Europa League • AC Milan 6, Shkëndija 0: Apocalypse

An Antichrist leading people astray. War and violence. Natural disasters, pandemics, plagues. Famine and death. Judgment being exacted on the wicked. The whole earth shaking. Montolivo scoring a brace. These are the signs of the Apocalypse. You have been warned.

Enjoying the moments before death and destruction will hit

People online were trying to make sense of how Montolivo scored a brace. Maybe it was losing the weight of the captain’s armband. Perhaps it had something to do with the upcoming solar eclipse. Certainly, for a player who has only scored seven goals total in five seasons at Milan, and hadn’t scored at all in over three years, the cause was likely an act of a higher power or some sort of witchcraft. In fact, you have to go back to his days at Fiorentina to find his last brace, and that was in 2011 vs. Novara. Which actually sheds light on the most likely cause for his success today: poor opponents. We finally found his playing level. In fact, I think Shkëndija went back to Tetovo to put in a bid for this amazing player they saw called Montolivo. I hear they might even be willing to give him the captain’s armband.

A very rare photo: The Montolivo goal celebration

The truth is, while Milan were convincing enough, you didn’t need VAR to see how poor Shkëndija played. I’m hoping it was just a bad night, because I don’t want to watch a team play that poorly again next week on the return leg. Zahov, their keeper, was especially poor, and completely unprepared to deal with the world class attacking efforts of players like Montolivo and Borini. I wanted to hug him or bake him some cookies or something after that match, though. So rough. I had read that Shkëndija were better than this, and they made it through all three qualifying rounds victorious. But then again, maybe the Apocalypse drained them of their powers. I can’t even remember any shots on goal, they had all of the threat of a sleeping baby kitten wrapped in a blanket.

Just another day at the office

The end of the world scenario took away from the fact that Silva also bagged a brace, something a number nine hasn’t done for Milan at the San Siro since November 2010 (and that player was Inzaghi.) Silva’s first goal was in the 13th minute, scoring with only his third touch on the ball. Then his second goal was in the 27th. He took the cross from Calhanoglu, controlled it, fought off two defenders, and went in for the kill. Beautiful. But sadly, we expected as much from the young striker. A shame his joy is eclipsed by the shock of the other brace on the night.

Speaking of shock, Montolivo’s first goal was in the 25th, a rebound of a Suso shot (and not the only one of those on the night.) No one was more shocked than him. But that apparently gave him the confidence later in the match to twist the knife and put the sixth and final nail in the coffin for Shkëndija. In the 85th, he took a pass from Abate (the successful pass also eerily notable,) turned, and shot the ball to score again. Is it raining frogs? Is that moon red?

Everyone in this picture looks surprised, but no one more so than the goalscorer himself

Certainly the signs of the Apocalypse were heightened when Borini also scored in the 67th. Given the “striker’s” scoring average over the past five years, he has already met one third of his quota for this year, and Serie A hasn’t even kicked off yet! Did you feel the earth tremble? Is that an earthquake? And yet a minute later, Antonelli, playing for the first time in a while and looking shaky early on, also scored. He tapped in a Suso shot that had slipped through Zahov’s fingers. Wait, I just heard something. Wait are those four horsemen?

I feel for Shkëndija fans tonight. To lose 6-0 is so painful, just ask Inter. But honestly I feel worse for Bonaventura. He pulled up in the 89th and left the pitch, leaving us on ten men. He was holding his right hamstring, which is never good. And we just got him back, too. It’s both devastating and heartbreaking.

How real men celebrate

Obviously the result was fantastic, even if we might have struggled against a docile, non-sleeping kitten opponent. And honestly, I think it’s great that those who typically don’t score got the opportunity. However, I do fear the Apocalypse. Let’s just hope the start of the Serie A season this weekend puts an end to this end of days scenario and we can see some even better football. Watch out, Crotone. Montolivo and Borini are coming for you.

This post inspired by the music of U2’s “Until the End of the World”

Our next match is
Serie A Week 1
Crotone vs. Milan
Sunday, August 20 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)


Europa League • AC Milan 6, Shkëndija 0: Apocalypse Europa League • AC Milan 6, Shkëndija 0: Apocalypse Reviewed by Elaine on 11:38 PM Rating: 5
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