It's worth remembering that Milan got off to a horrible start to the season last year as well, and wound up squeezing into the third Champions League position. It also might be relevant to note that the rossoneri fell to Fiorentina last November as well, and Adriano Galliani kept the faith in Massimiliano Allegri. But the Milan coach has been trying the patience of both club and fans for far too long now -- will this be the final straw?
The first half saw Milan have the vast majority of the shots, but it was the visitors that took the lead. Just one shot was all Fiorentina needed to get past a rossoneri defense that's been lacking all season long.
Juan Manuel Vargas put the viola ahead just before the half hour mark. Sulley Muntari brought down Ryder Matos, handing Fiorentina a free kick. Foolishly, considering the weaknesses in Milan's cobbled-together defense. Sure enough, Vargas's free kick took a deflection -- off Muntari himself, and Gabriel wasn't able to reach the ball. Just how many goals have Milan conceded from set pieces this season, anyway?
Shortly after the goal, former Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini, who'd missed the last few Fiorentina matches through injury, had to hobble off, replaced by Matias Vecino. The rossoneri faithful were all class, however, having hung a banner letting the midfielder know that after 18 years, his name was recorded in Milan history.
But it was the second half that really deepened Allegri's woes. Despite substitutions made in an attempt to liven up his side -- M'baye Niang for Valter Birsa, Riccardo Saponara for Muntari -- the hosts just couldn't find the target. Instead, it was Fiorentina that got on the scoreboard again. Joaquín, on for a tired Giuseppe Rossi, easily dribbled past Saponara and put in a cross. Gabriel punched it away, but the ball fell favorably to Borja Valero, who easily put it into the top corner.
AC Milan: Gabriel; Constant, Zapata, Zaccardo, Abate; Muntari (Saponara 69), de Jong, Montolivo; Kakà, Balotelli, Birsa (Niang 57)
Goals: Vargas 27'; Borja Valero 73