Genoa 0, Milan 2: Tears of a Griffin

It is never boring when Milan play in Genoa, and tonight was no exception. Tear gas, a red card, 7 yellows, plenty of fouls and a coach whose job is in jeopardy were a few of the highlights. But in the end, Milan left with 3 points. Leaving il Grifone with nothing but bruises and tears.

In your face, Grifoni! Or in your beak or whatever...

The first thing I remember was Nocerino exploding in on goal in the 2nd minute, only to get tripped up by Rossi in the box. Then again in the 12th minute, only to be stopped by Wolverine, a.k.a. Sebastian Frey. The first yellow of the night was then awarded to our captain, Ambrosini.

Then suddenly, in the 16th minute, people in the stands were covering their noses & mouths, and some people were tearing up. The ref stopped the game and had the players leave the pitch until the air had cleared. Apparently, the police had utilized some tear gas outside of the stadium to handle a situation, and the tear gas wafted into the stadium, affecting both fans and players.

Fan violence has long been a problem in Genoa. In 1995, a Genoa fan was stabbed to death by a Milan fan, and since then, Milan away fans have been outlawed there more often than not because of subsequent problems. It’s all enough to make you cry.

Tears of a crowd

Play resumed, and it was a very physical game again. Milan weren’t playing as well as they have, but Genoa were very determined not to let them. Despite their efforts, Boateng, Ibra, and Nocerino all had shots between the 22nd and 28th. The 31st saw Granqvist get a yellow for a  rough challenge on Ibra, and then the 33rd saw Antonini also get a yellow card.

Our deputizing defense looked solid, with Amelia making a couple of nice saves, and Yepes putting in a solid effort. I liked his challenge on Mesto in the 36th that was clean as you like. The first half ended with Moretti making a challenge on Abate and getting himself a yellow card. Someone should have told him that if you try to break my Abate, you’re going to end up in tears. 

You're not at Milan anymore, Kaladze, you don't have to suck.

The second half looked to start where the first left off - with cards. This time it was our former Kaladze with a challenge on Boateng in the 48th to earn the first, and a terrible challenge on Ibra in the box for his second, which of course earned him his marching orders. Genoa on 10 men. Kaladze, who has been quite good for Genoa, looked more like the Kaladze we knew at Milan. Plus, of course, there was a penalty for Milan, which Ibra gook in the 56th. 1-0 Milan. And in addition to Ibra’s barbaric yelling into the Curva, who had been trying desperately to distract him by waving whatever they could find, I loved Abate yelling in Ibra’s face. Our boys are so primal sometimes, I love it! Also priceless was Malesani’s reaction. It looked like he wanted to break out his favorite word but instead, simply gestured..

In the 60th minute, Robinho missed perhaps the biggest sitter ever. As frustrating as this may be, you have to admit that he gets himself into those positions so often, perhaps more so than anyone else. And so the second half we were back to our normal selves. Dominating possession, I believe we had 73% possession on the match and creating chances, looking like champions. Even Silva had a shot just wide in the 69th. Just before he was given the captain’s armband for the second time in a week.

Nocerino, where have you been all my Milan life? Please don't ever go!

Ambrosini went off for Seedorf in the 69th, and at the same time, Genoa brought on our very own Merkel, who is on loan there. He did his best to impress, including a beautiful cross to Rossi in the box in the 73rd, whose backheel nearly went in. But in the 79th, Nocerino killed the game, I swear that man was possessed today, maybe looking for another hat trick. Beautiful goal, and beautiful assist by Boateng, 2-0 Milan. Nocerino and Ibra had back to back shots in the 83rd that were stopped by Frey and/or called for Offside, we were clearly not playing for mercy. But neither was Veloso, whose foul on Nocerino in the 87th cost him a yellow. Robinho went out in the 88th for El Shaarawy to get about five minutes. And Flavio Roma, our unseen 3rd keeper, apparently wanted to earn a spot on the stat sheet, so from the bench, he said something which earned him a yellow card.

Allegri’s lineup was great, particularly considering Pato came down sick and van Bommel was injured. I still wish he’d sub a little more and a little earlier, especially since we have a Champions League match on Tuesday. But the 3 points was important, for a couple of days, we are top of the table, and the pressure will be on Juve as they go into a tougher schedule and we have a little more relaxed one.

How can you give the axe to a man who wears this jacket for you?

A tough game, and I assume lots of tears. Tears of joy for Milan, of course, it was a battle which Genoa fought well, even playing 10 men for almost half the match. Then there was the tear gas, of course, which I was able to simulate by going in the kitchen and cutting an onion while I waited for play to resume. There may be tears for Malesani, and I’m not just talking about his unfortunate choice to pick up the bubble jacket look where Prandelli left off. I hope to see him on the Genoa bench at least until the new year, they really have done well under him. And of course, there have to be tears for Genoa’s first home loss of the season. Maybe Prince should have written it “This is what it sounds like when Griffins cry.” Kleenex anyone?

Mark your calendars: Our Coppa Italia match vs. Novara will be played on Wednesday, January 19th.

This post inspired by the music of Styx
Genoa 0, Milan 2: Tears of a Griffin Genoa 0, Milan 2: Tears of a Griffin Reviewed by Elaine on 3:44 PM Rating: 5
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