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Milan 1, Sampdoria 1: Nature of the Beast


When you’re the eighth place team playing the fifth place team at home, a draw is a decent result, it’s just the nature of the beast. But when you’re a team that has collapsed all season when conceding, keeping it together and coming back to equalize is pretty exciting. Even more so when the equalizer was a bicycle kick from your central defensive midfielder. But when De Jong is on the pitch, that’s just the nature of the beast.

A salute to you, too, sir

Milan took a lot of shots. How many depends on your sources, and mine said 26 shots, with only six on goal. More than double Sampdoria’s chances, but still the draw. So while it’s exciting that we took so many chances, we did have a little problem finishing. That little problem was not only Cerci, although I think he got the sitter of the match just before halftime. His girlfriend should have probably kept quiet about the playing time, because now that he’s been starting, fans are starting to realize his limited capabilities.

He also limits Menez, at least in terms of shooting. When Cerci is on the pitch, Menez plays a lot deeper and does a lot more creating passes. Which isn’t a bad thing, but love him or hate him, we need his goals. Destro struggles to find or make chances, and then the Furious Mesbah went and broke him today, too. Hope the injury isn’t serious, I am one of a waning few that believes in his potential and wants to see him reach it.

Some stamina and some more playing time, please, even if he is likely heading back to Chelsea

Revelations this game included van Ginkel, who miraculously did not get a goal, though not for a lack of trying. Unfortunately, he faded a little before the half, but I loved what he did early on. The sub of the game, maybe even the season, was Cerci off for Suso in the 62nd. With Suso’s longest appearance of the season, he showed Cerci’s girlfriend (as well as everyone else) what we’ve been missing. Very promising appearance, and I hope that he gets more appearances and continues to impress.

Not as impressive was Mexes, who basically gifted Soriano his goal in the 58th to make it 1-0 Sampdoria (at least we got to see Ferrero dance. Once.) Then he tried to be a striker a couple of times again, ended up getting carded at the end of stoppage time for mixing it up with Wszolek. Despite taking one for the team early on in the face, I say no thank you, please do not renew. Abate got the beast memo on the defensive part of his job, but also decided suddenly to become a striker, and that didn’t work well for us. Inzaghi wisely brought on De Sciglio for him in the 71st, and the kid looked well enough coming back from injury. He even helped De Silvestre off near the end of time when he was injured, pure class.

Maybe he's not the Jesus you're thinking of, but he looks really good when juxtaposed with Cerci's performance

The 74th minute was the moment to watch, as De Jong saw his chance when Antonelli headed from a corner and De Jong went full beast mode with the bicycle kick. Nevermind that Duncan got a touch on it before it went in, this one is going to the Beast, De Jong. 1-1 in the 74th. Inzaghi brought Pazzini on for the injured Destro in the 77th, and he did his best to make an impact as always. De Jong earned his yellow in the 83rd for going full on beast mode on Muriel with an elbow, but then again, that’s just the nature of the Beast.

I don’t know if we can quite call this consistency yet, as our performance was still quite fragile. We started to cave after conceding, and it took De Jong actually scoring before the grinta really returned. We definitely had more shots, possession was 58%, and we equalized to get the draw with a team that was actually above us on the table. All of those things are great signs, and coming off back to back wins, I will proudly take this draw. But of course, I wouldn’t be a Milan fan if I didn’t instantly turn my thoughts to next Sunday and the Derby. Will this improved play give us the consistency we have been craving all year just in time to win the Derby? If De Jong and his teammates play even better than today, I think we just might. But then again, we may not… it’s just the nature of the beast.


This post inspired by the music of The Beastie Boys


Our next match is
il Derby della Madonnina
Inter vs. AC Milan
Sunday, April 19 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)