Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Milan Versus Arsenal

AC Milan 0 Arsenal 0

Pato, the eighteen year old new prodigy for AC Milan, got his first start in the Champions League. He is fast and had a few clever touches early on, flicking the ball over a defender to take a shot. He looked sharp and tough, as he held the ball up for the club, but went off late with a calf cramp, it looked like.

Kaka constantly pushed forward with every touch, there’s no hesitation with him. He’s simply a dazzling player and AC Milan could have notched a counter attack winner. Arsenal held most of the position, and had a few near misses. Shooting the ball directly at the keeper, their team lacks a clinical finisher. They’re top of the league in England but if they had someone who could finish, they’d be unstoppable. That said Emmanuel Adebayor is the leading goal scorer in the EPL. They just create so many scoring chances as is. If they had someone else, or someone else steps up, they could win a lot of trophies.

I love when Arsenal makes the extra pass, but at times that’s exactly what hinders them from scoring. However, I’d rather see them try it, that neat extra pass separates them from all the other teams. When they’re running on all cylinders, those passes produce loads of goals. Momentum and confidence is so much part of soccer. As this team grows and matures, they’ll be even more dangerous. They also just miss a player like Van Persie.

Late in the game, a few seconds left in stoppage time, Emmanuel Adebayor hit the cross-bar after Walcott beat his defender down the line. Walcott had just come on and went directly at the defender, dusting by him.

One player that stood out was Gael Clichy, who they said has interest from Juventus, I can see why. He’s everywhere on the pitch, from defense to the attack, and he’s just a left back.

For some reason, a few fashion bits:

No nifty scarves around the necks of the Italian side even though it looked like a cold night in England. Gloves were worn though, no scarves around the necks as I saw last week on many of the Italian players in their matches. An odd ski like scarf that seemed only appropriate on an Italian pitch. In England, with snow on the ground they probably will just wear short sleeves.

Carlo Ancelotti who's been head coach of AC Milan since 2001, wore a coat with more shiny zippers on it than a young raver, as he looks to repeat as CL champs and add one more Cup to Maldini’s retiring total.

Sadly, Ronaldo was not part of this match, his career most likely over, out for a year at least with another knee injury.

Other

Something that jumped out at me, and is easier said than done, is when coming on to the ball to shoot you have to square your hips towards the goal.

Alex Ferguson, let it slip that Cristiano Ronaldo had a tummy ache and would miss out on a game, and then said he had a bit of diarrhea as well. Seemed a little bit too much information.

AC Milan’s nickname: Rossoneri (Red-Blacks)