Despite getting chewed up and spat out by Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday, AC Milan didn’t let that affect their resurgence in Serie A.
Milan defeated Palermo 2-0 on Sunday thanks to a brace from Mario Balotelli. That’s the club’s 14th victory since October 27th. In that 21 game span, they’ve only lost twice and would be top of the table by four points if the domestic calendar started on that date. Even though the Rossoneri couldn’t pull off a remarkable triumph midweek in Europe, they appear to be in good shape to qualify for 2013/14.
On just seven minutes, Milan got their first goal of the game arrived in the form of a penalty when Salvatore Aronica hauled down Balotelli off a corner. Ironically, Aronica is a former Napoli player having been transferred to Palermo in January. He didn’t help his old team in their pursuit of a top three spot and since Balo scores automatically from the spot, it was a given he’d bury yet another one. He did just that, it was his sixth goal in as many matches and gave the Milanese side an early advantage.
Milan could’ve extended the lead before the half hour mark, but Stephan El Shaarawy, who’s struggled to get one of his own recently, but his effort was blocked following a superb move from the Rossoneri attack. He failed to get onto the score sheet for the third straight time in the league (four counting European fixtures). In fact, he’s only recorded three goals since the turn of the year.
There was some controversy in the first half which ended up benefiting the hosts. On a Rosanero attack, Cristian Zapata looked to have used his hand to stop the ball from going through to Josep Ilicic. The Colombian was booked, but it arguably should of been red as he denied a goal scoring opportunity, with Ilicic one on one with the goalkeeper had Zapata not intervened illegally.
However that was the story of the afternoon, everything went Milan’s way even though it wasn’t the best performance of the season. Youngster Paulo Dybala and Michel Morganella each had chances to bag one, but couldn’t find the back of the net. That’s when “Super Mario” popped up. After good work on the left flank by M’Baye Niang, the ball deflected and Stefano Sorrentino could only parry it, gifting Balotelli made with a tap-in from two metres.
-Unfortunately for Milan, Napoli finally won. Their 3-2 triumph against Atalanta isn’t anything to ride home about, but they stay two points ahead of the Rossoneri.
-Edinson Cavani had a brace, scoring for the first time in eight games, his longest dry spell since joining the Partenopei.
-League leaders Juventus continued their good form by defeating Bologna 2-0 thanks to Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio’s tallies.
-Fiorentina and Genoa were involved in a 3-2 barnburner which went in favour of the Viola. It appeared that the visitors would get a point in their quest to stay in Serie A, but a second yellow to Andrea Bertolacci and a Mattia Cassani own goal late in the match thwarted that plan.
-Roma avoided losing for the fifth consecutive time under Aurelio Andreazzoli thanks to a 2-0 win against Parma. Erik Lamela scored his 13th of the campaign and Francesco Totti got one as well, catapulting the Giallorossi into fifth, level on points with Inter and Lazio.
-Speaking of the devil, the other side from Rome fell yet again. They went into Torino and lost 1-0, meaning they slip to seventh, but again, they’re level on points with two other teams.
-On the other hand, Torino got back to winning ways after going three matches without a victory. They’re now ten points clear of the drop zone.
Sampdoria 0-0 Torino (POSTPONED. RESCHEDULED FOR APRIL 2ND); Catania 3-1 Udinese; Siena 0-0 Cagliari; Pescara 0-2 Chievo