This is one of those matches that when you look at back the season you don't really recall how close possession was or how chippy things can get away from home in Serie A. Nobody will remember Constant's foolish red card, Pazzo's heroic effort, or the statement made by Zapata in this one. All you will see is the 3 points smashed behind the last three, and you will remember the stretch of the new year that led Milan up the table.
That little discussion is long term, but short term is a different story. Yes, we have tremendous momentum going into the Camp Nou. 7 points out of 9 since we last beat Barcelona, and the team looks both confident and galvanized. Couch Coaches will surely question the start of Pazzini, as his injury remains undetermined, but with Balo not 100% fit Max was in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. So let the Couch Coaches and their hindsight bias talk, talk, talk, because I can't see another Coach doing it any other way. You lose this game, you pay, you win this game, seemingly you pay...welcome to the life of Max Allegri!
The standout for me in this one was Zapata, and while Monty continues to impress, Niang working his bottom off, and Muntari reminding us why he is the best baker of humble pie on this team. Zapata won something like 30 balls yesterday and had Constant not gotten a red card the team would have been able to kill the game off more effectively and Max would have been able to get player's more rest. The problem is such is life for AC Milan who often take the long road and walk it...
Balotelli has scored yet again and now he and Pazzo have proved that both can play, and both can score even if it is not at the same time. A good problem to have as the team continues to build and progress. Enjoy this victory, but don't let the hangover carry over to far, we have business to attend to in Spain, but more on that later! Enjoy the three points and lets hope we can count on some flying donkeys to give Napoli a swift kick!