Torino 1, Milan 1: Parody

Since Gattuso started coaching Milan in November, they have been developing their own style of play. And for a good part of this calendar year, that worked out really well for us. But lately, the team have been mirroring their opponents’ level of play. So for Juventus and Napoli, that was great, because the team played really well. It wasn’t so great for Inter and Sassuolo, who play very poor football. Going into this match, we should have not only guessed that we would pull off another draw, but also known that we would play down to Torino’s level. Although I’m not even sure we played that well, it was more of a parody.

That's right, just 1 point for your brilliant goal

The lineups proved ominous, with some late changes to the expected starters. Congratulations to Musacchio, whose wife gave birth to twins today, and thus he was needed more elsewhere. Calhanoglu had a problem with his knee, so good old Borini got a start in his spot. And what a start. The first bit of contact in the first minute, and he was throwing both legs in the air, swinging them gracefully while his head turned and watched the ref’s reaction. Unlike “Dancing with the Stars,” Maresca neither pulled out paddles with numbers to judge him, nor was he impressed. Although watching Borini all season, he might be a better candidate for that show than for this team, despite all he’s done positively for us.

But the real drama came the next minute – just two minutes in – when Kessie fouled Ansaldi from behind in the box. Maresca immediately whistled for the penalty. If Buffon were there, perhaps he would complain that the referee should consider how early it was in the match, and give the yellow and a warning rather than the penalty. Which ironically is an option for refs, unlike the ridiculous and hysterical emotional excuses Buffon spoke about after his last match at the Bernabeu. But Buffon doesn’t play for Milan, and with very minimal protest from Kessie, Belotti stepped up to take the penalty… and hit the post instead! Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth shut, Buffon.

Not sure if constipated or just watching the Torino-Milan game

Kessie made every attempt to atone for his penalty that he conceded, including shots in the 6th and 9th minutes that went high and were parried, respectively. Kalinic tried a rebound on that second one, only to see Torino attempt to clear it. On that clearance, the ball came to Bonaventura, who was outside the box, saw his chance, and sent it screaming into the back of the net. 1-0 Milan. Loved that he ran to celebrate below the Curva Sud, the Milan fans were absolutely fantastic once again.

Kalinic struggled with shooting on target again, but I hope that not all of you reading this are ignorant to all he does. For example, in the 11th he took a knock, but rather than stay down wasting time and rolling around and grabbing his face like a lot of players do (cough)Borini(cough,) he jumped right up, even though he was still in pain. He is a tough and honest player, and while he might not be the finisher we need, he is also not the poor player that most fans make him out to be.

The big man came up big again... and again and again

The rest of the first half was physical and saw just a few chances total for both sides combined. Donnarumma was still on his great form he showed on Sunday, and to his credit, he personally kept Belotti off the score sheet a number of times throughout the game. It didn’t help that at halftime, Torino’s Primavera paraded their new TIM Cup trophy around the stadium, the one they had won at the expense of Milan’s Primavera. What a lucky coincidence for them.

The second half saw Milan “drop their heads a bit,” despite being up 1-0. I heard Bonucci yelling “Dai, Dai” to them trying to fire them up as they came out for the second half. But apparently he didn’t realize that the Allegri methods didn’t go well at Milan. Speaking of Allegri’s methods, Gattuso’s subs were to bring on Locatelli for the apparently injured Biglia, then to “throw on all the strikers.” Which worked about as well as seasoning your countertop instead of your food. Cutrone & Silva, playing alongside the dancing Borini, saw about as much of the ball as Kalinic saw the back of the net. Speaking of the back of the net, De Silvestri found it with a header in the 70th to tie things up, 1-1. At least Lorenzo is probably happy.

Despite this image, Maresca did well enough. But then again, he didn't "kill someone's dreams," either

I mentioned the game was physical, Torino were whistled for 21 fouls and Milan had 13 fouls called. Plus the seven yellow cards and one red. Maresca did well enough to control the match, despite a little scuffle after Suso fouled Ansaldi in the 21st. But a mystery card for me was the yellow shown to Cutrone in the 79th when he fell near Moretti. I literally could not figure out watching the replays from the angle I had what he was carded for. And Moretti knew it, too, you saw it on his face when he turned to look at Maresca. Oh well, at least our strikers are getting in the ref’s report one way since they can’t seem to get in there by scoring. And at least we weren’t De Silvestri, getting a second yellow in stoppage time and earning himself a red and a suspension for his next match. But that’s little consolation, considering this was kind of our last thread of hope for Champions League next year.

We don’t deserve Champions League next year, though, we didn’t do enough. And we kind of didn’t deserve the point from this match, either. Torino played better for much of the match, even if they fouled and embellished fouls and made more shot attempts. I mean Milan actually had five shots on goal, but only nine attempts, and obviously are still plagued with the inability to be clinical. That’s not going to win us games, that’s not going to get us into Champions League, and that’s not going to win a Champions League trophy again, either. We can’t afford to play someone else’s game, or even to play down to their level. This was a winnable game, especially after Belotti missed his penalty. But instead, Milan turned it into a parody.

This post inspired by the music of The English Beat’s “Mirror in the Bathroom”

Our next match is
Serie A Week 34
Milan vs. Benevento
Saturday, April 21 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Torino 1, Milan 1: Parody Torino 1, Milan 1: Parody Reviewed by Elaine on 10:57 PM Rating: 5
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