Saturday, May 14, 2011

Milan-Cagliari 4-1: celebrate!

In the lack of a better title...we don't need a better title. As newly crowned champions of Italy, we have the right to be less eloquent than usual. Tonight's review will be one of few words and many photos, as the game itself was less important than the wonderful atmosphere, the scudetto celebration and Pippo's return. The one stand out performer was Robinho who apparently becomes an unsolvable puzzle for the opposition the moment pressure is taken off his shoulders.

The game was everything we hoped for - Milan created chances with ease and scored 4 goals, but not only that. The scoreline was almost perfect, as Robinho made up for some of his misses during the season, Gattuso scored with a header from outside the box and Seedorf ended a well-constructed move with a cool finish. Almost perfect. If Abate had used his chance to score his first goal of the season it would have been even closer to perfection, but the one man whose goal would have made this night even more epic I need to say it?

Us TV spectators knew Inzaghi was about to come on before we saw him or heard the announcer, simply because the crowd went wild as soon as he got off the bench. The vibrating chants continued on and off until he took Pato's place on the field when they reached a heart-warming climax. Milan performed well throughout the game, playing in a relaxed but confident manner until the final whistle of the referee (who by the way was refereeing his first Serie A match tonight). Ambrosini was taken off at halftime in order to get his hair cut, washed and dried in time for the biggest moment in his time as Milan captain.

As Milan players ran towards the podium down the red carpet that was rolled out next to 20 adorable children wearing the shirts of all Serie A clubs, I asked myself a question - why the hell is the kid from Palermo a horse's length taller than the rest of them? But that's just me, I'm sure the rest of you were too busy contemplating such trifles as Milan's first scudetto since 2004...the scudetto that ended Inter's dominance and sent a message to the football world that we're on our way back to glory after years of slow, predictable football. Milan players traditionally bring their children to these events, and this one was no different.

Each player's face as they ran or walked towards the podium showed the same character they display on the pitch - from Boateng's boy-like aggression to Zlatan's arrogant stroll and from Gattuso's passion to Seedorf's class. Last but not least, Cassano managed to go up the wrong staircase to the amusement of Abbiati and the rest of the players already sitting casually on the edge of the podium. The medals were handed out by a group of women who in all likelihood went through a rigorous casting process in Berlusconi's luxury basement. Yes, yes, I know the Berlusconi jokes are getting old but I wanted to be the first to do this one.

As I've already written more than I intended to, I'll leave you with a few more pieces of photo evidence of this magnificent night, starting with the players' appearance at the Milan square earlier during the day and ending with the same players being soaked in champagne.

- before the match -

- after the match -

And with that, I leave you. Stay tuned for more celebratory posts as the season nears its official end and we start to delve into transfer market-related topics.