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Bologna 0, Milan 0: Frozen



It’s really sad when even the weather is more noteworthy than your team’s performance. But that was the case yesterday. With all eyes on the former teammates who are now coaching against each other, there was very little to distract from that storyline. However, it wasn’t the weather that made this game unwatchable, Milan were just frozen.

A picture is worth 90 minutes

Despite Milan supposedly taking 18 shots, we only had four on target. Bologna, who only had 28% possession and played very defensively, only took half as many shots but had five on target. It was not pretty. Also, consider for a moment that their captain was Poli. Andrea Poli. And we couldn’t even get one goal against the 18th place team with him as a captain.

Despite claiming that subbing Cutrone was the wrong move last time, Gattuso did it again, bringing on Castillejo in the 61st. With that being yet another step backward, Bakayoko decided to at least force his hand and make him sub more. The midfielder committed two insanely stupid fouls back to back, and in just three minutes got himself two yellows, an early shower, and Saturday off. Milan were on ten men.

The warrior can only be stopped by himself

His buddy, Kessie, apparently tired of these insanely boring performances himself, also got a yellow in the 83rd, which means he will also be suspended Saturday against Fiorentina for card accumulation. Gattuso had introduced Mauri for the heavily marked Calhanoglu right after Bakayoko’s red card, which really just meant less work for Bologna. Then he took the also heavily marked Suso off for Laxalt, which again just made things easier for Bologna.

We talked about the subbing on the last podcast, but it’s not simply a lack of bench that makes Gattuso’s changes so poor. It’s his lack of subbing, his timing, and choices. Even in the poorest of teams, coaches are able to introduce players who are worse than those they are replacing, but their fresh legs alone make an impact. The only times Gattuso’s subs have made an impact this year is when he held starters back and then introduced them early in the second half. At least the red card forced him to sub in this match. Despite an injury crisis of epic proportions, I believe the last time Gattuso even used all three subs was our draw against Real Betis in November. He holds potentially winning cards in his hands, but either doesn’t play them at all or doesn’t play them correctly.

The only match highlight

Literally the most entertaining part of this match was seeing the sweet reunion of old friends in Pippo and Gattuso. Our current coach punched Inzaghi in the back, his version of a friendly greeting. It was fun to see them speak for a moment, but also fun to watch how passionate and animated they were during the match. Like if either of them could have translated even the smallest percentage of that passion to even one of their players, this entire match could have been worth watching.

But this match was not worth watching. After disappointments on and off the pitch, Milan fans are turning to alcohol again or just turning away altogether. And who could blame them? They exceed even the lowest expectations. And even though it was very, very cold in Bologna, having snowed steadily for the previous few days and with a lot of fog, Milan’s performance was even more frigid. Sure, Bologna defended like their directors’ lives depended on it. But that is no excuse for Milan’s poor performance… again. One gets the impression that even in good weather, Milan are simply frozen.


This post inspired by the music of Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice”


Our next match is
Milan vs. Fiorentina
Saturday, December 22 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)