AC Milan vs. Lazio: 5 Things We Learned
Another disappointing result for Milan means they're still stuck in neutral in the Serie A table. The Rossoneri only managed a 1-1 result against Lazio at the San Siro, thereby failing to close the gap with the top seven sides in Italy.
With the lone goal coming from a flash of pure brilliance from Kaka, let's take a look at five things we learned from this pivotal Serie A encounter.
Mario Balotelli Has Been Turned into a Midfielder
Perhaps the strangest thing about the match against Lazio was Balotelli's positioning. It seems that Massimiliano Allegri wants to bring out the inner playmaker inside of Balotelli by making him play a more retracted role in the offensive sector.
While Balotelli has good vision for a No. 9, this experiment didn't work. He's at his most dangerous around the opponent's penalty box, where he's able to curl in his signature finesse shots into the top corner.
Kaka Is Back
Kaka scored his first goal in a Milan uniform since joining from Real Madrid in the summer, and it was a flash of pure brilliance.
A curling beauty into the top corner from right outside the penalty box put Milan 1-0 in front of Lazio temporarily.
The goal has to be seen as an optimistic sign that he's running more than he has in years and that his world-class touch is coming back.
Unfortunately, he can only play 70 minutes before he is noticeably drained, but that's normal for a player who hasn't been featured much for the past three seasons.
Milan Missed Mattia De Sciglio
One of the lone positive notes for Milan was the successful return of Mattia De Sciglio.
The 21-year-old Italian defender hasn't played this season because of an injury picked up over the summer, and he filled in right away as a left-back for Allegri's lackluster defensive unit.
What he brings over Kevin Constant is a sound defensive ability, which should help the team keep a few more clean sheets going forward.
There's no limit for how good he could get, and the fact that he has been a first-choice defensive starter for Cesare Prandelli's Italian national team should say everything about his potential.
Aerial Defense Was the Main Problem
Surprise, surprise—Milan conceded yet another headed goal. This time, the hulking defender Michael Ciani wormed his way through the defense and took full advantage of a perfectly placed cross from winger Antonio Candreva.
Milan have conceded the most headed goals in Serie A this calendar year, and it seems like they can't fix the root of the problem.
Then again, having a makeshift full-back like Cristian Zaccardo fill in as an emergency center-back didn't help the situation.
It'll Take a Miracle to Get Milan in the Top Five
Milan now sit seven points away from the top five sides in the Serie A table.
It'll be even harder for the Rossoneri to mount a comeback similar to the one from last season simply because of the reinforcements that some of Italy's giants had over the summer.
Nearly every one of the sides currently in the top five strengthened their squad through shrewd transfer market deals that placed sensible scouting over careless lavish spending.