Milan 2, Bologna 0: Human Again

Milan won their first match of the season for the first time since 2017, which shouldn't be an accomplishment, but it is. With a brace from Ibrahimovic, Milan defeated a scrappy Bologna in front of 1,000 fans. Having fans in the stadium was even more of an accomplishment. It almost felt like we were human again.

I almost forgot those seats could hold people

After a crushing 5-1 victory over Bologna this past summer, Mihajlovic's team came back to the San Siro with some bite. Well, if by bite, you mean fouls and cards. Bologna had four different players cautioned and one of those players dismissed. They did challenge us offensively, too, though, with 13 shots and four on target. However, Milan's quality, specifically Ibrahimovic's quality, prevailed.

Ibrahimovic's first goal was in the 35th minute, courtesy of an insanely quality cross from Theo Hernandez, which the giant striker headed past Skorupski before he could have been swabbed for the coronavirus. 1-0 Milan. It was exactly the kind of goal that Milan fans have been missing since... well, since Ibrahimovic was sold in 2012, actually. As a fan, it felt like I was human again.

It's like art, but better

Apparently, having actual fans in attendance increased the violence again, with many calls not even made by La Penna. However Castillejo took a good knock in the first half, and wasn't on his best game anyway, so Saelemaekers replaced him at halftime. Just five minutes later, Bennacer was fouled by Orsolini, and after a VAR review, the VAR refs determined that it was in the box, so Milan were awarded a penalty. Ibrahimovic stepped up, and pounded it into the top right corner, outside of both Skorupski's reach and also out of his league. 2-0 Milan.

Gigio made a few great saves again, and Gabbia and Kjaer were making lots of blocks, sometimes with their faces. According to one of my commentators, Bologna was "all over Calhanoglu like a rash." Hmmm... I hope he gets tested. Skorupski did save a couple of great shots from Ibrahimovic, but our star also missed a big chance 1v1 in the 63rd. Bennacer missed a big chance in the first half, too, and Theo Hernandez's amazing shot in the 76th was just tipped over by the Bologna keeper. Skorupski came into the match determined not to take five goals again, and he succeeded. This time, it was just the two.

Someday, Skorupski can celebrate, too

Poor Dijks fouled players so many times, La Penna will probably get in trouble for not making more calls on him throughout the match. He received his first yellow for a nasty two-footed tackle on Castillejo in the 31st, and then La Penna watched him manhandle the entire Milan squad for an hour. Finally, in the 88th, a senseless shirt pull on Saelemaekers earned him his second yellow, which saw him sent off and Bologna go down to ten men for the last few minutes. Strange that, with five subs again this season, Mihajlovic didn't pull him off before he got sent off, but the ex-Milan manager may have been living vicariously through him and lost track of things.

"Now tonight, I want you to go home and write in your journal..."

Brahim Diaz and Duarte both got 20 minutes, with the latter sporting a new Jaap Stam look in hopes it improved his defensive abilities, apparently. I'm not sure if it worked, but we kept a clean sheet, and Kjaer got a few minutes to rest before Thursday, so it's all good. Tonali also got about fifteen minutes in an emotional moment as he made his San Siro debut. Krunic redefined the concept of "15 minutes of fame" by getting a yellow card as soon as he came onto the pitch for his 15 minutes.

Possibly not even human

Bennacer was phenomenal. I feel like he might be trying to make sure he doesn't lose any potential playing time to Tonali. Saelemaekers impressed after coming on, Theo Hernandez was great as usual, and Calabria absolutely does not want to go anywhere, he really played another great game. Calhanoglu may not have gotten on the scoresheet this time, but still played very well, even while apparently being covered by a rash. Gigio... I feel like whatever he asks for in his contract renewal, we will have to give to him. He is phenomenal, and it would actually be a crime to ever let him go.

Superhuman skills, always human hearts

The 1,000 fans in attendance were not just any fans, they were healthcare heroes and their families from the Lombardy region. They were treated to a great match, a convincing win, and an Ibrahimovic brace. Seeing them in the stands was heartening, a hope of things to come. Too bad that Serie A, in their perpetual ignorance, covered them up with their digital coreo over and over again throughout the match. But hey, at least they are curing Serie A of racism for once and for all by putting patches on the sleeves of the kits. Oh, well. Someday, we'll be human again.

This post inspired by the music of The Smiths' "These Things Take Time"

Our next match is
Europa League Second Round Qualifying
AC Milan vs. Bodø/Glimt
Thursday, 20:30 CEST (2:30pm EDT)

Milan 2, Bologna 0: Human Again Milan 2, Bologna 0: Human Again Reviewed by Elaine on 10:49 PM Rating: 5
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