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Real Betis 1, AC Milan 1: The Fallen



We limped into this match, and somehow the draw seems okay. But we were stretchered off of this match. And as the injuries piled up, I saw something in Gattuso’s eyes that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before: fear. With the majority of our starters now on the medical lists, there is much to be afraid of. But after the final whistle, the most frightening thing was accounting for the fallen.

11 soldiers took the field. Not all of them came home... in one piece

The match started rather predictably, with Lo Celso scoring in the 12th minute. 1-0 Real Betis. Considering that in our house, he scored and assisted both of their goals, this wasn’t a shock. What was shocking was Gattuso setting out a 3-5-2 for no apparent reason. He rested Romagnoli, our best defender by far, and then opted for the least convincing defensive formation. I guess the only thing more shocking than that is that Betis only scored one goal on that defense.

The second half, Milan showed some interest in not losing. In addition to taking ten shots, with a surprising four on target in the match, they also accumulated four yellow cards. (Wait, are yellow cards considered losing?) After forcing a few great saves from Pau Lopez, Lo Celso fouled and earned himself a card. Suso took the ensuing free kick and scored directly in the 62nd minute. 1-1 all. It was exquisite, and just to remind us and contrast the skill level, Borini fired the next shot, straight into Lopez’s gloves.

Yes, Suso, we all have that expression when we see Borini's hair.

After Setien made two subs, Gattuso apparently realized it was something he should do, too, bringing on Abate for Laxalt. But this time, he seemed wise in waiting, as in the 79th, Kessie and Musacchio collided in the most frightful of ways. It seemed Musacchio was unconscious, he was eventually stretchered off and Romagnoli subbed on for him. Kessie, seemingly indestructible, was able to play on. After the match, everyone said Musacchio was okay, and that he was being taken to the hospital as a precaution. But if they follow the protocol for head injuries, particularly when there is a loss of consciousness, then Musacchio should not be available for our match on Sunday with Juve.

So after being forced into his second sub, Gattuso’s third sub was forced by a foot injury in the 88th minute to Calhanoglu. Sending Bertolacci on for him was like driving a 20 year-old Mazda instead of a brand new Mercedes, and Bertolacci’s grand contribution was to get a yellow card in stoppage time, in his six minutes of fame. Also in stoppage time, the apparently indestructible Kessie went down after sliding funny. I really hope he is not injured, he is our rock. Oh, and Cutrone was seen limping off of the field, too, it’s reported his ankle was possibly injured as well. Both Kessie and Calhanoglu were already playing with known injuries, so we can only hope they can actually be fit for Sunday.

Let's hope he actually is indestructable

The result of this match left us in contention to progress in the Europa League, even if there is definitely no guarantee. But I don’t think many Milan fans cared about the result. On a day that started with the announcement that Biglia had surgery to repair his calf muscle and would be out for four months, this result was the least of our worries. And it ended with at least three new injuries, and Gattuso saying, “Once again tomorrow, we’ll have to count to see how many players we actually have left.” Like he actually said that. If that doesn’t make you fear what is ahead, I don’t know what will. For now, all we can do is mourn the fallen.


This post inspired by the music of R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 12
Milan vs. Juventus
Sunday, November 11 • 20:30 CET (2:30pm EST)