Fire In Our Hearts and Ice In Our Veins

Ahead of the Fiorentina match, in his press conference, Pioli said the team must have "Fire in our hearts and ice in our veins." This becomes even more true as they head into their final two matches of the season. Needing only four points from the two matches to secure Milan's first Scudetto in 11 years, they will need to play two perfect matches with the passion and intensity we have watched emerge from the trials of this season. With Inter waiting just two points behind with a season full of suspiciously favorable referee calls, Milan may also need a bit of luck.

Fire and ice personified.

Sunday, Milan will face Atalanta in front of a sold out San Siro crowd. The same Atalanta side that Milan had a convincing game against in Bergamo back in October following the horrible Atlético Madrid referee incident in the Champions League. The team has endured so much since then, and matured so much, as well. They will face the Atalanta club where we secured our Champions League place on the final day of the season last year in Bergamo with a 2-0 win. 

I am sure that Pioli would like to add a win on Sunday to these triumphs to come full circle from the soul crushing 5-0 loss just before Christmas in 2019. He cites that match as the birth of this Milan team, "one of the most negative moments" of his career, "but also one of the most valuable." But a win is not enough. Milan have five players in danger of suspension for card accumulation who could miss our final match if they exhale wrong on Sunday against Atalanta: Tomori, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Leão, and Brahim Díaz.

Playing with fire, our defense will need to be rock solid

If Milan can pass this test at home, they will only need a draw or better the next week away to Sassuolo. The Sassuolo side that destroyed Milan 3-1 and saw them on 10 men at the San Siro in November after... wait for it... our second Atlético Madrid match in the Champions League. Sure, we had tons of players out injured, and Maignan was just coming back from surgery. But Sassuolo have always caused us problems, and you have to know that Inter are counting on that.

Inter will face Cagliari on Sunday, with tired legs but buoyed confidence after lifting the Coppa Italia trophy Wednesday. Inter President Steven Zhang was asked about Inter's chances with the Scudetto despite Milan having both a two point lead and the head-to-head advantage and only two matches left. He replied "We are all very confident." Of course they are. You don't need to look any further than this bogus penalty call in the Coppa Italia final to understand why, that is their normal this season. As I went into details about on the last podcast, they have the advantage in every match they play as well as every match Milan plays this season.

He wrote the book on a fiery heart and ice in his veins

Despite my overt suspicions, I have also held throughout the season how proud I am of this team for rising above adversity. There is such a positive feeling at the club in spite of everything. Us fans may want justice and be mistrusting of the Lega Serie A, the FIGC, and the Italian Referee Association (AIA,) but the club has just used all of the injustice as motivation to work harder. 

In my heart, I want to believe that it will pay off. Certainly, in the past two matches, it has, as we saw the referees deny penalties and make other decisions that could have changed the outcome of the games. But the players just put their heads down and worked harder, and in the end, the referees could not interfere with such amazing teamwork nor take away such spectacular goals. This team played with fire in their hearts and ice in their veins, and when they do that, they are untouchable.

This post inspired by the music of Pat Benatar's "Fire and Ice"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 37
Milan vs. Atalanta
Sunday, May 15 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)

Fire In Our Hearts and Ice In Our Veins Fire In Our Hearts and Ice In Our Veins Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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