By Petar Todorovski
Milan fans were disappointed to feel the taste of defeat for the first time after seven games in Serie A. They got used to watch their favorite team smash the opponents in domestic championship, but their run came to an abrupt end after the loss which wasn’t easy to predict. Roma was the reason why the Scudetto race is more interesting now, as the Lupi scored their first victory out of Stadio Olimpico in their ninth away game. The surprise is big because they failed to do that against mediocre sides like Brescia and Cagliari, but managed to beat the scary Milan.
However, on the start nothing seemed to turn in Giallorossi’s favor. Francesco Totti was left on the bench, leaving a lot of space in midfield to Rossoneri to create clear chances. Robinho and Gennaro Gattuso had the first few, without success.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had the greatest chance in the first half, but the Swede failed to score. In the meantime, Roma did nothing to score letting us wondering if Christian Abbiati is on the pitch.
The second half started as the first one finished, with a lot midfield battles and without any serious chances. In such an ambient Roma scored a total fluke. In 69th minute Jeremy Menez sent a low pass in the box after a great cross from the right. All Milan defenders missed the ball before Marco Borriello tapped it into the net.
Rossoneri were surprised, but didn’t let the things just to pass by. They kept attacking and created several scoring opportunities until the full time whistle. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had the best one, but his lob attempt finished over the bar. Massimo Ambrosini and substitute superstar Ronaldinho had their chances, too, without any success. The final score left 0-1 for Roma.
Claudio Ranieri was understandably delighted by the result. “I was delighted with my men by the character they showed and we did well to take advantage when the time was right. This victory gives the fans a great gift before the Christmas break and reminds the squad of their true potential,” he commented, sending a warning to other top teams about what his players are able to do and what they haven’t done yet.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri didn’t lack the pre-Christmas mood despite the loss. “We are closing the year on top of the standings and I can’t really ask for more from my men. Now we must look to recharge our batteries and put this result behind us. It was a bad day at the office but definitely a match to remember as we aspire to improve our game each week,” he told the press.
Now Milan are first with 36 points, three more than Lazio and five in ahead of Napoli and Juventus. After this loss the new World Club Champions Inter could get close on ten points difference if they beat Fiorentina in a game that will be played later.
Roma’s attempt to rejuvenate Scudetto chances was successful and now they sit on the fifth place with 29 points, two behind the Champions League spots for the next season, and more important, reachable seven points behind table toppers Milan.