Thursday, January 7, 2010

ll capitano

Massimo Ambrosini

AC Milan 5 Genoa 2

Our tradition of having remarkable captains isn't threatened. Massimo Ambrosini. A very under-rated player. But never questioned as a leader. He is one of the finest box-box players in Europe, yet he has his share of critics. What I witnessed on Wednesday night, was an example of what a leader really is, and how he is supposed to demonstrate his leadership skills. Not only should he excel in what he does by outshining his more illustrious team-mates, but also hand the ball to a striker low on confidence so that he can convert a penalty. Speak of leading from the front.

With Pato, Zambrotta and Seedorf missing, playing Genoa was going to be that much harder. Yet we started strong and should have gone one up if not for Amelia's wonder save. Genoa's idea was to catch us with their pace on the counter attack and I would be lying to say that their approach didn't trouble us. Ambrosini won the penalty early on in the game with his zippy run, and up stepped Ronaldinho. I was surprised watching the Gaucho miss. Amelia was going to have one of those nights. He was being labeled as one of the worst keepers in the league over the course of the first half of the season, and he simply had to set some records straight. We were beginning to drill holes in the Grifone's defense. Genoa's most potent striker opened the scoring as he headed home after a lapse in concentration in the Milan box. Abate was the culprit and should be blamed for the opener. but, should he, as he isn't a natural full back. Ambrosini won us our second penalty, this time Amelia was the offender. Ronaldinho found redemption. We then stamped our authority when Silva finished after a number of chances went begging in the opposition box. Honestly, I was a bit taken aback when Borriello celebrated his goal. It was at this club that Borriello found national recognition and stardom, and he wasn't doing them justice by pumping his fists in delight. The Rossoblu began to see more of the ball in the second half, as we took our foot off the pedal. If the first celebration was weird, the second was plain absurd. The scissor kick was a gem, but run around the park in your inner as you toss your shirt around? You might wonder why I am getting so worked up, but I wouldn't like it if Kaka/Sheva came home with another team and started dancing after scoring. David Suazo had spent the entire evening smelling grass, and he had Nesta to thank for, who surprisingly wasn't sent off for incessantly fouling the Inter man. The skipper of Gasperini's side got a handful of Ronaldinho in the box, and Hunter was given the ball to score his first at the San Siro. He did, and relief was imminent. Suazo finally got his due, after Nesta's fooling around was capitalized by the forward before finishing with some confidence. Special mention must go to Antonini who put in his best performance of the season so far.

This is a huge win. Not just numerically, but philosophically too. We have instilled some fear in our opponents. Juventus aren't particularly looking forward to Sunday. With Pirlo playing higher up, Ambrosini bossing the midfield, Ronaldinho finding his touch and Borriello going on a rampage, the Bianconeri know that its not going to be a walk in the park. At least for once, we are going away, in a very tough fixture, as overwhelming favorites.

Scorers -
AC Milan - Ronaldinho pen 32', Silva 38, Borriello 48', 61', Huntelaar pen 74'
Genoa - Sculli 25', Suazo 79'

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