Milan 2, Lecce 2: Party Crashers

For Pioli’s birthday, it was hoped that the team could give him three points. But apparently, there was no sale on winning, so he only got one point instead. Despite Milan’s best offensive performance this season and for perhaps at least half of last season, too, Milan conceded a goal in stoppage time to see relegation-zone Lecce take a point, too. Those are some annoying party crashers.

Bringing the party

The party got off to a bad start when the Curva Sud chose to protest with silence, showing a banner that read: “From the club to the pitch: work and fight for these people who are madly in love with Milan.” The irony being that those of us who actually are madly in love with Milan got to scream and shout and sing and celebrate a performance where our players did work and fight for those of us who actually are madly in love with Milan. Huh. Inexplicably dumb Curva Sud strikes again.

Leao had two shots in the first two minutes, and the shots continued throughout the first half. If the Curva were protesting, Calhanoglu certainly didn’t care. Or maybe it was their stupid whistles that had been weighing him down. Because in the 20th minute, when that beautiful Suso cross came in, he controlled the ball and sent the ball screaming into the back of the net from an insane angle. 1-0 Milan. Weird how no one was missing Giampaolo. But with Giampaolo missing, it was as if shackles were removed from players and they played with lightness and joy. And shots galore. 22 shot in all, a record for this season.

Milan's present and Milan's past in one exquisite goal

So Pioli’s Milan came out after a fantastic first half, with the lead no less, and had some lapses in mentality and play in the second half. For example, Conti’s handball in the box in the 60th minute that lead to a VAR review and a penalty being awarded to Lecce. A penalty from Babacar that Gigio saved, but no one could save the rebound, and Babacar scored the equalizer. 1-1 all.

Calhanoglu was still playing like a beast, Hernandez was playing well, too… actually, all of the attacking players were actually hooking up nicely. Then Pioli brought on Piatek and Krunic to replace Leao and Paqueta. And in the 80th minute, from a great Calhanoglu cross, Piatek also scored… from the run of play. 2-1 Milan. In one match, two goals from the run of play… that is progress.

Pum pum pum

Milan hung in there, Lecce did get six shots off that were on target, the last being in stoppage time, when Calderoni sent in a perfect shot that not even Gigio could get. 2-2 all. And that was how it ended, the party crashers spoiling not only Pioli’s birthday, but Milan’s best performance of the season by far. It was particularly delightful to watch all of the Calhanoglu haters eat all of their words simultaneously, maybe that’s what shut the Curva up, too. But they all looked like idiots, and even without the three points, it was actually enjoyable to watch Milan again for the first time in a very long time.

Calderoni may have rained on his parade, but all was not lost

It wasn’t the result we wanted and needed. But the performance was so much improved, it was well worth watching. Obviously, Pioli has much work to do. But the play improved so much, it’s hard not to be excited for more performances like it. We have some tough games coming probably won’t be pretty on the scoresheet at the end of the match. But at least we know that our players can play, and can even score, again, too. So I hope Lecce enjoy their paltry point that we gave up, but Milan are coming back in spite of them. And Lecce are just a bunch of party crashers.

This post inspired by the music of The Smiths “Unhappy Birthday”

Our next match is
Serie A Week 9
Roma vs. Milan
Sunday, October 27 • 18:00 CET (1pm EDT*)

*European Daylight Time ends, but U.S. Daylight Time is still ongoing

Milan 2, Lecce 2: Party Crashers Milan 2, Lecce 2: Party Crashers Reviewed by Elaine on 11:57 PM Rating: 5
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