AC Milan have been in imperious form this season and have duly risen to the helm of Serie A.
Although their rise has been helped by the lacklustre performances of city rivals Inter, the Milanese’s swashbuckling style has drawn plaudits aplenty from across the Peninsula.
The triumvirate dubbed ‘Boatinhovic’ – comprising of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – have been in indomitable form going forward, while manager Massimiliano Allegri has also gone about shoring up the Rossoneri’s ailing backline with aplomb.
So much so that Milan headed into the weekend with a six-point advantage of their nearest rivals, although defeat at the San Siro has seen their advantage cut in half.
AS Roma halted il Diavolo’s charge towards the Scudetto by inflicting their first defeat in eight matches with a narrow 1-0 win in Lombardy.
Milan had the most of the possession and the better chances, but lacked the cutting edge that had taken them clear at the top in recent weeks.
Allegri’s side were lacking a man with the skill and nous to finish the chances; a man like Marco Borriello.
The 28-year-old plotted the Rossoneri’s downfall and got the decisive goal in the 69th minute, although he knew very little about it.
Jeremy Menez’s cross from the right was struck against the Roma striker’s leg by Ignazio Abate and the ball rebounded into the back of the net to break the deadlock and earn Roma all three points.
It could have been so different for Milan had they not have disposed of Borriello’s services in the summer.
Despite netting a goal every other game last season, the Rossoneri let the Naples-born striker leave for pastures new in order to help fund a host of big-name signings.
While Ibrahimovic and Co have shown their abundance of talents this season, Borriello showed that he too could have proven an integral player.
And what is more frustrating for the Milan faithful is that he is still their player as he is only on loan at Roma; something the San Siro crowd did not let him forget.
“I was a little hurt by the jeers,” he said after the game. “I didn’t expect them, as I did not make any aggressive gestures during my celebration.
“In any case, I am happy for my team and we closed the gap on the leaders to seven points.
“I am finding my consistency in terms of performances and scoring some decisive goals. Roma have proven we are a competitive side.
“I have always said we have a chance, even during the difficult opening games,” he added on their title chances. “Our squad is extraordinary, and it all depends on us.”
Having led something of a nomadic footballing existence to date, Borriello will hope to enjoy a fruitful and lengthy spell in the Italian capital.
After coming through the Milan youth ranks he enjoyed – and sometimes endured – spells on loan with Treviso, Triestina, Empoli, Reggina and Sampdoria, before being sold in a co-ownership deal to Genoa in 2007.
Borriello flourished at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, netting 19 goals in his one and only season with the Rossoblu before Milan again came calling.
With Alberto Gilardino flogged to Fiorentina, Milan plumped for another shot at Borriello and signed the by-then Italy international for a deal worth a reported 10 million euros, as well as the transfer of Davide Di Gennaro under a co-ownership deal.
Borriello, though, endured another tumultuous stay with the Milanese and parted company in the summer to join Roma, for whom he has netted a plethora of goals already this campaign.
The striker is clearly enjoying his stay at the Stadio Olimpico and has once again left Milan rueing what could have been.