Milan 3, Spezia 0: Youth Culture

According to @OptaPaolo, Milan are the first team in the five major European leagues to start seven players under the age of 21... ever. After years of begging for a young talented team, Milan are fulfilling that dream. And we had a dream game, too. One of those young players scored a brace, with the other goal coming from a wise old 22 year-old. With a little support in the second half from our "veteran" players, we dominated and defeated a newly promoted side with something to prove. More importantly, we continued our winning streak and kept another clean sheet, too. Smashing records and winning games feels great, but it feels even better with our new youth culture.


The kids are alright


The first half was uneventful perhaps on the scoresheet, but plenty of great performances from the likes of Brahim Diaz and Sandro Tonali. There were nice tackles from Theo Hernandez and Kjaer, who singlehandedly raised the average of the starting lineup to 22 years and 287 days. There was a little back pass error from Calabria that Gigio had to save, but other than that, Calabria has been phenomenal this entire season. Milan also had a number of shots not on target or blocked, ending with a total of 17 shots, with five on target for the whole match.


Prescient


Calhanoglu introduced himself with a yellow card just after coming on at the half, probably how he showed his tired legs from Thursday's epic Europa League match-turned eternal penalty shootout. Brahim Diaz had a shot just wide, and then Leao came in with his first goal on the night in the 57th. 1-0 Milan. Pioli introduced Bennacer and Kessie immediately after, which helped to push for the win, but also allowed them almost an hour of rest we couldn't have previously afforded to give them.


The "old" man scored a brilliant one


We also got introduced to Hauge, this time playing at the San Siro in a Milan kit, just ten days after scoring on us in the Europa League. He made an impact right away with a header that Rafael grabbed, and seemed to slot in well for his debut with his new club. Perhaps it was his Viking magic, but just a few minutes after he came on, Theo Hernandez scored with a phenomenal strike to make it 2-0 Milan. Two minutes after that, Leao scored again, with his trademark phone call celebration that is a nod to his father, to show he is remembering him when he is unable to attend matches. 3-0 Milan.


Amazing.


I don't like it when people downplay matches against newly promoted or lower table opponents, because not only is it demeaning to the other team and unsporting, every match is a 90 minute battle. Or, as with Thursday's match, 120 minutes plus 24 penalties. That our players could even walk after that match is impressive. But Pioli was able to lean on the young players for this one, and they did not let us down. Properly and effectively using squad rotation to get the results is what winners do. Going into this break with three wins and three clean sheets feels amazing, but even better that we did it with our newly found youth culture.


This post inspired by the music of Sonic Youth's "Sunday"


Milan 3, Spezia 0: Youth Culture Milan 3, Spezia 0: Youth Culture Reviewed by Elaine on 11:07 PM Rating: 5
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