Milan 1, Fiorentina 0: Family

Milan invited Pioli's former family to the San Siro (kind of) for yet another intense match in our final run for the Scudetto. Despite appearances from former Milan family members Saponara and Bonaventura, as well as Rebić playing against his former family, Milan were able to remain focused, capitalize on a goalkeeping error and hand Fiorentina their fourth straight loss to take all three points. While it seemed for the first 81 minutes that Milan might drop points again under pressure, Milan proved once again that their belief is strong enough to overcome any referee error or other challenge. They showed us yet again that they are a family.

Family

The referee, Valeri, was called into action early on when Maleh interfered with Maignan's goal kick, earning him a yellow card in just the third minute. This is notable because in the 20th minute, when he clotheslined Tonali, he was only whistled for a foul instead of being given what would have been a second yellow. I know referees are taught to avoid giving second yellows that early on, but two wrongs don't make a right, and Milan have just been wronged so many times this season. Maleh was lucky he was playing Milan. If he had been playing Inter, I am sure he would have been sent off.

The proud father of this Milan mentality

Theo Hernández scored an early goal just seven minutes in, but it was called back because Messias was offside. Theo was in great form this afternoon, intercepting passes with sheer speed and running everywhere. He had another chance in the 12th minute that went into the side netting, and his chance in the 33rd was saved by Terracciano. Giroud had a great chance in the 16th when he tried to chip the keeper, but it went wide. In all, Milan would only have 13 shots, with only two of those on target.

New father, integral member of the Milan family

The second half began with first Leão, then Theo Hernãndez sending it way over. With more than 71,000 fans present, it seemed like the guys really wanted to give the spectators something to take home, it seemed like we had so many shots go into the stands. Pioli's subs began with Rebić and Krunić replacing Messias and Brahim Díaz in the 56th, then Ibrahimović replacing Giroud about ten minutes later.

Mourning the loss of his longtime agent and friend, he still showed up for his family

We got lucky in that Theo Hernández elbowed Torreira in the 70th, but he was not shown a yellow card. Wow. A referee call that went our way? Obviously, it did not influence the game, so it did not matter, but it is so rare, I have to point it out. Tomori was clearing all of Fiorentina's dangerous crosses and shots, while Igor kept Rebić's chances clear at the other end. Martinez Quarta, still frustrated by Theo's elbow on his teammate, shoved the Milan player down after he was out of bounds, and got a yellow card for his troubles in the 72nd. It was almost as if the game was being reffed fairly. Almost.

Feels like he's been part of our family forever

Maignan had an epic save on Cabral in the 76th from nearly point blank range in the 76th, after which the cameras found a young Milan fan crossing himself and praying. I think we could all relate. Pioli brought Bennacer on for Kessié, and just two minutes later, the miracle the boy was praying for happened. Terracciano failed to clear the ball properly, basically passing it to Leão, who dribbled it in and took the shot, making him pay for his error in the most beautiful and deadly of ways. 1-0 Milan. This made him the fifth Portuguese player to score more than ten goals in a single Serie A season, the only one to do it before the age of 23, according to @OptaPaolo.

When he's happy, we are all happy

Bennacer got Milan's only yellow card of the match for a foul on Biraghi, and then Valeri's most egregious error occurred in the 89th. Leão was dribbling in the box, and Ikoné reached across with his leg and took him down. No whistle, no penalty. If VAR checked it, Valeri did not. I am not sure why, because it was suspect in real time, but the replays were damning. Ikoné got all Leão and no ball, and that 100% would have been a penalty for any of the other 19 teams in Serie A besides Milan this season.

Celebrating with over 70,000 members of the Milan family

No matter. Whatever happens, Milan have already exceeded expectations. Despite the most ridiculous run of injuries and having multiple referees suspended for errors, Milan are still in first place with three games to play. While the Scudetto is so close, there are still three sets of referees that could take the dream from us, three opportunities for this young team with the fifth highest wagebill in Serie A to make errors. Particularly with all of the distractions of the sale of the club and transfer talk, it is astounding that they are where they are. I believe in them, I believe in Pioli, and I believe in their mentality. But I also believe that trophy or no, this season is already incredibly successful. Regardless of the results on the pitch, this team are truly a family.


This post inspired by the music of Prince & The Revolution's "I Would Die 4 U"


Our next match is
Serie A Week 36
Verona vs. Milan
Sunday, May 8 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)


Milan 1, Fiorentina 0: Family Milan 1, Fiorentina 0: Family Reviewed by Elaine on 11:51 PM Rating: 5
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