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Milan scored a comfortable win against Sampdoria in their Coppa Italia quarter final tonight and are now through to the semi final against Palermo. Both Milan goals were Scored by pato with assists from Thiago Silva and Urby Emanuelson. There are a few things that were very noticeable in our Milan team today.
1. Milan were pressing all over the field. This team is drastically different from the team we have all seen in the previous few season. Most impressive was their pressing high up on the pitch which gave Sampdoria fans many a anxious moments.
2. The players showed that they are willing to fight for the places. Players like Oddo who have barely featured in Milan’s campaign for quite a while now, put in a commendable performance and showed a will to fight previously not seen. Yepes and Sokratis gave another solid display and all this with Pato’s 2 goals is bound to give allegri sleepless nights (in a good way).
3. With several world class and dedicated players in tow, this Milan team believes that it can win.unlike the Team of last year, which was always surprised at its achievements, this team gets on to the field demanding nothing less than a win.the positive arrogant self assured attitude that a winner should possess is visibly prevalent in this team.
Moving onto notable player performances, well there are many today.
Defensively all 4 were solid today. Antonini had a glitch or two however overall produced a solid display. Every time Sampdoria came onto us our central defenders were easily able to thwart the attacks. Oddo showed that he wants a starting place and gave a surprisingly solid display. It suddenly seems that Milan’s full back woes are a million miles away. The huge positive from the last two games is that Allegri has a lot of options now wether it’s the defense or the midfield.
Thiago Silva has turned out to be an excellent midfielder, not only did he create the goal for pato he was running the midfield effectively and even tracked back quickly to help out the defense. The number of time he was seen at the back makes one feel like he misses the back area very much, however it’s good to know that we have a multi positional world class player at our disposal.
For a first game without any training, Van bommel and Emanuelson were solid. Most Milan fans probably expected a better performance out of Van Bommel as he struggled initially to understand and keep up with the rhythm of Milan’s beautiful game however he adapted adequately and will blend in better, once he gets more match experience. He committed his first foul after 48 minutes, which must be some sort of a record. After the game he was happy hugging and chatting with other Milan;s players, a side of him we haven’t seen before. So is he already a changed man ?
Emanuelson was good and is bound to be a great signing. He ran throughout was all over the place trying to create chances or tracking back and made the pass for Pato;s second goal. Had a injury scare in the second half but returned quickly to finish the game off. He adapted quickly to Milan;s style of play and showed a good understanding with Robinho and Merkel.
Robinho and Merkel were everywhere, however it was obvious that later Allegri asked them to stay back a little overtime Sampdoria’s attacking storm came. Even if Robinho didn’t make a pass or score a goal (yeah right), he was a important connecting factor and did his usual dribbling around defenders and playing one/two’s with Pato.
Merkel just might have something special and could become an important player for Milan in the coming years. Seedorf really has no chance vs Merkel as Merkel runs a lot, is defensively much better and a complete midfielder. He impressed today with his pressing, his movement to the box and his speedy progress from a youth team player to a first team regular. He goes on like this then Milan will soon have a world class midfielder on their hands.It’s very obvious that Pato, Merkel and Robinho understand each other very well. Well since Pato and Merkel are best buddy’s, such a thing could be expected.
Today, it looked like Pato set all things right, especially the critics who have got on his case by calling him a selfish player and comparing him unfavorably with Ibrahimovic. Today was a perfect game for him. The change from the selfish Pato was visible. He didn’t try to dribble more than 1 player, he simply gave the ball when he had many Sampdoria players in front of him he helped to defend on the right side, and he showed again how clinical he is when he is in front of the goal. It seems like he is more relaxed by playing with fellow countrymen Robinho and best friend Merkel instead of a perfectionist like Ibrahimovic, who has constantly been caught by cameras showing disappointment over a missed pass or a bad decision. Even when Ibrahimovic came on for Pato there was barely any sort of a friendly acknowledgement between them as is normally seen among players.
This was a great step ahead for Milan and Allegri who has managed to integrate Youth and world class players and got them to play probably the most beautiful attacking football that is being played anywhere in the world right now.