Feb 222015

Milan Cesena

A 4-3-1-2 of sorts was another new formation conjured up by Pippo Inzaghi. It left no room for Cerci and featured Bonaventura behind Destro and the oft selfish with the ball Menez. Montolivo was back from injury but the defence was still suffering from unavailability of Abate, De Sciglio, Zapata, Paletta, Alex, Armero and Zaccardo! Also, Abbiati started for suspended Diego Lopez.
An early Poli goal was called off due to offside. The team seemed a bit more cohesive and the first half was better than recent games. It paid off as Bonaventura shot well into the far corner from a nice play to beat Nicola Leali in the Cesena goal. The second half wasn’t as good perhaps but little of note was created by the visitors. Late on a questionable penalty was given and sub Pazzini sealed a relatively comfortable win.
How much value there is in beating a relegation team at home? Based on the matches since the start of the 2015 calendar year any win is a good win. It is inevitable to hear Pippo and management claim a “new start” but this was only one game.

There is also some truth to the following. Inzaghi preferred three subs, including van Ginkel, over Suso.

More about the game in its match thread

Feb 152015

With the injury list still long another was added when there had to be an early sub as Alex got injured, he was replaced by Salvatore Bocchetti. There wasn’t much positive to say about the game and the team still lacked cohesion and imagination. Destro scored from a counter before the half but the lead was not really deserved. Bonaventura and Menez worked well give Milan a lead. The second was more of the same and by the quality of the football it was right to question all players and coaches. Empoli, always the more fluid team, found the almost inevitable tying goal through Massimo Maccarone. Late in the second Diego Lopez was sent off for touching the ball outside the box. Abbiati came on for Destro to finish the game. But that was not the end of it, Paletta pulled a muscle and couldn’t continue. As all three subs were already made – a bit earlier Cerci had replaced Honda – the game finished 9 vs 11.
It seems every week Pippo Inzaghi finds a positive spin and gives hope but it is becoming clear that an experienced coach needs to be found. Despite looking like a poor collection of players the position on the table is still an underachievement.
Much more about the game on the forums.

Milan Empoli

Feb 072015

Continued injuries meant a different starting line up once again, a nominal 4-3-3. However one could question Adil Rami’s absence from the starting eleven. A midfield consisting of Muntari, Essien and Poli was not exactly encouraging and Muntari with the captain’s armband was even less so, especially considering his recent exclusions. The first goal came early when Tevez beat a very high offside trap, barely, ran and shot past Diego Lopez. A second goal was not far away when a Pirlo free kick made its way deep into the box but was cleared with Lopez trapped and beaten. Pirlo’s free kicks were predictably causing trouble. The next set piece to result in a goal was Milan’s, Luca Antonelli rose above everybody and headed in from a corner. Moments later Muntari lost the ball at the edge of the box, Lopez punched the resulting shot out. From the corner Leonardo Bonucci diverted the ball in. The tie had lasted only three minutes. Late in the half Pazzini came on for Menez in what looked like a slight injury. The Frenchman walked off unassisted. Lopez continued to save the team as usual.
Pazzini had a chance and Bonaventura replaced Poli just after the hour mark but soon after Morata made it 3-1 when pretty much the whole team could have done better. Later Pippo Inzaghi used his last sub to bring in Rami for Zaccardo leaving both Essien and Muntari in and not adding a real offensive thread, like Suso perhaps. A couple of questionable Juventus plays and elbows went unnoticed and the game was predictably lost.

Lots more about the game in its match thread

Juventus Milan

Feb 022015

The team is on a defender buying frenzy. Luca Antonelli, the former Milan youth player, returns to Milan from Genoa on a loan but with obligation to buy. He has signed until 2018.
Gabriel Paletta arrives from Parma for a low fee and also signs until 2018.

Gabriel Paletta

Gabriel Paletta (pictured), 28 and Luca Antonelli, 27 both signed.

Feb 012015

With a long list of injury absentees that included Bonera, De Sciglio, Zapata, Bonaventura, El Shaarawy and the suspended Mexes the squad to face Parma included five primavera players – Gori (66), Calabria (96), De Santis (97), Felicioli (37), Di Molfetta (38). The starting lineup featured Alex with the captain’s armband, ex-Parma Zaccardo at right back and newly acquired Bocchetti at left back. Destro started up front in what was officially a 4-4-2 but was more a 4-2-3-1 with the ex-Roma player in front Menez. The first goal came when a Parma handball in the box gave Menez another goal from the spot. The defence looked poor as usual and needed Lopez more than once again. The equalizer came from yet another ongoing weakness when a freekick was not dealt with and Nocerino shot past Diego Lopez. Zaccardo was better than expected when moving forward and Destro and Alex each had a good chance before the half. Michael Essien replaced van Ginkel at the half to add some stability. Menez scored again after a good play with Poli and Cerci with the latter providing the assist. A fully stretched Antonio Mirante in the Parma goal couldn’t keep the ball out. Later Muntari replaced Destro. Zaccardo’s good play overall resulted in a goal when he half diverted, half shot Menez’s cross into the Parma goal. A relatively solid effort, especially considering the injuries and new look of the team, provided the first league win of the 2015 calendar year.

Read much more about the game on the forum

Milan Parma

Jan 312015

Updated February 4th 2015 with more details including image and video

The new AC Milan stadium

The new AC Milan stadium

Milan have unveiled plans to build a new 48000 capacity “urban” stadium in the Portello area of Milan. The hope – if all land issues are soon resolved – is to have it ready for the 2018-19 season. Arup, the firm also responsible for Munich’s Allianz Arena among others, is working with the team to make a modern stadium that fits well with its urban surroundings.

More details have been released about the stadium. It has a block look, pitch level is below ground and sound absorbing technology will be used to minimize the noise impact on the city. Environmental considerations will also be a priority with solar panels and rainwater collection a centerpoint of the design. Being inside the city it will be easily accessible via public transit. The total cost is going to be around €300 million including the commercial buildings around the stadium.

Jan 302015

Mattia Destro arrives from Roma on an initial 6 month loan. The option to buy him outright is reported to be €15 million for the summer.

Mattia Destro

The 23 year old forward will play in a spot left vacant by Torres, Niang and an injured El Shaarawy

Jan 282015

Salvatore Bocchetti arrives from Spartak Moscow on a 6 month loan. The central defender or full back who initially left Genoa to Rubin Kazan is back in Italy.

Salvatore Bocchetti

The 28 year old player will fill an immediate need


Jan 272015

With the crisis around the team growing there was a lot of talk of this being a must win game for Pippo Inzaghi. Whether or not winning a coppa game is a good indicator was almost lost in the build up. Honda was back from a disappointing Asian Cup and available on the bench. Injuries and poor form meant Michelangelo Albertazzi got a very rare start but frustratingly so did Sulley Muntari. The former was responsible for the first goal of the game as he handled the ball and Lazio scored the ensuing penalty. Before the half Lorik Cana got sent off for two yellows and this provided an advantage for Milan in the second half. Pazzini and Cerci each had a goal disallowed on close calls and second half positive subs – including Honda and a debut for Suso – nevertheless didn’t produce enough. What next? More about the game and its possible aftermath in its match thread and on the forum.




Jan 242015

The game started well enough with Jeremy Menez taking advantage of a mistake and Dusan Basta lapse of concentration. The Frenchmen did well to surprise and beat Marchetti in the Lazio goal. Not long after the goal Milan started looking the now familiar one. Montolivo had started in the middle of the midfield in a sort of modified de Jong role. The team as a whole but mainly the middle three and back four looked unable to play as an unit. The glimpses of fighting spirit promised in the build up to this game kept the score at 0-1 until half time. Unfortunately early in the second it all collapsed. First a cross was not marked well and Marco Parolo was able to divert the ball in past Diego Lopez, soon after a Montolivo back pass was not collected by Mexes and this allowed Klose to run in and beat Lopez again. Inzaghi didn’t project a very confident figure on the touch line. Towards the end of the game the disaster was complete. Parolo scored again after a mistake filled scramble in the box. Later Mexes reacted very poorly to being fouled by Stefano Mauri, pushed him to the ground and was expelled. Mauri was not completely blameless but with the additional pushes and anger Mexes surely earned himself a few games off. Not that Milan fans would miss him much. As for the coach himself, the calls for him to be sacked had no choice but to get louder. 


Much more about the game in the match thread

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