Roma 1, Milan 2: Raiding the Capital

Milan went to Rome to win, and they made that clear very quickly. Despite Roma's best efforts, and in spite of a very card-happy referee, the Rossoneri brought all three points back home with them. The natives were more than restless, racially abusing both Ibrahimović and Kessié throughout the evening. Perhaps that inspired Ibrahimović even more, as he scored his 400th career goal in his usual spectacular style. Certainly, he and Kjaer, our two Viking warriors, were massive in leading the raid on the capital. 

Taking all 3 points

Roma had the first shot that was just wide, but they also got the first two yellows. Milan were trading shots, and Kjaer demonstrated his Ballon d'Or-nominated skills time and time again, including an epic save in the 22nd. But it was in the 34th that Karsdorp made the error of trying to stop Leão. For his efforts, he earned that second card and a free kick for Milan.

Ibrahimović took that free kick from outside of the box with the power only afforded a Viking, and Rui Patricio did not even have a chance to see it as the missile flew past him into the far corner of the net. 1-0 Milan. This was his 150th goal in Serie A, as well as his 400th career goal, and, like many of his milestone goals, it was very memorable. Maresca foolishly carded him for excessive celebration, but his celebration was commensurate with the goal itself, the ref probably just had Ibra envy. 

I am Zlatan

In the 39th, Leão scored a brilliant goal from an Ibrahimović assist, but it was ruled out for offside. Theo Hernández picked up a yellow two minutes later for a foul on Zaniolo, who probably got the worst of his challenges with Milan players in this match. Cristante had a very dangerous header that was just wide, and just before the half, Theo Hernández took a powerful free kick himself that Rui Patricio unfortunately saved.

Like someone who is drowning will clutch at anything or anyone, Mancini was pulling on Milan shirts all night. Someone should tell him about the Milan store in Roma, he can just go buy his own Milan shirt. The crime of the night was when our two Viking raiders connected in the 51st, with Kjaer providing an assist for Ibrahimović as he scored another goal, but it was called back for offside after a VAR review. The reality is that mere mortals simply cannot keep up with Vikings.

Defending to the end

That did not stop Ibrahimović, though, who nearly scored again a minute later. Maresca whistled for a penalty when Ibañez fouled Ibrahimović in the box. The VAR review did not find enough evidence to overturn the call, and after looking at it again for himself, Maresca awarded the penalty to Milan. Ibrahimović let Kessié take the penalty, who slotted it past Rui Patricio coolly and calmly like only he can. 2-0 Milan.

Ibrahimović deserved a second goal and was virtually unstoppable, but he still let Kessié take the penalty. I wonder if part of the reason was that both were subjected to racist chants by Roma fans throughout the match. Either way, Roma fans were punished by the two players they abused. The FIGC may or may not impose any sanctions on them, more than likely they won't, because Italians don't even know what racism is. But Milan got all three points, and if Roma are fighting for a European spot this season, the Karma for their abuse could cost them that spot.

This one was for the haters

Pioli decided to invoke the mercy rule for Roma and take Ibrahimović off, bringing Giroud on. Mourinho decided that the BFFs Abraham and Tomori were neutralizing each other, so gambled on the law of the exes by bringing on El Shaarawy. 

But the real action was in Maresca's pocket, where he produced yellow after yellow. Tomori got one for dissent. Then Theo Hernández threw his body in the way of Pellegrini just outside of the box to earn himself a second yellow, leaving Milan on 10 men. People point out that Krunić should have been whistled for a foul before the call on Hernández, but Maresca only has two hands. He was more than capable of showing Calabria a yellow, though, for doing his captain's duties and talking to the referee, also known as dissent, apparently.

Maresca trying to be the center of attention

Saelemaekers was sacrificed for Ballo-Touré as Roma now had the numerical advantage. for the last 30 minutes, Milan primarily defended. And received yellow cards. Giroud, Ballo-Touré, and Kessié would all be booked. Maresca handed out a total of 11 cards in the match, he apparently thought the players were trick-or-treating or something.

Milan were repeatedly pinned back, absorbing a total of 24 shots on the night, even if only six were on target, and Tatarusanu became more confident and actually made a couple of very impressive saves. But it was our Viking defender, Kjaer, with his goal line clearance in the 82nd that truly made a statement defensively. Roma had a couple of great shots late in the match, but it was El Shaarawy who finally pulled one back in the 93rd. 2-1 Milan. You simply can't sit back and defend that many shots for that long without conceding, unfortunately.

Nearly perfect defense

Despite being on 10 men and defending until the bitter end, Milan deserved all three points in this one. Ending Mourinho's 43 match unbeaten home record simply added to the spoils. It's not our fault that the Roma fans were douchebags and angered the Viking gods. Perhaps they would have had a chance once we were down a man, but this team, led by fierce performances by Ibrahimović and Kjaer tonight, did not come to Rome for a vacation. This team fought like warriors raiding the capital.

This post inspired by the music of Muse's Assassin

Our next match is 
Champions League Group Stage
AC Milan vs. FC Porto
Wednesday, November 3 • 18:45 CET (1:45pm EDT)*
*note the time difference due to European Daylight Saving time ending

Roma 1, Milan 2: Raiding the Capital Roma 1, Milan 2: Raiding the Capital Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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