Milan 1, Torino 1: Uninspired

I’m not gonna lie, this will not be an inspired review. When your two center backs are the most influential on your team’s result despite the new coach claiming to play “very attacking football,” you know it wasn’t the best of days. So I promise that I will do my best to keep the writing about as inspired as the team’s performance tonight. Sorry in advance.

Loving Seedorf's celebrations. That is something we've been missing.

Ahead of the match, a lot of people were worried about Cerci. I said Immobile. But clearly Seedorf wasn’t worried about either, as he lined up the illustrious Bonera at center back again. And so it was, that in the 18th minute, Bonera “assisted” Immobile to an easily won goal. 1-0 Torino. Some say Immobile was offside, but the cameras did not show the entire play, and unless the ref called him offside, he wasn’t. Besides, his position when he was still 30 yards away from the goal was not the advantage, Bonera gave him that.

Milan had a tough time cracking Torino’s defense, and an even tougher time beating Padelli in goal. Despite having 62% possession and taking 23 shots, only 6 of those were on goal. One of those shots being an impressive rocket from our other center back, Rami (aka “Shrek,”) in the 49th, which Padelli was not able to stop at all. 1-1. And our own Shrek has the same number of goals scored for Milan now as Bonera has in his whole career. Ouch.

Okay, so it took a little deflection. Still a brilliant goal.

I could not feel sorry for Torino’s resident butcher Glik, who put his family jewels in the way of a Muntari shot in the 52nd, and may not ever have children because of it. He also had the misfortune of standing too close to Pazzini in the 78th, who attempted an overhead bicycle kick, connecting with Glik’s face instead of the ball. Pazzini was awarded a yellow for dangerous play, but that will be no consolation to Glik’s face tomorrow, which will still have the imprint of Pazzini’s boot. I guess it’s really true what they say about Karma, huh, Glik?

But justice was also almost done when Bonera was awarded a yellow in the 81st for some ridiculously obvious shirt pulling, meaning that he will not be available as Napoli’s 12th or 13th man next week at the San Paolo for card accumulation. Maybe there are gods of football after all.

Rami scores, goes immediately to celebrate with Mexes. That's the CB pairing I want more of.

Seedorf’s subs were okay, if not perhaps a little late overall. He brought De Jong on in the 63rd for Muntari, something that should have maybe been reversed. After the match, he said he was trying to rest De Jong, and that Muntari didn’t have 90 minutes in him, having just come back from injury. Again, I would have preferred De Jong to start, but what do I know? However I truly enjoyed his other two subs: Saponara on for the I-don’t-have-90-minutes-in-me-anymore Robinho in the 75th, and Petagna on for Honda in the 89th. I love that he didn’t give into the temptation to showboat newcomers Essien & Taarabt “just because,” and that he was giving precious minutes to youngsters.

What else is there to say, really? The squad are still “learning” the new system. Pressing, attacking, keeping a high defensive line, winning the ball back quickly… well, they didn’t do as well with the last part. That sports psychologist has a lot of work to do to help get this squad motivated and remove their fear, too. But if Seedorf keeps giving starts to friends ahead of  the best players we have available, no system in the world is going to make up for that. (Yeah, Bonera, I’m looking at you. Again.) I fear Seedorf’s stubbornness in the lineups may supersede his refreshing tactics and Milan will seem yet again…. uninspired.

This post inspired by the music of Sonic Youth

Our next match is
Napoli vs. Milan
Saturday, February 8 • 20:45 CET (2:45 EST)

Milan 1, Torino 1: Uninspired Milan 1, Torino 1: Uninspired Reviewed by Elaine on 5:10 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.