Milan 2, Lecce 0: The Leão Show

Some wins are memorable, others are largely forgettable. This one falls primarily in the latter category, save for the two goals. In fact, while Theo Hernández clearly chose his hair color for this match in hopes of being the most shocking thing, the most shocking thing was Milan's 2-0 win over Lecce itself. Milan took all three points. But in the long run, what people will remember from this match was a singular sublime performance. Fans were treated to the Leão Show.

A superstar performance

With Milan's own on-loan Colombo out with the flu, Lecce's protagonist in this match was Lameck Banda. He took many of Lecce's nine shots, and had the best chance, when he was very unlucky to hit the post in the 19th minute. Thiaw also earned the singular yellow card in this match trying to stop him at one point.

Thiaw continues to impress, even if he also impressed the ref

Theo Hernández was also a virtually unstoppable force, or at least he thought so. In the 14th minute, he went down in the box and the referee, Chiffi, called a penalty. It did seem like a penalty at first. But what Theo did not count on with such an unmistakable hair color is that it makes it easier for referees to do their job, especially in a VAR review. In that review, it was clear that Baschirotti got to the ball first, and after looking for himself, Chiffi revoked the penalty.

Impossible to fool a ref when you try to match your hair to your boots

There was a scare in the 32nd when Theo went down with an apparent ankle injury, but with some treatment, he was able to play through it. However, the highlight of the first half was when Tonali sent in the perfect cross from a corner, and Leão headed it home. 1-0 Milan. We are used to seeing Leão dazzle and score brilliant goals with his feet, but we may have forgotten that he is also tall and can be an aerial threat, too.

Just when opposing teams thought Leão was predictable...

The second half was much the same as the first, Milan created minimal chances, and seemed to be struggling against the 16th place team. With the lead, though, Pioli needed to manage his players after a tough midweek match. So in the 59th, he brought on Saelemaekers, Kjaer, and Bennacer for Messias, Thiaw, and Tonali respectively. Gratefully, he had basically lined up his strongest available 11, unlike last week, and he also subbed well.

Saelemaekers is a world class player at least 2% of the time

There was an entertaining moment when Leão was rather forcefully dispossessed by a Lecce player, and they tried to make a break, only to have Saelemaekers steal it straight back with some mad skills. Brahim Díaz forced Falcone into a save at one end, and Strefezza forced Maignan into a save at the other end. In the 73rd, Leão tried to chip it over Falcone, but it was too high.

That's not falling, it's scoring with style

In the 75th, Leão went dribbling in on goal, the nightmare of all of our opponents, and then took the shot. Not the most dazzling shot, but it hit the inside of the far post and bounced into the goal. 2-0 Milan. And that was all we needed to see. De Ketelaere and Origi replaced Brahim Díaz and Leão respectively in the 78th, but that marked the end of the Leão Show, and thus the end of anything of real interest in the match.

Curtain call at the end of the show

This one could have easily ended like so many of the others of late, with dropped points. Certainly, the overall performance looked like it would. But thanks to our phenomenal young talent, Leão, and his excellent brace, Milan got a necessary win. There are seven more league matches for Milan to secure a Champions League spot for next year. Let's hope that the team can show up, at least in a supporting role, to the Leão Show.

This post inspired by the music of The Cure's "Hello I Love You"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 32
Roma vs. Milan
Saturday, April 29, 2023 • 18:00 CET (9am EDT)

Milan 2, Lecce 0: The Leão Show Milan 2, Lecce 0: The Leão Show Reviewed by Elaine on 11:30 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.