Sunday, January 11, 2009

Roma-Milan Dissapoints, Becks Starts

Sure, the much anticipated showdown between AS Roma and AC Milan provided some moments of brilliance, including two goals by Pato early in the second half, but the game as a whole did not live up to its billing.

Overall, the game was slow to progress with lots of standing around by both sides. Pato provided a spark to AC Milan with goals in minutes 48 and 53, but play was a bit sloppy in what was more or less a boring game for a 2-2 draw.

Surprisingly, David Beckham started for Milan in his league debut, going 89 minutes in a very free role out of midfield. Beckham was listed as a holding midfielder in the starting line-up, and played in exactly that role in the beginning of the game. After about 20 minutes, Beckham could be seen drifting to to the right wing in more of an attacking role. Once that movement began, he was on that right wing quite frequently, though he did track back centrally for defensive cover.

All in all, his play was average. Clearly, he is being asked to play a simple role, with expectations being placed on his ability to control the tempo of the game with smart passes. He played fairly well in the center of the park, though his wing play was obviously not what it once was. Known for his signature crosses, Beckham was unable to find a teammate on any of his services. Though he needs to work on that, boss Carlo Ancelotti seemed to be impressed enough to keep Beckham in the match for almost its entire duration.