AC Milan 1, FC Porto 1: Undone

Milan's performance against Porto last night demonstrated that although this squad needs work, they have the heart and determination to fight to the finish. Porto may have dominated the first half, but Milan came back and challenged in the second half, forcing the own goal and having another goal called back for offside. Milan were undone by the early goal and some intense high pressing in the first half, but are not without their own merits.


So many ifs...

The first goal came just after five minutes of play from Luis Díaz. 1-0 Porto. However, there is  controversy surrounding this goal because Grujić clearly fouled Bennacer on the buildup to this goal, but the foul was not called. Once again, the UEFA referee was a talking point, which is unfortunate for everyone, especially the beautiful game. 

Turpin, the French referee, was poor overall in this match. He let everything go in the first half, then handed out cards like candy in the second half, nearly losing control of the match. Porto had nearly twice as many fouls as Milan, and four yellow cards to our one, but none of those cards came until the second half. Well, actually, Pioli received a yellow card in the first half as he was very clearly frustrated by the lack of calls.


Frustration

Milan showed their inexperience for sure, but something interesting that we have seen all year is that if they can impose their game on their opponent, they can be competitive with any team. However, if the other team presses too high or forces Milan into another style of play, they lose their identity. Milan's mentality is what keeps us in the game and keeps us fighting back like we did last night.

I found it incredibly ironic that Conceição was concerned about the Milan players who would be returning for this leg, when it was Grujić, who was a last minute sub due to Uribe's injury flaring up during warmup, who was one of their best players on the night. In addition to fouling Bennacer, he was involved in or took many of their shots in the first half for sure. For Milan, Tatarusanu came up big in the first half, including a massive save to deflect a Sérgio Oliveira shot that could have easily made it 2-0 for Porto. Giroud similarly forced Diogo Costa into a fantastic save as well.


Confident

During the second half Milan was able to find their identity, but it was not enough to earn all three points. Kalulu was brought on for Calabria, who was subbed as a precaution after a clash of heads left him dizzy. He brought his speed and intensity, and even threaded the shot through in the 61st that forced Mbemba into the own goal. 1-1 all. Poor Kalulu, he deserved that goal, that shot was fantastic.

Evanilson hit the crossbar, and there were other chances for Porto, but Milan definitely looked more dangerous in the second half. Ibrahimović came on in the 76th and immediately imposed himself on the match, with two offside calls within his first couple of minutes. He actually managed to score a goal in the 83rd minute, but Theo Hernández was offside this time, and the goal was called off. 


Tonali was a beast for 70 minutes

The legacy of both clubs was apparent when coach Sérgio Conceição's son Francisco was subbed on  with about ten minutes to play, and Paolo Maldini's son Daniel came on with about five minutes plus stoppages left. The DNA of both clubs was apparent, too. Porto did not have a ten year lapse in Europe due to mismanagement and changing ownerships three times in as many years, while Milan definitely did. However, you can see that Milan have quickly rebuilt under the careful watch of Paolo Maldini.

Despite gaining our first point in Europe in seven years, the draw was a massive disappointment for Milan fans, as it brought us that much closer to elimination from the Group Stage. Also disappointing was that the referee was again involved in the opposition's scoring. But unlike the match against Atlético, Milan did not do enough, and Porto did outplay us, especially in the first half. The consolation is that while our first leg in Portugal was our worst performance of the season, we managed to find our way back into this match and played much better.


Kalulu deserved the credit

We have to remember how far this team has come. They are young and their inexperience causes them to lose their heads every time a call does not go their way, particularly in Europe. They also have been shown a lot of silly cards, especially for dissent, and thus have a way to go to be at a top level. We need to remember that this team is merely unfinished, not completely undone.


This post inspired by the music of Weezer's "Undone (The Sweater Song)"


Our next match is
Serie A Week 12
il Derby della Madonnina
Milan vs. Inter
Sunday, November 14th • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)*
*remember that the U.S. switches from Daylight Saving Time on Sunday


AC Milan 1, FC Porto 1: Undone AC Milan 1, FC Porto 1: Undone Reviewed by Elaine on 7:19 AM Rating: 5
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