So Milan drew with Torino on Saturday night, but you'd be forgiven if you missed that minor detail. After all, this match marked Ricky Kaka's re-debut in a rossoneri shirt, and anyone paying attention to anything as plebian as a result clearly didn't understand just how important the Brazilian's return actually was.
The first half was incredibly dull, but it mattered little. Why? Because we had the Ricky Cam -- or, if you prefer, the Ricky Kakam, although Sky Calcio wasn't kind enough to label it as such. That distracted from the painful play on the pitch. Kaka getting the captain's armband when Riccardo Montolivo had to leave the match with a thigh injury also did much to lift the rossoneri spirits and carry them through halftime.
Yet even the return of the beloved Kaka couldn't prevent Torino from taking the lead early in the second half, courtesy of a goal by Danilo D'Ambrosio. I know, I know. We were just as surprised as the Milan directors, who'd clearly thought they'd found a magical solution to all of their woes.
Imagine, then, Milan's surprise when Toro had the temerity to score again! At least this time they'd waited for captain Kaka to leave the pitch (although the sight of him being replaced by Valter Birsa induced many a head scratch). Less than a minute after Kaka checked out, Alessio Cerci checked in, zooming through the midfield and chipping his shot over Christian Abbiati's head.
But the power of the Kaka penetrated through the Milan side, lifting their spirits and bringing them back from the brink. First, it was Sulley Muntari scoring in the 87th minute. The only possible explanation for a such an occurrence is the presence of Kaka, even if Kaka was on the bench at the time.
And then there was Mario Balotelli's 97th minute goal. That never would've happened without...no, wait. Yeah, we're pretty used to Milan getting penalties awarded in the dying minutes of matches (we'll wait a few minutes for you Fiorentina supporters to wipe your tears away before we continue). Anyway, SuperMario deftly stepped up and Daniele Padelli barely gave chase as the Milan forward put the ball into the back of the net.
Hey, did we mention Kaka yet? Because he's back, guys. He's back.
Torino: Padelli; Glick, Bovo, Moretti; Darmian, Brighi, Vives, El Kaddouri, D'Ambrosio (Pasquale 80); Cerci (Larrondo 76, Farnerud 96), Immobile
Goals: D' Ambrosio '47, Cerci 71
AC Milan: Abbiati; Zaccardo, Zapata, Mexes, Emanuelson; Montolivo (Poli 45), De Jong, Muntari; Kakà (Birsa 70); Robinho (Matri 58), Balotelli
Goals: Muntari 87, Balotelli 90+7