Milan 4, Monza 1: Mission Accomplished

Maybe it is just the "military green" kits, but Brahim Díaz triumphantly saluting after scoring an amazing goal made this game seem more like just another battle in a war than an actual football match. Or maybe it was just because he, too, became yet another casualty of Milan's ongoing war with injuries. Either way, despite a brilliant 4-1 victory over Berlusconi's new cheap knockoff AC Milan team, I just couldn't enjoy this one like I should have. It's probably just those hideous kits, they make everyone look so sickly with that unnatural color. Or maybe it was because of all of the injuries and potential injuries, it just felt more like a classic "Mission Accomplished moment".

He shared this pic with the caption "Always at your service," which is so true

The battle began brilliantly in the 16th minute, with a Tatarusanu assist to Brahim Díaz, who took it from center field, dribbled all the way down, and shot will falling from contact, sending it past poor Di Gregorio. 1-0 Milan. You read that correctly, Maignan got his assist last year, now Tatarusanu has followed. And he followed up with a solid goalkeeping performance, making five solid saves on the night.

The unstoppable force

Origi was coming to life in his first start for Milan. Unfortunately, he showed signs of life by a kicking a high boot to the head of poor Barberis in the 30th, who required treatment, and the Milan striker earned one of only two yellows in the entire match for his troubles. Although to be fair, there should have been a yellow shown in the 37th when Theo Hernández was fouled in the 37th, but he was also shown mercy later, so it worked out, I suppose.

Surprisingly good in goal, and now the Assist Man, too.

In the 41st, Brahim Díaz, who either wants a transfer to Monza or was possessed by the actual devil, scored again. This time, it was from an Origi assist, and the Spanish number 10 turned, shot, and left Di Gregorio to wonder the same thing I had... why wasn't Cragno playing in goal? Whatever the reason, it was 2-0 Milan going into the half. And I was thrilled for Brahim Díaz, who has always worked hard and made himself available for the team.

A brace for the Spanish number 10

Kalulu was subbed on for Dest at the half, the latter who was reportedly suffering from exhaustion, according to reports after the match. Either playing as well as he did in the first half was too much for him, or maybe he was catching whatever Bennacer had before the match, but let's hope he is ready for Tuesday's trip to Croatia. Of course, no one was complaining about Kalulu playing, as he made several key blocks throughout the second half, including a brilliant one in the 49th.

Another great year for the young French defender

Rebić nearly had a goal in the 48th, but Di Gregorio managed one of his three saves of the evening against the Croatian, who was celebrating his 100th appearance for Milan. The biggest casualty came in the 53rd to the biggest little hero of the night, Brahim Díaz. He pulled up and had to be subbed off for De Ketelaere, who was just coming back from injury himself. We are that team now, replacing wounded soldiers with the walking wounded.

100 badass appearances for Milan

Milan shots started to fly, and that term is used in the most apt of ways. Then Gabbia came on for Kjaer, who played his first match back from injury as well, and Leão replaced the centennial soldier, Rebić, in the 60th. Literally, maybe two minutes after coming on, Leão was grabbing his thigh, and maybe it is just the injury PTSD, but I was ready to vomit from fear of losing him, too. Gratefully, he made it through the match and seemed fine, but I still haven't relaxed and will not until the injury reports come out without his name on them.

Five minutes later, Origi finally got his first goal in the Milan shirt, and it was a rocket, assisted by Messias. 3-0 Milan. Pioli explained in his postmatch comments how much Origi had been impacted by his injury he had before coming to Milan, and how pleased he was to finally be able to contribute. Only it looked like he was in pain after the goal, which made it much less enjoyable for fans. Our injury PTSD is well-justified.

Finally, Origi

Unfortunately, Milan did concede a goal, a free kick by the Juventus-owned Filippo Ranocchia in the 70th. Also not helping the enjoyment factor. De Ketelaere had a shot saved in the 71st, and then was fouled from behind by Bondo just after, who earned the other yellow on the night. Vranckx replaced Origi in the 78th minute, a Belgian for a Belgian. 

Vranckx has seemed pretty solid as a sub so far

Captain Theo Hernández sent in a tasty little ball for Leão in the 84th, who sent it screaming past Di Gregorio to make it 4-1 Milan. And also to make the poor Monza keeper probably question everything in his life. They also did the Dragon Ball "Fusion" celebration, cleansing our memories of a couple of snakes that used to do it wearing the Milan jerseys. And they did it better, too.

Authentic Fusion

Shortly thereafter, our captain for the match was mixing it up with Monza's captain, former Galliani free transfer Milan player Pessina (and now Galliani loan deal back home at Monza). Normally, Theo would have gotten his token yellow card for this, but referee Marinelli was apparently in a very good mood, and the Milan player was spared. This was particularly good for Milan, considering he is in danger of suspension for card accumulation.

One full appearance as captain without a yellow card, Bravo, Theo.

Poor De Ketelaere had a great chance to score in the 93rd, and missed it, something you could see did not make him happy at all. He was only meant to play 15 minutes this evening, coming back from injury, but ended up playing 40 due to Brahim Díaz's injury. 

All of us fans every time a player takes a knock or pulls up injured

That brings me back to the lack of enjoyment part. Despite a convincing win ahead of an insane stretch of games over the next three weeks, the casualties of this war make me wonder if three points in a match like this is worth losing yet another potential starter for any length of time, let alone through January, like all of the others. Not unlike some other claimed victories, this one could just lead to a long, drawn-out war with many more casualties. A "Mission Accomplished.

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy's "Take Me to the Hospital"

Our next match is 
Champions League Group Stage
GNK Dinamo Zagreb vs. AC Milan
Tuesday, October 25 • 21:00 CEST (3pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

UEFA Youth League
 GNK Dinamo Zagreb U19 vs. AC Milan Primavera
Tuesday, October 25 • 14:00 CEST (8am EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on the official Milan App

Milan 4, Monza 1: Mission Accomplished Milan 4, Monza 1: Mission Accomplished Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
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