I spent a lot of time counting with Squawka, open on my iPad, some of the tactical issues of the match. My point on this to day was to quantify the blunders at CB. Twelves times I counted in the first half a Mexes walk about, leaving the team stretched and NDJ having to back pedal in a channel the size of the Grand Canyon. Milanoma said it best...
Mexes would make the worst wing man ever.
Look how he always leaves his boy all alone and he wanders off trying to score……..
The problem is our defensive, on both goals, made me so angry I abandoned the numbers and simply sat in disbelief as every Livorno attack seemed destined for a chance on goal. Credit to Livorno, who used the Verona recipe quite well, don't fall in and push MIlan in wide areas. Allegri seemed to understand this with Poli and Urby on the flanks for a bit of pace, it was Zapata and Mexes who were the ultimate undoing. With a horrific lack of press on the first shot, a wrong side mark on the second, a bit of Gabriel showing what happens when a GK doesn't protect his front post. That lack of footwork was Dida-esque.
Worse though was the need for a moment of brilliance from Balotelli as the offensive simply ran out of ideas with SES struggling to find space and Kaka being marked cleanly out of the match. It mattered little who the opponent was, the reality is even with the majority of possession Milan created fewer chances, made fewer tackles, and broke up fewer plays than their opponents. What good is possession then?
Oddly enough, I condemned the move to bring in DeScig down a goal, but it was with his entrance that played opened a bit on the right and while Poli had a decent 51 of 55 pass performance on the right side, his frenetic pass and go versus Mattia's calm calculated runs made quite a difference. The real downer was Niang who missed sitter and made a handful of poor choices late on the game to lose possession instead of extending it with a simple lateral pass around the box to keep the pressure on Livorno. On this day it seemed when Milan needed intelligence it was nowhere to be found from anyone.
With that we enter a midweek must earn a result and all that it entails...seems like the fun never ends for us this season.