MILAN 1 Ronaldinho 78 (pen)
This game was more about mere points; it was about pride and ending the season on a high and not going out in a whimper. The game had partially become over shadowed by the very public debate about Leonardo’s future and his relations with Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi. However none of that showed, what did show instead was how important this game was to Milan and the players. Losing this game could have been disastrous for Milan, as morale within the club was already low and they were at a real risk of free falling down the table. Fiorentina on the other hand, is a whole different matter as they were fighting to stay in Europe’s “other” league, the Europa League. But after the late goal by Ronaldinho they can say goodbye to Europe as they only have two games left and they are seven points adrift from the top seven.
The fact that Leonardo opted for a trident attack consisting Klaas-Jan-Huntelaar, Marco Borriello and Ronaldinho showed Leo’s intent. Whatever was going on with his future didn’t matter, all he wanted was the win and the first 45 minutes showed a truly inspirational performance by Ronaldinho. He may only show his talents in brief glimpses, but when he does he makes sure it is seen. As early as the eighth minute, Klaas- Jan- Huntelaar instead of squaring it to Marco Borriello, selfishly went for goal and hit the side netting.
Frustrations showed on everyone’s face but more on Borriello as he was sure he could’ve scored. Borriello and Huntelaar did this a number of times, instead of passing they went for goal. This is a desirable attribute in a striker but what is also required is to have positional awareness and the sense to pass the ball to the player in a better position. After creating chances for Huntelaar and Bordello on the 18th minute, he decided to try one for himself and on the 19th minute he tested French goalkeeper Sebastien Frey who was forced to push it away. The Brazilian tested the keeper again when he got on the end of a Gianluca Zambrotta shot towards goal forcing Frey to make a reaction save.
It seemed that this game was destined to remain goalless, which would not have been a major disaster for the Rossoneri but would have meant they still have a lot of work to do. Having players showing signs of tired legs, wouldn’t have been great for Milan as they have Genoa and Juventus still to play. The break did come deep in the second-half not long after Filippo Inzaghi came on for Huntelaar. Within minutes this throw of the dice by Leonardo had paid off as Per Kroldrup came in with a two-footed challenge on Borriello that forced the referee to point to the spot. Ronaldinho wasn’t going to miss from the spot and smacked the ball into the net. Milan left the San Siro with the vital three points and remains in third place with a direct route into Champions League football next season.