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The Good, The Bad and The Lucky: Milan snatch up three points from Cagliari

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You can say Clarence Seedorf’s Serie A record remained in tact after Sunday’s visit to the Stadio Is Arenas -- but it was far from pretty.

Enrico Locci

For 85 minutes, Milan tried to punish Cagliari or at least salvage a draw, but couldn't find the back of the net on several occasions.

There were bright moments for the soldiers in red and black in the first half, with Robinho just missing wide, as well as Mario Balotelli and Kesuke Honda having shots saved from Vlada Avramov.

In the 28th minute, a brutal mistake from goalkeeper Marco Amelia truly defined the problems that surround the club at the moment, and allowed Marco Sau to score his fifth goal of the season.

After the goal, the Sardinia side pretty much nullified the Rossoneri, with Milan's creativity looking stale. There was another spectacular save made by Avramov on Honda, who was denied a header just inches away from the keeper. That looked as if it was all said and done for Il Diavolo.

Another scary moment was when Cagliari almost put the game away courtesy of Mauricio Pinilla, who would have scored a sensational goal on the right side of the net, just grazing the left post.

It was a joy -- as well as a relief -- to see Balotelli sink in a sublime free kick right outside of the box in the 87th minute, and it seemed like "Super Mario" at least salvaged a point for a side that seemed to lack creativity in the second half.

Then, just minutes later...the result seemed too good to be true.

With newly acquired Honda taking the corner, it was the recently returned Giampaolo Pazzini who headed the ball into the net in the closing stages of the game, one minute shy of extra time.

Some call it skill, will and determination from a struggling Milan side -- although, being awarded two set pieces in less than five minutes help immensely when trying to snatch up three points.

It's apparent that a win is a win, and when victories such as this one presents itself, it boosts morale and squad spirit.

However, with all praise aside, it was a lucky result for Milan. The side still cannot take advantage of opportunities where they should have put the game away. To credit Milan, they did attack Cagliari in the first half, but had few bright moments in the latter half of the game, too.

Much like we saw with Udinese in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, when teams who are supposedly deemed as lower caliber compared to a squad like Milan, it truly is inexcusable to not take advantage of the opposing team's blunders, and leaves a team like Seedorf's side looking for answers in a panic.

With the inclusion of Michael Essien possible for the match up against Torino next week, let's hope Milan does not give in to Liverpool and send Nigel De Jong packing to England. The Dutchman is the best performing midfielder at the present time, and with Bryan Cristante and Valter Birsa available to strengthen the squad but not yet earning their chance to become full time players, the possibilities for rebuilding and molding the youth are there.

Milan could gain confidence and strength for this performance, yet they should have dominated on all accounts. There will be tougher games for them in Serie A approaching, as well as Europe, in the very near future.

Seeing that Milan will keep sales to a minimum and that Essien is a done deal, the squad will not look vastly different to end the season. This is where the team needs to unite, find the conviction in one another, and try to somehow finish this season on a high note.

Victories such as these will help, but Milan cannot afford to steal three points from a struggling side with not much hope when it comes to the standings.

Matches like these are the ones that Milan need to blow out of the water, and simply put, they didn't do that.