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Europa League: AC Milan 5, Austria Wien 1: Déjà vu


We knew coming into this match that we should come out on top. Not just because we beat Austria Wien so handily before in their house, but because they were plagued with injuries. After Bonucci challenged Milan fans to show up to the San Siro, about 18,000 fans did. I don’t know what everyone else was doing, because it wasn’t Thanksgiving in Italy. But maybe they knew that Milan would win in spite of themselves, capitalizing on Austria Wien’s mistakes and trying not to make too many of their own. They missed out, though, because the game was kind of a spectacle, even if the scoreline was more like déjà vu.

Celebrate the win, celebrate advancing, but be ready to fight harder on Sunday

The spectacle was not long in the making. In the 21st minute, Gigio, who was already well off his line, came out to the very edge of the area to challenge Monschein 1 v 1, but missed. That would have been facepalm-worthy in and of itself, even if he was sort of forced to come out since no one was marking the Viennese player. But when Monschein dribbled around him and took the shot, our fearless captain, Bonucci, came sliding in to attempt the save. And he might have made it if his foot hadn’t apparently gotten caught in the turf. So instead, the ball went right through his sliding legs. If it had been a circus act, it would have been a standing ovation. But instead, it was doubly shameful. 1-0 Austria Wien.

But that’s okay. Where there’s poor defending on Milan’s part, there’s worse defending on the part of Austria Wien. And Ricardo Rodriguez took advantage of that in the 27th with an equalizer thanks to a cross from Borini. 1-1 all. Cutrone provided more comedy (or was it tragedy?) with his fast-becoming-a-trademark bicycle kick attempt and fail in the 34th. But luckily his strike partner (and I use “partner” in the loosest sense of the word) would distract by scoring from a Rodriguez free kick in the 36th to give Milan their lead. From there, Cutrone realized he needed to use his head instead of trying the theatrics. So in the 42nd, he sent a header in from a Borini assist to make the score 3-1 before the half.

Ready for more playing time, Montella

The show continued in the 70th with another Silva goal from a Calhanoglu assist. 4-1 Milan. And just to make things consistent, Cutrone sent one more in from an easy little Antonelli assist in the dying seconds of stoppage time. 5-1 Milan. Déjà vu.

Milan maintained 57% possession and took 23 shots with ten on goal. Those stats are admirable, I suppose, but if you watched both teams play, you’d have noticed how inferior Austria Wien played. Which is to be expected from a sixth place Austrian Bundesliga side with a lot of major injuries. But it also means that Milan were the bullies. Still, as bullies, they just weren’t that convincing. I mean it’s great that we are guaranteed now to go through, and guaranteed first place in our group, which will help a lot with seeding for the next round. But not as great if you consider that we will face Mihajlovic’s Torino on Sunday, who will play a much tougher game with a lot better defense.

A pair of strikers is not a striker pairing

Montella was so predictable with his lineups it hurt. So much so that people now think that Silva and Cutrone are a strike partnership. They’re not. A child could have scored on Austria Wien, their defensive errors were so frequent and grave. And you’ll notice that the two did nothing together, let alone score and assist for each other, which is what strike partnerships do. But with seven goals and so few appearances, Silva made a tremendous case for more playing time from Montella. Particularly for being the current top scorer in the Europa League. And Cutrone is the youngest player now to have scored two or more goals in the Europa League this season. Surely that gets him some more time in Serie A? Right, Montella? Oh, wait. They’re “not ready for Serie A.” So instead let’s put Kalinic and Suso together, with the latter played out of position. No thank you. I’d rather watch young players struggle than older ones.

La Gazzetta dello Sport gave Borini highest ratings. I assume they stepped out for the parts like in the 49th, when he had the ball and dribbled in like a ball of flames, then extinguished such efforts completely by stopping, pausing, and trying to shoot instead of pass to the multiple open players he ignored. Just like he usually does in those situations. You may have become the darling of the fans for your work ethic, Borini, but I see through to the lack of quality. It’s no wonder you’re a better winger than striker, because you were never a quality striker in the first place. And also, I’ll never forgive the hairstyles from your past. Sorry. Not sorry.

Now let's see what he can do in Serie A, Montella

Bonucci was subbed off due to a possible injury, let’s hope it’s nothing. We need as many healthy starters as possible on Sunday, because now that we’ve qualified for the next round in the Europa League, it’s time to dig in and get some results in Serie A. I feel badly for Austria Wien, but they are probably just grateful to have had the chance to play in the San Siro. It will be something to tell their fellow injured players about at least. But at the end of the day, even if Milan’s performance was more questionable than in September, at least they came through with a big scoreline that was like déjà vu.



This post inspired by the music of The Minions’ “Malatikalano Polatina”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 14
Milan vs. Torino
Sunday, November 26 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)

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