Milan 3, Chievo 2: Stumbling Steady

Certainly no one would claim that this match was Milan’s finest hour. And in fact, conceding two goals in as many minutes was very frightening. But in the end, despite the stumble, Milan kept fighting to earn all three points and keep the positive results steady.

Love seeing this picture every week

Milan opened up the scoring early. Kessie sent a cross in that was deflected slightly, but Calhanoglu sent it into the back of the net while Bonaventura wisely and courteously got out of the way. 1-0 Milan in the 11th minute. The flow of yellow cards began in the 17th minute and went to the end, with eight yellow cards handed out. It was a very physical game, but that was a lot of cards. There was a lot of VAR, too, with at least three instances of Mariani calling for it that I remember. Milan have had more than their fair share of controversial reffing this week, but in the end, the players decided the match, not the ref.

In the 33rd minute, apparently no one told the Flying Donkeys that the San Siro was a no fly zone. That’s when Stepinski scored, with an assist from Giaccherini, who took advantage of Borini’s defensive error. 1-1 all. Never play a striker at right back should have been the lesson learned, because poor Borini was partially to blame for the second goal, too, from Inglese. 2-1 Chievo. Although to be fair, that was a great goal, and I’m not sure anyone could have stopped it.

Love this so much

The rest of the first half was spent with Milan trying to get back in the game. Even Kessie, in the 44th, did his best Danny Welbeck impersonation, but instead got a yellow for diving. The second half started well, with Biglia taking a nice shot from distance in the 52nd. But it was Cutrone who scored on the rebound. Only the goal was reviewed by VAR, it was thought he might have been offside. But it stood, 2-2 all, and he got to celebrate twice.

Silva came on for Borini in the 60th, which was a doubly good substitution. Milan kept pressing, with 72% possession, it seemed odd to have a draw at this point. And they would take 19 shots on the night, compared to Chievo’s six. Not even bringing on Birsa, the Slovenian Messi, could thwart Milan’s chances. Or the mystery VAR review in the 78th. Mariani seemed to be looking at a Strepinski challenge on Biglia, I guess he was thinking it could have been red, but no call was made. Finally, in the 82nd, Silva scored a goal from a deflected corner to make it 3-2 Milan. Two weeks in a row he scored the game winner in the league, what an amazing feeling!

The second, post-VAR celebration

In the 90th minute, there was more controversy and more VAR. There was a question about a Tomovic handball in the box. It was reviewed and a penalty given to Milan. Kessie stepped up to take it, but his penalty was saved by Sorrentino. There had already been five minutes of stoppage time announced, with the VAR review taking an additional minute and a half. For those of you who questioned the 97th minute Juve miracle last season, please note that the game did not end at the 95th minute, but rather at 96:31. Stoppage time was added to stoppage time because of the VAR review, that’s how it works. Oh, and there was nearly a brawl in the 94th minute, with Cacciatore finally getting a yellow after a nasty leg sweep on Calhanoglu. Can't end a heated game like that without a proper brawl.

Watch out, world

I think the two goals from Chievo really surprised Milan. But to their credit, they got back on their feet and fought to the end and were able to make a comeback. Even missing two of our starting back four. Zapata actually did quite well, even if Romagnoli was missed. Borini should probably not ever play on defense, he’s really better at taking a lot of shots in hopes that one of them go in. And running. He’s very fit, you know. But as a team, they stumbled and then steadied themselves. It was kind of ugly, particularly with Chievo playing such a physical game, but the beauty was that Milan’s mentality, grinta, and talent saw them through to the three points. On paper, no one will remember what a beast Calhanoglu and Suso were, or how we only conceded two goals with no right back. On paper, this goes down as yet another win. Three more points toward the goal of a Champions League spot. Certainly I can accept some stumbling, so long as the results are steady.

This post inspired by the music of lovelytheband’s “Broken”

Milan 3, Chievo 2: Stumbling Steady Milan 3, Chievo 2: Stumbling Steady Reviewed by Elaine on 5:12 AM Rating: 5
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