Milan 1, Sassuolo 2: There's No Place Like Home

After such a stressful week due to off-the-pitch events, I was hoping that this match would remind me why I love football. Technically, it did, because it proved that anything could happen in 90 minutes. Even the house burning down. Which Milan are particularly adept at this season, losing so many home games. After taking the lead with an exquisite Calhanoglu goal, Milan threw it all away in just over five minutes. Because for Milan this season, there's no place at home.

No place like home

No one can convince me that the Super League insurrection had nothing to do with this. Maldini announced just ahead of the match that he had not known about it, either. After the Rangnick saga, it doesn't even surprise me. Meanwhile, De Zerbi made some of the best statements against the Super League and said he was so angry he didn't even want to face Milan, one of the teams involved. Clearly, he was able to transmit those emotions into energy to give the players. While Milan were not so energized. I would imagine a number of them are re-thinking their careers, and thinking about whether or not to sign those new contracts, too.

Milan looked reasonably solid the first half, even when Gigio took out Kjaer in the 14th minute. But of course, our Viking defender was up after treatment and played the rest of the match. It was also nice to see Calabria back after a month out. Milan had a few nice chances, but credit to Sassuolo's defense, most of them did not go into the back of the net. The one that did was in the 30th, when Calhanoglu bent one in beautifully after a Saelemaekers cross to make it 1-0 Milan.

Beauty in motion

The second half was another story. Sassuolo made more attempts in this half, even if the shots and shots on target were nearly even for the entire match. De Zerbi made important subs in the 63rd, while Pioli waited a bit longer, since things were still going well. But just after these subs, Raspadori scored a near impossible goal in the 77th. 1-1 all. Only six minutes later, he got another, 2-1 Sassuolo. They found Milan's defensive weakness and capitalized on it.

Here is my unpopular opinion. (Please send all abusive comments about it to the San Siro.) Everyone loves Tomori for his speed, because those same people hated Romganoli for his lack thereof. I've talked about this on recent podcasts, but Tomori is not as good at reading the game. He's not as good at positioning. That is why he has to be fast. We've seen it a couple of games in a row now where his errors cost us goals. He is a very skilled and very promising defender, and still very young, and I certainly hope we get to see him fully developed. But you have to be able to see the weaknesses in your team as well as the strengths. That said, goals are rarely the fault of any one player, the rest of the team let the ball get to that point.

Welcome back, Calabria

Pioli threw on everyone he could after the second goal, but it wasn't enough. Not even Consigli getting the rare punishment for handling a back pass, gifting Milan an indirect free kick about six yards out could change Milan's fortunes. Krunic's free kick there was blocked well, just like so many other Milan chances. The result allows Juventus to return to one point below us if they win, and gives Atalanta the opportunity to pass us and take second place if they win tomorrow. Not what anyone wanted, but at the same time, Sassuolo clearly wanted the three points more.

I have no idea why the team is underperforming at the San Siro. Ahead of the match, Dalot said he wishes fans could have been at the stadium today. He clearly doesn't know Milan fans. Can you even imagine the abuse they would have hurled? Pioli had also recently said they were looking at why there were so many poor home results, but clearly no one has found the answer. So Milan dropped three points, gave up on title hopes and are now at serious risk of not getting the Champions League. But hey, there's no place like home.

This post inspired by the music of Madness' "Our House"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 33
Lazio vs. Milan
Monday, April 26 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

Milan 1, Sassuolo 2: There's No Place Like Home Milan 1, Sassuolo 2: There's No Place Like Home Reviewed by Elaine on 1:21 PM Rating: 5
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