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Milan 2, Roma 2: Silence of the Wolves


In a game where Milan periodically showed signs of life, Milan were at least able to frustrate Roma and steal two points from the Scudetto contenders. It was a wild ride filled with cards and injuries, but in the end, Milan silenced Roma with a 2-2 draw on the 114th birthday of our club.

Any improvement is worth celebrating


The first red flag was when the lineups came out and Allegri pulled Montolivo up to use him as an attacking midfielder again behind Balotelli. Since this is an experiment of his that keeps going badly, I simply braced myself for a poor Milan attack. And Montolivo didn’t let me down, as his most impressive contribution was getting a yellow card for dissent, which will see him suspended for the derby. Oh, that, and blocking a Kaka shot in the 63rd.

The game was a lot of fouls, and some Roma attacks, complete with a Destro goal to show for it in the 13th. 1-0 Roma. All of our defenders standing around on an impromptu coffee break, except for Bonera, who tried to charge Destro down, but couldn’t manage to stop him. To be fair, Bonera played a pretty decent game tonight, including a rare goal line clearance in the 31st on a Bradley shot that Roma players thought might have gone in.

Maybe the Curva's criticism was a bit too harsh?

But the next goal was Milan’s. From a header. From a corner. A minute after a De Sanctis fingertip save on an Urby shot in the 29th, it was a Balotelli corner, Muntari headed it across to the on-running Zapata, who, despite the ball coming in low, refused to give up on his season long notion to score a header & reached down to head it in, 1-1. In the 40th, Kaka gave a little push from behind to Castan, who unfortunately fell all wrong and had to be subbed off for Burdisso in the 44th. Hope he’s okay.

At the half, Abbiati had some kind of stomach issues, most likely from standing behind that defense all season, and so Gabriel had to replace him in goal for the second half. Which is notable, since 5 minutes later, he came out to challenge a Gervinho attack and took down the Roma striker. He was lucky to only see yellow, but Rocchi rightfully gave Roma the penalty, which Strootman converted in the 51st. 2-1 Roma. These are the kinds or errors that inexperience will bring, he's still good, but we'll have to endure some of these if he is to live up to his potential.

Oops.

Gabriel playing was also notable because he would later take out Urby, in the 87th, who had been fantastic tonight. Urby had at least two brilliant tackles to deny Gervinho, but Gabriel took him out while he was trying to head a ball clear. Allegri sent Zaccardo on for him after it was clear he was not okay. At first, he looked like he maybe had a concussion, but then there was concern about a possible broken arm. As of this writing, though, no fractures had been found. Get better soon, my favorite little Dutchman.

Allegri subbed Matri on for Poli in the 65th, which he claims improved Balotelli’s play. Yet the catalyst for urgency seemed to be the clock once again, and also some discipline. In the 72nd, Kaka slapped Dodo a bit as he was going down and saw yellow for it. Montolivo protested to the ref, and thus was booked for dissent. Even Allegri protested this, and was sent off. And that is actually when Milan started playing like 11 lions.

Give him an inch, he'll score a goal

In the 77th, with the ball bouncing around the box, and Balotelli’s back to goal, being held, he tapped it over for a sweet little pass to Mr. Opportunist, Sulley "Killer" Muntari, who took advantage of the fact that his reputation for tackling hard preceded him, and with an open net, sent it in for the goal. 2-2 all. This made the first time this season that Roma conceded two goals in a single match (which may have had more to do with missing Castan, but it was significant.) In the 83rd, Balotelli was protesting a foul on Kaka from Strootman, and they both saw yellows. Shortly thereafter, there was a questionable Roma handball in the box, but no call. Then Balotelli took a powerful free kick, but it was saved by De Sanctis. And he would have one final, painful miss on a 1v1 effort in the 92nd, but it ended all even.

Many say Rocchi did a terrible job, but considering all he did for us the last couple of seasons (and earning himself a suspension for it at least once,) I think even more egregious errors could be forgiven. The bottom line is that if Milan are going to win, we have to be the better team, ref calls or no. Personally, with our form, to score 2 goals and steal points from the 2nd place team in Serie A, I am thrilled with the result. Our performance showed signs of life today, so improvement. And in the end, we silenced the wolves. Well done, boys. And Happy 114th Birthday, Milan!


This post inspired by the music of Inno Milan