Outside of the scudetto winning season April and May Milan matches have always had something special, today was no different. In fact if you were to cook up a late season match for AC Milan, it would have all the ingredients:
1. Going a goal down, nothing like a Milan performance in which three points is crucial and the team falls asleep at the wheel. One goal down, former Milan CB Legrotagglia, no problem. This is Milan and they know the best way to make us CRAZY is to concede early. Has Amelia ever kept a clean sheet in these colors!? Geez, talk about bad luck.
2. Utter domination of the match with absolutely no goals, and a ton of missed chances. What late season must win is without this sort of drama!? 60% possession, 38 shots, no goals until minute 45!? That's Milan for you, by the time Flamini scored the first it was half-time I was already exhausted and whatever was left of my beer, nails, and capicola sandwich was long gone. Just as I had begun to recover and felt comfortable with 1-1, Catania go up two nil and the nine minutes of agony feel like an eternity until the equalizer!
3. Every dramatic late season Milan performance has an anti-hero in the form of the opposing GK. For one match a year an opposing GK goes finds a way to lodge a horseshoe square up his bum and go from serviceable to hero in the span of say 70 minutes. Instead of the normal shot stopper he becomes the demon spawn of Superman and Spiderman, and you keep rewinding the DVR to see if he has a piece of plate glass between the sticks. Nine brilliant saves for Frison, but unlike others who have been bestowed this honor he could not keep the floodgates from opening. Mind you this is not always the case.
4. Finally, late season Milan heroics usually mean Milan heroes. I have three on this day, and you can take your pick. First the credit and respect has to go to Max Allegri. The man has been maligned, taunted, and even compared to the likes of L3-0 and Tabarez, and what has he done? Baked, sliced and served humble pie to every naysayer in the bunch be it with his results, winning percentage, or the simpler things. Will we win the Title? No, but over the course of three seasons this team has been consistent, strong willed, and constantly improved despite the massive obstacles thrown at him. Thanks Max, but he couldn't have done it without Pazzo and Balotelli! While Balotelli was quiet today on the goal front, sure he added to his flawless PK record, it was the super sub Pazzini who found the result for AC Milan. Not one but two goals and while neither was of the out of this World variety, they were the stuff of legends. In fact both were Pippo-Esque and Pazzo is starting to look a lot like Pippo! Fifteen goals on the season and the move for the former Inter man is starting to look a master stroke for Uncle Fester and AC Milan!
All kidding aside, for those who have been around this team long enough can appreciate matches like this one, they are sloppy, nail biting affairs, but once you survive it's like a roller coaster. You want to do it again! It always seems like Milan takes the long road and walks it and it wreaks havoc on our insides, but three points was paramount today and Milan stayed strong following a rival win by Fiorentina. Four games left, securing three will surely be an adventure worth enduring.