I guess the most prevalent point to address at the moment would be the fact that despite the large margin of victory and the new found locale of second place, we won against a poor team and we are still a very large amount of points behind first place. Sure second place is a great, and a moral victory, but the Rossoneri are still first loser if it ended like this, and second place should be nothing more than a reminder that there are still loftier goals to attain.
OK, so that’s enough grumping around, let’s move onto to the more optimistic side of things. Another Pippo hat trick, five goals, and a very strong performance is welcoming, but have we become so high browed that we are only satisfied with games like this one? I think if anything this game reinforces the idea that we are not as bad as we think we are, and when faced with decisions our coach knows exactly what to do, especially the starting eleven, which I would like to discuss and breakdown.
Dida: Fortunate to be rarely tested, but when he was made the saves albeit in a nerve wracking hair raising fashion. The long range from strike Bianchi not only surprised him, but made him look a bit silly as the ball knuckled toward goal. Just a few weeks left and then we can get Abbiati back come the new season.
Flamini: We have been treated all season long to solid play from Zambro on the right, but in one game, the Frenchman easily became the best RB on the team!! Pace, tackles, and offensive runs, he looked like Zambro circa 2004, nice to know he is versatile, the question is can he be convinced to switch there for good?
Senderos: I have been his biggest critic, but he played well enough and solid enough to earn some praise. Again it was against Torino, with one attacker, who was really playing poorly, but he still shut him down nicely. He was also in a good position on the Torino goal off the corner which was a plus as well.
Maldini: Other than being burned for pace by Abate, which is OK, considering Ignazio is one of Serie A’s fastest players, Il Capitano had a fairly average game. Replaced late on by Darmian, who did little, but was given little to do.
Beckham: A great game after two on the bench. Kudos to Carletto for recognizing Becks was in form and giving him a run out.
Pirlo: The man was up to his old ways, silent, but deadly. Won a fair amount of balls in the midfield, but was foolishly given to much space by Torino.
Ambrosini: MOTM type performance overshadowed by Pippo’s hat trick. Scored a goal, earned a PK, and did a ton of running with a purpose. His work rate was stellar, and his injury this season has made it harder to appreciate him this year after what has been two solid years of service. With Flamini’s form as of late Ambro was the forgotten man, he reminded us all of who he was yet again.
Kaka: Great confidence builder of a match for Ricky, did a ton of running at Torino’s defense and though he lacked the final bite in and around the box he is making progress following a tough two months. Getting him back to full strength should bode for an attempt to stick it to second place.
Pippo: The look on his face after he is called blatantly offside is still worth the price of admission, but his positioning and clinical finishing still make him one of the absolute best at what he does. Three more goals, and his tenth hat trick in the Red and Black, when does it ever end for this guy? How can one man do so little and yield so much, truly one of the greatest puzzles in all of calcio!
Pato: His worst game in recent memory. It is safe to say that when Pippo is on, Pato is not, but his substitution gave Carletto a chance to include Ronaldinho at the half. Dinho did well with his time and his passes were clinical, but his pace still could use a little bit of work, and like Pato he seems to choose the wrong times to keep the ball and attempt the dribble, but unlike Pato who can resolve this problem based on pace, Dinho cannot, his performances have improved of late, and maybe a start is finally in order…
A great discussion was kick started regarding the potential of Abate returning to Milan, to which I have devoted a full post come Wednesday evening, stay tuned…