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Inter 1, Milan 0: To the Death


I was dreading this match. And then I turned on my TV to watch what was, in my opinion, Milan’s best performance to date this season. So I got my hopes up. The boys were playing with such fire and intensity, I was actually excited. But in the 75th minute, that all changed. One single substitution was enough to suck the life out of the team who had started this match to play to the death.

Balotelli playing to the death


This derby was mouthwatering, it had everything you could want. Fierce battles, great shots, and so much grinta, it wasn’t even funny. For the first 75 minutes, Milan controlled the match, controlled the tempo, called the shots. Sure, Abbiati was called into action a few times, but Milan dominated so much that even my football-illiterate American commentators noticed that we dominated.

And then Allegri dropped the gamechanger: he sent on Alessandro Matri for Saponara, who had made his debut in stunning fashion. In fact Saponara was so good, it left us all wondering, “Where has Allegri been hiding him?” And conversely, Matri was so bad, it made all of us say things that are not for children’s eyes.

Was he just a mirage?
Like when a needle touches an inflated balloon, subbing Matri on was like being down a player. Except he was still taking up space on the pitch. And Mazzarri was wise enough to notice, he made actual attacking substitutions that changed the entire momentum of the match. And so it was, in the 86th, Palacio scored the only goal of the match from an assist by the hellish Guarin. 1-0 Inter.

Our boys still fought to the death, but literally went down to 10 men in stoppage time when Sulley “The Killer” Muntari saw red after body checking Kuzmanovic. Being on 9 actual players just wasn’t enough for Milan to grab the draw, and another derby was lost under Allegri’s tenure.

We had 'em until Allegri pulled the rug out from underneath the team

In addition to the ferocity and intensity with which the entire team played, highlights included, in no particular order: Abbiati is still a beast, his double save on Palacio in the 81st was epic. Bonera has rightfully earned the title of Big Game Bonera. Nagatomo is going to have nightmares for a very long time of a sweet, baby-faced De Sciglio shutting him down like a freaking boss. Poli mixing it up with Cambiasso and anyone else that dared, and Balotelli keeping his cool were both inspiring. And seeing Pazzini, if only for an Allegri 6 minute sub was a sight for sore eyes.

But Allegri couldn’t undo his worst error, and not coincidentally it literally cost us the game. Sure, we missed some big shots. Sure, we got 4 yellow cards and a red card. Sure Constant was subbed off for an ankle injury and left the stadium on crutches. We were lucky Mazzoleni didn’t call the penalty for Zapata’s foul in the 40th, but we were probably unlucky on a couple of calls, too, like a handball, etc. But the most unlucky part  was when there were eleven warriors on the pitch, ready to battle to the death, and Allegri pulled one of them off for a so-called striker, who was more likely ready to battle a bad hair day than actually do battle on the pitch.

Two captains, so much class. This should have been a derby to remember, but I'd rather forget.

So I have a challenge for you, Allegri. Since you seem to think we are doing well, and clearly have no plans to resign and put all of us out of our misery, how about you and I duel… to the death? I know it’s not fair, since I’m a woman, but I feel pretty strongly right now that I can overcome that handicap. Because clearly my heart bleeds red and black more than you, and besides, you are swiftly leading me to an untimely death anyway, what have I got to lose? At least if I take you out, I have saved all Milanisti worldwide from having to hear you scream “Dai Dai Dai!” from the sidelines or listen to you saying how we played well, but were only missing a goal, or whatever drivel you insist on spewing post game each time. So how about it? To the death.


This post inspired by the music of NIN’s “Mr. Self Destruct”