A few days prior, one would have been wise to add Roma's players to their starting XI in fantasy football. Milan had been without a victory since April 4, and Roma were the heavy favourites to walk away with the win. Lo and behold, wonders never cease...
Milan played a decent game against a surprisingly bad Roma, but there are three things about this match that stick out most.
1. Van Ginkel's First Goal In Rossonero:
Since the beginning of the season, Van Ginkel's exhibited potential as a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, he's only been able to play 14 games this season, and we've only had a limited glimpse of his abilities. On Saturday at the San Siro, he proved he was the full package: defense, run and positioning, quality plays and stone-cold finishing in front of goal.
Van Ginkel is actually on loan from Chelsea and should return to London at the end of the season, but if he continues to play like he did on Saturday, we can hope that Zio Fester will work his magic and keep him at Milanello a little while longer.
2. The Defense Held Out Against Roma's Offensive Pressure (Grazie Mille, Diego Lopez):
After Totti took the pitch, Milan struggled to play the ball and more or less let Roma run rampant with the run of play. However, in stark contrast to other matches, Milan was able to defend their advantage. The only error committed was a foul on Juan Iturbe.
3. We May Be Better Without Jérémy Menez:
Milan scored two goals (a rare miracle) and played with ease for the greater part of the game; this may suggest they may be a better team without Jérémy Menez. This is "partially" true: we saw Bonaventura in his natural role (left winger), and that definitely paid off; Antonelli had more freedom to assist in offensive maneuvers; the midfielders found the lines to cut into the area and Honda could play almost wherever he wanted. On the other hand, however, we the element of surprise the Frenchman's characteristic flair brings to the game.
The team played cohesively as a unit, and for the first time his season, had a lot of space to attack just outside their area. Generally, these empty spaces were filled by Menez, who usually commands all the balls the midfielders have between their feet, which stilts our offensive potential somewhat.
These are trying times indeed. Saturday's triumphant victory was little more than a decent game. Given the season we've witnessed, however, the sight of any sort of positivity is truly cause for celebration.