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Sampdoria 0, Milan 2: Moroccan Barbecue


After swapping out nine of the starting eleven players from Wednesday for various reasons, this also looked like a completely different team. Much less focused, struggling to maintain shape, and not nearly as tight on defense, I was worried. But they managed to pull off the win, with goals scored by our two players born to Moroccan parents. So tonight, to celebrate, I think I’ll have some Moroccan barbecue.

The Moroccan double

Between injuries, the flu, and players who were suspended midweek for the Atleti match, Seedorf made nine changes in the lineup. The new lineup gave me nightmares, even at 6am. So it was no surprise that they looked much less the team than we saw on Wednesday. But no one told Taarabt that, and in the 12th minute, the Moroccan-born attacker took a great cross from Rami, born of Moroccan parents, who headed it, and when the keeper sent it back out, just slotted it straight back in on the rebound. 1-0 Milan. Sampdoria got a little taste of the Moroccan barbecue.

The other significant part of the first half was the beginning of the parade of cards that became the storyline of this match. There were eight yellows and a red shown (2nd yellow) in all. Constant started the parade, with 2 by Sampdoria players next. After the half, 2 subs by Sampdoria failed to make a difference. In fact, just a minute after former Milan player Maxi Lopez of Hotelgate™ fame came on, Rami scored a fantastic header from a Taarabt cross in the 58th. 2-0 Milan. A second helping of Moroccan barbecue. It must be said that Pazzini collided with Da Costa in his attempt to head that ball, and Sampdoria were not happy that the ref didn’t call for the foul, especially since Da Costa required treatment. In fact, their defender, Costa, got the 4th yellow of the match for protesting.

2nd Milan goal plus the assist

That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the match. Muntari was given a precautionary yellow for a foul he was certainly going to commit, and thus will miss the Juve match next week. In the 68th, Eder had a great chance on goal, but collided with Amelia, who saved the shot. But again, Sampdoria didn’t like the ref’s non-call, so this time Maxi Lopez spouted off, and was shown the sixth yellow of the match, but didn’t stop there. Almost immediately after, the ref showed him a second yellow/red, which left his team on 10 men. The final yellows went to Gabbiadini and Honda, although if the ref had more eyes and hands, he could have given several more.

Pazzini got a bloody nose and had to go off in the 79th for treatment, but came back on as we were out of subs. In the 82nd, Amelia had an amazing save. That’s right, haters, I just said something good about Amelia. Deal with it. In fact, I have to say that despite me breaking out in hives upon seeing him as the starting keeper, Amelia had a great match. Ha. I’ll bet you never thought you’d here me say that. (But then again, neither did I.) Rami had a great header attempt in the 90th that was saved, and that was about it.

The boys thanked the fans, we thank them for another great performance

Seedorf’s subs were Poli on for Saponara in the 57th, with Saponara given his first start under Seedorf and making me proud, too. Next up was Muntari for Essien in the 64th. A little strange to me because Muntari will not be able to play next week. But I guess Seedorf recognized the Tasmanian devil look Muntari gets after a card and realized that we would be down on 10 men sooner rather than later. Finally, in the 76th, he brought on Urby for Constant, who hadn’t had his worst game, but wasn’t great, either. If I was giving Seeforf a grade for subs, I think it would be a C+. They were timely, and gave people rest and playing time, but could have been more effective.

Some people thought we played well. I did not. I felt like we showed confidence, but not competence. We played well as a team, but not as individuals, working together, but too many errors. We were sloppy, we lost balls, gave up a few chances (they got eight shots off with only three on goal.) We took our chances, fourteen of them, to be exact, eight of which were on goal. But we needed more discipline, and we needed to recover balls better, amongst other things. Still, it was an improvement. Each game we improve in some little way or more. And with nine new players to the lineup that dominated against Atleti, playing as well as we did was an improvement in and of itself.

Four wins in his first six Serie A games as a coach... why was sacking Allegri a bad idea again?

Two clean sheets in a row in the league, two wins in a row in the league, and the precious three points. Plus Taarabt and Rami hooking up for a goal and an assist each, and for each, their second goal for Milan. I’m not gonna complain about this one at all, it made my day. We can always ask more of our boys, but I am fine with this one. In fact, I think I’m craving some Moroccan barbecue.


This post inspired by the music of Pearl Jam


Our next match is
Milan vs. Juventus
Sunday, March 2 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)


Stay tuned for an all new Milan Obsession Podcast tomorrow!