Cagliari 0, Milan 2: Ibralicious

This match was a delicious win after recent suffering, and tangible evidence that Ibrahimovic is still a world class player. Although Cagliari had more possession, it was a deserved win for Milan fans, who have been starved for goals and wins this season. The new formation made a visible difference in play, and the outcome was simply Ibralicious.

Bringing relevancy back to Milan

The first half was tense, and it was clear that everyone would have to adjust to Pioli’s 4-4-2. I doubt that I was alone in worrying how long Ibrahimovic would be able to play, but he managed all 90 minutes, without even puking like he did in 2010. How much he will be able to play of every game is what everyone is concerned about, because more than anyone or anything else, he has had the most immediate and dramatic effect on this Milan team this season.

Ibrahimovic took a lovely cross from Leao in the 30th minute and barely missed with his shot, it was a thing of beauty even without the goal. Gigio was caught off his line in the 37th, but apparently has decided that instead of not going off his line so much, he’ll just run back faster, and he did, and was able to miraculously punch away the shot of impending doom. Absolutely brilliant.

Second half announcement: I'm here

After looking a little uncertain, Leao came back from the half, took a Castillejo ball and sent a bit of a clumsy shot past the unprepared Olsen to make it 1-0 Milan. It was not even 7am here yet, and I could barely contain my excitement.

In the 64th minute, Bonaventura was subbed on for Calhanoglu, and Ibrahimovic decided to open up his tally for Milan in that same minute, taking a perfect cross for Hernandez and sniping it into the back of the net. 2-0 Milan. Ibra would also have a goal called off in the 82nd, because I think his nose was offside or something. And Gigio would have more breathtaking heroics in the 70th minute, when he came out and actually beat Cerri, much to the Cagliari player’s disappointment.

He's back

There were other players and stuff, but it seemed like you had to be 6’3” (1.9m) or taller to really make the impact in this match. The 4-4-2 was a little rusty, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pioli plays other players in that formation, or perhaps plays the 4-3-1-2 like so many of us dream of. Kessie took a nasty knock to his shoulder late in the game, and Calabria was subbed off injured after going down three times with the same injury, so those potential injuries could impact our match on Wednesday.

I could get used to this

This match was far from perfect, but with the three points and Ibra and Leao both scoring, no one is complaining right now. Ibra’s mentality is big enough to draw the whole team together and give them confidence and purpose, the things we’ve been missing all year. Let’s just hope this was not a one-off, because it was absolutely Ibralicious.

This post inspired by the music of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy”

Our next match is
Coppa Italia Round of 16
Milan vs. SPAL
Wednesday, January 15 • 18:00 CET (12noon)

Cagliari 0, Milan 2: Ibralicious Cagliari 0, Milan 2: Ibralicious Reviewed by Elaine on 1:50 AM Rating: 5
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