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Genoa 0, Milan 1: Finally Silva


Silva was one of the most expensive players Milan purchased last year. After dazzling in the Europa League early in the season with six goals in as many games, everyone was eagerly awaiting his Serie A goals to start flowing. Having received precious little playing time in the league under Montella, Gattuso praised him and gave him a few starts and a lot of substitutions on, but nothing. And so as a frustrating 0-0 draw was literally seconds away from happening, Silva chose that moment to open his Serie A tally with a sublime header scored in the most spectacular of ways. Finally, Silva.


Things started emotionally with a beautiful minute’s tribute to Astori, his favorite song being played to a stadium full of tearful and respectful fans and Genoa and Milan players linked arms in solidarity for one of their own. Players also wore special patches on their kits to honor him. The match started well enough, Romagnoli had a great tackle in the second minute, and then Milan were on the attack. A great chance in the ninth minute when Rodriguez crossed it in and Kalinic forced Perin into a great save with a potentially deadly low shot. Genoa fought back, though, and the battle increasingly wound tighter and tighter, like a rubber band. There was some release in the 43rd minute as it seemed that Kessie had scored, but the goal was waved off for offside and the tension returned immediately.

Genoa came on after the half looking far more dangerous, and in fact in the 53rd, Rigoni scored a goal from a free kick that momentarily stood, pending the VAR check. However that, too, was called off for offside. Right after that, Zucanovic missed a header from point blank, with Gigio having been beaten, but luckily for us, he sent it high and wide. Then it was back to the tense nil-nil battle that became increasingly frustrating as both sides lost steam and quality.

A tough battle for 93 minutes, 56 seconds

Gattuso brought Cutrone on for Kalinic in the 60th, then Silva on for Calhanoglu in the 68th. Our old friend Bertolacci gained the notoriety of the only yellow card in this match in the 79th. Then Gattuso released the Borini. Well, I mean Borini was on the pitch from the start, but the striker was being played at right back due to a bit of an injury crisis. So he finally brought Calabria on in the 80th for Bonaventura, which meant we had three strikers on the pitch. Or as some people like to call it, two strikers and Borini. This was a bold tactical move for Gattuso, I’m not sure who informed him that he owns more than one striker, but I’m glad they did.

However, not even having two and a half strikers on the pitch could break the deadlock. 90 minutes came and went, and there was only stoppage time left for us to have any hope of taking more than a point from all of this frustration. Kessie fired a shot in the 90th +1, but it was saved. The nails of Milan fans worldwide were being bitten. And just as I think most fans were resigned to listening for the final whistle so they could turn the game off and do something productive, it happened. Suso whipped in a cross and like magic, Silva jumped and headed it in so beautifully that I have since watched it dozens of times (and will watch dozens more after posting this.) Perin got a hand on it, but the header was so swift and so lethal and the ball placed so well, he couldn’t stop it. Silva had finally scored. 1-0 Milan. With only four seconds left on the clock. The whistle blew, but Milan players probably didn’t even hear it, because everyone was celebrating so joyously.

The Godfather's blessing

That moment was so special for so many reasons. More exciting than a baby’s first word or their first step, everyone on the team wanted that first goal from Silva as much as he did. But it also won the match, gave us three points, and restored some faith and belief after an emotionally draining week. And he scored it at the Marassi, which is very difficult to do, too. He literally killed the game, I think Genoa police may have a warrant out for his arrest. And he did it in style, showing the quality we’ve all believed in all season long. It was nothing short of magical on every level, and I know I for one am still celebrating the goal and the win both inwardly and outwardly.

It remains to be seen whether or not that moment unlocks the scoring beast we all believe lies sleeping within Silva, but if it does, it couldn’t come at a better time. We face Arsenal again on Thursday in England, then host Chievo on Sunday. Then Juve, and somewhere in there we will have a Derby to make up. With goals at a premium for Milan this season, and beautiful goals even more rare, certainly we could use some more Silva magic. But even if that’s the only goal he scores this season, it was an important one and one that dreams are made of. Finally, Silva.

This post inspired by the music of Lush

Our next match is
Europa League Round of 16 2nd leg
Arsenal vs. AC Milan
Thursday, March 15 • 9:05pm CET (4:05pm EDT)