Milan 2, Fiorentina 0: Belief

Another match without Pioli or Ibrahimovic, another win. Well, actually, Ibrahimovic was there on the bench, and it showed. The players heard him screaming at them and looked over to the bench from time to time in the same way they typically look at him on the pitch for approval. Despite the fact that Bonera's coaching leaves almost as much to be desired as his fashion choices, there is a confidence amongst this squad that is undeniable. Even with the pressure of being five points ahead of everyone else on the top of the table, the more the word "Scudetto" gets thrown around, the more there is a solid belief.

Three more points toward the ultimate goal

This match started off with a minute of silence for the legendary Maradona, followed by stopping the game at the 10th minute to applaud the loss of the immortal number ten. Perhaps it was the distraction of this loss, but in the 17th minute, Milan scored from a corner. Yes, you read that correctly, Milan scored from a corner. Calhanoglu whipped the ball in, Kessie headed it, then Romagnoli headed it past Dragowski's beard. 1-0 Milan. 

Romagnoli's celebration was a reminder that our players are aware of the criticism they receive via the media and also social media. Even without fans in the stadium, we need to take care as fans to support this young team.

Just ten minutes later, Kessie, with one tooth less than he had last Sunday at this time, converted a penalty to double the score. 2-0 Milan. Pezzella had taken down Saelemaekers in the box, and while VAR confirmed it was a penalty, it was an obvious one. 

Bravo, Capitano

Ten minutes after the second goal, Caceres took down Hernandez, and after a long VAR review, another penalty was awarded to Milan. This penalty could be argued, and although it was confirmed by the video replay, Karma took over. Kessie's penalty was saved by Dragowski, and the score would remain 2-0 Milan. Ibrahimovic probably chuckled to himself on the sidelines, but Kessie insists he is still taking the next penalty.

Milan were in control of this match, despite Fiorentina having slightly more possession. It wasn't a cakewalk, however, and Gigio Donnarumma was called into action a number of times and responded massively, as he always does, including a great 1v1 save on Ribery in the 55th minute. Kjaer was tested and lived up to his reputation, including a brilliant tackle on Ribery in the 51st or a great block on Bonaventura in the 74th.

With the assist and the penalty scored, we are all in love with Kessie

We saw both Bonaventura and Cutrone subbed on in the second half, and both caused problems for their former club. But it was Cutrone who probably left a mark on his former teammates when his high boot kicked Calabria in the face near the end of the match. Brahim started and Hauge got about ten minutes, so we saw some of our exciting young players get some time in this one, too.

Fiorentina are growing under Prandelli, and luckily for us, they have not yet reached their potential. This match was not easy, made less easy by the absence of Pioli. Just for his subbing alone, Milan missed him. Bonera and his puffy vest-suit combination are a paltry replacement for the always fashionable and brilliant Pioli, and Ibrahimovic's influence from the bench did not go unnoticed. However, the giant Swede cannot make subs, and with games every 3-4 days right now and COVID positive cases lurking around every corner, using all five subs and managing the team well is very important. Proper player management is a factor that is often overlooked, but will be very important if we should challenge for the Scudetto.

Like a mother protecting her child, Gigio kept another clean sheet with his massive skills

That's right, I said challenge for the Scudetto. Although I called it on a podcast at the beginning of the season, now that Milan are undefeated and still sit at the top of the table, five points clear of everyone else, others are now beginning to have faith, too. With the blessings of Maldini, the wisdom of Pioli, the mental strength of Ibrahimovic, and the talent of our young team, Milan have shown that we finally have what it takes to make the challenge again. After ten long years of mismanagement and ownership changes, finally, we have it again: belief.

This post inspired by the music of Josh Groban's "Believe"

Our next match is
Europa League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. Celtic
Thursday, December 3 • 18:55 CET (12:55pm CET)

Milan 2, Fiorentina 0: Belief Milan 2, Fiorentina 0: Belief Reviewed by Elaine on 10:41 PM Rating: 5
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