Kaka magic not enough for Milan

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Kaka punches the air in delight after giving AC Milan the lead against Lazio.GettyImagesKaka punches the air in delight after giving AC Milan the lead against Lazio.

The renaissance continues to gather pace with each game for Kaka, with the Brazilian curling in a superb effort to score his first goal since his return to the club. In contrast, the struggle goes on for the Rossoneri after the 1-1 draw against Lazio on Wednesday night which leaves them no closer to reducing the gap to third place.

In many aspects, the performance was positive, given that Milan controlled possession and the tempo for long periods but were ultimately undone by yet another headed goal. Similarly, the danger of being caught on the counterattack remains and they show no sign of eradicating these fundamental mistakes.

Who is to blame? Arguably it can be shared between the coaching staff and players who seem unable to prevent it from happening. While injuries were a viable excuse in the opening stages of the season, it is now becoming clear that they are incapable of maintaining control throughout.

However, Kaka’s form has undoubtedly been a relief and a delight simultaneously, and as he continues to build up his minutes, he will hopefully have more influence on the team.

Mattia De Sciglio's return was undoubtedly a positive, and his presence will provide more solidity and consistency on the left flank provided he isn’t asked to fill in for Ignazio Abate, who endured one of his poorer performances on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, perhaps the most critical aspect of manager Massimiliano Allegri’s tactics and selection is the on-going faith placed in Sulley Muntari who offers defensive protection but little else.

While there are situations where his presence is required, particularly away from home, when looking to break down teams at San Siro it is questionable why he continues to feature ahead of better options.

Andrea Poli should perhaps be one of the first names on the team-sheet given his ability to do the same job, but also offering something offensively.

Meanwhile, there is some concern over the dip in form of Mario Balotelli, which coincidentally is now becoming more of a problem in the absence of Stephan El Shaarawy.

For all their critics who have previously suggested the pair are incompatible, their movement and dynamism can make them more unpredictable with El Shaarawy’s presence in effect giving Balotelli more space to influence the game.

Speculation continues that one of the Italian internationals could leave the club next year, but it would be ideal to see them continue to play together regularly when El Shaarawy returns from injury in a few weeks.

However, the more immediate concern will now be how Milan go about recovering and moving up the table. Allegri worryingly mentioned it was important for the Rossoneri to get back to winning ways in order to “at least close up on the Europa League zone”.

While also conceding that if the top clubs continues at their pace then “nobody can catch them”, when comes the point that the Champions League places become an unrealistic objective? Hopefully, a win over Fiorentina on Saturday will reignite their hopes, but by continuing to drop points it is becoming a more difficult prospect.

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

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