And I’m not talking about Milan’s third kit which is an affront to common decency. Sulley Muntari was shown a red card in the 41st minute for antics that can only be described as foolish. Muntari was trying to prevent the referee from giving Mario Balotelli a card. Holding the ref’s arm, losing his mind etc. obviously didn’t help things. Balotelli has been the target of racist taunts from Roma fans, chants so glaring the public address announcer has told them to stop or risk having the game suspended. It’s 0-0 at halftime.
Milan-Roma has been suspended due to racist chants from Roma fans. Francesco Totti sent over to speak to fans.#Milan#Roma
Number 225. With this goal against Genoa, Francesco Totti joins Gunnar Nordahl as the second all time goal scorer in the history of Serie A. Totti has broken double figures 13 times in 20 seasons, a testament to his consistency. The play that set up the penalty was dubious but that’s how it goes sometimes. Take a bow Francesco.
Though the scoreline indicated otherwise, Roma thoroughly outclassed Milan in every facet of the game in a lopsided contest at Stadio Olimpico.
Admittedly last Saturday’s match of the day wasn’t a thriller. Miroslav Klose’s late winner was the saving grace in an otherwise dour affair. Roma and Milan would not follow the same path — not in the least.
However, one team carried the play in a half of entertainers versus spectators. Daniele De Rossi and Michael Bradley had their way with the Milan midfield, making Massimo Ambrosini look way older than 35. It was ugly. Ambrosini’s partners in the midfield didn’t help him out. Nocerino and Montolivo were non-factors.
Milan did have some chances early. The Little Pharaoh — aka Stephan El Shaarawy was the visitors most threatening player.
Their chances were not taken, leaving the door open for Roma. An excellent curling strike from Pablo Osvaldo was parried off by Marco Amelia for a corner. On the ensuing kick defender Nicolas Burdisso skied over the Milan defence, heading the ball past Amelia. Milan’s shambolic set piece defending would be on full display as the game wore on.
Mario Yepes drew a yellow card in the 15th minute. Massimiliano Allegri’s sqaud may have been better off if it was a straight red. Yepes was terrible. The 36-year old Colombian defender is on his way out of the Serie A. He’s not leaving in a cloud of glory.
Osvaldo would make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute off of — you guessed it — a corner. Yepes should be applauded for at least making a passing effort and beating Osvaldo in the air. Well he shouldn’t be actually. It was another case of awful set piece defending, a problem that has plagued the Rossoneri this season.
Seven minutes later it was 3-0, Erik Lamela the finisher after accepting a superb pass from De Rossi. DDR looked off Yepes before making the pass, making the already befuddled look senile. The time is up for a pair of aging Milan players. The exodus in the Summer was a harbinger of things to come for a club that will need to restock. They have a boatload of talented youth, now they need to surround them with capable veterans who can still play at the highest levels. Yepes and Ambrosini cannot.
The second half didn’t provide a momentum shift. Francesco Totti just missed the far post in the opening minutes. Totti was simply good on this day, not needing to dawn the superhero cape that he has used to propel Roma to victory.
Allegri may want to rethink his ‘Boateng as a false nine strategy.’ The Prince was absent on this day, to be frank he has been missing for the last few weeks.
Roma made it 4-0 in the 61st. Lamela, again. Off a corner, again. The former River Plate youth abused another alum of the Los Millonarios system — Yepes, again. — and Kevin Constant. Game over.
Milan made the scoreline somewhat presentable late. Pazzini’s penalty and Bojan’s rebound — the product of an out of this world right footed, outside of the boot cross from El Shaarawy — made it 4-2. Too little too late.
At least one Roma player knew what was coming. As the Giallorossi congregated for their preseason training camp up in the hills at Riscone di Brunico in early July, many had heard the rumours about Zdenek Zeman’s brutal fitness sessions, but one had experienced them first-hand. “Fortunately I know him,” said Francesco Totti. “So I know what to expect.”
Thirteen years had passed since Zeman last coached this team—long enough for every other member of that Roma squad to either retire or move on to pastures new. But not Totti. A player who had turned down contracts from Milan and Lazio before he got the chance to sign for Roma as a teenager remained as committed to his boyhood club as he was back then.
He had welcomed Zeman back with open arms. The mutual admiration between coach and player is well-documented, dating back to their time together at the club between 1997 and 1999—a period in which Totti grew from precocious teen into a consistent difference-maker. In one famous interview long after he had left Roma, Zeman was asked to name the three best Italian players in circulation. “Totti, Totti and Totti,” he replied.
On numerous occasions, the forward would return such praise. After Zeman steered Pescara to promotion from Serie B last year, Totti informed him that: “You are football”. When the manager’s return to Roma was confirmed, he could barely contain his excitement. “I have had many managers, but the ones I have appreciated most are Zeman and [Luciano] Spalletti. Both are extremely well prepared, but [Zeman’s] football is the best thing for an attacker, there is nothing else like it.” Read the rest of this entry »