When you watch a CL match starring AC Milan you inevitably see some sort of statistic on how solid Milan have been at home in the CL. But when you really dig into the numbers from Serie A and the CL you see it is not so spectacular. The fortress is broken, but why!? How could a place where nobody in Europe wanted to play become just another venue? It didn't matter who came to the hallowed grounds, Barca, Real, or ManU, it was an uphill battle!
It was not until 2008, against Arsenal, that Milan lost a home game in the new version of the Champions League. That is nearly 14 years of competition. At home in Serie A Milan were almost always good for a point, no exception, but as the Legends I was raised faded into the sunset the new players seemed to no longer feed off the magic of stadium. Maybe it has to do with our Legends being raised within miles of Milanello and the San Siro, both the city and the fans are in their blood. Maybe it was the loss of Maldini, conveniently rearranged to Di Milan, that caused the change. Whatever it is, tangible or intangible, opponents no longer fear a trip to Milan.
Seeing Celtic come to play on Wednesday only reinforced this point. Serie A teams still come to close up shop, and that much is understandable from their tactical perspective but they grow confident as the game wears on. It remains an amazing place to watch a football match, and a must pilgrimage for any Milan fan, but as time passes it appears the supporters of this Club have changed. We see it here in the comments when we get to meet "fans" who come and go with players, wins and losses. The advent of technology means watching at home instead of an antiquated stadium makes it more comfortable, and even children raised in Milan have access to matches from across the globe. To further that point, when you physically go to the match, people are sitting, tweeting and simply watching. The standing and singing is reserved only for the Curva and even they look disinterested at times. This is not only a Milan problem, times have changed, and I feel I am terribly old school but the majesty of a home match may never be the same.
The fortress is no longer what it once it was!