Instead, a scrappy and often rugged affair concluded with only a 1-1 tie between the two teams competing at the top of the standings. The Rossoneri now need to fend off resurgent Fiorentina, who is threatening in fourth place.
Only minutes before the start of the match, a news flash on La Gazzetta came out saying that Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri had decided to take Stephan El Shaarawy out of the starting lineup.
Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy
This "tactical" decision to bench El Shaarawy from Max could be suicidal for his confidence. Already in a drought4/14/2013, 6:27:01 PM
This was a shocking piece of information nobody expected, and there is little to support a move which would start the seldom-used Robinho in what was the most important match of the season for both teams.
As expected, Robinho was a ghost throughout the match. Apart from a few Joga Bonito style dribbles through defenders, he seemed out of shape and was taken out of the game in the second half. Robinho's heart isn't with the team anymore as he was nearly sold in the January transfer window and will be deemed as surplus this summer.
Even though Stephan El Shaarawy has been ice-cold this calendar year, he contributes so much more to the team than just goals.
His diabolical work-rate on the flanks is the epitome of selflessness, and he can also create problems for opposite defenders with his surging runs down the left side. The Pharaoh is a coach's dream come true for a match of this magnitude, and it is inexcusable to keep him out of the starting XI.
Why Allegri went with the Brazilian is as head-scratching as another bizarre move: starting Kevin Constant as the left back instead of the young phenom Mattia De Sciglio.
Constant was a decent revelation at the start of the season, as he had never previously played as a full-back before until Allegri decided to morph him.
Mattia De Sciglio on the other hand, has impressed on both flanks and has shown to be one of the finest up-and-coming defenders in Europe. He needed to play this match both for his own growth and to give the Rossoneri the best chance of winning.
Overall, it's a shame that one of the most important games in Milan's season needed to have one of the most bizarre formations—one which clearly didn't work out to Allegri's liking in the end.
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