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Atalanta 2, Milan 1: Not Even About the Game


The game was so early for me that when I saw cameras pan to Rizzoli holding a knife and looking at it strangely, it didn’t compute. But when I saw the banana, it became too obvious: Atalanta fans were taking a game in which their team had nothing to play for and giving it meaning. If by meaning, they thought that putting their hat in the ring for the worst fans of the season in a season where we saw some truly horrifying things, than yeah. They threw at least one knife and reportedly two bananas on the pitch, showing the world that Serie A fans are much worse than La Liga fans, or maybe fans of any other major league. Your team may have scored all 3 goals today, but no one cares about that, Atalanta fans. It’s not even about the game anymore, is it?

Welcome back, il Faraone! We missed you

The game itself was like a minefield of awful with momentary brilliant explosions. Seedorf did go back to the 4-3-1-2 system that he used vs. Inter, and I’m not sure what to think. On paper, we had 20 shots, with 2 on goal, but it looked like our attack was much less efficient than in Seedorf’s initial system. And by allowing Atalanta 17 shots with 3 on goal, it’s not as if the more defensive formation helped us on the other end, either. I’d read after the Derby that Seedorf said he knew the 4-3-1-2 was a favorite of Berlusconi’s, so if this was his attempt to appease His Majesty, I think it may have backfired, as his unattractive football was downright ugly today.

Looking for positives, even if it still wasn’t about the football, we saw the return of El Shaarawy after the half, who came on for Honda, who had been very ineffective at the trequartista role today. Il Faraone looked a bit rusty, but his explosive runs had been sorely missed and were definitely a sight for sore eyes. Such a shame that his return to action was marred by the horrific actions of just a few fans. The other positive for Milan fans was that the referee did not allow Milan to wear the new yellow kit for next year, but again, not about the football.

Perfectly placed, one beautiful moment in a very ugly game

As for the football part, besides being pretty awful, Bellini’s brilliant own goal from a Muntari cross in the 51st opened up the scoring, 1-0 Milan. He’s not going to live that one down anytime soon. Then Constant’s clumsy attempt to stop Carmona in the 66th ended up as a late whistle Rizzoli special, also known as a penalty, which Denis stepped up and converted in the 68th, 1-1 all. I’m not sure how many bananas were thrown in all or exactly the timing, but I believe Constant’s error was not long after a banana was thrown at him. Not that he’s not been clumsy at other times, but it sucks to think that a stupid act of hatred could have impacted the match like that.

Mexes mixed it up with Raimondi in the 69th for which they were both given cards for, not exactly breaking news there, but indicative of the tension throughout the match. Then Seedorf brought on Taarabt for Muntari in the 76th, one explosive attacking player for a player who likes to attack and explode. Then he brought on Pazzini for Kaka in the 80th, more fresh legs in attack, but whose efforts were not effective. Stoppage time brought a shot from Balotelli that hit the post, and then a yellow for Taarabt in the 93rd. But the most beautiful moment of the game came in the dying seconds, and was not as beautiful for Milan as it was for Atalanta: Brienza’s beautiful strike from 30-40 yards out that curled just perfectly into the top left corner of the net to seal the game for Atalanta, 2-1. Heart stopping and heartbreaking all at once, at least Atalanta could say that they truly won a game they fought all 95 minutes for.

"Are you implying I don't get enough potassium?"

But too bad their fans left everyone with such a bad taste in their mouth. While Milan fans should be talking about the return of El Shaarawy and Atalanta should be talking about Brienza’s exquisite strike for the three points, we are all talking about the filth of humanity who marred the beautiful game… again. About how Serie A fans keep ruining matches and continuing to destroy the reputation of Serie A and make it a showcase for the worst that man has to offer. Milan are unfortunately technically still in the running for a Europa League spot after other results today left Galliani a hope and a prayer. And rumors of a Seedorf exit are stronger now with the loss, too. But still, the storyline has been hijacked once again. Not even about the game.


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


Our last match of the season is
Milan vs. Sassuolo
Sunday, May 18th • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)