Saturday, March 31, 2012

Catania 1, Milan 1: Island Fever

In a match that was important for both sides to win, a draw should be satisfying. Both sides get a point, no one loses. But I think both sides felt a little like they got the short end of this stick, and to listen to the post match comments from Allegri and Galliani, one must assume that they got a little bit of Island Fever.

Robinho double-0-7-0

Catania vs. Milan: Game On!

(commissioned by mlisi39)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Catania-Milan Preview: Dances with Elephants

Fresh off from a Champions League draw that tasted like a victory, Milan are now traveling to their island getaway for a little… football? That doesn’t seem right. But it is their fate, and they will face a very dangerous Catania side, too. Gli Elefanti are unbeaten in their last 7 matches, with 4 wins and 3 draws, so meeting them at home will not be an easy kind of dance. Maybe something more along the lines of the Argentine Tango?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Champions League Quarterfinals • Milan 0, Barcelona 0: Keeping the Blaugrana at Bay

No one likes a 0-0 draw. Many have argued that every game must go to added extra time and/or penalties to decide a match. But barring goals that would have been like gold for Milan, this was a great result. We kept them from getting any away goals, a clean sheet, and now Tuesday becomes more like a final, except that if we get a goal, it is an away goal. Playing like this against the best team in the world? I’ll take it.

"Let's Eat Them" 

Champions League Quarterfinals • Milan vs. Barcelona

Monday, March 26, 2012

Champions League Quarterfinals • Milan vs. Barca Preview: Mixed Emotions

First there was that feeling when we made it through to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 loss. A combination of elation and disappointment, I guess. Then there were the feelings going into the draw: eager anticipation followed by trepidation. Then came the feeling when Thiago Silva signaled for a substitution on Saturday – kind of a nauseated horror. But still, this is the Champions League, and we are the only team left representing Italy. No pressure. So it is with very mixed emotions that we head into Wednesday’s match at the San Siro with The Best Team in the World, Barcelona.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Milan 2, Roma 1: Scraping Bottom

This was supposed to be a goalscoring party, but sometimes parties don’t go as planned. Some invited guests don’t show, or something horrible happens, like an already injured Thiago Silva going off in the 10th minute looking more injured. Even though it seemed we had more bad luck than good, and it didn’t feel like a party atmosphere at all, in the end, we got the three points we needed, and an important win when our body count was down. So even though we were scraping the bottom of our fitness barrel, and ahead of one of the biggest matches all season, Milan pulled it off again, like true champions.

Good idea, let's all dogpile on the one with the back pain.

Milan vs. Roma: Game On

This is not your grandmother's Red Riding Hood.

Against all odds.

Forza Milan!

Milan vs. Roma
Saturday, March 24 • 18:00 CET (1:00pm EDT)
This match will be broadcast on RAI International and ESPN3

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Milan-Roma Preview: Party at San Siro

What is it that Roma fans always say? “No Totti, No Party.” Well Totti missed their Genoa match on Monday with an injury, but is fit again just in time for this match. So if there will be Totti, apparently there will be party. And I hope it is a goalscoring party from anyone and everyone in the Rossonero. We need the 3 points, a clean match, and most importantly no more injuries!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coppa Italia Semifinals • Juventus 2, Milan 2: EPIC

This competition always leaves me in a quandary, and this year more than ever. With so many injuries, do we risk more injuries and wearing out our players with the Champions League and the Scudetto still within our grasp? It seemed after drawing Barcelona, Allegri had the same kind of thinking. I didn’t know what to make of it with Ibra sick and the suggestion of resting Silva, so I decided I just wanted to see a good game, free of controversy. And both teams delivered. It was epic. Unfortunately, Juve went through to the finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Vucinic, Del Piero (w/Seedorf's Jersey) and teammates celebrate advancing

Coppa Italia Semifinals • Juventus vs. Milan

Storari Special™? Or Ibra Attack?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coppa Italia • Juventus vs. Milan Preview: Do or Die

Allegri and Milan have said all along that we are battling on three fronts and our aim is to win on all three fronts. But after the Champions League draw on Friday, being paired with Barcelona, the tune changed a little. Allegri said, “…It must also be said with regards to Juventus that we are at a disadvantage of 2-1, while against Barcelona we are still at 0-0.” So was he conceding the Coppa then? Planning to focus on Barca? More recent quotes he specifically says that we are going to Torino to win. Which I hope is the case, because the word “treble” is music to my ears, and it can only be won by taking all three trophies. It’s now or never, do or die for the Coppa trophy.

We are Milan.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Parma 0, Milan 2: Luck o’ the Dutch

It wasn’t the lucky green bibs that Milan subs wore, because I doubt that anyone at Milan even had any idea it was St. Patrick’s Day or any of the superstitions that go with it. It wasn’t that Parma fielded a Leprechaun to terrorize the Milan makeshift defense, either. We had a couple or miracles, but today, we were lucky to have Urby Emanuelson, the jack-of-all-positions, supposed master of none, to bring home the win at Parma.

Parma-Milan Game On

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Parma-Milan Preview: Of Giants and Dwarves

No, this post is not about the herculean Ibrahimovic and his diminuitive Parma counterpart, Giovinco. Although I did look up their height and Ibra is literally over a foot taller than the tiny player. No, this post is about top of the table vs. 16th in the table, the only Italian team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League vs. the team fighting for their Serie A lives. Sound cut and dry? Read on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Post • FUTEBOL: The Brazilian Way of Life

Another treat today courtesy of the fabulous mlisi39. This time he reviews the quintessential book on Brazilian football. I must say that he has fantastic taste in books, even if reading about them is costing me a fortune. Enjoy!

FUTEBOL: The Brazilian Way of Life

So last summer I decided that I was going to buy as many books about football around the world as I could find or afford.  I scoured many websites, consulted a ton of lists, made one giant order from Amazon and now I currently have 21 football-centric books sitting on my desk. I started off in my favorite footballing country, Italy, and my most recent foray took me to Brazil… home of Carnival, Bossa Nova and of course Futebol. Everywhere I looked, everyone agrees that the definitive book on Brazilian football is Futebol by Alex Bellos. From Tim Vickery to the guy down the street, everyone agrees that this is the one to read.  Now? I agree.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Milan 2, Lecce 0: Remembering

To honor the memory of Marco “Sic” Simoncelli, Milan remembered him by taking the game by the handlebars and going full throttle to the finish line. It wasn’t the most exciting game for fans to watch, rather it was won by focusing and working hard for 90 minutes. But after all of the excitement in London this week, it was still refreshing. And remembering who you are and how to take 3 points from teams big and small is truly the mark of a team of champions.

Long lost scoring brothers

Friday, March 9, 2012

Milan-Lecce Preview: Not in Our House

The last time we met Lecce, it was a bit of a circus. We went down 3 goals and came back to score 4, including Boateng’s famous hat trick. But much has changed since then. Boateng will not even be available for this one, and Mesbah has joined Milan from Lecce. Plus, we are playing at home, so I am hoping for a more impressive performance on Sunday. Certainly, we have played enough embarrassing football for one week, and the team would never want to repeat such a performance at home.

Mesbah hopes his disguise will fool his former teammates

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Poachers: An Endangered Species?

I used to hate poachers. I considered them lazy and opportunistic, leaving the lion’s share of the work to their teammates, and taking all of the glory when they scored. But as my knowledge of football increased, they became one of my favorite specialists. Their predatory stalking, their innate sense of where the goal and the keeper were, and their killer instinct made me realize that they are every bit as valuable as any of their teammates. But are they going extinct?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Champions League Round of 16 • Arsenal vs. Milan: Shock and Awe

They said it couldn’t be done. And in the end, it couldn’t. Coming back from 4 goals without even a single away goal to help was, in fact, insurmountable. But hat’s off to Arsenal for doing their damnedest to try it. An amazing first half display gave them the 3-0 win on this night, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome the 4-0 victory Milan took at the San Siro. And so while it seemed as if Milan were shocked by the scoreline and in awe of this team they had pummeled just 3 weeks earlier, they fought and survived to make it through to the Quarterfinals of the Champions League. Bravo.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Champions League Round of 16 • Arsenal vs. Milan Preview: London Calling

Some might consider our trip to London a formality. Even Arsene Wenger himself has said that it is almost impossible for Arsenal to come back from a 4-0 deficit. But there is a chance. There is always a chance that Arsenal could score 5 goals and keep a clean sheet. And even though it is probably only one small chance in hell, the game needs to be played on such a chance. So Milan cannot march into the Emirates Stadium without a care, there is still 90 minutes left to battle, and it is a battle I hope we win.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Palermo 0, Milan 4: Mischief Managed

Like the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter, that shows the user where everyone is at in real time, it seemed like Milan knew exactly where to be and when tonight to pull this one off. To go into the Stadio Renzo Barbera and break the spell that they’ve had on us for the past 6 years, we needed maybe a little extra magic. In the end, our boys had everything they needed, and they pulled it off. The curse is broken, the monkey off our backs. Mischief managed.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Palermo-Milan Preview: Sicilian Monkeys

I hate having monkeys on my back. They’re hairy and heavy and they smell, but they’re especially annoying. Milan have a big fat monkey on their back. They have not won at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in 5 straight tries between the league and Coppa Italia matches. Whatever it is about that cursed place that has our number, I say it’s time we break the curse. We beat them in October in our house, with Nocerino scoring against his former team. Now it’s time to take the big monkey off our back and take full points, too.

The rare pink shirted Sicilian monkey tracks Flamini to attach himself to his back