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Europa League • Milan 3, Rijeka 2: Distracted

A game that easily could have been 2 or 3-nil or better ended 3-2 because of some very late heroics after some embarrassing errors. Another less than convincing performance and more questions raised about Montella's safety, particularly after Carletto was fired by Bayern Munich earlier in the day and is an enticing alternative to poor Vincenzo at this point. Still without a fitness coach, with Montella having taken to social media to fire his boyhood friend and fitness coach of five years earlier in the week, it wasn't only the players who were distracted. 

Whatever with Silva's amazing strike, Borini the Assistor has arrived

Rijeka, the reigning Croatian champions, came to the San Siro to play, and attacked early and often, considering the disparity in transfer budgets. But it was André Silva in the 14th minute who scored a screamer to open up the scoring. 1-0 Milan. He also took a knock in the 31st, so I for one am hoping he does not make this week's Injury Tuesday™ highlights. Calhanoglu also took a knee to the upper thigh in the 34th, and while he played the rest of the half, he was subbed off for Bonaventura in the second half. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Musacchio making the most of a great opportunity

I'm pretty sure everyone relaxed after Musacchio's goal in the 53rd, with a nice save/assist from Bonucci. 2-0 Milan. Or maybe it was the delays in the game because of the Rijeka fans' flares. But in the 84th, Bonucci was too late and missed a tackle, Donnarumma was way out of his box (again,) and Acosty scored a goal. 2-1 Milan. Inexcusably, four minutes later, Romagnoli did what he sometimes does, but in the box, so Rijeka were awarded a penalty. And in the 90th minute, Elez converted it. 2-2 all. I imagine if you could flip a switch and incite swearing and possibly worse from all Milan fans worldwide, that would be like Romagnoli's penalty giveaway. Both goals conceded were totally avoidable. And so was Donnarumma's new hairstyle.

One of the few people who deserves to smile

Luckily, Sir Borini sent in a nice cross to Cutrone in the 90th plus four so he could win the game for us. 3-2 Milan. It wasn't a feel-good win, though. It was the kind of win that makes you feel used and dirty. And it was so frustrating, too. These are the games we should be able to dominate, even if Rijeka played very well and are to be commended. Or at least we should be able to hold a lead. But once again, Montella's crazed three man backline left our three defenders exposed, and the anti-comedy ensued. 

After Sunday's deflating loss to Sampdoria, we needed a morale boost ahead of Roma and our toughest month of the Serie A season coming up. Instead, we got caught with our pants down, and I have little to no hope that there will be enough fire to fend off the wolves on Sunday, even at the San Siro. I know we need to give them time to gel, but it's frustrating as a fan to see them play below their level. And especially devoid of the mentality we so desperately need to find. But it was inevitable once you saw the players come out so nervous again. And that's what happens when you come out distracted.

This post inspired by Shevchenko

Our next match is
Serie A Week 7
Milan vs. Roma
Sunday, October 1st • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)