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Friendly Dubai

I was not planning on putting up a review post for this match, but I just had to share a few of the highlights for anyone who missed the match. With a 1-0 win over PSG, Milan take home their 3rd Dubai Challenge Cup. Warning: Excessive Pippo and Gattuso worshiping may ensue.

Pato celebrates the one goal scored in this match.


The first half saw the following lineup for Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Taiwo; Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Pato. And of course, two familiar faces, one at the helm of each team:

"This is awkward."

The match started off with a bang as Ibra assisted Pato for a goal in the 4th minute:


Pastore tested Amelia in the 15th minute, as he did later on, too, but it was our own Nocerino who forced Sirigu into a save in the 18th minute with this beautiful piece of work:



The second half saw the long awaited return of Gattuso from his health problems, a solid 45 minutes from El Shaaraway, and a release from the dungeon for Super Pippo!! The lineup was Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Bonera, Antonini; Gattuso, Ambrosini, Emanuelson; Valoti; Inzaghi, El Shaarawy.

"You are NOT going to ruin my 45 minutes!"

In the 52nd Pippo came close to scoring, he had a few chances on the night. And I realized something about him, why he is always offside: The man has no brakes. He has one gear, and it is go. (sigh) He was a sight for sore eyes, even if he’ll need to play more to be match fit.

"I can see now, there's only 1 of you and 1 of me." Advantage Gattuso.

Gattuso was his old self, if not quite match fit either. One classic tackle made me actually laugh, it was so good to see him again.

Allegri did a nice job balancing the teams for both halves. Abbiati was wisely saved for the 2nd half, when PSG were at their most dangerous. If you didn’t watch the match, watch from around the 70th minute on for about 10 or 12 minutes. Between a couple of breathtaking saves by Abbiati and multiple saves by the post and crossbar as well as a couple of offside calls, PSG were denied getting on the scoreboard.

Many of our players played well enough, even if everyone was playing a little cautiously, conserving & trying to prevent injuries. But for me it was all about seeing those who don't usually get playing time, I liked what I saw overall.

It was good to see old friends, too. Many of the players were warmly greeted by their former coach.

Massive flashback.

But in the end, despite it being barely more than a training match and all available players getting the chance to play, Milan still won and took home another trophy, regardless of how unimportant it may seem.

Meaningless trophy is still a trophy. Bonus confetti.

Now back to Serie A and the pursuit of trophies that people care about. I'm looking at you, Atalanta.


The next Milan match is away to Atalanta
Sunday, January 8th, 2012 15:00 CET or 9:00 am EST


This post inspired by the music of NIN