Bologna 1, Milan 2: When Referees Attack

Bologna played a very good game today. Milan, not our best, but it was so great to have some players back and getting match fitness, as well as our latest signing getting the start. But there is so much controversy surrounding all of the penalties that Milan have been awarded this season. People are mad at Milan and blaming us, but what can Milan do? They have to do what the referees tell them. It's so frustrating that people blame the players, when they are the victims here. It's not Milan's fault when referees attack.

Kessie had better not get any injuries from taking all of these penalties

Theo Hernandez tried to score a goal from the run of play, but Skorupski deflected it and it hit the crossbar. Ibrahimovic had three attempts in less than four minutes, but that pesky goalkeeper stopped him, too, including a double save in the 23rd. If any player is to be blamed for Milan's penalty form, it should be a player like Dijks, who pulled Leao down in the box in the 24th minute. That's when Doveri, the referee for this match, used his divine whistle intervention and insisted that Milan take a penalty.

Ibrahimovic tried to distill the controversy by taking a terrible penalty, which Skorupski was able to save. But the damage was done, the penalty had been awarded, so Rebic stepped up and tapped in the rebound. 1-0 Milan, and not technically from a penalty. Doveri probably wanted to take credit for it, but the stats will show that it was, in fact, Rebic.

Calabria certainly wasn't worshipping Doveri like this

It's not as if Milan didn't try to score on their own. They took 15 shots, ten of which were on target. TEN shots on target. Doveri, by contrast, had zero. Which is probably why he insisted on whistling for another penalty in the 53rd. Soumaoro, trying to do his part to avoid the controversy, handled the ball with both hands in the box. Both hands. You could say that Doveri's whistle hands were tied, but that is still just an excuse. Referees in Italy have ignored far more blatant penalty calls. Kessie, trying to make an honest man out of Doveri, took the penalty quickly and clearly to avoid any more controversy. 2-0 Milan.

Bologna's assistant manager tried to stir up controversy, and Doveri attacked him, too. He gave him a straight red card. Clearly, the referee conspiracy to make Milan Penalty Winter Champions and possibly even win the Penalty Scudetto is a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the AIA. Pioli, for his part, tried to change the players to avoid Doveri choosing any favorites. He brought on Krunic, Bennacer and Mandzukic, and it seemed to work. There were no more penalties involved in this match. 

Just do what the man with the whistle says, don't ask questions

Even Karma got involved, as Mihajlovic subbed on ex-Milan headless chicken, Andrea Poli. Two minutes later, he scored on the run of play, now it was 2-1 Milan. Even the Milan players allowed Bologna to attack relentlessly for the last 15 minutes or so in an attempt to balance the game. Gigio didn't get that memo, though, and made some great point blank saves. Tomori, being new, and not understanding how suspicion and conspiracy are actually the primary religions in Italy (please don't tell the Pope,) also made some excellent blocks to keep Bologna from scoring any more goals. To their credit, they did have 11 shots and five of them were on target.

If our players were capable of making dumb mistakes more often, other teams would be awarded more penalties against us, too. Certainly, we have had a number of penalties called against us this season. But that just doesn't make these penalty-mad referees any more fair about how many times they blow the whistle and point to the spot for Milan. Perhaps it is just the hideous Milan kits this year, they blind them. But if that was the case, Juventus's horrific third kit and all of Inter's kits would see them earn penalty after controversial penalty themselves.

Doveri exercised some restraint, this was NOT a penalty

It is really unfortunate that all of the penalties awarded to Milan this season (with the exception of that one against Roma) have video documented evidence that supports these penalty-crazed referees' decisions. These referees are good. There are even videos that prove that Milan could have easily had more penalties, but in those cases, the referees exercised some form of self-control. It's just a shame that once again, these referees are trying to take the spotlight. Milan, as Winter Champions, have done amazing things to turn the team completely around in the past year, and their success is being mired in all of this penalty controversy. It truly is unfortunate when referees attack.

This post inspired by Muse's "The Reapers"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 21
Milan vs. Crotone
Sunday, February 7 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)

Bologna 1, Milan 2: When Referees Attack Bologna 1, Milan 2: When Referees Attack Reviewed by Elaine on 1:02 PM Rating: 5
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