Thanks to the Sicilian derby yesterday we did not have the pleasure of watching the Rossoneri today on FSC. Regardless, of who saw it and who didn’t Milan did exactly what was needed of them and earned the three points. Sampdoria was not exactly the hottest team in Serie A coming into the match on Sunday, but they are a team very capable of scoring goals and winning matches. But, on a good day the Rossoneri are just as capable if not more capable than any team in Serie A to score goals and win matches, today was one of those days.
The international break accumulated a fair amount of rust on the starting eleven and the first half showed. But with the start of the second half the Rossoneri began to press hard, the red card and the inclusion of Kaka opened the door for the offense to begin to show what it is capable of week in and week out. Pato started the match alongside Borriello in a two striker formation, but the two failed to really gel with Pato showing his inexperience. This is expected of Pato and being played properly he will continue to learn and be an integral part of the team. Borriello on the flipside looked ready to roll, and though he did not put his name on the score sheet did his job to support the attack and open up space for Ronaldinho.
Dinho is beginning to return to form, and though I am still critical of him and expect games like today to be a weekly thing, I think he is coming along nicely. His free kick was a gem, and his creation of space is working nicely. Carletto is making better choices and the team is doing well to play through and create oppurtunities on goal. Pippo was also given a chance today and he scored a late goal, but more importantly built his confidence in his role as a sub capable of scoring off the bench.
The good thing about today was that Antonini got the start in place of a suspended Zambrotta did well considering the dangerous opposition in Cassano. Cassano played well but it is clear that Sampdoria has lost a bit of the cohesion they had last year both offensively and defensively, and need to start earning some points to get out of the basement of the Serie A. Nesta is also working his way back to fitness so with the confidence in Antonini the defense is starting to come back to fitness and depth, and when Pirlo returns, Carletto will be the envy of Serie A with the ability to field a solid team week in and week out.
Three points are three points and I will take them, but this team is still progressing and needs to build more consistency week in and week out to keep the points rolling in.
Highlights of the game…
I want to take a quick second here to take a quick survey of the rest of Serie A. Seeing Catania, Udinese, and Napoli at 14 points is a bit of surprise, but I feel comfortable with the Rossoneri’s position well within striking distance of the top of the table. Today Roma was exposed for the depthless second rate squad that they are, and failed to take points from Inter when it would have been helpful to Milan and the rest of Serie A. To add insult to injury they got completely embarrassed to boot. It’s OK though Roma fans, Totti is back…
Lazio, who I was rather impressed with early in the season, had a bumpy two weeks and will need to find some form again or they too will struggle to pull it back together. This is a bad time to lose form with teams like Fiorentina finding their way back. The most surprising thing for me though has been the inability for Juventus to find and build a rhythm and looking like a team with no real direction or organization. I expected more and I am sure fans of the old lady did as well. The bottom line is the Serie A is back to competitive exciting football with every match be interesting and every team capable of taking points…it is still early but this league is turning out to be the big ticket come Sunday, its great for Milan and it is great for Italy.