AC Milan vs. Catania: 5 Things We Learned

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IApril 13, 2014

AC Milan vs. Catania: 5 Things We Learned

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    A 1-0 victory for Milan gave them a fighting chance to sneak their way into the Europa League, while it nailed the coffin shut for Catania's hopes of an unlikely salvation.

    Riccardo Montolivo's goal would prove the difference, as the Milan captain struck from distance early on in the first half.

    The Rossoneri are only three points away from the European spot that stretches all the way to sixth place in the table in Serie A, while Catania are eight points away from 17th place.

    Here are five things we learned from this pivotal Serie A match.

Milan Nearing Europe

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    Antonio Calanni

    Milan's win means they are only three points behind Parma for that final European spot in the Serie A standings.

    They've now won four in a row domestically, keeping three clean sheets and inspiring plenty with their camaraderie.

    Manager Clarence Seedorf has his team believing, and now it's time for the second-half surge that fans were waiting for.

One Sicilian to Replace Another?

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    It's time to bid farewell to the only Sicilian side, as they will almost certainly bow out of the top flight after a decent spell in it.

    It's remarkable to think that this is the same side that finished in eighth place last season and now has had a woeful campaign with many of the same players who allowed fans to dream of European possibilities.

    However, Catania will be replaced by another Sicilian side, as Palermo will be coming back up to Serie A after being relegated last season.

    Much to the dismay of fans who support Gli Elefanti, this Sicilian swap will most likely take place.

Adel Taarabt Is Pure Entertainment

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    Antonio Calanni

    Criticized plenty before joining Milan, Adel Taarabt has quickly become a fan favorite.

    His flamboyant dribbling on the ball has brought a surge of entertainment to the San Siro. There's always a feeling that anything is possible once he's in possession of the ball, so expect the Rossoneri to buy out his contract from Queens Park Rangers once the season comes to a close.

    Apart from mazy dribbles, the Moroccan international has worked hard for the team—a trait was once considered one of his main detriments.

Bonera Switching Position Has Helped

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    Four rounds ago, Daniele Bonera switched to the right-back position because of injury woes.

    Fast forward to the present, and Milan have won four matches in a row and have kept three clean sheets.

    This isn't to say that Bonera has been the main catalyst of the recent success, but by using three center-backs, Milan's back line has been less porous than before and has conceded less opportunity to the opposition.

    It's uncertain whether or not Seedorf will stick with this lineup, but it has proved to be a winning formula in recent weeks.

Camaraderie Reigns Supreme

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    Antonio Calanni

    Another feel-good storyline of the recent success has been the visible camaraderie between the squad. Last week when Keisuke Honda scored his first goal for Milan since joining over in January from CSKA Moscow, the entire team huddled around him and showered him with hugs and smiles.

    The celebrations have been similar for many of the goalscorers. There's a certain underdog feeling to this team now, and it looks like the players are finally having fun on the pitch.