First and foremost apologies for the late recap, I DVR'd Napoli instead and it will help with the weekend preview and scared the crap out of me. But had to watch Milan this AM!
We are at a bit of a turning point in the season, already! Sometimes a team flounders and then encounters a catalyst. That catalyst can come in all shapes and sizes, a resolute defensive performance, a three goal outburst, or a win under difficult circumstances. We may not have gotten all the goals on this day, we may not have had our best players on the pitch, but at the end of the day the result still stands. Three points is three points.
I will say the reports of the match were far worse than the actual match itself. The first half was wide open and Milan had the better chances while Celtic controlled more of the match. The reason being simply because of Milan's personnel being more inclined and comfortable to absorb pressure than dictate play. I joked that YTOWN that we don't player makers to win, just need players to make plays and had we done it early it would have settled the match and put Celtic in a more open stance. Birsa was a pleasant surprise, and while he was not a true #10 he provided balance and only magnified how much a REAL CAM, not Kaka, would improve this team.
My man of the match was in fact Muntari and while Mexes and Zapata were close second. I feel like when those two have a good game it is more because they are so inconsistent, instead of them truly having a good match! The much maligned Muntari; however, has become an asset and as he hawks the ball and gets forward. The goal, excellent, and his ability to consistently serve humble pie is awesome. Guy gets a lot of flack, and while I won't say I told you so, I will give him a MOTM!
As you know, I have no problem whatsoever winning ugly, and while I won't go as far as saying the worst game ever or Celtic was dominant, this was UGLY . Not from a footballing standpoint, as I personally enjoy this sort of cagey turf war. It was ugly because when your team is built from top to bottom and suddenly you lose some bodies you get a lineup that leaves you wondering how on Earth are we going to pull this off, and somehow, well it happens. Which is all that matters, time to welcome Napoli with some momentum!