Monthly Archive: March 2015

Milan 3-1 Cagliari ‘Solitary’ Three Points

Milan Cagliari

Bonaventura was a late injury scratch that meant Poli got the start. Nigel de Jong made a welcome return in an otherwise relatively rare stable lineup. Perhaps the bigger news of the week was Curva Sud’s strongly worded letter in the wake out this terrible season. The group demanded that Berlusconi and team management be more transparent and honest. A walk out and boycott was planned that left the San Siro almost deserted.

Curva Sud called for a walkout protest leaving the San Siro almost deserted

Curva Sud called for a walkout protest leaving the San Siro almost deserted

Marco Sau had an early good chance for the visitors but it was Menez who scored first. A well taken shot curled in to the far corner beating Zeljko Brkic in the Cagliari goal. Menez’s celebration was muted and almost non existent. Zdenek Zeman back for another spell in Sardinia was often his trademark attack at all cost self.
The second half almost immediately featured a Cagliari counter, Mexes was turned around by Diego Farias and badly beaten for the tying goal. The Mexes criticism was almost immediately interrupted when the Frenchman restored Milan’s lead. He volleyed well, from a Menez corner and through a crowd. Later after Cerci and Pazzini had come on for Honda and Destro the ref whistled for a Milan penalty. The foul seemed well out of the box however. Menez converted the penalty. Cerci and Pazzini missed very late chances but the three points were already assured.
More about the match in its forum thread.

Fiorentina 2-1 Milan Points Thrown Away

Fiorentina Milan

Abate made a welcome return to the starting line up, elsewhere on the pitch van Ginkel got another opportunity in a nominal 4-3-3. The hosts’ coach Vincenzo Montella could afford to rest the well performing Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah. Honda had Milan’s first good chance, his hard shot was stopped by Neto in the Fiorentina goal. Perhaps surprisingly Milan had the better of the ball early on including several corners. Fiorentina weren’t doing too well. Several players, including Honda, were guilty of wastefulness however. In the 30th minute van Ginkel got a deserved yellow for a poor tackle and Fiorentina’s best first chance came from the resulting free kick. Lopez did well to collect the ball. Fiorentina kept improving.
Fiorentina made two changes to start the second taking off Alberto Aquilani and Micah Richards for Milan Badelj and Joaquin. The better chances started to come for the hosts. Milan scored first however, a Bonaventura shot was almost unintentionally directed in by Destro. Menez showcased his wastefulness again in the 63rd minute and wasted a counter and Destro cross. On the other side players like Joaquin were just as wasteful. Cerci came on for Honda but the team couldn’t hang on. Gonzalo Rodriguez jumped above Abate to head for the equalizer. Worse was yet to come as a poorly marked Joaquin added another soon after. The last ditch desperation efforts were introducing Pazzini for Essien and curiously Bonera for Abate. In the end it was yet more points thrown away.
More about the game in its match thread.

Milan 2-2 Verona Changed Team Changes Nothing

Milan Verona

Even taking into account the long injury list it was normal to question Pippo Inzaghi starting Mexes, Muntari and Pazzini when Bocchetti, van Ginkel and Destro were available on the bench. It was also as questionable to revert back to a formation that moved Bonaventura back to the side when he did reasonably well in a more central attacking role the weeks before.

Current Milan injury list, via Gazzetta

Current Milan injury list, via Gazzetta

The start wasn’t the poorest and Milan were easily the more dangerous. Pazzini troubled Verona at least twice early on. Verona’s best early chance came when Jacopo Sala shot low and just wide. Verona started to come on more. Soon after Muntari stuck his foot in and brought down Artur Ionita, Luca Toni converted the penalty. Two minutes later Cerci had a good shout for penalty turned down, replays showed it was 50-50 at best. Milan did continue to question the Verona defense but otherwise the quality was poor, whether it be defending or creating clear cut chances. As the first half was winding down with little to show for Menez converted a penalty after Mexes was brought down by Bosko Jankovic near the top of the box after a questionable freekick.
Early in the second a scramble in the Verona box allowed Mexes to shoot in from a close range tight angle that was almost a deflected own goal. Ball possession remained very good but creativity with it was not enough. Honda replaced Cerci in the 64th minute. A few minutes later a Verona counter ended with a Panagiotis Tachtsidis shot which beat Lopez but rebounded off the crossbar. In the 77th minute Pippo Inzaghi somewhat surprisingly took out Pazzini for Bocchetti. Adding another defender for a center forward was surely too negative a move to make and no one was 100% sure what thee formation was anyway. Menez continued to showcase his selfishness too as he hung to the ball too long. In the final minutes Verona coach Andrea Mandorlini was sent off, Destro was a late sub for Menez. Muntari almost gifted Verona a goal. Very late on Nico Lopez scored to make it 2-2, a simple case of poor team play. Also, Honda wasted a last second free kick. Two more points dropped.

More about the match in the match thread