Milan 1, Sassuolo 0: Fortunate

Going into this match, the lust for third place was real, at least amongst Milan fans. Despite knowing the spell Sassuolo has cast on us previously, we were all hungry to bypass Inter and and try the third place spot on for size. Whether it was exhaustion after the midweek match with Lazio or an actual mentality issue, Milan did not seem to be up to the task today. But that didn’t stop them from trying, nor Sassuolo for making enough errors to gift us the game. When the whistle blew at the end of the match, how we got the three points didn’t seem relevant any more, even if we were fortunate.

Fortunate to have him

The game was a physical battle, Milan chalked up 20 fouls and three yellow cards, not our usual style. Almost everything we did was awkward, which included the goal. In the 35th, from a corner, Piatek tried to head it in, but it seemed to be Musacchio, diving on/over him that got the last touch. So awkward. In fact, it was so awkward, Valeri used VAR to see if it was even legitimate. In the end, the league ruled that it was actually last touched by Lirola and gave him the own goal, 1-0 Milan. Just seven minutes later, Boga, having also just hit the post, scored a goal, but it was reviewed by VAR and determined to be offside, so no goal.

Bakayoko got his card in the 37th and was lucky not to get a second shortly into the second half, so Gattuso wisely subbed him off for Biglia in the 56th. It was an early sub, a proactive sub, and benefitted Biglia getting more minutes, too. Paqueta also earned himself a yellow in the 51st, but wasn’t subbed off until the 73rd. Finally, Cutrone was subbed on for Piatek in the 84th, but it wasn’t enough time to make a difference.

Even with a long VAR review, it was a red

The dealbreaker was in the 64th minute, when Consigli reached out to stop Piatek on a 1 v 1 situation in the box. Valeri immediately showed him the red card, but then there was almost four minutes of VAR review before he was finally dismissed and Sassuolo were reduced to ten men. There was a lot of controversy about this call, but it was fairly straightforward. People questioned whether or not Piatek sold it or whether there was enough contact from Consigli. But at the end of the day, he wasn’t tapping Piatek on the shoulder to ask him to dance. He made a clear effort to stop Piatek, and his contact was enough to bring him down as he was running full force. Consigli knew better, he messed up, and Valeri had to show him the red. A goalkeeper is simply not allowed to do that.

Sassuolo on ten men should have made life easier for Milan, and the visitors certainly had fewer shots after that. But when Matri is your go to sub, it’s not going to go well for you. Also, when Gigio is the opposition goalkeeper, your team is going to have to do better than that to get the ball past him. Gigio had another great match. I hated how we just closed down and played so defensively, though. Rodriguez was even carded for timewasting in the 90th +2 minute. Which was really stupid, even if he may have done it so  he won't miss the Derby. Timewasting is poor sportsmanship in my opinion.

One of Milan's better opportunities, but Pegolo was up to the task

Sassuolo were definitely the better team on the day, but Milan capitalized on their errors and thus got the three points. Despite the spell that Sassuolo have long held over Milan, those three points came at crucial point in our season. We were able to take advantage of all of our closest rivals on the table dropping points lately. But most importantly, we are above Inter for the first time this season. While the way we played is disappointing, and I am certainly concerned about what that means for the rest of our season, it feels amazing to be in third place and above those stupid snakes. For this week, we managed to surpass our goal of fourth place and dream bigger. Third place is now ours to lose, and Milan are very fortunate.

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

Our next match will be
Serie A Week 27
Chievo vs. Milan
Saturday, March 9 • 20:30 CET (2:30pm EST)

Milan 1, Sassuolo 0: Fortunate Milan 1, Sassuolo 0: Fortunate Reviewed by Elaine on 6:30 AM Rating: 5
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