FOOTBALL is the sport most followed and practiced in the world because it is always ready to surprise and emotions and results that you expect, right on September 30, in a late summer evening, the Zurich came to San Siro and, in wonder and surprise, he won with a goal from the heel of a defender to most Finnish unknown.
Since then many things changed, AC Milan that night seemed to have reached a dangerous crossroads with Leonardo on the edge of the exemption and the team in disarray, was lifted gently and slowly, but surely has the right track, thanks to the intuition of the mystery that has imposed a new game, relying on the ability of all his men to attack and create more balance rather thin, climbed one step after pulling themselves up the rankings to second place with 4 points dall’invincibile ‘ armada ‘Nerazzurri, the wave of victories exciting and spectacular.
This evening, however, the Letzigrund in Zurich, is not admitted missteps, only the victory guarantees the overcoming of the session and access to the knockout stage, while a draw would put the fate of the Rossoneri in the hands of Real Madrid and Olympique.
The hosts now eliminated in the Champions League and also unable to access the sixteenth-finals of Europe League, and therefore only the result of seeking prestige and a good figure in Eurovision.
A stadium sold out, despite the cold winter evening, welcomes FC Zurich and Milan as they enter the pitch, the 11 chosen by Mr. Challandes for his 4-4-2 are: Leoni; Koch, Barmettler, Tihinen, Rochat; Gajic (from 37 ‘st Margairaz), Aegerter, Okonkwo, Nikci (from 29’ st Vonlanthen), Alphonse, Djuric (21 ‘st Lampi) (Guatelli, Mehmed, Buchel, Schönbächler).
Leonardo, who had problems with injuries and suspensions, responds by choosing this 11 for his usual 4-2-3-1: Dida; Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva (20 ‘pt Kaladze), Antonini, Pirlo, Ambrosini (from 10 ‘st Flamini), Pato, Seedorf, Ronaldinho, Borriello (from 39′ st Inzaghi) (Storari, Jankulovski, Di Gennaro, Huntelaar).
It starts with a too staid Milan that the approach is completely wrong with the match, too soft team that Leonardo seems to revive the 7th when Antonini, launched from Ronaldinho, arrives at the bottom and crossed accurately to the area, stretches of Borriello head towards the far post where Pato coordinates beautifully and pulls the first intention while finding Lions ready to rebound after walking.
The hosts’ reply is immediate and already the 9th Nikci arrives all alone at the edge of the area and throws a violent shooting that ends a few inches to the side of the pole to the left of Dida.
IThe Rossoneri, not at all frightened, still held back, without strength and without conviction, it lacks movement and the nastiness that the importance of the stakes would require, things get complicated further when Thiago Silva is injured, replaced by Kaladze.
Following an initiative by Pato largely ended with a shot to the side, crushing the ball goal instead is wasted by Alphonse the 25th, the striker launched a network alone pulls incredibly high.
The Rossoneri are still not alert to these continuous alarm bells and are being surprised by a quick restart of the Swiss, and ending with a shot from the edge of Gajic, controlled by diving Dida, but the referee sees a push of Ambrosini and assigns the hosts a penalty that the same Gajic kick sending the ball into the bottom corner to the right of sausages Dida, Zurich deserved lead after 29 °.
AC Milan tries to shake, but out of ideas and strength, and after a good opportunity to 32 ° with Borriello who controls, turns, and, flying scissors, make up just over the bar, the Swiss have more to share sometimes very dangerously and is still Dida to have to do their utmost to catch the edge of the pole just do a shot on the 36th Okonkwo.
With a draw in Marseilles Milan can still hope for qualification but a first time so no one could predict it, deludentissimi the Rossoneri, beyond the most optimistic estimates, the Zurich playing a football simple and profitable.
The second half began well for Milan, who seems more convinced and incisive, at the 47th on a corner Ambrosini Ronaldinho strikes but also anticipates Leoni shoulder sending the ball first, the 49th, after an action to climb Ronaldinho conveniently located and readily pulls, Leoni is exceeded, rejecting, Borriello, content from Tihinen, fails to emphasize the network.
Here the Milan loosens its grip, giving new breath to Zurich, and at 55 °, is Nikci, opposed by Kaladze, hit in the head area, but the ball flies high.
Gradually, the Zurich collapses allowing Milan to regain lost ground and take over the reins of the match before you get a whiff Borriello is lagging on a pinpoint cross from the back of positive Antonini, triggered by Ronaldinho, then, after a prolonged action maneuvers, and Seedorf to fish Borriello, perfectly in game, behind the defenders of the house, Rochat can not do better than to spread it to the referee is rigor and expulsion.
Ronaldinho is in charge of the transformation that displaces the Lions with a shot low shot to the left of goalkeeper realizing the 1 to 1 to 64 °.
With the man in less disappears from the Zurich area, confined itself to the defensive phase, the Rossoneri they try to 67 ° with a header from Kaladze out of breath, and then the good news of Marseilles, with Real, which is endemic , put a damper at Milan which simply dribble sinking without the necessary malice.
Thus ends in a draw which gives the first knockout round at Milan but left somewhat perplexed, the first real goal of this first part of the season was unsuccessful, only the failure of the French victory has indeed avoided the sensational elimination.
The team did not believe too many players under tone, many with serious physical problems that put them out of the match, Silva and Ambrosini, and others who have toiled beyond measure.
Leonardo is perhaps wrong to want to stick to its pattern and its interpretation, it would perhaps have been appropriate to avoid joining those who were not being physically and shuffling the cards during the proceedings, when things were made really bad.
With the second place in the group now is the bogeyman Chelsea Ancelotti, but to pass the turn takes more grit, more character and a lot more personality, Milan Letzigrund would not make the long way.
The Zurich has played its role in the best possible way, excellent for first time and then dropped dramatically after the break, also because of the numerical inferiority.
The Best: in Zurich Tihinen and Leoni in Milan Ronaldinho and Antonini.
By Gfloriano, Rossoneri Blog