Milan vs Napoli 5-2

Posted on January 14, 2008. Filed under: serie a, Video | Tags: , , , , , |

Sunday meant a lot to Milan for various reasons. The debut of Alexandre Pato, the return of Ronaldo from injury and a convincing display against Napoli to remove the jinx of playing at home this season (Milan had not won at home all season).  The Brazilian connection between Ronaldo, Pato and Kaka’ did not disappoint.

Ronaldo had a good opportunity early on, although it was blocked, he didn’t have to wait long to begin celebrations. On 10 minutes the phenomenon was set up by Kaka’ and found the goal after his shot deflected off the keeper. The Napoli defence tried to clear it off the line but it had already crossed. Pato had a furious long-range effort blocked as it proved to hot to hold on to. Napoli equalised on 27 minutes through a lovely team play that Milan’s defense had no answer for.

On 31 minutes Milan took the lead again. Although Napoli’s keeper, Iezzo was on fire, he could only block so many attempts. Pato had two chances which were blocked before the ball fell in front of Seedorf for him to smash into the back of the net. A few minutes later Iezzo was called on again to block Pato’s near post shot and soon after Kaladze gave away a penalty. A rare event of late that the Milan attack was doing so much better than their defense. The match was tied again 2-2 going into the break.

Less than a minute after the restart, Ronaldo found the back of the net again, heading in a Seedorf cross. Reminding everyone that he’s the world player of the year, Kaka’ added his name to the score sheet in the 68th minute. Finally Pato wrapped things up and completed a memorable debut to confirm the hype surrounding him. A great display of strength and poise in front of goal fitting of one much older than him. The youngster dedicated the goal to his family and girlfriend. Pato also paid his respects to Ronaldo who he idolised growing up and considers it a dream playing alongside him.

Ronaldo has send out a message that he’s not quite ready to call it quits in Europe and return to Brazil. He wishes to repay the faith and patience that Milan has given him, the living legend Maldini himself commended Ronaldo’s efforts during training, labeling him as one of the hardest workers on the team. If he continues to do well, he will surely get a contract extension, Berlusconi was also quick to state that “His love story with Milan will not end in six months’ time”.

Ancelotti has applauded Ronaldo’s performance last night, he commented how Milan played very well, especially Ronaldo. It’s a great start after being out for 6 months, it’s only the second appearance for the team this season so hopefully with increasing fitness he can continue to improve. The coach was also full of praise for Pato who not only scored in his debut but was also provider for a great number of scoring chances. He commended his pace, ability to turn and shoot and that now the job is just to ensure he’s getting enough of the ball. However, Ancelotti reserved his man of the match vote for Clarence Seedorf. He was involved in all of the plays and adapted to the deeper role without fuss, a true team player.

Check out the highlights, well worth it.

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