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Coppa Italia • Milan 1, Juventus 2: No Coppa For Old Men

I had a feeling we’d have a tough time in this match. When you have 13 of your 33 man squad (counting Primavera players) unavailable, it makes it hard to play the same way as you are used to. But surprisingly, we could have had this one with the depleted squad that we had available. Only Allegri decided to field a midfield with a combined total age of 128 years old. I mean, nice of him to meet the Old Lady with some old men, but I thought we learned last year that we should limit our midfield to 1-2 senators at a time. So thanks a lot, Allegri. Not only are we one step closer to bowing out of the Coppa race, but now I’ve got to cook dinner.

Look at what happens when Allegri plays young players!

The match started off slow. Maybe everyone recognized the 128 years of wisdom in our midfield. Because it certainly wasn’t for Juventus’ Del Piero, who is 37 years old. Short of scoring, he did everything else you could want him to. Did I mention he was 37 years old? And mobile? After Borriello’s first laughable attempt (there’s a reason we sent him packing,) Del Piero was already looking dangerous in the 7th minute. Meanwhile, Seedorf made his way into the box and then slipped. (To be fair, he was playing at the San Siro.) Then he had a shot in the 10th that made me wonder if he needs glasses, it was so far wide.

But the highlight of the first half was in the 19th, when poor van Bommel, who got knocked over by Mazzoleni, the ref. Other than that, it was a bit of a stalemate, with Juve maintaining more possession. Bonera had a great moment when he blocked a shot… unknowingly, it got kicked at him as he was turned around. Other than that, he was the same old Bonera we know and do not love. And for those  who are quick to blame Ibra, Here is one scenario I remember distinctly: The 31st minute, Milan are taking a corner. Ibra is in the box with SIX Juve defenders and Storari, NO ONE else around. That is the kind of thing that happens and then people blame him for not stepping up. I’m not buying into that.

Ibra! Why can't you score with Chiellini on your back?

In the 38th, Silva also did the San Siro slide, and it was very disconcerting to watch how much pain he seemed to be in. Let’s hope it’s not a real injury, we need him. Then in the 43rd, Ambrosini, who I thought played relatively well over all, earned a yellow card for a foul on Caceres. Then Van Bommel had a pretty nasty foul on Pirlo that was kind of surprising he didn’t get carded for. But then again, maybe that was the ref’s way of apologizing for knocking him over.

The second half started with Ambrosini and Pirlo strolling out onto the pitch having an intense conversation, like teammates. Only Pirlo was wearing the wrong shirt again. Oh well, at least it wasn’t that pink one. Mexes said “I go” and came in with a late challenge on Borriello for which the ref appropriately awarded him a yellow card. Ambrosini cleared a Pirlo free kick in the 48th, at least he remembered they weren’t teammates anymore.

But in the 53rd, blood was drawn. Caceres had a great goal to open up the scoring, 1-0 Juve.In the 55th, Ibra had a free kick that was saved by ex-Milan backup keeper Storari. And in the 61st, the heavens opened, and Allegri made a sub. Hallelujah!! Did you catch that? The SIXTY-FIRST minute. Surely, he would remove one of our old and tired midfielders…. wait… NO! He pulled of Urby, the only one with any pace left, to put on Robinho. I knew it was too good to be true.

Look! It's the hopes and dreams of the Milan faithful dying!

However, one minute later, El Shaarawy did equalize. 1-1 Unfortunately, that was more coincidental, as Robinho was not effective at doing much for the rest of the match, other than ducking when Ambrosini headed it to El Shaarawy for the assist.

Conte then showed Allegri how substitutions are done: in the 67th minute, needing at least one more goal and not getting anything from his two forwards, he pulled them both and brought on the masked Quagliarella and Vucinic. Like a boss. So powerful was this move that in the 69th, when we thought Ibra had scored a great goal for the win, the ball just brushed his hand on the way to him and the goal was called off. Those are some powerful subs. (Okay, I know it was coincidence.) And what did Conte do? He threw on his third sub, Marrone, for Padoin. LIKE A BOSS.

He's got balls and he knows how to use them.

So Allegri, come talk to me for a moment. You know those things called testicles? Sometimes we call them balls? Being a male, you should have a couple of them. PLEASE USE THEM. One of their primary functions is to produce testosterone. Did you see how Conte reacted to Caceres’ goals? That was testosterone. Did you see how he used all three of his subs before the 70th minute? Testosterone. The man’s got balls, and he’s not afraid to use them. Please take note. Your overly cautious and non-existent substitutions are costing us points and games and trophies. I would greatly appreciate the use of your God-given manhood in making substitutions that win games. Thank you.

Now then, where was I? In the 73rd, that masked wonder, Quagliarella, came in with a late challenge on Silva, as if he needed any more abuse on the night, and earned himself a yellow to go with that mask. And did Conte’s forwards score? No, not even the subs. It was the newly returned defender, Caceres, that found the back of the net again in the 83rd. 2-1 Juventus.

Van Bommel had a late foul on Chiellini in the 83rd, and I can only hope and pray that this is why Allegri subbed him off in the 85th, as he was our most effective midfielder on the night. And to bring on Maxi Lopez for him instead of Pippo…. please don’t get me started. Just because our old men can’t play 90 minutes doesn’t mean someone who has yet to prove anything to us should be subbing on ahead of a legend. And speaking of Maxi Lopez, he always finds a way to get on the stat sheet, but never is it in the goal scored column. This time it was for offside. Yay. World class transfer. (not.)

You can come out of  your time out chair when you can make better choices.

Luckily, I have a lot of chopping to do for dinner. I think that will get out a lot of frustration. But still, the score remains the same. If we want to get to the Coppa finals, we will have to beat this team in their house, which we weren’t able to do back in October in the league before all of these injuries, so I’m not going to be very optimistic. I was so disappointed when I saw our lineup today, because I really do believe we could have taken this leg with our available squad, just a different lineup. Oh well. I’ve got to go to the grocery store now and prepare dinner for my old man. Only unfortunately for Milan, the old man thing didn’t work out so well for us. (SIGH) If we don’t can’t pull off a big miracle in March in Torino, there will be no Coppa for old men this year.


Our next match is Udinese vs. Milan
Saturday, February 11 • 18:00 CET (12noonEST)

This post inspired by the music of Rage Against the Machine