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Bologna 3, Milan 3: YOLO


Over the past three years, I have really learned a lot about Allegri. For example, I have learned that he has long since run out of ideas, and now that he has also nearly run out of players, that simply becomes impossible to ignore. Also, that he is using this season to teach his toddler son how to count, so we can’t earn too many points too quickly. But also I have learned that he thrives by living on the edge. Always keeping the game until the last minute, and then only pulling the draw, so that his job will be forever questioned. I mean Gattuso was just sacked for only earning seven points in six games. If that is unacceptable in Serie B, how does Allegri do it in Serie A? Easy: YOLO.

Just like a drug. YOLO.

Sunday when Balotelli picked up a good knock to his knee, I was so mad at Allegri for not taking him off. But now I see it was part of his master plan. He wanted to lose Balotelli for a few games to make things harder for Milan, so when the injury didn’t work out, Allegri must have been thrilled that he earned the suspension instead. Because missing so many players already, it would be way too easy to pull of results with your star player still available. YOLO.

Allegri must have also been thrilled to learn that Tagliavento would be reffing. His reputation has been well deserved, and playing a match with him officiating is much like walking a tightrope… over the Grand Canyon… with a pool filled with sharks and razorblades at the bottom. Only tonight, he skipped the pool bit and only gave out six yellow cards, and gave Allegri an extra five minutes to pull off the comeback and draw, even if he only needed one. YOLO.

The adrenaline junkie strikes again. YOLO.

Allegri’s lineups tonight gave one a similar sensation as doing lines on the kitchen table when your mom was due home any minute. The exhilaration of having a completely toothless frontline, a player played out of position at trequartista, then a midfield with two out of three players who actually could play, along with a 75% starting defense. The natural high of seeing Poli, for example, get another start, was almost masked by the risk of getting caught with Matri up front, for example, posing as a prima punta. But leave it to Allegri to live on the wild side. YOLO.

The match opened up with Bologna on the attack, their first shot grabbed by Abbiati just 20 seconds in. But after a number of attempts, De Jong brought out the Tagliavento in Tagliavento with a challenge that awarded him the distinction of the first yellow card in the match in the 8th minute. Allegri had to like the feel of this one, like when your pants rip right in front of that cute person you really like and you don't have a sweater to hide the rip. But then Poli was like “this is too edgy for me” and scored a great goal from a Robinho cross in the 12th minute to keep things real. 1-0 Milan. YOLO.

Score early, concede throughout, score late. YOLO.
Milan, to their credit, did not sit back. They did everything to try to pull a second goal back before the half. Everything, that is, except for keep the ball away from Matri. Everyone knows that you don't give the ball to Matri if you actually do want to score. I think Allegri requested him as kind of a goal-prevention measure. It’s more exhilarating when you have a center forward who can’t score. But Milan were certainly challenged at the other end. Like Lexalt’s great shot in the 29th that Abbiati came up big to stop. And after Robinho forced his way through two defenders in the box and then rolled around like he was Neymar, hoping for the penalty in the 31st, Bologna took advantage of the antics and Lexalt beat Abate and Zapata to score the equalizer in the 32nd. Robinho had a point blank shot at the other end saved by Curci in the 42nd, the rebound which was taken by Birsa, forcing Curci into a great double save. YOLO.

After the half, Tagliavento was true to form by not giving Pazienza another yellow after a crunching tackle on Poli in the 47th, which was then followed by Matri’s shot attempt number 673 in less than 50 minutes. I lost count of how many sitters he missed tonight, like Allegri’s little one, I simply cannot count that high. But while I was trying, Laxalt scored a second goal, a Milan special (header,) on a cross from Christ;ojalidsfhpoulos. 2-1 Bologna in the 52nd. While Christ;ojalidsfhpoulos beat Nocerino outside the box, Abate was marking Laxalt, but was beaten by his height on the header. This was actually improved defending, in that two Milan players were actually marking the Bologna players, but were also unfortunately bested. Baby steps. But just to keep Allegri on the edge, in the 61st, Cristaldo got right between our two center backs and scored a diving header from a Diamanti cross. 3-1 Bologna. And two headers conceded. YOLO.

Abate redeemed his defensive errors by pulling back a goal in stoppage time. YOLO.

Well after that, Allegri, who has really shown some maturity with the timing of his subs this year, had to make a change. In his less mature “Throw on all the strikers” tactical genius mentality, he took Birsa off and brought in Niang in the 63rd. (Contrast this with Pioli, who took off a tired, lucky–to-have-not-seen-red Pazienza right after this.) Robinho had a pretty cross right across the face of goal in the 67th, but if it had gone in, it wouldn’t have kept us all in suspense. Then in the 69th, Mexes got a header in that hit the top of the crossbar. (check heartrate: still dangerously high. Allegri happy.) YOLO.

Niang had a classic miss in the 71st, he may turn 52 years old before he scores in Serie A. But then in the 74th, still using the “Throw on all the strikers” mentality, Allegri sent in his super scorer, Muntari, for the anemic Nocerino in the 74th. Which apparently inspired Perez to take a great shot from distance that Abbiati brilliantly saved. Then Niang saw Tagliavento’s generosity in the form of a yellow card in the 78th, just 15 minutes into his game. A bunch of stuff happened, and by the 89th, most Milan fans were in a drunken state of despair (or at least wished they were drunk.) But true to Allegri form, Robinho scored a scrappy goal from a ball that was bounced around the box in the 89th. 3-2 Bologna. Sub on Urby for Poli in the 90th. But Tagliavento didn’t want the magic to end, or is just as bad at math as Allegri, so awarded five full minutes of stoppage time. So Abate cleaned up a scrappy ball in the 91st with a great goal for the equalizer. 3-3. And just to keep things real, Diamanti nearly scored in the 95th, but hit the crossbar instead. YOLO.

Having a striker like Matri start is a great way to keep your team off the scoreboard. YOLO.

Now then, take a deep breath, that wacky ride is over. Allegri must be thrilled to only get the point, especially if we maintained 70% possession. And also that we took 16 shots with 8 of them on target, but scoring only 3 goals. His Matri plan is working quite well. So if we can draw to a midtable team like Bologna with a pretty mediocre performance, then I can’t wait to see how we come back after being down to lower table Sampdoria on Saturday at the San Siro to hopefully grab our sixth point in as many games!! This season is just full of excitement! YOLO.

I am not even sure if I am serious or not anymore, we are now actually behind in points from this point last season, the worst start in 80 years for Milan. Is my laughter sarcastic? Or insane? Is this YOLO concept real, or just something I am telling myself to justify the pain? Because it hurts. So bad. Like the sharks and the razor blades and the falling from such heights and even more. Allegri might somehow like this sick and twisted experiment of trying to start worse than last year and finish better, and at the same time keep his job, but I don’t. I miss Milan. I miss being able to hope and having fewer injuries and more class. I miss it all. But for better or worse, my heart is devoted to the colors. So I guess I gotta stay on Allegri’s wacky ride. YOLO.


This post inspired by the music of  Napoleon XIV’s “They’re Coming To Take Me Away”


Our next match is
Milan vs. Sampdoria
Saturday, September 28 • 20:45 CEST