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Milan 0, Roma 0: Teams Behaving Badly


Here I thought the new jerseys would be the most distracting thing about this match. But this match had very little to do with football and more to do with distractions. Racist chants, laser pointers, and sending offs ruled the match at the end of the day. The goalless draw was simply not enough to secure Champions League  qualification yet, leaving us in an even more precarious position after the match than when it kicked off. I wonder what these boys’ mothers think of their performances today?

The man drives his Ferrari on a Go Kart track. If he's shushing you, you're in trouble.

I can tell you as a mother what I thought of it: Vergogna. Shame. From the fourth minute in, it was clear that our boys desperately wanted Abbiati to be the man of the match. Not necessarily intentionally, but from the unmotivated, lack of intensity styled play they continue to have. It was almost as if the jerseys were actually made of a heavy metal… and weighed them down. Only this wasn’t really a new phenomenon for them, sadly. And even Allegri, who was well out of his technical area on multiple occasions, set the tone for the shame which followed.

So Abbiati started in with the saves caused by an overall lack of reaction to Roma’s quick breaks. In the 15th, Constant decided to help the Giallorossi further with a pass to Totti, who fortunately shot wide. Balotelli had as many touches on the ball as a Brazilian while trying to fend off up to five Roma players at a time. De Sciglio was lucky to avoid a card with a tackle from behind on Marquinho in the 19th.

Mexés truly was our golden boy tonight

In the 24th, Mexés had an important clearance, one of many. He seemed to be the only one to challenge automatically giving Abbiati man of the match, by putting in a performance that was equally important. Which was incredibly surprising, as his history of playing Roma usually results in fighting, swearing, and either or both colors of cards from the referee. I can honestly say that if it were not for him, we might be looking at the wrong side of a Europa League spot. And he was also one of our best attacking players, too. Go figure.

In  the 26th, Muntari took a shot from distance that went just over the crossbar. I point this out as easily the closest thing he made to a contribution for our team tonight. In the 30th, Balotellii had a shot from close range saved and the rebound saved, too, that might have been our best chance on the night. More amazing Abbiati heroics. It was as if his new neon green kit made him lighter, stronger, and more powerful, whereas the tacky metallic gold kits did something of the opposite for everyone else.

He stopped everything else, but not even our hero in neon could stop the racist Roma fans

So in the 38th, Balotelli took a nice free kick that unfortunately went straight to Lobont, even if it caused him to juggle it a bit. And then in the 40th, he was carded for body checking someone from the side, most people seemed to think there was no foul even. And the one who was most incensed by this call was Muntari, who came at the ref to let him know. Not sure what Muntari said that led the ref to card him so quickly for dissent, too, but it wasn’t pretty. Because when the ref started to reach for the other color card, Muntari grabbed Rocchi’s wrists and physically restrained him from doing so. If the ref wasn’t actually reaching for red before hand, when Muntari was finally wrestled away with the help of others, like Boateng, you knew he was getting the red now. Just a hint, Muntari, if you ever get to play again: if Boateng is the one telling you to calm down, you are probably in some very big trouble. Expect more than a one match ban, and probably some kind of fine, too. Talk about boys behaving badly, I have never been so ashamed of someone in a Milan jersey in my life. And that includes Gattuso’s headbutt shenanigans.

So after an El Shaarawy header that was deflected in the 44th, and yet another Marquino shot stopped by Mr. Amazing, aka Abbiati, the boys went back into the locker room  having played 5 of their remaining 50 minutes on ten men. Something which at first seemed to shock them a bit into playing with a little more urgency, but in the end would contribute to the demise of the game.

Even his name just makes me see red now.

However, in the 47th minute, the game would be stopped by Rocchi due to racist chanting. Roma fans had been at this for some time, it may have been what drove Muntari crazy, I don’t know. But with a loudspeaker announcement to “kindly” stop with the racist chants, Rocchi asked Totti to talk to his fans, and that if it happened again, he told both captains that he would suspend the match. Mind you, in a crowd of 50,000, the majority of which were some fairly vocal Milan fans, this racist chanting could still be heard. Vergogna.

But then it was what I can only assume was the Milan fans’ turn to shame themselves, with the use of laser pointers. So while the second half rhythm of a Roma shot, Abbiati save, Roma foul Balotelli, then he takes the free kick got underway, there were laser pointers all over Lobont and the Roma players. Vergogna. I mean is this how you people treat your mothers on Mother’s day, by shaming her? Because I’ve got two kids of my own who can do that without ruining such a big match with Champions League qualification on the line.

The second half was the Balotelli free kick show, but to no avail

This second half routine was only interrupted by the one-up substitutions between Andreazzoli and Allegri. Andreazzoli started off, then Allegri subbed il Faraone for Robinho in the 71st. Andreazzoli sub, then Flamini had a shot saved, the rebound also saved, and Ambrosini earned his yellow in the 77th for a clumsy (likely tired) foul. In the 78th, Allegri finally answered the sub war by pulling of Boateng for Nocerino. And after yet another dangerous shot from the visitors, he put on Pazzini for Flamini in the 80th. Bring on all the strikers.

In the 87th, Constant cleared the ball in the box from Lamela, but came back in with a second kick, taking him down, a move that most definitely should have been a penalty for Roma. But it wasn’t. That’s the beauty of Rocchi. Earning a penalty is like game show. Sometimes you get one, somtimes you don't, deserved or not. Abbiati with yet another big save against Dodó in the 89th, after which Totti earned himself a yellow for interfering with the keeper when Abbiati was trying to distribute the ball. But that wasn’t enough for the Roman talisman. Two minutes into stoppage time, he elbowed Mexés in the face, earning a straight red. So for about 3-4 minutes, both teams were on ten men, and both he and Muntari would finish their seasons in the timeout corner. Vergogna. With Constant earning a yellow for holding Lamela in the 4th minute of stoppage time, I guess we can ascertain that the man just doesn’t like apples.

You'd think a Pharaoh dressed in gold could make something happen.

I am so ashamed of the fans, of Muntari and some of the other players, too, for their antics tonight. But I am also ashamed of how we played. We had 14 shots, only 4 on goal, with 55% possession. Allegri, have you considered that the reason we played a little better on 10 men was because Boateng was playing back where he should? And in week 37 of your third year, why haven’t you found a way to motivate these guys? We’ve seen glimmers of motivation throughout the season, and we’ve seen the talent they have. But only the President, whose jail verdicts were upheld this week, seems to have been able to psychologically impact our players. What does that say about us? And how dare those Roma fans come into our house and sing racist chants the whole game. Why is there no way to stop this? Or the Milan fans with the laser pointers… I realize they allow children into the stadium, but shouldn’t those big, dumb ones be supervised? Maybe by actual children?

It’s true, at the beginning of the season, no one in their right mind was saying that this team could be so close to Champions League qualification. (And I say that knowing full well that Galliani and Allegri kept insisting that this was our objective… the phrase was “right mind.”) But in the end, it was those who believed that the most then who have cost us points and put us up until the very last minute to prove whether or not we are indeed capable of it. At least with the fiasco of our new kits being pictured with Champions League patches already on them, Montella has offered for Fiorentina to wear our kits next year should we fail to qualify. For which they should. If we can’t pull this off, then they absolutely deserve it. Vergogna. Teams behaving badly, indeed.


This post inspired by the music of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff”

Our next match is
Siena vs. Milan
Sunday, May 19 • 20:45 CEST (2:45 EDT)