Livorno vs. Milan: 5 Things We Learned
Something just didn't feel right.
The recent post-match slides revolving Milan were taking on a much more positive air, hinting that a true comeback could seriously be in the cards.
Another two points squandered, and it's becoming less likely that we'll see the Rossoneri anywhere near Europe next season.
Without further ado, let's take a look at a few depressing things we learned from Milan's Serie A match against Livorno.
Kaka Should Be Booking His Place to Brazil
Kaka's displays this season with Milan should be enough to book him a place on the Brazilian national team for next year's World Cup.
After all, he was once again at the center of Milan's success, assisting Mario Balotelli wonderfully from a low-cross.
Kaka is one of the lone bright spots for the reeling Rossoneri, desperate for a leader to truly spearhead them to any sort of success.
If these performances continue, don't be surprised to see him even starting for Brazil when 2014 World Cup rears its beautiful head.
Start of Something Great for Balotelli?
Mario Balotelli's brace against Livorno was just as dramatic as he has been as a character over the past few years.
His first goal was a true poachers goal, a back-heel tap reminiscent of a Filippo Inzaghi run—where he'd be in the right place at the right time inside the box.
The second strike was a thundering free kick from 35 meters out which was struck right into the top corner past Francesco Bardi's terrified gaze.
Adding to the performance, Super Mario struck the crossbar from yet another vicious strike from outside the box. This was just the type of match Balotelli needed after a season that has been largely lackluster for the Italian international striker.
Milan's Defense Still Woeful
Only Christian Zapata could make Livorno striker Paulinho look like Andriy Shevchenko.
The Brazilian attacker had his way with Milan's defender, leaving him in his tracks for Livorno's second goal, which gave them a brief lead.
After 15 matches, Milan have conceded and scored 23 goals a piece, a statistic usually reserved for the most provincial of teams.
Adding insult to injury to the defense, Andrea Poli was the makeshift right-back for a second consecutive week, showing just how dire the situation has become in the defense.
Adil Rami should be gift wrapped in a red ribbon when he joins the club officially this Christmas, as he's all Milan need this Holiday season.
Paulinho an Emerging Talent
Livorno's 27-year-old attacker Paulinho will be a hot commodity once the January transfer window rolls around.
This is the third consecutive season where Paulinho has led the Amaranto to success, being the focal point last season in their promotion campaign from the Serie B.
The Brazilian has been somewhat of a late bloomer, only truly hitting his stride recently in the second division. However, he has proved to be quite prolific in the top flight, having scored six goals already for the Tuscan outfit.
It'll be hard for Livorno to keep hold of him, as he'll undoubtedly draw interest from teams with greater aspirations and deeper wallets in Italy.
El Shaarawy Not Ready Yet
While it was heartwarming for Milan fans to see their most prized young possession get some time on the pitch, it would be yet another underwhelming outing for a player who hasn't been influential this entire calendar year.
Stephan El Shaarawy was used as a first-half substitute after Valter Birsa was disappointing in his attacking-midfielder role. The striker affectionately known as Il Faraone wasn't any better after his entrance, as he's clearly still lacking true match fitness after being out with injury this entire season.
Even more incredibly, El Shaarawy has only scored two Serie A goals in 2013, after having netted 14 in the first half of last season.