With rumours flying around about his future, Filippo Inzaghi must have been relieved to be able to simply do his job as Milan lined up against Cesena looking to pick up their second win of 2015. He must have been even more relieved when Bonaventura’s low finish rattled past Nicola Leali to give the Rossoneri a lead. The full-time whistle following Pazzini’s penalty probably had the former striker walking on air.
“We’re happy, but we’ve done nothing yet,” a determined Inzaghi told Press following the game.
He’s right – a win against 19th placed Cesena, a club just six points above the newly bankrupt Parma, won’t be the victory that keeps him in a job. It is a start though, and with upcoming games against 16th placed Chievo, 15th placed Verona and 18th placed Cagliari making three out of the next four match-ups, the Diavolo have the chance to build some momentum. A spring stretch that includes the Milan derby, both high flying Genoan sides, Roma and Napoli is on the horizon and the Milan that has showed up so far in 2015 would almost certainly fail to meet even the least optimistic fan’s expectations.
A return to a three man midfield benefited the Rossoneri, who also managed to get a cohesive performance from captain Riccardo Montolivo and Nigel de Jong, who put in another impressive showing that should remind Adriano Galliani that the Dutchman should be given a new contract as quickly as possible.
In front of the Montolivo-Andrea Poli-De Jong triumvirate, Bonaventura was decisive as the trequartista behind Jeremy Menez and Mattia Destro. Milan have often struggled linking midfield and attack spanning back to Massimiliano Allegri’s tenure and the Kevin Prince Boateng experiment, and the former Atalanta man was effective in that regard. Bonaventura, an intelligent and forward thinking midfielder who is able to accurately distribute the ball from an advanced position, gives Milan a promising dynamic.
The addition of a goal from the midfielder - his fourth of the season - displays the versatility that has become invaluable to Filippo Inzaghi, a Coach who despite the tactical shifts has always found space for the Italian. As his role continues to develop, so will the beneficiaries –Destro, a player reliant on service, will no doubt be on the receiving end of the chances created by the 25-year-old.
Destro is still finding his feet at Milan, after receiving through balls from Francesco Totti, Miralem Pjanic and Kevin Strootman it’s not difficult to imagine the comparatively threadbare creativity at San Siro having an impact on the striker’s production.
Inzaghi’s words about Destro rang a touch hollow - “probably needs a little time to get into our tactical system” – a striker in the former Siena man’s style requires little tactical development, but would perhaps benefit from having a less headstrong partner up front than the oft-selfish Menez. The Frenchman choosing to pursue personal glories over finding teammates has been a criticism that has followed the former Roma winger around his entire career, and he was once again guilty on Sunday.
Regardless of the kinks that are still on display, a long overdue victory gives Milan - and their embattled Coach - a bit of respite. For now, at least.
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