Milan 3, Atalanta 0: New Years Resolution

I was so not looking forward to this game. Anything at 6am on a Monday morning for me is not worth looking forward to. But Milan apparently knew my plight, and came through with a convincing win. Whether or not they’ve made it their resolution to win more games this year has yet to be seen, but for today, they took all three points, kept a clean sheet, and put a smile on my face. At 6am on a Monday morning. Bravo, Milan.

So much emotion
The lineups came out and Balotelli wouldn’t start because he had fever and flu symptoms. Montolivo had some kind of minor thigh injury and didn’t make match fitness. So Matri was set to start up front, and Cristante in place of Montolivo (and ahead of Poli.) So Allegri stunning us again by having said “We thought Matri would have more goals by now” and “Cristante is still very young” on Saturday, but giving them both the start ahead of others available, like Pazzini or Poli. He truly is the Delusionist.

Matri starting was a negative, as usual. Although he did contribute today with some fouls, humorous moves, failed crosses and passes, and even got into the stats with Milan’s only yellow of the game in the 48th minute. Cristante, on the other hand, was a beast. In his first 15 minutes, he had at least 3 shots, hitting the crossbar on one of them. And even if he didn’t pressure Consigli for the entire time, he would end up scoring the third goal with a Kaká assist in the 67th. In his first start.

100 and still going strong

Speaking of Kaká, he scored his 100th and 101st goals for Milan tonight, wearing the captain’s armband. The emotions were indescribable as the first one came from an Urby assist in the 35th minute to put Milan up 1-0. He showed a special jersey with his name and the number 100 on it, and it was just so beautiful. But it got even more beautiful in the 65th as Balotelli put it in to Robinho, who sent it to Kaká for his second goal of the match to make it 2-0 Milan. Then he had the assist not even two minutes later for Cristante’s goal, which brought the game to 3-0 Milan.

The clean sheet deservedly should be credited to Abbiati, whose point blank save on Denis made me jump off my couch. But it wasn’t just that save. While he spent large portions of the match counting blades of grass, he had several great saves during Atalanta’s brief scoring sieges.

Here's to more success on the way

The rest of the game was unconvincing, Milan have yet to put in even 45 minutes of good football this season. Allegri did okay with the subs, bringing on Balotelli for Matri in the 58th, even if he left Pazzini hungry and risked an important player who was ill. In the 74th, he subbed on Poli for Robinho, which helped keep Atalanta quiet. And finally, in the 83rd, he brought Adil Rami on for his debut, as Zapata had suffered a minor shoulder injury after colliding with Consigli.

But I don’t care about the poor play throughout much of the match, or Allegri’s delusions. I don't even care that the Curva chose to stage a silent protest today, and they picked a stupid game to do it, too. At least not today. Today, we came, we conquered, and the goals were beautiful. Not only that, but they were significant emotionally, too. So I am grateful for the three points, and a great start to 2014. Grateful that Honda was in the stands to witness this, too. Hopefully he and the other players will make it their new years resolution to win more games. But for today, I am simply going to smile and be grateful.

This post inspired by the music of the Kings of Leon

Milan 3, Atalanta 0: New Years Resolution Milan 3, Atalanta 0: New Years Resolution Reviewed by Elaine on 10:08 AM Rating: 5
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