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Parma 4, Milan 5: The Greatest Show on Earth


Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! You’re about to hear all about the greatest show on earth! That’s right, this wasn’t just a game, it was a spectacle of epic proportions. A nonstop display of thrills and chills that made you feel as if you wanted to cheer and vomit all at the same time. It’s not as if the win wasn’t deserved – Milan played harder and smarter and took better advantage of their chances. But there were several moments where I felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach, our errors were so egregious. Bottom line, Milan took the three points and remain at the top of the table once again ahead of our match with Juventus coming up on Saturday. So sit back and enjoy the ride!

So much celebration

First let me say that our boys were lucky to survive this match in one piece. Parma had a whopping 24 fouls to our 12, and those were just the ones that were called. With eight cards and two sendings off, it wasn’t always pretty. Captain Bonera, or Bonny as he is affectionately known as by his teammates, got the cards started off in the 16th with a yellow for a foul on Cassano. But is that really a foul, when you make contact with a soulless one?

The shot heard round the world... for Milan fans, anyway

Just three minutes after his header attempt on goal was saved, Bonaventura opened up the scoring in the 26th with a great left footed shot with an assist by Honda. 1-0 Milan. It was his debut with Milan, but his 100th Serie A match, and what a brilliant way to celebrate it. But Nutella Boy™ (Cassano)  spoiled his party by pulling one right back just one minute later. 1-1 all. Ouch.

But not even Nutella Lard™ could spoil this celebration

It only took ten minutes for Milan to pull ahead again, though. This time it was a brilliant Honda header on a cross from… wait for it… Abate. 2-1 Milan. That’s right, that’s two games in a row, two assists for Abate, the first time in his career he’s done that. More believable, that’s also two games in a row that Honda scored.

Even Honda is still in shock after the Abate assist

The first half would end when Lucarelli took down Menez in the box in the 44th, earning himself a yellow card and earning Milan a penalty. Which Menez took and converted well in the final minute of the half. 3-1 Milan. Our odds seemed pretty great going into the half, but the thrills and chills were only beginning.

I like to believe that he was taunting Cassano. Probably not, but let me just believe.

In the 51st, Milan conceded a goal by Felipe, assisted by Jorquera, 3-2 Milan. Thanks again, Bonny. Just four minutes later, Abate had a great run in on goal, only to have his shot saved by Harry Connick, Jr. (Mirante.) As if that wasn’t exciting enough for a ten minute span of time, in the 58th, Captain Bonny received his second yellow for a handball and thus was sent off, leaving Milan on ten men. Bonny took one for the team there, but luckily for us, he also took one for the team in that he won’t line up against Juventus on Saturday. It’s rare that fans will cheer the sending off of one of their own, but with Bonny, it happens quite frequently.

To finish off an action-packed ten minute span, De Jong earned a yellow card, apparently for encroachment on the free kick Parma earned with Bonny’s handball call. Apparently, De Jong laughs in the face of the vanishing spray. Also, somewhere in there, Alex was injured, and with us going down to ten men, Inzaghi brought on Zapata for Alex and then Rami for Honda in the 62nd. Honda had played a brilliant game, especially after flying back from Japan midweek from international duty. Of the three starters who had featured for their national teams this past week, both he and De Jong impressed after their national team tours, whereas De Sciglio, not quite as much. But more on that later.

Gets a silly yellow, makes up for it with a brilliant goal. De Boss.

In the 68th, De Jong showed he can do more than just pass. With a brilliant run in after winning the ball, he scored a fantastic goal. 4-2 Milan. Then De Ceglie learned via a yellow card in the 70th minute that one simply doesn’t touch De Jong. Then Milan conceded from another set piece in the 73rd with a Lucarelli header from a Palladino corner. 4-3 Parma. Do you feel dizzy and nauseated just yet?

So the defense conceded again just 5 min. later... It's okay, we salute you, too, De Jong

Felipe found out how well Menez sells the fouls in the 77th, and to follow up his earlier yellow, he was sent off. A goal and two yellows/a red for him. So now both teams were on ten men. Which was apparently all Menez needed to score the goal of the season. And that claim to fame will stand for a lot more than 2 games, I promise. He took advantage of a defensive error, poked the ball past Harry Connick, Jr. and ran across the goal, then just when you thought he ran out of room and was facing the wrong way, he sent a sublime backheel in on the far side to beat the keeper. I think I’m in love. 5-3 Milan.

Untouchable.

In fact, his goal was so amazing, so untouchable, that he had to be subbed off in the 86th for the young Niang. That’s how exquisite that goal was. Or at least that's how I'm calling it. Personally, I think Pippo wanted to celebrate with him more on the bench. He even got a phone call from Berlusconi after the match to tell him how great his game was. And it was, and not just the brace, either.

But as brilliant as that was, in the 89th, a conversely horrible facepalm moment occurred. De Sciglio sent a backpass to Lopez that had too much bounce on it or something, and simultaneously, Lopez had what may be the howler of the season, allowing the own goal and injuring himself in the process. It was so bad, they didn’t even need the Third Stooge to sell it. 5-4 Milan. Thank goodness we were able to hold on in the six minutes of added extra time that Massa pulled from some other dimension.

Inzaghi couldn't even contain himself if he tried.

So Milan won. And scored in the most spectacular of ways. There was so much Milan grinta on that pitch, it’s going to be like a stain that the Parma groundskeepers may never get out. In that aspect, Inzaghi was spot on about winning with grinta. But no matter how many times you wet yourself or screamed yourself hoarse for the amazing moments, you simply cannot disregard the moments where we made critical errors. Many of them the same errors we have been making for years. (Oh yeah, 'conceding on set pieces', I’m talking about you first and foremost.) Although statistically, we have made huge improvements on our accuracy. Parma and Milan both took 11 shots, but Parma only had three on goal, whereas Milan had seven. In a game where possession was exactly 50/50, Milan definitely dominated play, too. So there are some things that are improving. But a lot more improving to happen to hold on to first place.

Everyone is jumping for joy, but let's not forget the work ahead

No matter what you took from this, no one can say it was a boring match. And like Inzaghi pointed out after the fact, no one can say Milan didn’t deserve to win. If anything, we were our own worst enemy. But even playing away, we managed to win in spite of ourselves. With pics and highlights that will last in our memories forever. It wasn’t just a game, it was an epic spectacle. And that’s why, ladies and gentlemen, this game will be remembered as the greatest show on earth.


This post was inspired by Milan grinta


Our next match is
Milan vs. Juventus
Saturday, September 20 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)