Still in a state of disbelief this morning to be brutally honest. Watched the game late last night after a self-induced media black out, then had a phone call with my father and checked in on all the comments. As always lots of great opinions out there, but this feeling of being hard done on this result doesn't seem to go away.
This result doesn't change my stance on referee errors or decisions, I don't blame them, nor do I put stock in this conspiracy theorist idea. Ref's make mistakes, and it always seems to be in Barcelona's favor, and this match was no different. If at any point you wondered why I dislike Barca, this 90 minutes pretty much sums it up. They are everyone's darling and I hate them for it, which is why beating them meant more to me than just moving forward in the CL. It was a moral victory and one to show the footballing world that there is more than the Barca-way to play football.
Now onto the game, and please not I am not going to go to deep into granular tactics of it all. I thought Milan played with tremendous heart, but seeing the exhaustion in the legs and the disbelief on the faces is what gives you pride as a fan. The team kept on despite the feeling that it was Milan against the World. The Nocerino goal gave us new life and had Zlatan been awarded the penalty that may have put Milan ahead in the tie, you have to believe at 2-2 Milan was going to go see it through. But it didn't happen and here we sit together picking up the pieces.
Yes I agree, it wasn't our best attacking performance, or even defensive performance. But it was the sort of all hands on deck, every player contributes to the cause type of game that gives you a level of pride that at least they left on it on the pitch. Except for one player, and not to beat an ailing duck here, but I said prior to the match that if Pato played we would not advance, but I didn't expect such a travesty of a performance. At this point I wouldn't even advocate selling him anymore for fear of backlash from the purchasing team! The rest of the players returning fitness did their best under difficult circumstances and it was unfortunate Allegri didn't have them back a week earlier so they could put more of a mark on this match, but sometimes it is simply the way things go.
So I leave you all with a comment from my father, "now they have to make sure they don't lose the Scudetto." Does this loss galvanize and create the massive chip on the shoulder to stay top of the table, or does it demoralize? For me this is where Allegri should earn your respect, if he hasn't done so already. I believe in him and the team and this loss can be a catalyst for greater glory and this notion of never forgetting and channeling that anger for future performances. Milan play Fiorentina on Saturday and then Chievo on Tuesday. There is simply no time to sit, cry, and whine. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back to winning matches.