Three predictions were made before the game, without hindsight bias, some of them came true!
Balotelli will play the hardest game of this life to prove people like me are wrong that he is an immature baby and will score and someone who starts in the midfield, other than Montolivo, such as DeJong, will score.
Kaka will get an assist
Milan 2 Celtic 1.
My totally uninformed opinion.
Zapata needs to have a big game
I think the Celtic matchup is better for him, they have less in the way of fast, smaller attackers compared to Ajax which really give him trouble. If it ends up being a physical duel between him and Samaras, I like Zapata’s chances better.
i think this is one of the best formations for Milan
Those that made these predictions, well done, while not spot on it seems there was a good viewpoint on what needed and what did happen. The last one, truth be told, is mine and I still contend that and intend to flesh the 4-3-2-1 and the 4-3-1-2 out in separate tactics posts, but yesterday's XMAS tree was excellent. In case you wondering what the best formation for Kaka is he answered it, and if you wondered if Balotelli could lead a line, he answered that to. The sad reality is while the winning will get the 4-3-2-1 some slack, at the end of the day a formation that only plays one of our 1,343,324,323 strikers will eventually make some folks angry. If those folks choose to say it, we are screwed, if not, let it ride!!
I think it also needs to be said that Celtic did their best AC Milan shambolic defending performance yesterday. The Scots were strong getting forward but in that attacking mindset they left little in defense and Milan capitalized. This was not a well organized team and the free kick folly has me wondering about their CB execution! Speaking of CB, the comment above was spot on with Zapata and while he was not tested he played well and had as much to do with him as it did with the more calming and reliable Bonera alongside him. With Mexes Zapata always seems nervous and on edge, what is the is fake tan lunatic going to next, with Bonera it isn't pretty but it is reliable.
There were still problems through the midfield and some picked on Birsa whose passing was below average, but the off the ball work in terms of balance was very good. NDJ also did a great job playing simple passes through the middle to keep possession and feed the attack . A solid game all around and a much needed confidence booster. I can't sit here and say it was one to remember or to put tremendous stake in, but when you are as hard up as Milan was this one was special. Cheers to Ricky and the rest of the boys for a job well done and now onto the weekend!
In case you missed it, please check out Avia's post here, far more entertaining than this one!