Hi AviA here and yes we are currently 3rd! Its possible that it may only last 12-72hrs depending on the other results but after prolonged tensions and many a frazzled nerve i think its only fair that we allow ourselves to wallow in this even if its only for a little bit, its what we deserve after such a facepalm start to the season! Shout it with me people "We. Are. Third!"
So Allegri went with: Abbiati, De Sciglio, Zapata, Yepes, Constant, Nocerino, Montolivo, Muntari, Niang, Balotelli, Boateng.
I have to admit that i didnt have any high hopes for a clean sheet for this one as soon as i saw the CB partnership but looked forward to seeing a midfield of Monty flanked by Nocerino and Muntari after last weeks midfield performance. I didnt have any worries about the front line as i was happy with SES being rested and was confident that Balo & "Bang Bang" Niang could trouble the Parma backline so Boateng would be free to carry on shooting down asteroids with his wayward shots into the stratosphere. Go NASA!
Even though Milan managed a couple of quick charges into the Parma box from the get-go we obviously struggled for the first 20 minutes of this game as it looked like Parma were going to hand Donadoni his 1st win against Milan as Parma coach. Parma were more than happy to get physical and Coda was really peeing me off! Also, NEWSFLASH! turns out Mesbah wasnt as useless as he was made out and was pretty annoying on the night. Luckily we seemed to wake up for the second half and it was pretty obvious we were going to score.
We got a big let off after Yepes was left for dead by Paletta who managed to put the ball wide early on. I have to say neither Yepes or Zapata (who had seemed ok recently) impressed me, apart from Constant our backline was nothing to shout about and even De Sciglio looked out of shape but feel that's what happens when you are LB, RB, RB, RB, LB. All in all the Defence was abit of a shambles. (PS i think Yepes & Amuari might be distant cousins!)
Monty was a beast and you could quite easily see him pulling the strings and starting some of the attacks and appears to have taken on the Pirlo role of sitting in front of the back four, luckily for us, he can tackle and also defend a ball! Muntari was a bit of a let down truth be told and feel that he needs to bring his match fitness up quickly as we will be playing Inter & Lazio once we get a little team of divers called Barcelona out of the way. Nocerino did ok but nothing special. Midfield did enough but Monty was a bit of a boss imo!
Mario! Mario! Mario! I have to admit that SES is my darling, i love what he has done for us this season but Mario is giving him some competition for which shirt im going to buy! He took foul after foul and even as he was clearly slapped across the face and received a cut (i have to admit to worrying what the reaction would be, just ask Charlie Murphy - "YOU DONT SLAP A MAN!") he just carried on like a trooper.
For all the talk of "crazy" i thought this was one of his most composed performances i have ever seen. Ever. There was a moment after his free kick on the 19th minute where he found himself again with the ball at the edge of the box and you can quite clearly see he thinks about taking a shot but stops and chips the ball in for 4 Milan players waiting in the box. It wasnt a one off either, he was doing this all night, he put through a beautiful reverse ball on the 31st minute that sent Prince through on goal who had to watch as Niang just missed his cross after being brought down in the box, thanks Mesbah!
Im sure some of you saw Niang get all "Balotelli" on us as he was pushed away by Muntari & Yepes as Mario got ready to take a free kick but loved the fact that they hugged after Mario put away a simply sublime free kick. It feels great to actually have a dead ball specialist in the squad again but also enjoyed seeing a different side to Mario as he got all brotherly on Niang after he scored as if to reassure him.
Overall it was yet another Milan performance where we were only genuinely good for 45mins and hoping that we can rectify this if we are truly to aim for 3rd but there is still a good bit of the season left and as ive been saying.....Baby Steps!