Tullio M. Puglia
Ten Goals on the Season, Five against the Cold Cuts!
27 shots yesterday and 56% possession tell the bulk of the story. Yes, Diamanti was dangerous, and a foolish own goal robbed a clean sheet, but Milan were by far the better team on this day. Smarter on the ball, efficient, and creative this 4-3-3 seemed to click from start to finish and while Bologna is not the caliber of the top half of the table, they are a solid opponent.
The real story this match was not the Pazzini double, but instead the difference in Milan with Niang and El Sharaawy supporting Pazzo. Last' week's draw had Bojo the Clown in the CF spot and Milan lacked the possession and physicality in attack to hold the ball and create solid chances. Niang continued to impress and progress while Pazzini was just with the Doctor ordered as he scored his ninth and tenth of the season. El Sharaawy continues to draw two and three defenders and his first of the season was a tall order to repeat, but he is showing he can still contribute without goals by working hard and making space. Both he and Niang worked hard off the ball and showed that the 4-3-3 can be viable if everyone picks up the slack.
Speaking of slack it was Montolivo who had to pick up most of it and while Flamini did the dirty work his tactical struggles are almost always evident. It was Monty who was asked to break up play and clean up messes, but this robbed him of his link play and passing. With the blame falling a bit on Boateng who sometimes moved ahead of the play to soon and not getting back fast enough.
Three points in the bag, and a week of the never ending rumor mill will continue to churn, but no distractions. A trip to Atalanta next weekend and the continued of reversing results will see Milan climbing the table and making up space up the table.