Milan 1, SPAL 0: Zombie Victory



People say that the result is all that matters. Those people did not watch this match. It is something we are unfortunately not a stranger to. When Milan’s mentality lapses, they sometimes play down to a lesser team. I am not sure if playing down to a lesser team properly describes this nightmare, but as far as Halloween matches go, it was very frightening. Amazingly enough, we did take all three points, even if it didn’t feel like something worth celebrating. It was more like a zombie victory.

Suso saves the day again

By popular demand, Suso was benched to start this match. Which is a rookie error for Pioli, other Milan coaches have made that mistake before. Whether it was an attempt in team building to show everyone that anyone could be benched, or it was an effort to prove that we are not Suso-dependent, both failed. The first 57 minutes, without Suso, were just awful football. We had a couple of chances, Castillejo even hit the woodwork. Hernandez actually did score a goal just after halftime, but it was called off for obvious offsicde. We needed Suso, our Lord and Savior, to save us from ourselves.

It was less than ten minutes after Suso relieved Castillejo that Piatek was shoved down just outside of the box and Suso took a sublime free kick that neither Berisha nor any other keeper would have been able to stop. 1-0 Milan. Milan certainly played better after Suso came on, with passes and crosses completed, going back and actually dispossessing SPAL players, etc. He proved unequivocally that this team needs Suso more than anything, and that Suso’s worst performance is always going to be better than Castillejo’s best performance. The fans and media that have openly criticized Suso’s performances lately had some humble pie crammed all the way down their throat with a giant shovel. And the rest of us had to watch Milan play without Suso for 57 minutes, which was even worse.

Duarte impressing again, this time at right back

The positive that no one is talking about is Duarte. The center back started at right back ahead of natural right backs Calabria and Conti, who have really struggled this season. And he was pretty solid. He didn’t offer as many attacking options as the other two, nor did he give away any penalties or get himself sent off, but he did at least get a yellow card like they are prone to do.

Yellow was the color of the evening, with Piccinini initially reluctant to call anything, he ended up giving away eight yellows in all, four to each side. To be fair SPAL hacked our players a lot, the game was pretty physical. But Milan should have always played better than that, especially against the ninteenth place team.

Coaching the walking dead

Paqueta almost had a goal in the 79th that was saved point blank by Berisha. It seems that of he and Kessie, whom Pioli has inexplicably switched sides for no apparent reason, the Brazilian is faring better and improving in each match. He had to make way for Bonaventura, though, whom Pioli brought on for the last few minutes, either to gain popularity with the fans or maybe because he forgot to bring him on sooner, I don’t know.

What I do know is that having this team face Lazio on Sunday at the San Siro sounds like possibly the worst idea ever. If Pioli has a knack for harnessing tragedy and turning it into success, then someone should make him watch this match over again so he can fire up the troops. It wasn’t a Halloween frightfest, it wasn’t a SPAL-loween, it was a zombie victory.


This post inspired by the music of The Cranberries’ “Zombie”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 11
Milan vs. Lazio
Sunday, November 3 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

Milan 1, SPAL 0: Zombie Victory Milan 1, SPAL 0: Zombie Victory Reviewed by Elaine on 11:38 PM Rating: 5
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