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AC Milan: It’s Either Make It or Break It

Posted by Marzia Hazra Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Last Saturday’s showdown between AS Roma and AC Milan was dubbed the direct play-off for second place where the winner would still be in contention for the desirable Scudetto. However, as we all know, the game ended in a stalemate.

With Inter Milan luckily falling to their fourth consecutive draw in Serie A, the Rossoneri are still only four points adrift. With 33 more points to play for the Scudetto could end up in either part of the fashion capital.

Despite dominating for large periods of the game, the Rossoneri only managed to walk away with a single point from their anticipated fixture in the Eternal City. The result wasn’t due to a shortage of chances, on the contrary, Leonardo’s men created more than enough of them. However, the inefficiency in front of goal lead to the Milan outfit dropping two wasteful points.

I agree with the statement made by Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani claiming that Milan and Roma “represents the best Serie A has to offer in terms of entertainment.” Joga Bonito in all its glory, however, it is the points that count when the season comes to a close in May.

Marco Borriello, Ronaldinho and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar all wasted golden opportunities to break the deadlock against a Roma side they dominated at a sold out Olimpico. This is no way diminishing the quality of their opponent, quite the opposite, considering that the Romans have gone unbeaten in the league since Oct. 28 last year.

After the game several of the Roma players praised the Rossoneri, talking of a “Grande Milan” while David Pizarro even admitted to the home side’s tactics simply being closing down space for the visitors. The Giallorossi were content with holding Leonardo’s men to a draw, but with Milan in no position to make any more mistakes as they enter the most crucial stage of the season, their lack of efficiency in front of goal will come to haunt them in the end. The defeat against Inter Milan in January and the two following draws against Livorno and Bologna could realistically been avoided - as could the defeat to Manchester United at the San Siro.

The Diavoli created more than their share of chances against the Red Devils at the San Siro in the first encounter of their double fixture, but whereas they failed to capitalize on their dominance, United did not.

If there was any pressure on Milan, this is the time. For the first time in years, the Rossoneri are posing a genuine push for the league title. On top of that it’s either make it or break it in the Champions League as their dreams of progressing into the quarter finals hangs on a mere thread. Tonight Leonardo’s men face Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United at the mighty Old Trafford for the second leg where the Italians have to overturn the 3-2 result from home.

Milan’s abilities to conjure up chances have been impressive, but whether the players’ wastefulness in front of the goal depends on sheer pressure or pure bad luck is up for debate. Unlike rivals Inter Milan, the Rossoneri haven’t quite showcased that raw desire or the same kind of ability to grind out results no matter the performance that have won the Nerazzurri numerous points and victories over the past seasons.

Although Milan has a strong tradition in the Champions League and are notorious for their ability to step up their game on big European nights, they will still be in need of great efficiency in front of goal and some good fortune from Lady Luck.

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