For me yesterday's match was bittersweet, and not because Clarence got his second win on the trot. In fact it was bittersweet more from where our perspective has ended up. The quotes following yesterday's match in the comments and on the web spoke of a Grande Milan...
"Kaka was masterclass"
"Milan dominated every facet of the match"
"A second straight clean sheet shows Milan is learning to defend in the 4-2-3-1"
The truth is not a single one of those quotes is false. The problem is the top two especially used to be uttered against the likes of Europe's elite. Kaka saved his top performances for the likes of Manchester United and Bayer Munich. He toyed with teams like Chievo, and in fact one of my biggest gripes before he left was that he often he appeared in neutral against the Serie A minnows, one of the reason's why he never helped lead Milan to a Serie A title in his reign at the San Siro. The point is while those quotes are all true, they were against Chievo, and the realization that I am indeed happy and excited for something that two years would have been a foregone conclusion only reinforces the trouble that AC Milan is in.
It didn't stop me from cheering Balotelli's goal in the fourth or Kaka's double, which could have easily been three. Milan did in fact boss the match and for the first time in weeks the team seemed to understand football as a whole. Two clean sheets on the trot and even more impressive as the back line continues to be rotated like Palermo Coaches. It helped to have Mexes and Constant in the stands, but the fact that the double pivot is functioning as it is supposed, and sans Montolivo has helped as well. Honda continues to struggle, but he shows flashes; and Taarabt was asked to defend more yesterday and it showed in his play as he was more reserved and appeared at times tactically confused.
From an outsiders perspective you would be right to question the inconsistency of a team that did what it should have done against Chievo, floundered against Lazio, and surprised against Fiorentina. This team is an enigma and while Seedorf continues to attempt alchemy with the winning eleven I can no longer make heads or tails of what the best formation for this team is at the moment, a topic I will delve into on Tuesday. For now, however; we can enjoy three points and six out of the last two and while the season is all but lost. Letting Kaka bring back the memories and turn back the clock was an enjoyable performance in and of itself. For me he was the MOTM but the team, inferior opponent or not, executed yesterday and that is a statement that has not been uttered very often this season.