Bologna 1, Milan 3: A Little Help From A Friend

The last time we went to Bologna, we got a lot of help from one Signor Rocchi. So much help, in fact, that the FIGC gave him a little vacation afterwards. Today, Signor Tagliavento also did his best to help us, but maybe not to the same extent as Signor Rocchi did. I’m just wondering what the fans at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara think of Milan now. Hopefully, they realized that we actually did win this on our own merits, despite a little help from a friend.

Pazzini's hat trick carried Milan to victory

With a whopping 10 Italians in the starting lineup for Milan for the first time in who knows how long, the match started as many do, missed chances, easy saves for the keepers. Until a jersey tug-of-war, which Pazzini easily won, resulted in Pazzini pulling Cherubin down on top of him and Tagliavento giving the Bologna player a yellow card and awarding Milan a penalty. Ouch. In the 16th, with flashes of Inter vs. Udinese flashing through our minds, Pazzini stepped up to take the penalty…. and converted! 1-0 Milan. Although it was hard to be happy about something someone just handed you, I would rather have earned it fair and square.

Then the yellow cards started flowing: Montolivo in the 18th, Bonera in the 24th, Ambrosini in the 28th, Pazzini in the 59th, and De Jong in the 68th. All for dumb, reckless, senseless fouls. And several of these players (I’m looking at you, Bonera!) did their best to earn a second, too, obviously Tagliavento’s “help” extended beyond the penalty call. Before the half, we also lost Montolivo to injury, too, and De Jong was subbed on for him in the 41st. Boateng also hurt his hand, he came back from the half with it taped up, let’s hope it’s nothing serious that could sideline him.

Hopefully Montolivo's injury is not serious

Diamanti proved time and time again that he was worth his weight in, well… diamonds. He troubled the defense and also Abbiati again and again. Like in the 25th when Acerbi had a great stop, and less than a minute later, Abbiati stopped him, too. This was a recurring theme throughout the match, the man played 90 minutes+ and was unstoppable. Well, there was that one time, in the 41st minute, when Nocerino tried to stop him with a clumsy tackle, and Tagliavento had to award Bologna the penalty. So Diamanti coolly stepped up and took it in the 42nd, 1-1. That seemed only fair, except that if it had been fair, they would have been up 1-0 by now. Maybe the second half would change things.

The second half started off with a bang. In fact, Cuarente took a wicked shot that forced a great save by Abbiati. Then in the 53rd, El Shaarawy and Antonini teamed up with a couple of nice flicks and a backheel and a good cross. Yes, Antonini was playing very well. In fact, he had an amazing clearance in the 58th that I had to go back and see again, the man played like a real left back today. (maybe it was his way of saying thank you for not buying anymore left backs!!) Bonera, on the other hand was his typical self, out of position, sloppy tackles, shoving players down in the box, like in the 66th, when he was already on a yellow.

Antonini with a surprisingly great performance

Boateng and Nocerino were both like children who have ingested too much sugar, they were running around everywhere, but not really accomplishing a lot. Boateng worked especially hard to create shots, but all of them were sent into orbit like Robinho is so famous for. In the 61st, We saw an old friend come on in Gilardino, replacing Acquafresca. Not that he ever worried us. Well, okay, there was that one header in the 69th, but we all knew that was going over.

Bojan replaced El Shaarawy in the 67th, I thought that in the time he had he demonstrated some good efforts. And El Shaarawy seemed better this match than the last, he had some nice looks at goal and was a lot more visible in building up plays. The 72nd saw Pazienza handle the ball in his own box, but no call. Finally, I felt a little better about our first goal. And in the 74th, Antonsson decided to practice his acrobatics over Pazzini’s back, and somehow Pazzini got called for the foul. So maybe this Signor Tagliavento wasn’t so friendly after all.

Snake eyes times three!
It was the 77th minute that changed everything. The ball was crossed in, Agliardi bobbled the ball as he was falling to try to save it, and Pazzini, with killer instincts, struck, scoring an amazing goal. 2-1 Milan. Then again in the 86th, De Jong put a nice pass forward to De Sciglio, who crossed it in, Nocerino had a quick touch on it before Pazzini just slotted it in for his hat trick, 3-1 Milan. It is also worth noting that De Sciglio had another amazing game. I cannot believe how both poised and skilled he is for someone so young, he is so refreshing, and Abate is going to have to work hard for his spot. Which is a nice problem to have.

Allegri, in true form, subbed on Niang for Pazzini in the 91st. As if fresh legs for the last 2 ½ minutes are meant to make any changes in the game. Between that, and the frightful fielding of both Bonera and Antonini, the man is definitely on my list. And I don’t care if we won this one, he’s still on my list. Getting better players has helped his cause, but I want to know where Zapata is and what he’s done with him, why we have to endure Bonera and Antonini every match, and why he can’t use his subs to help prevent injuries.

Pazzini's performance saved Allegri's butt

It is also worth noting how many wasted chances we have on set pieces. For example, from the 12th-14th minutes, we had a free kick, two corners, and a free kick, with nothing even looking dangerous. The last game, we had seven corners and did nothing with them, while we conceded on an opposition corner. Allegri, you want to get off my list? Please start by working on set pieces. With this new Budget Milan™ squad, we need every chance we can get.

Still, an improved performance from last week, as we fought hard for everything for 90 minutes. We have our weaknesses, but we are finding our strengths, and with the addition of the Three Musketeers, who all got at least a couple of minutes today, we are even stronger, still. I am still frightened to face off against a bigger team, but today, even if we had a little bit of help from a friend, we showed that we are improving and that our reinforcements will definitely help us. Congratulations to Pazzini for showing Cassano just how far a little class goes and at the same time showing Stramaccioni how ridiculous he was to freeze him out of the squad. And well done to our heroes, the boys of Milan.

This post inspired by the music of Andrea Bocelli

Bologna 1, Milan 3: A Little Help From A Friend Bologna 1, Milan 3: A Little Help From A Friend Reviewed by Elaine on 3:04 PM Rating: 5
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