Malmö 2, Milan 2* : The Conclusion of Ibra Week

Ironically on the heels of The Discovery Channnel’s fearsome Shark Week in the United States, we here at the Milan Obsession blog have celebrated “Ibra Week,” which was twice as ferocious and at least six times more frightening. (At least one completely non-scientific survey shows that fear of Ibra is 12 times more common than fear of sharks. Although our demographics may have been skewed, surveying primarily teammates and opposition players.)

After Jovan raising questions about the humane treatment of Ibra by Milan and then inviting the man himself to preview the Malmö match, we conclude our Ibra Week programming with this little wrap up about how a bunch of players in Milan jerseys went with Ibra to his old club and played something called a “friendly” against his former club, Malmö.

The match started with mixed messages from Allegri. Our back line, consisting of Antonini, Bonera, Rodrigo Ely, and Taiwo, said, “Come and get us.” Whereas our front line was more like a shark attack, with Kevin Prince Boateng lined up behind Ibra and Cassano. With Gattuso, Ambrosini, and Emanuelson in the middle, it was a little more clear that we weren’t planning on being so “friendly.”

Which is good, because Malmö didn’t seem to be in such a friendly mood, either, maybe a little something to prove? Anyway, the ref was VERY friendly, opting to ignore that little thing called a penalty area, as well as most fouls in or out of the box. Which was fine, considering that he was “friendly” both ways. But the most worrisome moment was in the 15th minute, when Ibra tangled up with a Malmö player in the box and seems to have twisted his ankle pretty badly. He was in visible pain the rest of the match until he  finally came off in the 61st. The man of the hour is NOT supposed to get injured.

Beyond that, our shark attack front line did their worst, which finally lead to a Cassano header in the 27th from a great Emanuelson cross. 1-0 Milan. This is how this match was supposed to go, right?

But just a minute later, Gattuso went down injured, apparently his hand, and things kind of deteriorated from there. It was in the 36th that Durmaz broke through our frail defense and scored the equalizer for Malmö. 1-1.

The second half saw a number of changes: Abbiati in for Amelia, Oddo in for Gattuso, van Bommel in for Kevin Prince Boateng. Still, our front line looked more like a shark that had lost too many teeth. And our back line was still weak. In the 48th, they even left Abbiati one on one with a man in a light blue shirt called Malm, who did what most players (other than Robinho) do in that situation: score. Malmö 2, Milan 1.

The 73rd+ saw Ibra, Ely, Taiwo (and someone else?) come off. Replacing them were Kingsley Boateng (no relation), Abate, De Sciglio, and Comi. But it seemed that Malmö just used this as an excuse to produce an attacking hailstorm. Which, with 2 credible members of our real defense, Abbiati and Abate, we somehow survived. Abbiati was definitely getting a workout, though.

We had our chances, but they were either weak, not on target, or we were simply outdefended by the Swedes. In the 87th, Comi put one in the net for Milan, but it was called back for offside. Then Cassano, reciprocating an assist, assisted that other Boateng, who headed the ball in in the 89th for our equalizer. Malmö 2, Milan 2. Which reminds me, my man of the match was definitely Cassano. He played 90 minutes, had a goal and an assist, and generally kicked some serious ass. Questions answered. Exclamation point.

But then there was this really tall trophy sitting on the field, and apparently no friendlier way to solve who got to take it home than with a penalty shootout. To get straight to the point, 2 players from each side stepped up, took their kicks, and scored. The third Malmö player steps up, takes his kick, and Abbiati saves it. Still, we needed to score our third to be able to fly home with the trophy. And who steps up but Oddo, the ultimate PK taker. (Who incidentally missed one in the Audi Cup.) The Malmö keeper got a touch on it, but it went in. Milan 3-2 on penalties. And Ambrosini was handed the trophy that was nearly as tall as him.

I have to say, I like these Swedish people. Ibra invites us over for a warm cup of friendly action. They  unfurl a giant Ibra tribute banner, play a tough game, give us a nice workout, keep the score friendly, injuries to a minimum, give us a chance to practice our penalty shootouts, and then send us back to Milan with a tall trophy to remember them by.  A perfect way to conclude our Ibra Week. Tack Malmö!

This post was inspired by the music of Stone Temple Pilots.

Malmö 2, Milan 2* : The Conclusion of Ibra Week Malmö 2, Milan 2* : The Conclusion of Ibra Week Reviewed by Elaine on 12:12 PM Rating: 5
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