Thursday, November 5, 2009



AC Milan 1 Real Madrid 1
Part 2. The sequel. And as almost all sequels are, it was disappointing. Madrid had to play for pride, and Milan too. But the former had to play to win it, and the latter had to play to save it. Ronaldo's absence was highlighted which gave the fans a glimmer of hope. But the prince was returning, and the spotlight was going to be on him. So it was. Pellegrini couldn't afford another debacle, Leo could.

The teams started, but stuttered from the beginning. It was all Los Blancos for the first 10 minutes. Like in the first edition, Pato was rammed by two or three Madrid players, preventing him from getting space. Nesta was returning from a minor injury, and early signs weren't encouraging. He was going to have a horrendous night. Kaka and Benzema were going to ensure that he did. Casillas had to save the day for his side, as he was called into action on a Milan counter-attack. Ambrosini was working his socks off, and was going to have a fantastic night. He dominated Kaka and bullied him all over the pitch. Dida pulled out another howler for Benzema's opener, and our defense was caught napping. Not much later, we got fortuitous with the penalty. Ronaldinho dispatched it with remarkable authority. Pato then was wrongly denied by the referee for a goal that he thoroughly deserved.

The break was refreshing, and our side showed more bite after returning on the pitch. Referee continued to make mistake aplenty. Milan characteristically threw possession away right after acquiring it, but our closing down was top class and therefore restricted the Spanish forwards to long range efforts. In the last quarter of an hour, the tempo dropped severely. Neither team decided to risk, and sat back and knocked the ball around to everyone's dismay. Dida had to pull out a superb save right at the death to deny Raul. It surprises me, how he managed to stay awake after a boring display of football for the previous 15-20 minutes.

Madrid apparently played their best football this season for the first 45 minutes. It had us scampering for shelter. Higuain who had a terrific outing against Getafe, was anonymous. Kaka, had a sense of drive in him. He attacked relentlessly, and it seemed he desperately wanted to score on his return. His work ethic was mind blowing. Some homecoming for the former World Player. We played liked cowards, and didn't risk much, so a draw was happily gobbled down as a great achievement. But we did let Madrid score, and they had to wait 53 years to make that happen. I suppose they would've considered it worth it now that they have almost cemented their progression. We however, are far from it. Lets not forget that Zurich aren't really whipping boys when they play us.

Scorers -
Madrid - Benzema 29'
Milan - Ronaldinho 35' pen.

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