Milan 0, Juventus 2: Red Like the Fire

This match started with “Black like your fear” in a coreo that was as menacing as it was self-serving to the Curva Sud Ultras. The caption was where the hypocrisy lay, it read “I never left you.” I can remember quite a few times the Ultras left the team when they needed them most. And times when they protested against them, threatened them, turned their backs on them, etc. An A+ for the artwork, but a big fat F for authenticity. But that was just the beginning of the night, things went from bad to worse and ended with a new take on “Red like the fire.”

Beautiful irony

Milan were brave, but as anticipated, Juve were just too strong. Mandzukic opened up the scoring with a headed goal in the eighth minute. 1-0 Juve. After that there were other shots from Dybala, Ronaldo, and others, most of which went wide or were saved by a confident Gigio. Milan would only have five shots total, with two on target, not a surprise we didn’t get on the scoreboard. In the 30th minute, Zapata saved a free kick with his face. It was not the only time that he sacrificed his head for the team on this night, either.

But the drama in the first half came after Benatia had already been carded for a foul on Bakayoko, then five minutes later handled the ball in the box. At first Mazzoleni wasn’t going to give the penalty, but after a VAR review, Milan were awarded the kick. Higuain decided to take it, he so desperately wanted to score against the team that discarded him for an alleged rapist. But the problem with his thinking was that he was shooting against his former teammate, Szczesny, who was thus easily able to guess which way and save the penalty kick. So no goal for Milan, despite Benatia’s gift.

Too predictable against an ex-teammate

The second half started and Milan were more fierce, pinning Juve back a bit, but still not enough. Gattuso subbed early, too, although not saving a sub for the injured Cutrone, who was limping right away after coming on. He toughed it out, but the subs didn’t make enough impact anyway. Juve’s second goal came from the “always professional” Ronaldo, his first at the San Siro. 2-0 Juve. Laxalt made a big error to give the ball straight to Cancelo, who then shot, and Ronaldo scored on the rebound. Whatever, it could have been worse.

But the game couldn’t just end with us dejectedly walking back to the dressing room. In the 83rd, Mazzoleni adjudicated Higuain to have committed a foul on Benatia. Being shown the yellow, Higuain abused the ref. And Ronaldo. And Chiellini. And Szczesny. But before he raged at his ex-teammates, he was shown the red, and Romagnoli, seven years younger, played his role as captain amazingly. The fiery Argentinian finally left the pitch, but as he headed to the dressing room, he had tears in his eyes. And I can’t blame him. I am certain this is not how he envisioned his first meeting with his ex-club, the team who care more about winning than the people who win for it.

Playing with fire

The match that started with coreo that could have been planned by Juve fans, but only executed by Milan fans, ended in a ball of flames. Higuain will miss Lazio, the team that is now ahead of us on the table. And he could very well be handed a longer ban, depending on what he said to Mazzoleni. The league are really cracking down on blasphemy this year, for example. At least hopefully, there are no new injuries, and our players can recover a bit over the international break. But Higuain will need to sort out his emotions, both with taking a penalty against his former club and his reaction to being carded. Until he does, Milan will also see red like the fire.

This post inspired by the music of The Cult “Fire Woman”

Milan 0, Juventus 2: Red Like the Fire Milan 0, Juventus 2: Red Like the Fire Reviewed by Elaine on 11:41 PM Rating: 5
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