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Milan 2, Sassuolo 1: Sometimes You Win…


We won. I should be thrilled. Seedorf’s Milan earned 35 points in 19 games, compared to Allegri’s Milan earning only 22 points in 19 games. So finishing with a win should make me happy. But if you look at Milan by the numbers, it’s understandable why this victory didn’t drive fans’ happiness off the Richter scale. Not even narrowly avoiding Europe to give the team a chance to rebuild is enough to make me scream and shout about this season. It is enough that the corners of my mouth are slightly turned up at this point. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you’re just happy to have survived a season like this.

Definitely worth a fist bump or whatever that is.

The game started out with a bang. A rocket of a goal from none other than Sulley “The Killer” Muntari in the second minute saw Milan go up 1-0. Brilliant. I was excited for some reason, even if that goal moved us closer to the dreaded Europa League spot. Pazzini thought he had scored a beautiful goal that was called back for offside in the 21st. But in the 27th, De Jong scored a free kick that Zaza’s head deflected into the net, 2-0 Milan. I was totally sucked in. We were up 2-0, and I was thrilled my team were winning. Even when I realized that the results at that point would put us into Europa League, I was happy. Despite the hideous new jerseys, even. Scoring goals just makes me happy, what can I say? It’s contagious.

But the rest of the match just pulled me slowly down, even if we kept the result and the three points. Mexes was behaving badly in the 32nd, earning himself a deserved yellow. And his push on Berardi after the latter stepping on his foot could have seen him sent off. Luckily, Valeri was merciful and saved that fate for later. That came in the 68th, when Valeri could not help but hand him a second yellow and thus a sending off, Milan down to 10 men.

He can score, he can leap... what a monster!

Not to be outdone, Cannavaro earned himself a straight red in the 85th for a nasty challenge on El Shaarawy. But although it felt like justice had been done, Valeri was saving the dealbreaker move for the 89th, when De Sciglio saw a straight red for getting all ball in the box. So heartbreaking, and absolutely the wrong call. It’s so unfortunate when player shows such quality and is then punished for it. I think that’s when the weight of this awful season hit me. Twice as hard when Zaza stepped up to convert the resulting penalty and take away our clean sheet, 2-1 Milan.

Sure, there were moments like Rami’s brilliant tackle in the 54th which saved an almost certain goal from Zaza. Or any number of Pazzini’s almost goals that were blocked or saved or just wide. Or the irony of Berardi’s bicycle kick goal or Zaza’s goal, both called off for fouls prior to the strikes. Or Seedorf’s excellent subbing, El Shaarawy for Muntari in the 59th, Zaccardo on for Constant in the 68th, and Balotelli for Kaka in the 73rd. I don’t blame Seedorf for even one second for not putting the young Mastour in, this was not the game for him. But when Valeri blew the whistle to end the game right after El Shaarawy was taken down in the box, it was hard to feel good about this win.

El Shaarawy is coming back strong

Not just the game, but the knowledge that really no one in the squad was safe from leaving this summer – not even Seedorf. Tassotti had indicated earlier in the season and reconfirmed before the match that he is likely moving on. Who knows who wore the Milan jersey for the last time today? And what a hideous jersey to end their Milan career in, too. Sometimes you win, and sometimes the win is not enough to buoy your spirits.

So much is at stake this summer. Gratefully, Europa League qualification is not for us. Congrats to former Milan legend Donadoni and his Parma team for earning that last spot, and good luck. And at least those in North America who were planning to go to the ICC matches will know that they get to see Milan after all. But what Milan will they see? With the end of the season comes the beginning of the madness that is a Milan mercato of recent years brings with it.

Really hoping to see both of these guys come August

Not even the World Cup can lift my spirits to the level they should be with a Milan win. Not even seeing Seedorf’s league record of 11 wins, 2 draws, and 6 losses buoys my heart. An unsettling win to end a terrible season. Sometimes you win, and sometimes the win is just not enough to overcome everything else. But thank you, boys, for all you did for us this season. Thank you Tassotti, for so many years, both as a coach and a player. And thank you for Seedorf, for giving us anything at all to smile about this season.


This post inspired by the music of Filter