The lineups said it all: Mihajlovic was willing to do whatever it takes to win this one. Whether it was for job security or for the fact that winning this one put us on the easy road to the Coppa Italia final or a little of both, he wasn’t going to risk sending his B team on and increase the probability of crashing out before the quarterfinals. And that risk paid off, as Milan took this one 2-0 in a performance that wasn’t as dominating as our most recent matchup with Sampdoria, but still got the job done. Whatever it takes.
|Who says no one cares about the Coppa? Niang does.|
If there has been any consistency in form for this Milan of late, it is playing very timidly in the first half. And that was true of at least the first 30 minutes of this match, if not the whole first 45. Except we weren’t so timid as to not catch the referee’s eye, as Bertolacci, Mexes, and Abate all got yellow cards in that first half. But still, Sampdoria were in the game and got more chances than I care for, even if Abbiati proved he was up for the task. Oh, and Bacca had a goal disallowed for offside in the 23rd, but I’M SURE THAT WAS ALL ON THE REFEREE, AMIRITE? (he was very clearly offside.) To be fair, the only thing scarier than Viviano’s hair and facial hair was Niang, he did give them some scares.
But it was a combination of the striking duo that broke the deadlock, as Niang scored from a Bacca assist in the 50th minute. 1-0 Milan. And despite Mexes being Mexes in general, when Zukanovic earned a yellow in the 64th and his mouth earned him a swift second to be sent off, Sampdoria on ten men suddenly didn’t seem quite as dangerous. Milan were kind enough to wait until stoppage time to take advantage of them being a man down, though, when Bacca scored in the 93rd on an assist from THAT WORTHLESS, TERRIBLE PLAYER, HONDA, who had replaced Cerci in the 70th. Not even bringing Poli on for the amazing Bonaventura in the 77th could stop this team. Although Cassano did take a couple of shots, his mouth has more venom now than his feet. Also, we survived the Mesb. That should tell you everything.
|A goal and an assist... all in a day's work|
It was an important win because Carpi did our dirty work and knocked out Fiorentina this week. So if we can do to Carpi in January in a one-off match what we should have been able to them in the league, then we face the winner of Lega Pro side Alessandria (who knocked out Genoa,) and Serie B Side Spezia (who knocked out Roma and probably will get Garcia sacked, too.) And if this team, who has the mental stability of a teenage girl with a mental illness, can pull it off in both of those do or die matches, then this team, whom people have written off for dead (or at least comatose,) will be in the Coppa Italia final. Did you ever see that coming? Or the fact that according to @OptaPaolo, this is the first time Milan have won three consecutive Coppa Italia matches since the 2006-07 season (even if that’s because we always joined in the 5th round, but hey, I’ll take that stat.) Maybe this team really has whatever it takes.
So now we’ve assured our berth in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia, we have to look forward a couple of days to Sunday, when we go away to face yet another relegation side. Will Milan pay for Mihajlovic playing so many starters for 90 minutes on Thursday? Will it have been worth it to secure our fast pass to the Coppa Italia final but give up more points in the league to a relegation side? Will Mihajlovic’ job be put in more jeopardy despite the Coppa Italia success? Or the most important question: does this Milan team truly have whatever it takes?
This post inspired by the music of Diana Krall’s “Christmas Songs”
Our next match is
Frosinone vs. Milan
Sunday, December 20 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)