It's certainly too little, too late, but AC Milan appear to have finally turned their season around and are at least building a bit of momentum for their next campaign. They won their third consecutive Serie A match on Monday, recording a 2-1 victory away to Genoa.
The match got off to a slow start, with neither team generating much in the way of chances until Genoa's midfield evaporated in the 20th minute. When Adel Taarabt picked up the ball just barely inside his own half, he had all kinds of space to run into and dribbled to within 20 yards of goal completely unopposed. By the time anyone bothered to close him down, it was too late and he'd driven a shot into the bottom corner to put Milan ahead.
Genoa were the better side from then until the end of the first half, though they couldn't turn their dominance into goals. Andrea Bertolacci hit an effort from outside of the box just inches wide in the 37th minute, recording one of numerous half-chances for the home side before the halftime break.
Milan came out the stronger of the two sides to start the second half, however, and scored their second goal in the 56th minute in a fashion similar to the first. No one bothered to close down Keisuke Honda in midfield as he was allowed to run towards the top of the box before chipping the ball over Mattia Perin, who had charged off his line to oppose him. Giuseppe Sculli ran back in an attempt to clear the ball, but couldn't stop it from crossing the line for Honda's first Serie A goal.
Just like they did in the first half, Genoa became the dominant side after that goal, but they were able to turn their dominance into a goal this time around. Marco Motta made things interesting with his 73rd minute strike, though it's likely to go down as an own goal. Milan allowed a corner to run all the way to the back post, where Motta was waiting to hit a powerful drive. His shot hit the crossbar, but bounced off the back of Christian Abbiati and into the back of the net.
Sensing that his team needed a bit of a wake-up call, Clarence Seedorf introduced Mario Balotelli, who was rested to start the match. He didn't help to relieve the pressure instantly, however, as Genoa continued to attack the Milan goal. Abbiati made a brilliant save on a drive by Stefano Sturaro just a minute after Balotelli's introduction and Philippe Mexes had to clear a follow-up header by Motta off the line.
That was the best chance Genoa would get to equalize, however, as Milan seemed to settle in a bit after the introduction of Valter Birsa. Milan are still inching their way back towards the top half, but this wasn't a terrific performance, and Genoa will probably feel like they deserved a draw.
Genoa: Perin, Antonelli (Cofie 83'), De Maio, Marchese, Burdisso, Motta, Sturaro, Bertolacci, Sculli (Centurion 69'), Gilardino, Fetfazidis (Calaio 82')
Goals: Motta (73')
Milan: Abbiati, Constant, Mexes, Rami, Bonera, Montolivo, De Jong, Kaka (Poli 88'), Honda, Taarabt (Birsa 83'), Pazzini (Balotelli 74')
Goals: Taarabt (20'), Honda (56')