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Milan 4 Catania 0

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One of the perks of being a Milan fan on the East Coast of the USA is that a normal game time is 9AM on Sunday morning. I can’t think of anything better than waking up on a Sunday morning, and enjoying Milan, and then relishing a victory for the entire day. In fact it was the first game of the season that Milan has actually played at the standard time slot, and it seemed to work out for everyone, five wins on the trot and one point off the top of the table thanks to the postponement of Juventus' match. We will have to wait and see the result of that match, but in the meantime we can discuss this one.

-Have to admit the formation worried me, almost a bit to offensive, but Allegri got it right. Seedorf was fresh and on his game, Aquilani and Ambro were strong, and the defense was rarely tested. It helped that Montella’s Catania was deployed conservatively enough to allow Milan a lot of possession and minimal fears on the counter attack.

-The game was pretty much over after the PK as Milan began to dominate possession and send waves of players forward. The difference on this day was the calculated nature of each wave, Milan were never over commited in the attack. If Zambro was pressed, Abate was held, if Ambro went forward Aquilani or Seedorf dropped off. Even Urby who struggled to find an offensive rhythm was excellent in pressing and movement. A much more tactically aware and astute Milan despite missing key players, a promising sign going forward.

-Zlatan may have only scored one goal on the day but his passing was incredible. Many people want to discuss the merit of a striker based only on his ability to score. But this is no longer the case, strikers can be much more than a goal scoring threat, they can pressure the ball, create goals for others, and in the case of Zlatan play three of the prettiest through balls I have ever seen. I hope Pato was watching because his one dimensional game will keep him off the pitch with the way Zlatan and Binho get on together. Pato’s saving grace, the injury to Cassano, otherwise his bags would probably already be packed. More on that this week though as he may still be the odd man out.

SOCCER-ITALY/

-Who said Robinho can’t finish? His goal yesterday was class, the run, the move, the placement. The man creates so many chances for himself and others, he can’t possible score them all, no one can. For those who say Robinho can’t finish, yesterday he had 1 Goal with 3 Shots on Target, and last I checked 1 in 3 is the widely regarded mark of World Class strikers. Take a closer look at this chances, and you will see that his ability is really special. A great player for this team and his relationship with Zlatan from last season hasn’t skipped a beat. In case you missed it, it's around 1:15...

- One thing I did noticed in the attack yesterday was an over complication of passing when the team neared the 18 yard box. If Zlatan was on the ball this was not the case, but Aquilani and Seedorf sometimes chose to play into pressure often foregoing the easier pass. I know this is nit-picky, when the team scores four goals and has a ton of chances, and can also be tied to the lack of chemistry of the group, but you want to see clinical quick passing that close to goal. We don’t need 7 passes to score when Zlatan proved it only takes one!

DV1073259

-No surprise to anyone, but the minute Nesta or Silva are missing the team loses some strength in its spine. Mexes may be the answer, he may not, but Allegri and Milan need to earmark a third CB to slot in whenever one of the stalwarts is missing to create some cohesion. Bonera did well, until he was knocked on his head, but the minute Yepes came in there was some confusion. Neither player is a World-Beater, and neither is all that awful, but CB's need to have an understanding and the more you mix those up the worse it is. If Mexes is the guy give him a shot, but it still doesn’t alleviate the need to groom the next CB for AC Milan.

-Pippo got a ten minute cameo, and it was worth it just for the applause. Shame on Montella for subbing at the same time. He must be jealous, seeing that Pippo is older, still playing, and has a mess of trophies to his name. Sorry Vincenzo...

Back midweek with musings as we prepare for the International Break...