Most AC Milan games go over the posted 2 1/2 goals total, but the Roman's visit seemed to be a different affair after a narrow first half.
There were a few half-chances, but only just; most of the decent attacks from either side ended up (in what I'm now coining) as quarter-chances, being one bad decision or casual pass from creating a shot opportunity.
Though, Robinho stepped-over times three to elude Nik Burdisso before curling the ball wide from six yards after five minutes. Kevin Boateng and Roma's Daniele De Rossi then each had long-range attempts thereafter as both sides warmed-up on the frigid evening.
Clarence Seedorf came on for a characteristically hobbled Andrea Pirlo and replaced him on the left of Milan's midfield after 22 minutes.
The match referee was being whatever the opposite of pedantic is, choosing not to call the majority of arguable tackles from either side. He was consciously letting the players play, allowing numerous old-fashioned tackles fly in without rebuke.
The last decent chance in the first half came from Ibrahimovic who however miscontrolled his second touch, making his third indecisive and ineffective. The first half ended at nils.
The first chance of quality in the second half was muddled by Marco Borriello after a creative chip from De Rossi on 60 minutes. Adriano had another half-chance for Roma five minutes later from 18 yards but was just too darn slow and unfit to do anything with it.
Seedorf blazed one wide from 24 yards after 67 minutes, almost compensating for how poor he'd been until then.
One moment later, former Milan target-man Borriello opened up the scoring on the ricochet. Boateng drove in an excellent cross at the byline and it was banged into the Italian by one of Milan's obscure defenders not named Nesta or Maldini, bouncing off Borriello into Milan's net. Roma led 1-0.
AC Milan needed Ronaldinho, but no changes appeared forthcoming. On 76 minutes, the bearded Roman De Rossi volleyed majestically from 32 yards, but it was center of goal and saved well by Abbiati.
The aforementioned buck-toothed Brazilian finally entered the fray with five minutes to spare—and twenty minutes too late. He almost scored on a bicycle-kick a minute later after Gennaro Gattuso shot laughably.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, after being flagged offsides for the 37th time, got booked for slotting the ball home and time-wasting as his side trailed at home in stoppage time.
It was a fitting ending to a poor showing from AC Milan. Credit to Roma for being plucky and opportunistic enough to capitalize at a good spot against the league leaders.
The Serie A table is cast open as the 2010 calender closes, Borriello triumphantly returning to his old stomping grounds to niggle AS Roma past AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro.
Abbiati (5) Roma had two shots on goal. One went in. Sucks to be an inactive, yet losing goalkeeper.
Bonera (4) Did nothing to distinguish himself. Markedly right-footed for a left-back.
Nesta (7) The only Milan defender with any balls, gumption, technique or bottle.
Antonini (5) Blase.
Abate (5) Horrible going forward.
Seedorf (4.5) This guy has been playing old for six years. The Dutchman looked old again today. Even his creative passes were lazy afterthoughts.
Boateng (7) Athletic, driving, enterprising.
Ambrosini (5.5) A poor man's Darren Fletcher. Ambrosini has very little going forward and is not athletic, strong, or fast enough to be anymore than an average central midfielder any longer.
Gattuso (5) More an image than a force.
Robinho (6.5) Didn't get the ball enough, but did enough with it when he did.
Ibrahimovic (5.5) May or may not be fantastic, but today he was too grumpy and lazy to express his skill potential.
Doni (6) Clean sheet. Good job. You get a six. Grats.
Mexes (6) I wish I could give him a lower score but he wasn't as abhorrent today as I've come to expect.
Juan (6.5) Did slightly better than Mexes if only because I like him much more.
Riise (5.5) Looked slow at times but still has a good left foot and enough know-how to make simple passes. That counts for a lot.
Burdisso (7) Solid outing.
De Rossi (7) Loves getting stuck-in against rated players. Daniel of the Reds didn't back down today from anybody and made a couple audacious strike attempts look not nearly as audacious.
Menez (6) Reminds me Nani, having a precious balance of extravagant skill and inherent wastefulness. Menez has looked worse or better at times, but today he didn't err especially and contributed to the winning side.
Simplicio (5) Honestly I have no idea.
Brighi (6) Didn't attract much attention. For a central holding midfielder, I think that's good. Workman-like, in'it?
Borriello (7) Apparently his teammates clown him for trying to do too much. I can see that. But, today his too much was just enough, bundling home uglily against his former side to take all three points. The Italian visibly enjoyed being sneered at by the San Siro crowd as he was substituted late on.
Adriano (4) Juggled the ball a few times nicely. To be fair, one such sequence resulted in a Milan throw-in. Otherwise, Adriano was shit. He was whingin' endlessly and had the mobility of a tollbooth. He looked like he was wearing a fat suit. Can't homeboy stop partying and resume living the glorious life of a premier European footballer? He'd rather drink, have sex and get fat. Alright, whatever, but you get a four and a scolding from my skinny ass.
Modern soccer is dictated by athletes. Hard to see how Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, and Ambrosini are still relevent on a side leading Serie A.
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