AC Milan vs. Red Star Belgrade: For Ibrahimovic

Last week's match in Serbia was disappointing on many levels. After conceding an equalizer in stoppage time due to some questionable reffing, it also came to light that Red Star fans had racially abused Ibrahimovic. If you know your history, you'll know that it was literally the leader of the Red Star Ultras less than 30 years that committed genocide against Bosnian Muslims. Ibrahimovic's father is a Muslim from Bosnia, and the "ethnic slur" is reportedly the worst thing someone could say to people like him. It was finally just announced that UEFA are opening an investigation into the incident, although Italy are only talking about Ibrahimovic's social schedule and criticizing him around the clock for something they were actually going to change the Serie A schedule for when Milan were winning. So this one is for Milan's mentality, and for their spiritual leader. This one is for Ibrahimovic.

For justice.

Last week was Inter's week. And since Stankovic is an ex-Inter player, the result in the first leg was that much more nauseating. Red Star beat Spartak Subotica in the Serbian SuperLiga on Sunday. for that match, Stankovic lined up Borjan; Gajic, Pankov, Milunovic, Rodic; Falco, V. Nikolic, N. Petrovic, Ivanic; Falcinelli, Pavkov. Both Rodic and Milunovic are suspended for this match, and Katai is still injured. Hopefully the referee does not also line up for Red Star.

Pioli will be missing Bennacer and Mandzukic to injury, and Hauge due to the choice to leave him out of the Europa League squad. In The Hauge Debate, I had previously argued that Mandzukic risked injury if he played in the Europa League, which would have left a spot open for our top scorer, Hauge. It is a shame that we are already missing both of them. 

Send them back home

Pioli will have some tough choices once again, because moving on to the next round is even more important with the recent losses in the league. Being up two away goals and playing at home will help, but he must restore the mentality, as well as use good player rotation ahead of the Roma match on Sunday. Milan fans are doing their usual cancel culture on specific players online. Despite pushing out multiple players in the past, they still haven't learned that words on social media do actually impact the team's mentality.

With the Italian media obsessed with Ibrahimovic's social schedule next week and completely ignorant about racism, the mentality of Ibrahimovic and the entire team is hanging in the balance. With Red Star stealing a goal in stoppage time and their fans proving that horrific racism is in their DNA, Milan need this win just to balance the injustices. So I say that the guys need to win this one for Ibrahimovic.

This post inspired by the music of They Might Be Giants' "You and Your Racist Friends"

Europa League Round of 32
AC Milan vs. Red Star Belgrade
Thursday, February 25 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on CBS All Access in the U.S.

AC Milan vs. Red Star Belgrade: For Ibrahimovic AC Milan vs. Red Star Belgrade: For Ibrahimovic Reviewed by Elaine on 12:40 AM Rating: 5
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