This was one of those matches were the score line didn't tell the whole story. 60% possession, 19 shots with 10 on frame, 13 corner kicks and the simple notion that Lecce would not be allowed out of their own half for most of the match, as evidenced by their one shot on goal over the course of the 90 minutes. It was a dominant performance, the sort of performance that makes you forget the midweek debacle, but more importantly makes you remember that when this team wants to bring its A-game, it is that good.
The immediate reaction by most fans will be something to effect of, "well it was just Lecce." In case you hadn't noticed, Lecce was undefeated in their last five matches and fighting tooth and nail to get out of the relegation zone, Milan wasn't to concerned. Could have easily been 4-0, had Urby and Binho buried their chances in the first half, but the team was still able to coast it's way to victory as they prepare for the first 5 day break in a while. The big story for me in this match though was the midfield play, a spot of weakness in London was back in full force suffocating Lecce's progress forward and compressing the field to near Sacchi like levels. Lecce or not this was a solid performance technically and tactically.
Speaking of technical, Zlatan seems to save some of his most amazing goals for Lecce. We can all remember last year's near midfield cracker, but yesterday's cross body blast, on the bounce, was just as impressive. Nocerino added another to his tally and one has to wonder if Urby and Prince in a full season couldn't find the net in double digits in a whole season. Quite the dynamic from Milan's midfield as we have discussed, and makes the job of the striker all that much more tactically impressive. It is becoming more and more evident that not just anyone can play up top in an Allegri system, but one guy that can is El Sharaawi. He continues to come on in games and create chances for himself and teammates and his bit of misfortune can turn into a stock pile of goals.
Clean sheet, two goals, and four points clear at the top means that Milan is now in the control of their own destiny. Will they make things difficult on us? Of course, Milan always takes the long road and then walk it, but we may as enjoy the view from top as I tend to like it myself. One month ago this team was "broken" and left for dead by those who didn't believe, now we show what a little patience and faith can do. Not bad for a team who lacked depth, didn't spend money, and was struck by injuries! At least the injuries bit is true, the rest was just fans being restless. While small spending Milan solidified their place at the top, big spending Man City squandered their lead, and Juventus who spent a fair amount in the offseason as well, is now in a media blackout? Kettle meet pot?! Funny the way it is sometimes...