Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Catania 0 AC Milan 2

After the disappointing result in midweek, Leonardo had to get his team back on track. This was turning out to be a roller-coaster season for the rookie coach. His team were going into games at home guns blazing but adopted a more timid approach in Europe. Catania had been struggling domestically, and they knew that if they needed to survive this campaign and still stay in Italian top flight, playing ugly was the only way. Gianluca Atzori wanted to stifle Pato, and had highlighted him as the danger man.

The Elefanti are known as a team that presses a lot, and got that bit of their game into action from the start. They also were maintaining a a high tempo, a style of game that Milan struggle against. Pirlo was missing due to suspension, so chances weren't going to be generated from midfield. A work dog like Ambrosini and an anchor man in Flamini weren't going to produce the much needed magic. So you don't need to be a genius to understand that the game was going to be dogged and brutal. Catania's 4-3-2-1 also shows what their mentality was going to be. Pato was playing deep and wide. Ronaldinho too had to drop deep to collect the ball. Catania had employed a destructive midfield, but a fairly effective one. AC Milan couldn't penetrate the sturdy rear guard from Sicily, and had to depend on counter attacks for the elusive goal. It was a very disappointing half, and Catania's philosophy of preventing Milan from playing was painful to the eyes.

The game opened up slightly after the half. AC Milan were relying on their quick counter attacks. They were also using patient build-ups to secure an opening. Tactically, from a defensive perspective, Catania must get a 10/10. But this brand of football will not win over the fans or rain in the TRPs. Morimoto was causing Silva some trouble. Catania decided to attack Milan later in the half, which makes a lot of practical sense. The aging legs of Milan wouldn't be able to hold out the exuberance of Catania after a laborious game. That was the logic that Atzori was exercising. Pato had been painfully poor throughout the game, but unfortunately there was no one to replace him from the bench. Abate however impressed throughout the game. Seedorf's shooting had been woeful. He got himself into promising positions and had gutted his shots. Over the course of the game, we had certainly lost the battle in the middle of the park. Inzaghi was brought on for Borriello, and had a fantastic chance, but he blasted over. The old man spent more time complaining than playing. With Pirlo missing, Seedorf had to step up and handle the creative reigns, but he just didn't. Huntelaar was brought in, and what a performance he turned in! He scores in the 93rd minute, and again a minute later with a world class lob! As many have been saying lately, truly 'a touch of Klaas.'

There were positives. Its these kind of games that we need to start winning to be able to challenge for the Scudetto. And depth/options provides the gaffer with decisions,, and if taken well, can assure results. Huntelaar has overnight become untouchable. But that is a good thing, he is a world-class talent. This cameo was needed, most definitely. Ronaldinho has been showing signs of a becoming a superb attacking player. He has been in some remarkable form lately. And we would need all of that when we welcome Sampdoria this weekend. The Blucerchiati are a different league, and we will have to focus a lot on defense. Courtesy Pazzini and Cassano.

Scorers -
Catania - /
AC Milan - Huntelaar 93', 95'

No comments:

Post a Comment