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Chievo 1, Milan 3: Like The Most Improbable Dream

In “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” one of the BEST MOVIES EVER, Jack Skellington tries to explain the new phenomenon of Christmas to the people of Halloweentown. But as hard as he tries, he just can’t describe it… “like the most improbable dream.” My Sunday was much the same way. From the nuclear Karma bomb that hit Icardi and Inter, to Milan’s young starting lineup to the surprise win away to Chievo, to the table positions at the end of the day, I felt like I was living the most improbable dream.

One of my favorite things in football, the team running to greet the fans after a win

Let’s start at the scrumptiously delicious news of Icardi finally getting a tiny bit of what his soulless weasel face deserves. After writing lies and threats against his own Curva Nord in his book, he found himself posting an apology to social media before taking the pitch at the San Siro. But in between that, the well-respected former captain and now vice president, Javier Zanetti, said Icardi’s threats of Argentine Assasins and other words and lies in his book were unacceptable, the fans were too important, and that his armband would likely be revoked. It got worse for Inter’s now least favorite scumbag, as the Curva Nord displayed very angry & insulting banners against him and his stolen wife and generally abused him. Then he missed a penalty, his third miss in four attempts this season. Then he saw his team lose at home to Cagliari. And at the end of the day they were 11th on the table. The backstabbing cretin’s day was not complete, though, as approximately 40 Ultras came to his house and left a large threatening banner for him, as well as other sordid mischief while they were there. You know that thing they say about Karma? Well he’s finally getting a miniscule portion of it. And I have no shame in admitting that watching someone of his massive character black hole get a little taste of his own medicine makes me so very, very, very happy. Like the most improbable dream.

But enough of my exquisite schadenfreude, Milan played a game. Away. To a team just ahead of us on the table. With a starting lineup with the average age of 23.9 years old:

Donnarumma 17
Abate 29
Paletta 30
Romagnoli 21
De Sciglio 23
Kucka 29
Locatelli 18
Bonaventura 27
Suso 22
Lapadula 26
Niang 21

It was absolutely incredible, especially to see Locatelli get the start. What a bizarre phenomenon to have a midfield that was not stationary. Or to not lose the ball upon every touch. Or to not go whining to the ref when things didn’t go our way. They didn’t play the best, but it was definitely improvement. And even better knowing that there is so much more potential for growth there. It was simply amazing to have so many young and promising players. Like the most improbable dream

The goal and the celebration defying probability

I cannot say whether Milan are more lucky, or if the players are just committing some winning form of mutiny, but I still don’t see the style of play Montella described in motion. Not even with our 56% possession. But I don’t really care. As long as the results come, the players can do the Haka dance midgame for all I care.

The goals were most entertaining. Kuco scored one screamer from outside of the box in the 45th, then did a front flip celebration before hugging his teammates. 1-0. One of the most improbable people to open the scoring. Then not a minute into the second half, Niang scored to make it 2-0 Milan. It was like he was making up for Kuco forgetting that this win would be dedicated to Montolivo, he scored so quickly. So Niang ran over to the bench, grabbed the Montolivo jersey and held it up, even kissing it, as all of the players paid homage to their injured captain, too. Who knew that getting Montolivo out of the starting lineup would also be what gave the team purpose and solidarity? Like the most improbable dream.

Voted by many to be the MOTM, the 21 year-old is cementing his place in the starting lineup

The most spectacular goal was actually scored by an ex-Milan player, Birsa, aka the Slovenian Messi. In a perfect free kick in the 76th, he sent the ball curling precisely over the wall and out of reach of the phenomenal Donnarumma. 2-1 Milan. The final goal in stoppage time looked to be scored by Bacca, who was determined to score no matter which body parts of his opponent tried to get in the way. But in the end, his opponent’s body part was determined to have deflected the ball into the net, so Dainelli got the own goal. Too bad. But still 3-1 for Milan.

As I mentioned, I am not convinced of the playing style of this Milan. But miraculously, the injury of Montolivo has brought some solidarity, and given new life to the midfield, too, with a player 13 years younger and probably more talented. What are the odds? But then again, what were the odds that Icardi’s conceited, despicable, and moral-free world would implode so spectacularly all in one day? Or that Milan would rise to the occasion and beat Maran’s impressive Chievo? Or that Montella would field so many youngsters? (even if, as David mentioned on the podcast, that was fueled largely by injuries.) But certainly I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed that at this point in the season, this Milan would be poised in third place on the table (technically joint second, I know.) If the season ended today, Milan would be in the Champions League playoff spot. And while there is a long way to go, and Fassone and Mirabelli already seem hell-bent on screwing up the project before the deal is even done, today was just a perfect day for Milan fans. Like the most improbable dream.

This post inspired by the music of Danny Elfman’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtrack

Our next match is
Milan vs. Juventus
Saturday, October 22nd • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)