Parma 1, Milan 3: Dysfunctional Win

Milan finally showed up for a match with most of a starting eleven, and apparently it was going too well. With a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute, Ibrahimovic got himself sent off for saying something to the ref. Because playing with our backs up against the wall is the theme of Milan's season. Despite the home side pulling one back, and Pioli emptying his bench in the face of a determined Parma, Leao grabbed a third goal from a Dalot counter attack in stoppage time to seal all three points for Milan. It was the epitome of a dysfunctional win.

They're all in it together, come what may

With all but three players healthy, Milan needed to beware of complacency. We played with so many starters out for so long, that this calendar year, when most everyone was healthy, we lost our way, playing without intensity or the mentality Pioli has made this team famous for. But with other teams only one or two points behind us on the table, Milan cannot afford missteps like that anymore. So it was nice to see the team come out and play with intent from kickoff.

The first goal came in the eighth minute from a magical Ibrahimovic assist, and Rebic just drilled it home, nothing Sepe could do about it. 1-0 Milan. Milan controlled the rest of the first half, in which Maresca dealt out four cards, three of them for Parma. But just before the half, Kessie scored a great goal from a Theo Hernandez assist to make it 2-0 Milan.


The second half started with an Ibrahimovic shot that was saved in the 50th. Then Parma attacked at the other end, with three shots in a few seconds, forcing Gigio into a fantastic double save, with Kucka's attempted bicycle kick going over. Then our dominant team turned dysfunctional in the 60th minute, when Maresca showed Ibrahimovic a straight red for something he said. Ironically, he was protesting Gagliolo not getting sent off, claiming the player deserved a second yellow for a bad challenge. Pioli talked to him and claims that the last thing he said before the card was "So you're not interested in what I have to say?" If that is the case, it's really unfortunate, because now Ibrahimovic will also miss Genoa next week, or possibly more, depending on what Maresca says was said.

Who knows why Maresca sent him off?

The irony became more painful when it was Gagliolo who pulled the goal back for Parma just a few minutes later, 2-1 Milan, also injuring Gigio's left hand and/or wrist. But Gigio still kept us in the game, saving everything Parma sent his way. Oddly enough, they had more shots than we did, but both teams had five shots on goal, so Milan were more clinical. Kucka certainly did everything to hurt his former team, as did Conti, before he was subbed off for a 16 year-old, Traore, who is the first player born in 2004 to play in Serie A.

He scored a goal that wasn't a penalty!

Leao also subbed on with about five minutes of regulation left. That is important, because in the stoppage time that accumulated between Ibrahimovic's sending off and Gigio's injury, Dalot made an amazing counter and sent the ball over to Leao, who had only Sepe to try to stop him. The Parma keeper could not, and Milan sealed the three points with their third goal. 3-1 Milan. It was entertaining that the commentator had just been brutally criticizing Leao, which he could not have known, and then Leao made the "talk-talk" sign with his hands, shutting him up as well as whomever else he intended to.

The Portuguese connection strikes again

It was great to take all three points, as we desperately needed to do, but a shame that the red card saw our clean sheet and commanding performance dissipate in a matter of seconds. I know Ibrahimovic has a reputation, but it really was odd how quickly Maresca showed him the red. Between that and the eight other yellows in this match, I hope that his performance is at least reviewed, because this wasn't a nine card game. But then again, who knows if we could even just win convincingly anymore? It seems like there always has to be something to make it a dysfunctional win.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure's "Seventeen Seconds"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 31
Milan vs. Genoa
Sunday, April 18 • 12:30 CEST (6:30am EDT)

Parma 1, Milan 3: Dysfunctional Win Parma 1, Milan 3: Dysfunctional Win Reviewed by Elaine on 12:49 PM Rating: 5
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