On Friday I discussed the how the magic had gone from the San Siro, that it was no longer a fortress. In fact before Sunday two things were stead fast for AC Milan and Mario Balotelli. Milan had not lost to Napoli at the San Siro in 27 years, in fact the better part of Milan fandom and Balotelli had never missed a PK. Both of those records crumbled on Sunday. I don't worry about the PK run, law of averages said it was inevitable and kudos to Reina for a great save. But the bit about the San Siro bugs me still two days after my post, and pulled me deeper into the reality that we have been seeing week after week. This is not a very good team...
Defense win's championships and Milan doesn't have any, instead in this case defense loses matches. Two poor defensive plays, two goals, and the real difference between the two Clubs on this day. Let's be brutally honest here, Napoli is a good team, somehow Rafa has not yet drilled them in his singular minded three pass attacking phases. They played beyond what a normal Rafa run Club does, they are dynamic in the attacking third and play a hard nosed football in the middle field. In fact, they have somehow, found away to improve all of Rafa's shortcomings on the pitch, miracle! Nope, good exciting players instead!
Allegri did the only logical thing a Coach could against a wide overly packed midfield. He congested the middle assuring no exposure down the main highway counter acting Rafa's typical outside back inside tactical combinations. How did Allegri's "Top-Class" CB's reward him? On the first goal, split like a traffic cones, embarrassing really how a CB can come waltzing into the 10M range and untouched! Milan didn't give up, they pressed forward and had good attacking spells interchanging and countering when Napoli sent additional waves forward. A promising end to the first half, met with the exact same start of the second. This time it was Higuain, without a body to mark him blasting it into the bottom corner. Of course now we will get hindsight geniuses, reminding us that Abbiati is a louse and should have been replaced, but if you want to talk about replacing GKs when this entire team needs help, then have it.
The reality is, in the areas where the match matters most, defense and midfield. We were sloppy, over run, and error prone. Napoli is a good team, I will venture to say a GREAT team even. One that will challenge for the Title, while we are beginning to see what the team Fester and Berlu's penny pinching is really capable of, and sadly it isn't much. Yes, there are injuries, but these players don't seem to be able to overcome any sort of adversity on the pitch and if we continue to fail to mark bodies we will continue to lose matches, that much is clear.
Bologna mid-week, the boy may not get a win but at least they will have a tasty bowl of pasta, silver lining people, silver lining!