Sassuolo 4 Milan 3

Claudio Villa

Milan seemed to be on cruise control, but when the going got tough Milan showed their true colors, and they are not Red and Black.

I have to imagine a handful of fans were thinking the same thing I was after the second goal, and without hindsight, Milan was cruising. A great goal from spot starter Robinho, a snappy assist from Cristante and this thing looked like it was in the bag. The problem is that this Milan is lacking that killer instinct and steely nerve. This team seems to play as though they are unaware of what they are capable of and worse unaware of what the opponent is capable of!

This day belonged to Domenico Berardi, a seventeen year old Pub footballer. Not in the negative sense, but in the sense that he called no academy home, just a kid playing football who on this day dropped not one, not two, not three but FOUR goals on AC Milan. Many wondered why Bonera started, frankly because he is eons better than Mexes, but I bet Daniele wishes he was on the bench for this one. It's funny, many will wonder how on Earth this kid did what he did today, but the passion and intensity with which he played says it all. In the old day Berlusconi would have called Fester and said buy him, any price, but this is a new Milan and those days are long gone.

While Berardi was dropping bombs, Balotelli was throwing elbows and it was his yellow late into the first half that seemed to take steam out of AC Milan and pumped life in the green and black minnows. His play following the card was miserable, and with it went AC Milan, as he played passes poorly and did little to help link the attack. Sassuolo were quick to understand this and continued to put immense pressure on him, the problem was his teammates did not respond. So Allegri threw the kitchen sink at the problem, and the response was well, a bit short.

Hondo for Robinho, Pazzo for Nocerino and Monty for Cristante left Milan in a 4-3-3. The debut of Honda was truly spoiled by Berardi, but his lack of chemistry and "readiness" was evident. Montolivo made the most out of the situation and it seemed the time on the bench did him well as he pegged Milan back to 4-3 but at the end it was to little late. Scoring three should guarantee a victory but when you concede in the fashion Milan did today it would never have been possible to win. What was evident in this match is even with the attack, as disjointed as it was, when the team did not have the ball they seemed incapable of any sort of defensive shape or structure. This frankly was embarrassing.

To say Milan deserved more after starting with a two goal cushion is not fair to Sassuolo. They deserved the win here, but Milan did little to preserve their strong start and while Cristante did well in attacking phases he and Nocerino were liability in a Sassuolo dominated midfield. The BEIN announcer summed this match up best in the 56th minute...it was a lot like the Allegri era, Milan started strong and then he got chopped off at the knees. My good friend emailed me and said would you trade Ziegrler, Berardi and Marzoratti for a handful of Milan players and the answer is a simple yes. Those guys ran and played harder in this match then a few Milan players have done all season.

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