Right from the start Palermo showed their determination, when in just three minutes they almost got their opener. Edison Cavani had a great opportunity only for the ball to go past the wrong side of the post. Palermo came into this game thinking about the win and this was even more evident when they got another chance at goal, this time a mistake from Luca Antonini almost gave Mark Bresciano the opener.
Milan then came up with a wonderful move started by Clarence Seedorf inside six minutes only for it to fizzle out by the end. Both teams were playing with a high intensity and a high tempo with chances coming from all over. The 17th minute saw a beautifully worked move by Ronaldinho and Seedorf and all it needed was a tap in, but Marco Borriello couldn’t get there in time. In the 28th minute Bresciano had another chance but it went just wide, and just a minute later they were attacking again – clearly they were not afraid of Milan and were surging forward at every opportunity.
In the 31st minute Milan had another chance perfectly crafted by Ronaldinho but Boriello’s attempt just shaved past the post. After that Gianluca Zambrotta shot a screamer that was made possible by Seedorf, but again this attempt went past the wrong side of the post.
The second half started the same as the first, with Palermo constantly attacking Milan. The break then came in the 48th minute when Fabrizio Miccoli cut in from the left and fired a right footed shot past Nelson Dida. Milan were clearly rattled by this and on the hour mark Seedorf again had an opportunity but the ball was just behind Borriello and he missed the chance to draw things level. Immediately after this Bresciano scored a goal that was created by Miccoli – the former ball boy of Milan.
Fabrizio Miccoli: “ We knew we could do well today, we thoroughly deserved it. We are a good team, today we showed it.”
Leonardo: “We didn’t have the tempo of other games today, but the team was in the running and did not play badly. It’s just that we ran into a Palermo side that played better.”
Before the game had even started people were curious as to why Alexander Pato had been left out of the side. And after the performance he put in today it is clear that maybe that was the right decision. He seemed all over the place, he had missed chances and even started to get in the way of the goal. Late into stoppage time he had the opportunity to provide Milan with a consolation goal, but instead Pato lost control and made it easy for the Palermo goalkeeper to tidy up.
Ronaldinho was in most of the action, creating opportunities and he showed some of his class and skill. 15 minutes into the game and we started to see the old Ronnie. He worked with Seedorf in perfect sync to provide Borriello with a scoring opportunity, although the latter failed to make the most of it. Again in the 31st minute Ronaldinho showed his brilliance when he crafted out another opportunity which Borriello was again unable to convert. Ronaldinho had shown the creative spark in the Milan side which usually came from Andrea Pirlo, who was surprisingly quiet throughout the game. The pressure kept coming and the Milan defence was beaten in the 48th minute when Miccoli scored, but more important than his goal was how he scored it. No one seemed to close him down and he went past Zambrotta with ease to score the opening goal which proved to just open the floodgates to more shots by Palermo.
At this point Milan had started to grow desperate and after 51 minutes Coach Leonardo did a straight swap by taking off Ignazio Abate and replacing him with Pato. Pato seemed to have no effect on the game so in the 69th minute Filipo Inzaghi was brought on for Seedorf, changing the formation to two strikers, which Milan should have had from the start. Milan had then fallen to their first defeat after five straight wins and are now five points behind Inter, following the Nerazzurri’s draw.
Milan 0-2 Palermo – Miccoli 49, Bresciano 62
Milan (4-2-3-1): Dida- Favalli, Nesta, Antonini, Zambrotta- Pirlo, Ambrosini ( Flamini 77)- Seedorf (Inzaghi 70), Ronaldinho, Abate ( Pato 51)- Borriello
Palermo (4-3-1-2): Sirigu- Cassani, Kjaer, Bovo, Balzeretti- Nocherino, Liverani. Bresciano- Simplicio ( Pastore 60)- Miccoli ( Budan 68), Cavani ( Goian 90)
8- Corners – 2
24 (6) – Shots ( on target) – 16 (4)
16 – Fouls – 13
0 (0) – Yellow cards ( Red) – 1 (0)
2 – Offside – 4