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Pescara 0, Milan 4: Are We There Yet?


I never like routs. Except when my team are teetering on the verge of losing their Champions League qualification. Then I love them. Just so long as they are in my team’s favor. Which this was. So I loved this game. With so much pressure coming down to the final stretch, four unanswered goals will be better than Ambien to help me sleep tonight.

The protaganists in today's domination of Pescara

For me, that Milan played well today is as important as the result, especially to prepare for these last two games. Confidently, with the result never in question, as it should be when you’re facing the team that is two losses away from the worst season ever played in Serie A. But Milan haven’t always played that well against the minnows (or even the dolphins) in this campaign. So it was refreshing to see a starting lineup missing some key players take control and never really lose it. And it was nice to see Abbiati getting so much rest ahead of our last two matches, too.

The domination began with a warning shot off the crossbar by Balotelli in the 2nd minute. Then Nocerino earned his keep in the 9th by getting fouled just inside the box in the 9th. Penalty Milan. Balotelli stepped up and kept his perfect penalty record. 1-0 Milan. Rizzo then earned the only yellow card of the match, even if he should have perhaps also seen another.

11 goals in 11 games. No wonder he's called Super Mario.
Niang was slipping and falling everywhere, eventually he’d switch his boots and that seemed to do the trick. In fact, in the 23rd, after he’d come back on he had a very dangerous shot that was just wide. Sculli was the only player who came close to challenging Milan’s defense, but even still for the whole match, Pescara only took 3 shots, with zero on target. But it was in the 32nd minute, on a play from a corner even, that Robinho put a pass in and Muntari, not marked at all, put the ball into the net. 2-0 Milan.

Niang... the little engine that... almost

Flamini got the second half started by scoring on another assist by Robinho in the 51st. 3-0 Milan. And to keep the goals flowing, he assisted Balotelli’s goal in the 57th, 4-0 Milan. From there, Allegri started with the rare early subs: TraorĂ© came on for Flamini in the 59th. Then Pazzini on for Niang in the 63rd. He started shooting early and often, forcing a save by Perin in the 69th. Then El Shaarawy came on in the 73rd for Robinho, who looked like those two assists took everything out of him. El Shaarawy also started shooting, with a great chance to score on his good friend Perin in the 74th. There were some fouls by Pescara, including the aforementioned foul-that-really-should-have-been-a-yellow on El Shaarawy by Rizzo, but no call. And El Shaarawy and Pazzini would keep shooting, but would end up goalless for their efforts.

Not an intense match by any means, but that was fine by me. I commend Allegri for starting a lineup that allowed some key players some rest. At the same time, I condemn him for not giving some younger players a run out. Both Cristante and De Sciglio were on the bench, and if you’re up 4-0, why risk Pazzini and El Shaarawy to injury? Why would we need more goals? But that’s okay. Three points are what we needed most. I can stress out about Allegri after the Siena match, when he has promised to discuss his future.

Galliani's scoring machine. Four goals in a month, more than in his past four years.

As for Champions League Qualification, are we there yet? Napoli won today, mathematically securing second place and their Champions League group stage, too. With Fiorentina winning their derby today against Siena, we still have to find three more points to secure third place. We have the capacity to win against both Roma and Siena, but will we pull it off? Allegri has a habit of both starting and finishing the season poorly, and is known to come up with some wacky lineups and subs in clutch situations. Likewise, our boys have a habit of going missing or choking hard when the going gets tough. So everyone will have to bet focused and hungry if we are going to secure our berth on Sunday. Because it would be a shame to still be asking ourselves after Sunday, “Are we there yet?”


This post inspired by the music of Oasis

Our next match is
Milan vs. Roma
Sunday, May 12 • 20:45 CEST (2:45 EDT)

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