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Palermo 1, Milan 2: Ducks in a Row


Just in time for Easter, it seems Milan finally got all of their ducks in a row… at least for this match. In addition to recovering a number of players from injury, Muntari relieved himself from duty. Well, and Inzaghi put Jesus on the pitch to help create miracles and maybe resurrect our performance. And while it was nowhere near a perfect performance, it was a marked improvement in many ways. It would have been nice to see this level of performance earlier in the season rather than later, but at least we finally got our ducks in a row.

Let's get this party started

The first half was shaky, Diego Lopez was called upon to make his own miracles more often than I’d care to admit. But in the 37th, van Ginkel sent in a nice cross that Cerci managed to shoot, hit Sorrentino, and then use some unknown body part to tap it back in and score his first goal for Milan. 1-0 Milan.

For the first time in recent memory, that goal encouraged the team to fight. Instead of becoming complacent, playing back and perhaps conceding, it built the momentum that it was supposed to. Which was good, because despite having heads made of marshmallows, Palermo were overall by far the superior team in the first half. Well that, and the ref correctly called offside on Dybala in the 41st, negating what would have been Barreto’s equalizer.

It wasn't pretty, but I'm not complaining

I don’t know what Inzaghi said to them at the half, but the team that came out of the dressing room after the half were not the same as the ones who took the pitch in the first. There were no physical substitutions, but mentally, 11 new players took the pitch with a mentality that has been missing for some time now. Eleven warriors.

It wasn’t a cakewalk, as all good football matches go, it was a battle. But it was good football. Finally. In the 56th, Destro’s goal was called off for offside, which was a questionable call, as it was very close. But between some woeful shots by Palermo and a few yellows for each side, including yellow cards for Abate in the 62nd, Paletta in the 71st, and Mexes in stoppage time, the team didn’t stop fighting.

When you score that many goals, you only have to lift one finger

There was a penalty called in the 71st on Paletta that some questioned, but I think Doveri got it right. There was contact in the box from Paletta. But it doesn’t matter what any of us think, as Doveri whistled for the penalty and Dybala stepped up and converted it just one minute later. 1-1 all.

But for once, Milan did not collapse. They stood taller, fought harder, and played better. If you are religious, you may believe that Inzaghi introducing Jesus (Suso) for Cerci in the 77th, the day before Easter, was the cause of the miracle. But Inzaghi subbed on Pazzini for Destro, too, and Pazzini instantly made sure Sorrentino got a lot of closeups. But it was Menez who decided the match, probably because he could finally see without all of Cerci’s hair flying everywhere. In the 83rd, he dribbled and scored a brilliant goal that would decide the match, 2-1 Milan. No miracles there, only hard work and grinta.

It was only one game, but his patience and determination paid off today

The players celebrating and Menez going over to Inzaghi was the happiest I think I’ve been all season long. I literally teared up. Finally, something to celebrate. Some actual football to celebrate, and a result to go with. And after a tense 10 minutes before the whistle that felt like hours, Milan held the lead, even continuing to attack to the end. Call it an Easter miracle, proof that we were all right in that we are better off without Muntari, or that Milan finally got all of our ducks in a row. But it is three very valuable points. Won away, at a tough stadium, and our second straight win in a row. Bravo, Ragazzi. Bravo.


This post inspired by miracles


Our next match is
Milan vs. Sampdoria
Sunday, April 12 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)



Buona Pasqua!