Season’s have their turning points, and I have a feeling that today was a crucial one. We saw Inter Milan rise back to form with a 3-0 win over TP Mazembe in the FIFA World Club Cup final, and we saw AC Milan fall to Roma at the San Siro, 1-0 for the giallorossi thanks to former AC Milan player, Marco Borriello. Today we also saw Cesena edge a 1-0 victory over Cagliari, and tomorrow we have some big games like Lazio – Udinese, Chievo – Juventus, and the Genoa derby between Sampdoria and Genoa. But here’s what happened today at the San Siro, where Borriello punished his former side in AC Milan’s and Roma’s last match of 2010.
AC Milan hosted Roma at the San Siro, and I thought that Milan would’ve played through a pretty simple win at home, but it was not to be. The match started well for Allegri’s side though, they were very dynamic, trying to get underneath Roma’s backline of defenders and create problems for Doni between the sticks. Roma on the other hand were slightly sluggish, especially with Adriano on the field. Although the Brazilian had some good touches, he was unable to do much due to his girth which was a little too much for him to carry around, instead Roma relied on the energetic Frenchman Jeremy Menez to create opportunities.
But the first half didn’t produce much action, Ibrahimovic seemed to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, Robinho played Pippo Inzaghi-style and was constantly in an offside position, and Roma were too dependent on Menez. AC Milan were forced to make a substitution in the first half after Pirlo was clattered, and Allegri altered the shape of his formation by putting on Seedorf. With Pirlo in the midfield, Boateng could almost play as a “trequartista”, but with Seedorf on the field the Ghanaian had to be a little more conservative regarding his attacking runs. So the first half ended with some good chances for AC Milan, but little else to be noticed as the players prepared for the second half.
The second half was slightly different with both teams slowly getting out of their shells. Roma were trying too often to lump the ball up to Borriello, who was being silenced expertly by Bonera and Nesta, and AC Milan’s one-man team, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, was having an off day. The Swede got a fantastic chance in front of Doni who had scrambled early off his line, and while all of the San Siro and I thought that he was going to chip Doni for an easy goal, Ibrahimovic ended up toe-punting the ball into Doni’s hands. An opportunity which usually doesn’t go wasted by Ibrahimovic is what ultimately could’ve decided the match.
It was in the 69th minute that Roma struck. Another speedy run from Menez down the wing lead to a pass across the six-yard box, the Borriello missed the tap-in but scored anyways when Abate tried to punt the ball out of his box, but instead punted it into Borriello and into the back of the net. A strange goal to say the least, with little to no skill from Borriello, but he celebrated it like any other. His ridiculous hairstyle along with his goal celebration against his former side made him a permanent target for the whistles and boos of the 50,000 at the San Siro.
Things didn’t get much better for AC Milan, especially when Ibrahimovic was caught in an offside position, and instead of obeying the referees whistle, the Swede went on a kicked the ball into the back of the net. While he protested vehemently at referee Damato he got himself a yellow card, and added to last game’s yellow card he received it means that he won’t be playing next match against Cagliari the return day after the winter break. Roma held on well to the win, anxiously waiting for the final whistle. Once it went, the San Siro was filled with unhappy fans, and a group of ecstatic Roma players due to the win that they had just pulled off.
Is this a turning point in the season with AC Milan losing and Inter Milan regaining some form? Or is it Roma’s turn to push for the scudetto? Share your comments below!