Say what you want about Mario Balotelli, but his arrival has been a catalyst to AC Milan's 2013 run of form. No losses, five clean sheets and seven goals has left Palermo the latest victim of Team Mohawk.
Allegri opted to start El Sharaawy despite his looking like he needed some well earned rest, as well as Flamini and Muntari in the midfield. All three were bit disappointing but sometimes you ride the coat tails and right now Mario is on fire. It helped that Palermo is a downtrodden and injury riddled, but Milan did exactly what was expected of them on this day, WIN. More importantly keeping a clean sheet and continue to build defensive confidence as Milan continues to climb the table is paramount. Yes, Palermo had some chances, most of them Milan's fault, but gone are lapses of concentration and while no free kick is a sure bet with this team the early season woes appear to be behind them.
DeSciglio continues to make strides at left back filling in for the suspended Constant, who after the midweek performance or lack thereof could use some time on the bench. The real change though that gave Milan a greater edge was Niang, who came in and worked the wing well and exploited some space left by Palermo who have simply not been the same since the departures of Balzaretti, Cassani, and injury to Dossena. It was Niang's cross that led to the second and his interplay with Balotelli is promising. Balo could have bagged a third late on a second Niang cross but couldn't get on the end of it.
Another win, and the team continues to roll. Those who thought Balotelli was going to be a distraction or waste of money hopefully have their fears set aside. More importantly many of us are left to ponder what could have been if Super Mario was suited up midweek against Barcelona or his transfer occurred in the summer instead of January!? All hindsight, but a sign of a promising future, and reward for getting through this season as a sign of things to come.