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The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

Chievo Verona

13.03.2016 SERIE A 2015/2016
Chievo Verona - AC Milan 0:0

Mario Balotelli, Philippe Mexes, Kevin Prince-Boateng, Diego Lopez – these names of AC Milan players make impression upon most of the football fans. The impression is even greater if one finds out none of the guys comes to the pitch in the first eleven. And still greater, if none pops up even for a single minute…which was the case in Verona. Sinisa Mihajlovic retained his biggest stars on a substitute bench (apparently showing who sets the rules) yet the final score was unhelpful – goalless draw in a match against a middle-table team is a loss in a way, particularly in the context of the “rosso-neri “‘s chase after the teams occupying positions which guarantee next season’s appearances in the Europe’s League competition at least.
Entrance to the stadium is not easy in Italy – besides the tickets, fans need to produce IDs and since the number of entry gates is limited, jams are created around those relatively quickly. The venue in Verona is not state of the art and the quality of the blue racecourse around the pitch is an evidence for that – it is doubtful if any light athletic competition is still held there. If so, an accident would almost be guaranteed.
Few thousands spectators came to Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on that Sunday afternoon – the past glory of AC Milan is still somehow magnetic and a relatively short distance from Milan (150 km or less than 2 hours by motorway) brought many guests’ fans to the stadium. 
Hardly any emotions in the first half, two goal opportunities appeared all both teams were in a position to demonstrate. A 17-year old (!) goalkeeper of AC Milan had to leave his post already in the 19th minute due to an injury and was replaced by Abiatti who looked as if having ca. 20 kg overweight. Which proves by the way that Lopez is not one of Mihajlovic’s favourites, despite his good performance record at Real Madrid.
AC Milan is clearly missing a top quality playmaker – Bertolacci is willing this role a lot yet not always can do it in the right manner while Menez prefers receiving rather than giving a pass. Honda was certainly the brightest point of his team that afternoon yet his “lacking” right leg often poses some limits to the quality of his operations on the right hand side of the pitch.
Something seemed to have moved in the second half (two consecutive shots on the bar) yet no goal effects followed – none of the teams deserved a win in fact.
Given the above, it is Verona’s Old Town beauties rather than the match itself, which will remain in our memories.