Monday, November 2, 2009

genoa days

Marco Borriello

AC Milan 2 Parma 0
Parma have been the surprise package this season. Sitting in 4th position before this game, there was reason for narrowing the brows. And rightly so. This team had some exuberant talent in its ranks. The likes of Paloschi, Bojinov, Gallopa, Dzemaili and Lanzfame could hurt a defense that has been surviving albeit some heroic defending from Nesta and out-of-the-world keeping from Storari and Dida. But 2/3 were missing and we had Kaladze in central defense whose loyalties could switch at any moment, as we have seen him do oh so often in the past. But this Milan were a bit too composed to feel nervy.

Parma started strong. Dzemaili got Dida into the action right in the beginning, evoking a world class save from the Brazilian. Ronaldinho, who was electrifying early on in the game, started a move on the left, and sent in a through ball to Borriello who calmly slotted through the keeper's legs to score the opener. Not much later, Bojinov's header of Gallopa's assist was prevented from hitting the back of the net. Who prevented it? Nelson Dida, again. 2 top drawer saves from a has been keeper. Marvelous. Just before the half ended, Antonini and Ronaldinho linked up fantastically to bring the tifosi to their feet.

Even as the second half started, a certain aspect of Milan's game play got my attention. We were playing very quick. We weren't characteristically static. Funny it is, because we have played a truckload of games back to back. The energy and enthusiasm however, was very much present. Antonini's match fitness is abundantly clear. Almost midway into the game, he stretches over and clutches his butt indicating he has cramps. Our forwards dropped back to defend, which signified an admirable work rate. Pato was giving Lucarelli a torrid time on the left. Pato's pace and skill was just too much for the visiting defender, who brought down the striker on several occasions. The Brazilian was brought down in the box by two players, in a palpable obstruction. But the referee was having none of it. Leo's fascination for Ambrosini continues, as he is brought on to replace Gattuso. Parma's substitutions were silly, and incomprehensible. Taking off Dzemaili and Gallopa was rather foolish. Flamini is being reduced to an 8 minute kill-the-play man. This is not even remotely respectable for a player of his caliber. Silva has the gift of a world class attacker. His stupendous run and effort almost gave us our second goal of the night, as his header crashed against the bar. It was a move that he started and nearly finished. Fatigue was kicking in deep into the game. Our defense started to look a little vulnerable and immobile. Genoa days have probably returned, Borrielo bags his brace with a scissor kick. Injury time goal, this time, in our favor.

Madrid are landing today. Tomorrow, they brush their feet against the grass on the pitch at the San Siro district. Thousands will stand in opposition, millions await to see their downfall. We are ready, and in the right frame of mind to challenge the Galacticos. Kaka returns, but as an opponent. The Prince arrives, but as the enemy. My affection for him aside, I will be one in the millions.

Scorers -
AC Milan - Borriello 11', 90+3'
Parma - none

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