Old Isn't Gold: Milan Learns the Hard Way

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IFebruary 19, 2010

Last Tuesday watching the Champions League match between AC Milan and Manchester United I could not help but be awed by the awesome display of the beautiful game by Milan. In the first half Manchester United looked hapless against Italian giants.

The cross, the passes, the long balls were flawless. In a moment of tactical brilliance the defenders took a long back pass form Pirlo and passed the ball back in to Pirlo who had all of the midfield lying bare in front of him. The move just took a few split seconds, but the perfection was clearly visible. Then there was the skill of the wizard of modern football, Ronaldinho.

The out of favour Brazilian talisman was brimming with confidence and his display reminded me of his Barcelona days before the 2006 World Cup. He kept the young defenders of Manchester United looking confused and perplexed with his dribbles. The first half rightfully belonged to the San Siro home-team except for the unfortunate goal scored by Scholes which levelled them together.

In the second half, the drawbacks of aged players was clearly visible. Nesta and Thiago Silva failed to control Rooney. In the first half, Antonini was playing exceptionally well and contained Nani, but he got injured and was substituted by Favalli. Favalli could not keep Valencia in control, which resulted in United's second and Rooney's first in the match.

In the later part of the match it looked that the Milanese defenders were out of breath against Rooney, and when Rooney headed home his second goal of the night you could not help feel sorry for Nesta and Thiago Silva.

The second half brought out the drawbacks of having aged players in a team, but after Beckham was substituted by Seedorf the Italians attacked with renewed flair that resulted in the late goal by Seedorf. The goal showed the class of the player and why he is regarded as one of the best players of the game.

If Milan use a few more young players in their return leg at Old Trafford it won't be a surprise if they get that desired 2-0 result. They just need to contain Rooney and play their normal game and surely they can secure a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League because I would wish to see some more display by the wizards of modern football.