I wrote in the preview that this match was dependent upon how Fiorentina showed up. And then they actually did show up. Dominating in both possession and play, 20 shots on goal with five on target, we were lucky to escape with a point. There was also ref controversy, with both teams leaving the pitch thinking “what if?” But Milan weren’t able to do more than stave off a hungry Fiorentina. And so for all of those reasons, I would say that Milan were fortunate.
|The gold on those kits may be weighing us down, but they could hold their heads high at the final whistle|
Donnarumma should just be given a man of the match trophy the size of that Champions League trophy replica in Casa Milan. Then they can just engrave the matches and dates on it each time. While Fiorentina were hardly clinical, he made five saves, some of those really brilliant. And according to @WhoScored, he had 49 touches, too. That’s kind of a lot for a keeper, and possibly more than some of our outfield players. He is also on a first name basis now with Borja Valero, Kalinic, and many other Fiorentina players, with the kid coming out on top every time. Also, I think this stat belongs primarily to him:
3 - AC Milan have not conceded goals in 3 consecutive Serie A games for the first time since May 2013. Improvement. #FiorentinaMilan— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 25, 2016
The first fortunate event for Milan was in the 16th, when Paletta tried to take Kalinic as his wife inside the box, and Orsato invoked the don’t ask, don’t tell policy (or more likely just didn’t see it.) Whichever was the case, it was a clear penalty, unlike later controversies. Milan were very lucky to escape that one. Then, the cost of our commitment to youth showed when Calabria gave up a penalty in the 22nd. Ilicic went to the spot to take it, with a perfect penalty record last season of seven out of seven. But he hit the post this time, and Milan were more than fortunate there.
|One player in particular had reason to celebrate|
The final controversy occurred in stoppage time. Adriano was clearly fouled and taken down, but no call. A lot of people thought it happened inside the box, but replays show that the contact was initially made outside the box, so it would have only been a free kick anyway. It may seem that Milan were unfortunate here, but when you look at the other events, we were actually fortunate over all.
There was a lot of anticipation about how Montolivo would be received at the club he stabbed in the back to come to Milan and usurp our captaincy. And Fiorentina fans did not disappoint. They still hate him. Montolivo is inconsistent as a player, but the one thing he consistently does well is to piss off his own fans. I will say this, though: he did a few things well last night. Actually his best game of the season, barring the yellow card at the end of the first half and most of the rest of the match and the incessant whining to the ref . In fact, he was already appealing to Orsato before the whistle blew at the beginning of the game. Probably because of the whistling the Fiorentina fans were already showering him with or something.
|Relentless as angry hornets, embarrassing as unruly, entitled children|
Speaking of incessant whining to the ref, I want to know when Montella is going to actually do something about that. Every single match, they are swarming the ref and whining and crying like Veruca Salt, it’s so embarrassing. Whereas a lot of other clubs have improved in this area, our guys are stepping it up. I shudder to think of days gone by when we had a real captain who acted with leadership and diplomacy on the pitch, and required his teammates to do the same. But we have Montolivo, so…
In the end, our measly twelve shots with only one goal cost us, as well as our 38% possession. However, our players looked more confident, and their passing has definitely improved. So that’s something. We were able to hold back a fiery Fiorentina. And keep third consecutive clean sheet, too. And while they are not the best team we will face this season, it was a great test for us. Maybe we missed a chance for another three points, but I felt like we were lucky to escape with one point. Not our best game ever, but certainly not our worst, either. So all in all, we were fortunate.
This post inspired by the music of Frank Sinatra’s “Luck Be a Lady”
Our next match is
Milan vs. Sassuolo
Sunday, October 2 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)