Monday, November 20, 2017

Napoli 2, Milan 1: Puzzled


You know when you are watching someone trying to put together a puzzle and you see how the pieces fit, but they don’t? No matter what, they can’t put it together. That is what it is like for Milan fans watching Montella’s lineups and tactics. And one cannot help but feel that if he could just put those pieces together, this team could actually win more games. But if it’s not Montella, or his beloved Tweedle Dee (Montolivo) and Tweedle Dum (Borini,) then it’s that damned VAR. No explanation at all for its random usage, I only know that it sucks to be on the wrong end of its misuse. Needless to say, this game left me puzzled.

THAT goal

I would say that the Donnarumma family came out on top in this game. Gigio had a brilliant performance in front of his family, but his family’s team got the three points. Our gentle giant had eight saves, and still conceded two goals. Without VAR, we could have maybe won this one. In the 33rd, Insigne scored but was whistled for offside. But then the VAR ref remembered that they were in a cauldron of hate and entitlement, and told Doveri in his earpiece that if he wanted to make it out of the stadium alive, he’d better award this goal. 1-0 Napoli. I’m still waiting to see what VAR supposedly saw that makes Insigne onside when that ball was passed forward. But maybe VAR uses handicaps. Like since Insigne is only 5’4”, he gets a head start?

"Wait, to get out of here safely, I've got to award this offside goal?"

All I know is that Milan didn’t play great, but they played with grinta. And into the second half, they fought harder. Zielinski’s goal in the 72nd could have also been offside, but VAR has a quota of errors, and Doveri had already helped to fill it. 2-0 Napoli. At least Milan, seriously handicapped by Montella having to sub off Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in the second half instead of bringing on some fresh guns, at least they continued to fight harder while Milan were down. But it didn’t pay off until the 91st minute in stoppage time, when Romagnoli took a clearance on the volley and scored a massive goal from distance. 2-1 Napoli. Sadly, it was only a consolation, but at least it was a beautiful consolation.

Putting the saves in savior

The bigger issue was losing Suso to injury. Even played out of position, he is so consistent for us. Hoping it’s nothing big. Especially if we’re stuck with Montella, like we seem to be. I don’t understand his lineups, his formations, or what he thinks are tactics. Or why we are stuck with his “I thought they played well” even in a loss, while offering underhanded criticisms to individual players, usually the ones who played best. I also don’t understand how we came out of the San Paolo with that scoreline, especially with ten shots on goal against us from Napoli, it’s pretty impressive. Particularly when Doveri called a goal using VAR, having not called for VAR, and with all of the non-VAR cameras showing it was offside. It is all very puzzling.


This post inspired by the music of Love and Rockets’ “Ball of Confusion”


Our next match is
Europa League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien
Thursday, November 23 • 21:05 CET (3:05pm EST)
  
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