Lazio 0, Milan 0: Cup Half Empty



Some say that Milan missed an opportunity by not scoring away to Lazio. Others think Milan did well to not concede a goal. But the truth is that Milan have left the result to 90 minutes at the San Siro and given up the gift that is the away goal. We did not take advantage of Lazio’s injury crisis, either. We also showed that we are not as strong as we thought, as losing a starter to injury was like deflating a balloon in terms of our level of play. It’s not about optimism or pessimism, in this two leg semifinal, we literally left the cup half empty.

Objects in image may not be as awesome as they seem

The first half looked to be as tough as or perhaps even more tough than expected, but Milan were holding their own and seemed to be building confidence. That is until the 19th minute, when Kessie took a knock to his thigh that left him needing treatment. All of the magic spray and tape wasn’t enough, though, as he was finally subbed off ten minutes later for Calhanoglu.

That was perhaps the defining moment of the game, as with Laxalt and Borini starting in lieu of Rodriguez and Calhanoglu, losing Kessie just proved to be too much. People who have criticize Kessie recently were silenced as they witnessed what is like when you don’t know a good thing until it’s gone. Luckily reports say Kessie should be available for Sassuolo on Saturday. At least Paqueta stepped it up and had some nice defensive play, including a very nice tackle in the 31st.

Dealbreaker

I’m not sure which was more disconcerting, that our defense was suddenly so shaky, or that we had no shots at all in the first half and very few at all in the second half. Piatek was starved and got absolutely no service. I think he may have taken one shot the whole game. Lazio had plenty of shots, and had they had a full squad, they likely would have converted one or more on us. Certainly this match showed we are not as strong as we thought.

The game was also very physical, with Orsato taking a no nonsense approach to reffing. That worked for us in the 55th when Correa went down easily in the box, and against us in the 78th when Patric only saw yellow for an incredibly dangerous tackle on Borini. And Milan tempers were also tested, such as when Gigio was booked for dissent in the 80th because he was angry at a very late offside call. Biglia got a “warm” welcome back to his former club, being whistled and jeered by all of the Lazio faithful after being subbed on for the last ten minutes.

This draw hurt more than its should have

On Sunday, Castillejo had a man of the match appearance for Milan as a sub, and it seemed like that gap between our bench and our starting eleven was finally closing. It also seemed that our mentality and style of play were also strong enough to overcome an injury or two and/or some squad rotation. But with Suso still struggling with his groin injury, Kessie going down, and Gattuso rotating two starters against an injury ravaged Lazio that had lost three games in a row, Milan showed that we are not as strong as we hoped. We missed gifted opportunities and left it all hanging in the balance for our home leg in April. This cup was definitely half empty.


This post inspired by the music of X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 26
Milan vs. Sassuolo
Saturday, March 2 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)

Lazio 0, Milan 0: Cup Half Empty Lazio 0, Milan 0: Cup Half Empty Reviewed by Elaine on 7:22 AM Rating: 5
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