transform from a boy to a man, and I don't really know if he can in such limited time. We are two days away from finding out.

Goalscorers -
Atalanta -Tiribocchi 21'
Milan - Ronaldinho 83'

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