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Milan 4 Chievo 0

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You can do one of two things after a match like this one. The first being you can bask in all its glory. Or the second, albeit a bit less popular is you can nitpick. Should we have beaten Chievo? Of course, especially after watching a cracker of a Lazio-Juventus match, and a solid Udinese – Roma match in which both victors renewed their passes atop the table with Milan. A win on Tuesday for Juventus will give them a four point cushion, but Milan need not worry about the opposition and only about themselves, with a few things that still need to be addressed, but then again it is always easier to nitpick after you address a few positives.

-Zlatan was lethal, and Chievo really had no answer. The first goal was simply stunning and his ability to drag two to three defenders was a huge reason for the space and scoring. He earned a big star in my book for the goal midweek against Barca, helping silence some of his disappearing act critics in CL game, but against second tier teams there is still no player who delivers more. I know this sounds peculiar, in short Zlatan bullies the minnows, but when you look at Serie A and you play these teams 10-16 times a year, which is 48 points on the table. You don’t win a title without those matches.

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-Van Bommel looked to be his old self yesterday, and maybe it had a bit to do with Chievo being demoralized and deflated by the 30th minute, but he was disruptive and protective allowing Aquilani, Prince and Nocerino the freedom to move and operate all over the pitch. He also managed to get 45 minutes of rest while on the pitch in the second half, no small feat, but all kidding aside his experience and ability to play simple one-two touch passing gave him the freedom to run less and pass more. Something younger players often neglect, but a great saying nonetheless, “let the ball do the work.”

-Antonini and Yepes put in strong performances, and while I know many want to see Taiwo and Mexes, I frankly don’t care who plays as long as they are playing well. Competition for minutes is good for everyone involved, it forces those not playing to step up their game, and keeps the players playing sharp. At the end day whoever is going to help the team win is the player who needs to be out there, nobody should play just to play. For the record in the final minutes of the game, when everyone else had taken their foot off the gas, it was Antonini and Yepes still looking to impress the manager.

Now onto the nitpicking…if you happen to take criticism of certain players personally, this is maybe where you switch to do some online shopping…

-Aquilani offensively is sharp and passes the ball very well, but is defensively challenged. Filling in behind the ball almost appears to be a mystery to him, and while Seedorf is no better, Aquilani should have the pace to at least impede the opposing player on the ball. Instead he just fouls, and then stops running. I don’t like that sort of laziness and from what we have seen neither does Allegri. Alberto is too talented and to intelligent to not work that little bit harder. Pirlo was a tactical foul mastermind, Aquilani just looks lazy and then fouls to make up for it, very different, and not good.

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-In games like this one, where Milan have 70% possession, there is no reason for wasteful errant 20 meter passes. Passing the ball on the ground is simply stellar, then unnamed players (Silva, Van Bommel, Nocerino, Abate…oops) hoof it to Zlatan when they run out of options. While this worked on this day, there is no reason for it against better opposition and was a sore spot against Barca. There is simply no reason a team this good and experienced can’t have a little patience on the ball.

-Do you know what the first thing I saw in my email was after the match…this...

“Pato scored today, what now you stupid (EXPLETIVE).”

I thought to myself, this is cute, wonder if this fanboy-homer noticed the goal was a mindless tap-in, or that while Zlatan was dragging defenders all over the place Pato did little before he earned the PK. SOme people get it:

Yepes & T.Silva had more touches on the ball than Pato did during the 1st entire 30 minutes.. he had a tap-in goal Bonera could score that too.. apart from the beautiful play to win the penalty he was just a number on the pitch...

My criticism is simple; if people are going to email me about how great he is; then he better deliver, otherwise let his play do the talking. Great players don’t need to be hyped or defended, they simply shine. My time as a Milan fan has had a few players like this; they all currently reside on other teams. See the point? If you are going to email me about Pato, it better be after a crushing performance, to which I will simply say when you are right you are right, otherwise you only the raise the bar that much higher.

Back tomorrow to address a minor Argentine problem, and not the same problem Osvaldo had, then again Zlatan may do the same thing but the real person who should be worried is everyone's favorite Ducky...one more player to share the minutes with...

Oh yeah, in case you missed the goals...