AC Milan 3, Bodø/Glimt 2: Valhalla

Fallen Viking warriors in Norse mythology are said to go to Valhalla, in Asgard, the highest honor for a warrior. Bodø/Glimt may have fallen in battle tonight, but they are anything but dead. Their warriors fought bravely against a Milan side with historic European DNA, and they never gave up. Milan may be moving on to the playoff round next week, but Bodø/Glimt deserve the football version of Valhalla.

Viking slayers

The Norwegian league leaders fired the first shots, and also drew first blood in what turned out to be quite the epic battle after all. In the 15th, Hauge sent a great cross into Junker, who slotted it past Gigio Donnarumma, 1-0 Bodø/Glimt. 

The real pillager on the night.

Calhanoglu took matters into his own hands... er... feet, and answered almost immediately with an emphatic goal of his own to equalize. 1-1 all. Milan were firing on all cylinders after that, forcing their goalkeeper, Haikin, into plenty of great saves. Those firing cylinders went by the names of Castillejo, Colombo, and Calhanoglu again. In the 19th minute, Theo Hernandez was down in the box, but it was not a penalty and play continued.

1st European start. 1st European goal.

In the 32nd, Colombo scored his first Europa League goal, with an assist from Calhanoglu, to make it 2-1 Milan. The 18 year-old was a last minute addition to the starting lineup after Ibrahimovic tested positive for COVID-19. As a Milan fan, it is so great to have depth, and even better that the depth is a young Italian player just beginning his first team career.

A happy Calhanoglu is my favorite kind of Calhanoglu

The second half started off with Calhanoglu, again. After missing a free kick from distance, in the 50th, he scored again to make it 3-1 Milan. Like a true Viking, Hauge answered back just four minutes later with a screamer to keep Milan honest. 3-2 Milan.

The substitutions began with Maldini coming on for Colombo in the 57th. Maldini actually scored a goal in the 63rd, but it was called back for offside.  In a slightly controversial move, a few minutes later, Krunic came on for Castillejo. While Castillejo wasn't 100% and needs rest before Sunday, Krunic was an unusal choice, I can only guess Pioli is giving him a chance to prove himself before the transfer window closes.

Had Maldini's goal stood, it would have been something for the Norwegians to tell their posterity about

My personal moment of the match was not a Milan highlight, but rather the incredible goal line clearance by Moe in the 79th. Saelemaekers sent in a brilliant shot, a goal was a foregone conclusion, as he had beaten Haikin, and Moe came in with what is arguably the European clearance of the year. Milan are in the market for a new center back, any chance we can get this guy? I'm already in love.

(swoon) If you can't beat 'em, sign 'em

Tonali came on for Bennacer to get about ten minutes, and Gigio made a huge save in the 85th. The heartbreak miss of the match belonged to Saltnes, in stoppage time. After the hero Hauge, with a goal and an assist already, sent it in perfectly for him, he sent it just over. An equalizer would have forced penalties, and I am not entirely sure Milan would have won a shootout. Bullet dodged for us, heartbreak for the Norwegian side.

One Viking triumphed

Milan seem to have the right mix of youth and experience. Even without our Viking god, Ibrahimovic, we were able to hold out for the win against a very talented Norwegian team. The battle truly was epic, the kind of game you don't want to take your eyes off of. Only one yellow card, too. Milan may be moving on to the playoffs to face Portuguese side Rio Ave, but Bodø/Glimt did well to put their team on the map. Milan won the battle, but Bodø/Glimt earned themselves a place in Valhalla.

This post inspired by the music of Judas Priest's "Halls of Valhalla"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 2
Crotone vs. Milan
Sunday, 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
AC Milan 3, Bodø/Glimt 2: Valhalla AC Milan 3, Bodø/Glimt 2: Valhalla Reviewed by Elaine on 8:45 PM Rating: 5
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