AC Milan: The return of the Catenaccio
AC Milan nullify Barcelona's attacking threat to record 2-0 win in Champions League
Football is a beautiful game - the Brazilians are renowned for their attacking flair and play eye-catching football. But in Italy, they play a more disciplined game.
The match between AC Milan and Barcelona typifies Italian style.
We are witnessing the golden age of football with Barcelona - a team widely regarded as the best in history playing at the top of their game. This style of football and the quality of players will not last forever, so enjoy it while it is here.
AC Milan are going through their own type of revolution. They offloaded 13 players before the start of the season and lost two of their top performers in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, both to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Rossoneri started their domestic campaign dismally and many were calling for coach Massimiliano Allegri to be sacked.
But Milan are a proud club, they have a rich history in the Champions League and were never going to role over as the 'best team in the world' came to the San Siro. It was somewhat surprising that so many expected this contest to be one-sided in favour of Barcelona.
The Milan of new are not the Milan of the past, but they are building something for the future as well as the here and now with a young team of talented starlets. The Italians played the way they knew how to play and that was what won them the game. In essence, Catenaccio is Barcelona's kryptonite.
AC Milan on paper were not supposed to win, especially with Mario Balotelli absent due to being cup tied. But they played with grit, heart and determination, and this performance was even more impressive than when Chelsea beat Barcelona last year at the Nou Camp.
Why? Because Barcelona were outclassed by AC Milan who were resolute in defence and suffocated the Spanish giants in midfield. Lionel Messi was nowhere to be found and the midfield engine of Xavi was shut down by Milan.
Barcelona's kryptonite is Catenaccio - their style of play just does not work when there are so many men behind the ball, waiting to pounce and attack on the counter.
Not only were there so many men behind the ball, but there were 11 players working together in unison that stifled the opposition.
Milan are slowly making the Serie A and Italian football relevant again, with their dismantling of Barcelona case in point. There are still 90 minutes left to play and the tie is far from over, but based on this display, Italian football is back!
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