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CL Playoff: PSV 1 Milan 1

We didn't break, but we sure bent a little and it wasn't all bad!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

There is a tremendous amount of input one can put into this match.  The angles, the story lines, and the talking points seem infinite.  My note page alone looks like a strange pictogram.  For those that don't know I was shuttled to the West Coast for a large negotiation was a challenge, but the beauty of technology came through on this day.  Like Milan I watched things in a fractured fashion and my talking points will follow that vein...

  • It is rare that your first match of the season could end up being one of your most crucial and competitive.  Away to Eredivise leading PSV for a spot in the CL Group stages, not uncharted territory for Milan but in a seemingly hit or miss summer warm up session the team showed signs of rust and to a more match worthy opponent.  At times PSV appeared toothless, but it was false, their ability to exploit the 4-3-3 was clear for everyone to see.  Abbiati was the busier keeper and the sooner this team gets the right personnel place to get to a more balanced formation the sooner we can put these carving counters behind us.
  • The goal was a thing of beauty, Abate's cross, SES's put away!  Just awesome, but it didn't mask the fact that Abate was a bit caught out commited in the attack and PSV found a way to exploit.  Milan were a bit wasteful but the match was evenly contested even though Milan got the early goal.
  • Poli came so close at the end and his twelve minutes, I understand the reasoning to not start him, but he proved something today ten fold. 
  • We still struggle on defense and the lack of pressure early left our CBs exposed.  Abate and Urby seemed MIA in defensive phases and I was surprised to see Urby get the nod at LB.  Not sure what others thought?  I personally didn't think he had earned it in the preseason and today still left me wondering.
  • We got the vital away goal, and now need to take care of business at home.  People don't love the away 1-1 draw is a good as a win mantra, but it's a reality in CL knockout phases.