Milan 1, Catania 0: Ghetto Ball

Not that Milan were likely to put in an amazing performance all of a sudden, but it’s hard to play the beautiful game when you are getting hacked and fouled incessantly. However, it was our quality that saw us through this match, and the beautiful goal was enough to see us take down gli Elefanti in a match that really could only be described as ghetto ball.

You earned these 3 points the hard way, well done.

Referee De Marco did what he could, but apparently could only count to 18, because that is the number of fouls he called on each team. I can forgive him, because I lost track of the number of dirty, nasty fouls Catania sent our way, too. But the cards are more telling: he handed out 6 yellow cards to Catania, one of those being Rinaudo’s second, so also a red for a really bad tackle on Mexes. So to their credit, Catania played the last 11+ minutes on 10 men. (Milan didn't earn any cards this match.)

Milan had our moments. Abbiati was called into action and never disappointed, especially great saves in the 13th and 75th, to name a couple. Montolivo earned some street cred for a fantastic stop in the 19th, and then became the hero of the match when he scored a rocket from about 30 meters out in the 23rd, 1-0 Milan.

You got this, Montolivo.

But my personal hero was Balotelli, who withstood a literal barrage of fouls and who knows what else, and kept his cool for the entire game. Not only did he have the assist on Montolivo’s goal, as it was one of many free kicks he took, but he had some disgustingly beautiful plays, too, like a ridiculous backheel pass to Taarabt in the sixth minute. However it was his keeping his cool that made me ultra proud of my hero, as I remember these elephants got to him the last time we met, and he definitely took a pummeling again today.

Seedorf subbed off a tired Poli for Abate in the 74th, then a largely ineffective Constant for Urby in the 77th, and finally an exhausted Kaka for Pazzini in the 87th. While I would have loved to see the subs a little earlier, it was difficult to keep up with the frenetic pace and dirty play that marked this game even from my couch, so I’ll let him slide this time.

Fantastic footwork, horrific focus and finishing

There’s not a lot else I care to say about this match, other than to celebrate a fourth straight win, something I could have only dreamed of earlier this season. Seedorf stated the obvious this week, that “Results help morale.” So I can expect these boys to greet Livorno with some serious confidence, then, come Saturday. We also seem to have escaped Catania’s guerrilla warfare with no injuries, so that is a huge blessing for us. On the sad side, we may just earn that Europa League spot after all, which is good on one level, but I think overall poor for the team. But you can’t win them all, and it’s not like we’ve really tried to until now. I’m just grateful we won this match of ghetto ball. Well done, Ragazzi.

This post inspired by the music of Rage Against the Machine

Our next match is
Milan vs. Livorno
Saturday, April 19 • 15:00 CEST (9am EDT)

Milan 1, Catania 0: Ghetto Ball Milan 1, Catania 0: Ghetto Ball Reviewed by Elaine on 2:34 PM Rating: 5
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