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Brescia 0, Milan 1: Brescia Lullaby

It shouldn’t surprise me that a game against a team with so many players whose names start with “Z” would be such a snoozer…. Zebina, Zambelli, Zoboli, and Zanetti….ZZZzzzzzzzz…



Milan came out possessing, as usual. Possession, possession (yawn) possession. 61% possession, to be exact. Which would be fabulous if only they did not also bring their “If I make this, I must be dreaming” strike force. Seedorf, Flamini, Boateng, Cassano, and Robinho all had shots, but only 4 of the 18 were on goal. (yawn)

Brescia, hypnotized by our sleepy possession, mirrored our play for most of the game, including our fine shooting skills. In fact, the only person awake for the first 75 minutes was the referee, who issued a total of 6 yellow cards to Milan and her bunkmates. For Brescia, there was Eder in the 34th, Vass in the 36th, Berardi in the 68th, and Filippini in the 90th. For Milan, the cards went to van Bommel in the 30th and Abate in the 66th. Van Bommel’s was costly, as he will miss our next game due to yellow card accumulation. The ref had clearly had his coffee before the match, as he called 23 fouls on Brescia and 13 on Milan.

Our trip into dreamland started with the “pinch me, I must be dreaming” look at our bench, where Ambrosini, Pirlo, Gattuso, and Gattuso’s phone sat. Which unfortunately meant that Seedorf would wear our captain’s armband. After some of the spectacular performances he’s had lately, I dreaded seeing this, as the armband seems to weigh heavy with him. Not unlike the one ring to rule them all in Middle Earth, it is as much a blessing as a curse. And today, it did seem to keep him from putting in another fiery performance.

But do you know who was absolutely dreamy for this match? Zambrotta & Abate. Zambrotta was all over the place. Less forward as the game went on, but he was on fire. Abate was perhaps both our best defensive and nearly our best offensive player today, I lost track of the beautiful crosses and how many times he got forward. In fact, his spectacular defensive play today prompted one of our friends, Pragathish, to comment “Abate is such a monstrous tackler. Don’t let his schoolboy looks fool ya.” Amen. Earlier this year, I put out my blanket MOTM choices for the season: Abate and Abbiati. And today was a perfect example of why they still deserve this running honor.

Speaking of Abbiati, the dream quickly seemed like it might turn to a nightmare. After having one good save in the 40th minute, and a dangerous shot saved from Caracciolo in the 62nd, he had barely been troubled. But in the 76th minute, Baiocco woke him up in a cold sweat with a shot that just barely cleared the top of the crossbar. Then in the 81st, Diamanti sent a very dangerous corner in, then shots in the 88th, 89th, and 93rd minutes, all inspiring breathtaking saves from the brilliant keeper.


These shots also seemed to jolt our sleepy offense out of their sleepwalking, too. In the 82nd minute, Cassano made a great run into the box, sent a beautiful pass over to Robinho who was left one on one with Arcari, and in a sequence out of the best of dreams, Robinho scored! One goal to rule them all.

Nightmarish performances were given by Boateng, whose most interesting contribution was having Berardi pull his shirt off of him in the 45th minute, and Flamini, who was, well… Flamini. He is like the Freddy Krueger of our midfield, slashing opponents and shots alike. Boateng was replaced by Emanuelson in the 70th, but Flamini continued to torment Milan fans for the duration of this dream.

Silva had a couple of nightmare moments, too, when Eder beat him twice midgame for a couple of scares. But, in true Thiago Silva fashion, it was a spectacular Silva save in the 94th minute that closed out the game, a fitting way to remember his otherwise usual stalwart performance. Yepes also did a great job deputizing for Nesta again, who is still injured.

News of the day included a potential controversial non-call early on with Cassano in the box, but I am here to tell you the ref got that one right. Better news was that our big blonde captain played almost 10 minutes, having come on for Cassano, and he jumped right back in with both feet. Welcome back, Capitano!

At the end of the day, the snoozefest had a dream ending - 3 points toward that Scudetto. They say we can wrap it up with 4 more points, including if Inter drop points. I cannot imagine a better ending to a dream that lacked style but was rich in rewards.


 
Here is hoping that those of you who are celebrating this holiday weekend have a wonderful one filled with food, friends, family, and Scudetto dreams.

Buona Pasqua!


This post was brought to you by very conflicted interest in the Juventus v. Catania match
and my computer screen here.