A job well done for the home team as Bologna deny Milan all three points. The Rossoneri went into the game fully aware that they had to win to have any hope at catching up with Inter and with Roma breathing down their neck ready to take second place, a positive result in this game would have given them some breathing space.
Milan used this game as a platform to test their new signing, Amantino Mancini. Milan Coach Leonardo decided to play him instead of David Beckham – maybe not the best decision as he was fairly anonymous during the first half. The Rossoneri boss would be wise to be worried because now they have fallen 10 points behind league leaders Inter.
Bologna did well to restrict Milan from any clear-cut chances on goal, and this forced Milan to stick to long range efforts on goal. The Rossoblu had one opportunity that came at 31 minutes when veteran striker Marco Di Vaio forced Dida into a two tough saves. He was Bologna’s main threat, and due to this there were very few attempts on goal by Bologna. This did not matter, as Milan could get past the defence – it seemed blaringly obvious that they were missing the young talent that is Alexandre Pato, needing his pace and creativity to get past the back-line and make it count. Instead they had the talents of Marco Borriello up-front. But because of the defensive unity belonging to Bologna, he didn’t really have a chance to shine.
Leonardo had visibly waited too long to make his substitutions. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was brought on in the 60th minute for Clarence Seedorf and Beckham was finally introduced in the 79th minute, too late to make a real difference. Of the two keepers, Bologna keeper Roberto Colombo had more work to do, Bologna’s defence may have been hard to get by but it did not stop the Rossoneri taking pot-shots at goal. The goalkeeper put in an admirable performance, putting his body on the line on more than one occasion. The Rossoneri came agonisingly close to steal all three points when Massimo Ambrosini’s header hit the crossbar. And it was visible by his reaction, that he knew it was over.
Prior to this game Milan had to deal with a lot of negative press, some of it being provided by their owner, Silvio Berlusconi. Earlier in the week he did nothing to hide his bemusement at signing Mancini. This plus the continued accusations surrounding Ronaldinho and his alleged partying behaviour obviously had a negative effect on the Brazilians as they were fairly quiet throughout the game. They came alive in the second half, when the urgency of the game became apparent – this brought a period of sustained Milan pressure but it was too little, too late as the Rossoneri still left the Stadio Dall’Ara with one point.