Hi AviA again, i was hoping that for my 2nd match post i would get to bring all my Milan Offside buddies some more good news and watching the 1st half of the Milan Derby it looked likely.
The Diavolo started with fire in their nostrils and took the game straight to the merda. Milan brought with them the confidence of having comprehensively beaten Barca and it showed with several forays into the merda penalty box early on. Balotelli sent Prince through who almost embarrassed Zanetti & Jesus by the 2nd minute, this was followed a few minutes later by a speculative shot from one of the midweek goal scorers Muntari, who after the ball is intercepted and in a rush to crack off a shot doesnt see Balo chasing the same ball and almost launches him along with the ball!!
The 1st half was pretty much all Milan, with Monty picking out De Scig time and time again, both of whom where having a damn good first half with De Scig managing to test Handanovic early on. Whereas Milan closed down the flanks and channelled everything through the middle against Barca, the flanks were the key to the 1st half. SES worked well with De Scig on the left and it was easy to see us running the merda ragged on the left with both Nagatomo & Guarin being dragged all over the place by a combo of SES & De Scig, if that wasnt a joy to watch both Prince & Abate were doing a pretty mean job out on the right, with Prince again putting in another decent shift and justified his inclusion.
Milan stomped the merda again and again and had it been any other night we could easily have been 4 goals up with Balo testing Handanovic several times. On the 14th minute Balo meets a super sweet pull back by De Scig but loses his footing, this was followed a few minutes later by a combo of Zapata winning the ball back in the midfield and passing the ball to Prince who picks out a super sweet through ball for SES who knocks it past Handanovic with a level of experience that belies SES young age. A few minutes later a SES corner is met by Balo who throws himself at the ball smashing a header that is met by a world class save by Handanovic. On the 28th minute De Scig pulls yet another ball back only to glance off of Balotelli who had already committed himself into a slide to attack the ball which glances off of his studs, this obviously was getting to Balo who promptly lept up and got all Bruce Lee on the goal posts, his mood wouldn't have been made much better when a few minutes later still Handanovic makes another super save on a Balo freekick, the Balotelli Show seemed to be in hiatus folks!
Count Morrati must have turned up at the start of the second half hence all the vampire smoke flooding the San Siro and as expected Stramaccioni made some tweaks to correct the balance of his squad. In the 2nd half Nagatomo didnt appear to follow SES about as much as he did and therefore the merda kept their shape a lot better, this in turn made it harder for De Scig to find the same level of space that was afforded him in the 1st half, yes things got a little tighter and the merda were getting back into the game but we were still a threat so not sure it would have been a smart move to make wholesale changes to the game plan.
As the 2nd half wore on the team that where in the lead slowly took their foot of the pedal as our midweek exuberance began to tell and it was a combination of a defensive & goalkeeper lapse in concentration that ultimately lead to the goal, dissimilar to the way that Handanovic made a reaction save to Balos earlier header, Abbiati was found wanting after a Schelotto header that was allowed after a mistimed Mexes clearance which was unfortunate as Abi had earlier made a save to rival that of his opposite number. Niang came on at the 80th minute and seemed like a good sub and seemed to cause the merda some problems, i can only assume that Allegri wanted to rest SES being the reason behind Bojan coming on as horizontal passes were the last thing we needed!
All in all, i cant but help feel a bit disappointed at the result as we should clearly have had this in the bag in the 1st 45mins. We may just have missed our chance to cement 3rd place but still have a few more games to ensure Champions League qualification and the person we should all hold responsible should be the merdas MOTM Handanovic who showed why he will be easily be Serie A's top keeper once Buffon hangs up his gloves.