I’m not an AC Milan fan. Far from it. On better and normal days, I enjoy a nice Juventus win over anybody. But these are different times, especially in the Serie A. After four consecutive title wins by Inter (on the pitch) and five including the title taken from Juve, I’ve had enough. It’s time for a change. Italian soccer needs a change. I don’t know why, maybe it’s just coincidental that the fall of the Serie A happened during Inter’s rise to power, but I always felt that a strong and attractive Serie A needs AC Milan and Juventus to succeed. Not so much Inter. Probably because both teams have a much larger fan base, especially outside of Italy, which also helps generate positive or negative buzz about the league. Yesterday was the first time in my adult life I wanted the Rossoneri to win a game.
I enjoyed last night because Milan deserved to win. They got the goal in less than a minute from the kick off through some scrambling and confusion in the Inter defense. I read articles all day about how Pato doesn’t show up for the big games – About how great he is when playing against Chievo but can’t get a touch right when it really matters. With his double yesterday, he reached 13 goals this season in what is his best season since arriving from Brazil. The 21 year old just destroyed Inter time after time, with the help of Robinho and Seedorf. The 3-0 scoreline would have been much higher if it wasn’t for Julio Cesar.
Speaking of Robinho, he just couldn’t get the goal yesterday. He was fantastic, creating chance after chance coming from the left, but it was Julio Cesar in a wonderful performance and incredible one on one skills who stopped him time after time, denying at least 3 100% goals. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic not playing, the game was suddenly much more reliant on the two Brazilians, who cooperated with Seedorf (his best game this season), breaking the nerazuri traps with double passes and touch and go tricks time and time again.
At 35, the Dutch midfielder, who played for both sides and has been in Milano since 1999, still has a lot of great football in him. He can’t give it his best for 90 minutes and sometimes not even 45, but yesterday was one of those master-classes Seedorf can give out from time to time – each pass was accurate, each touch created space. When there was someone open to find, Seedorf was on target while Sneijder was having one of his off nights for Inter, unable to get things going and push his team during moments they made a slight comeback effort (a bit more concentration from Eto’o might have been enough), a losing effort that may be the win that Milan need to get the separation and push needed to hang on to the top sport and win their first scudetto since 2004.
Inter may have European glory, but they don’t deserve to win the Serie A this year. Not because I’ve had enough, but because Milan have been on top of the league for quite a while and played the best soccer in Italy this year. Zlatan carried them on his back for over half a season, and despite being a violent douche bag on the pitch at times, he’s one of those rare talents, pure footballing genius. He deserves to win it and the recognition for his efforts. He was fantastic for Barcelona last year during the first half of the season, but injuries and his quarrels with Guardiola ended his Catalan future.
Most importantly, Milan won with class yesterday – great and effective soccer, something that has always been a part of the great Milan teams of not too long ago. This Milan team still isn’t good enough to be called great – there failure against Tottenham is fresh proof of that, but the incredible potential, especially up front, makes me feel that their dominant days (in Europe as well) are just around the corner, with the right moves in the summer.