Torino 0, Milan 0: Complacency

Milan have said all season long that they would not make excuses. Not for the myriad referee errors that have cost us points and even potentially progression in the Champions League. Not for the plague of injuries that saw us missing an average of five to eight players for more than half of the season, just like we were missing seven players tonight. So when the referee calls nothing, does not use VAR, you have no one to substitute, and you still cannot break down the opposition's defense to score goals, then I guess you have no choice but to claim that another scoreless draw is due to complacency.

Complacency: when you've given it your all and it wasn't enough?

Milan's first half should have seen a goal, they certainly fought hard enough for it. But our best chance of the half was probably Calabria's shot in the 24th, which Berisha was able to save. All of the players who received yellow cards received them in the first half, including cards for both Tomori for a foul on Belotti and Kalulu for a foul on Zima. Both of those were absolutely fair, if Doveri had kept calling them like that throughout the game. But he did not.

Milan had three claims for penalties. Saelemaekers' claim involved the most acting, although Ricci definitely was pulling him by the shoulder and then made contact with his leg as well. I do think that the foul on Theo Hernández was definitely a penalty, but Doveri never even once considered going to the screen, so how would he even know? I should have liked to have seen the contact with Messias and Bremer in the box more and with better angles, because I still think that should have possibly been more than a corner.

If you are wearing Granata, restraining an attacker in the box is fine, I guess?

Not that I am looking for a gift, I wanted Milan to win this of their own merit. But how were Milan supposed to score when Bremer was climbing all over Giroud's back, pulling him down in the box when he was trying to head the ball, with no whistle? How is Theo Hernández supposed to set someone up when Bremer outright shoved him down and there was no whistle? 

Just because Doveri did whistle Torino for 18 fouls vs. Milan's six does not mean that he did his job. The rules are there to be enforced, and when a team is literally prevented from scoring because the opposition is allowed to foul them without punishment, then how can they score? Or how are those players even safe? Ironically, it was Juric who was carded in the 61st and then Pioli who was carded after the whistle, both coaches for complaining to the officials. Although to Pioli's credit, he was apparently only complaining about the goalkeeper timewasting.

His 6th clean sheet in a row, and he earned it

What may be seen as complacency may have also been tired legs, as Milan really did not have much in the way of subs. Torino came out fired up after the half, with Vojvoda forcing a fantastic Maignan save in the 50th. Pioli brought on Messias for Brahim Díaz in the 55th, his only real chance at an impact sub. That helped a bit, but by that point, Doveri had stopped making any calls against Torino. VAR could not intervene if Doveri did not listen, and he did not. With how many VAR refs who have steered head refs wrong this season, it is hard to blame him, but what happened to looking for yourself? That has always been the error.

In the 65th, Tomori made a point blank stop on Belotti, and Maignan saved a shot from Ricci, too, although it would have been offside anyway. Berisha also made a big save on Tonali at the other end in the 74th. In perhaps the biggest feat of irony, Pellegri was subbed on for Torino and played probably more minutes against Milan than he had played for us in his entire time on loan with our club. 

Tomori also contributing to the 6th clean sheet in a row

Maignan had saves on Aina, Pellegri, and Seck, but worked hard to help keep our sixth consecutive clean sheet. After Krunić relieved Tonali, Gabbia was subbed on for an exhausted Tomori, as Pioli really didn't have any other subs to use anyway. Missing Ibrahimović, Bennacer, Rebić, and Castillejo last minute on top of Kjaer, Romagnoli, and Florenzi really hurt tonight.

Milan did push hard for the last ten minutes, with Messias and Giroud taking shots that were blocked or saved. Both teams ended with 14 shots in all, but only three on target, which says more about defense than complacency, if you ask me. But Milan did have 56% possession and definitely worked hard against both Torino and Doveri trying to make something happen. But not really having anyone on the bench definitely hurt them, too. And it probably did not help that last year, we beat them 7-0 in front of their fans in this fixture, which is likely why they were willing to use any means necessary to try to stop us from humiliating them again.

Pioli was on fire verbally, and it earned him a yellow card after the match, too

Milan are still top of the table by two points, but Inter still have that game in hand, so we may no longer control our Scudetto destiny. Milan fans immediately go to some really dark places, blaming individual players, blaming the club for not investing in January, or simply claiming that the team cannot handle the pressure. Perhaps there is some truth in that this team was not built to win the league, considering our wage bill is the fifth highest in the league and we also have one of the younger and less experienced squads in the league as well. But fans also forget about the injuries and the ref suspensions, too. This team has actually outperformed expectations this season.

We had hoped that this match would change our fate in a good way. Certainly, it is tough to be so close to a trophy and then see the goals dry up like this, with only three goals scored in our last six matches. But I still say that it is a great time to be a Milan fan. I am so proud of what this team has accomplished, against all odds. I am not giving up, and I do not think they have, either. I believe they will fight to the end. You can believe in your complacency. 

This post inspired by the music of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 33
Milan vs. Genoa
Friday, April 15 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)

Torino 0, Milan 0: Complacency Torino 0, Milan 0: Complacency Reviewed by Elaine on 11:02 PM Rating: 5
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