Milan lose Tardini thriller to Parma

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Oliver Morin/AFP/Getty ImagesParma's late winner stunned Milan and leaves the Rossoneri 11 points off third place in Serie A.

Following a 3-2 defeat to Parma on Sunday afternoon, things are getting increasingly more difficult for Milan to close the gap between themselves and the top three. Despite fighting back from a two-goal deficit, the Rossoneri were ultimately undone by a late Marco Parolo free-kick which now leaves them eleven points adrift of third-placed Juventus.

- Match report: Parma 3-2 Milan

Frustratingly, the first two goals conceded came through moves down Milan’s left flank, and it will undoubtedly be a welcome sight to see Mattia De Sciglio return from injury and add some much needed solidity to that side of the field.

However, that will be of little consolation to Massimiliano Allegri on Sunday night as the Milan coach failed to have his desired influence on the game after making some brave decisions in terms of substitutions in the second half.

While the Rossoneri arguably did well to control the tempo with a significant amount of possession in stages, their inability to remain focused and to avoid lapses in concentration yet again led to their downfall, as they conceded on counter-attacks that could well have been avoided.

With Allegri claiming that this game was “fundamental” to their hopes of keeping up with the top six, it will undoubtedly come as a bitter blow to lose in such fashion. Furthermore, it will do little to appease the growing disappointment surrounding Milan’s season and their failure to find consistency in Serie A.

His decision to withdraw Mario Balotelli will threaten to dominate headlines in tomorrow’s newspapers, but with Alessandro Matri finally ending his wait for his first goal since re-joining the club, there were positives to take from the game and it is hoped he will now put together some form of a scoring streak.

In his post-game interview, Allegri alluded to the fact that Milan will have both Adil Rami and Keisuke Honda available for selection in January and they will strengthen the squad, but there are two points of criticism with that logic.

Firstly, can Milan really afford to look toward January considering their current plight domestically? Despite making a similarly miraculous recovery last season, there really are no guarantees that the same can be achieved this year given the increased level of competition.

In addition, if the Rossoneri continue to make the same fundamental errors, are new faces going to make that much of a difference if the squad as a whole has flaws, whether it is physical or mental?

Milan arguably deserved to take more from the game, but Allegri will be fully aware of the fact that results are ultimately what count. Reinforcements may well be on the way, but it will matter little if the damage is already done with no realistic way of chasing down their rivals.

With just three days now until their next game, the fixture schedule really does produce some genuinely “fundamental” and potentially decisive games. Home games against Lazio and Fiorentina will be key to cutting away at the gap, but if Milan continue to be punished for every mistake or lapse in concentration, their situation could yet become more difficult.

Are Milan slipping out of contention for the top three? What is behind their current problems?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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