Every once in a while, you find yourself having a day off after a grueling work week. And then you decide to watch a football game in order to ‘relax’ and ‘get your mind’ off said work week. The only thing is though, you chose to watch an AC Milan game, which was about as relaxing as being chased through the backwoods by machete wielding hillbillies who are strung out on meth. But hey, at least you were being entertained while you suffered.
AC Milan managed to squeak out a 2 - 1 victory over bottom dwellers Genoa in the most dramatic fashion. The game started off with Genoa on the front foot, as they managed to carve out a clear cut chance as Pajac’s cross nearly found the head of Piamonti, and he nearly headed in their first goal. Roughly seven minutes later, the Rossoblu would nearly find themselves ahead after Lerager had a clear shot on goal that was thankfully, saved by Pepe Reina. And in less than ten minutes, it looked like it was going to be yet another disappointing performance that the Rossoneri have sadly, become accustomed to.
Things did change for us, however, around that same ten minute mark though, as Genoa captain Domenico Criscito had to exit the pitch due to injury, and was replaced by Davide Biraschi. It was thought that Genoa’s misfortune might work to our advantage, as the loss of your captain is a psychological blow that most teams would have a hard time recovering from. Genoa, on the other hand, persevered with resilience, and kept putting the pressure on Milan, and were rewarded for their efforts, when Lasse Schöne scored a goal from a free kick, that slipped right through Pepe Reina’s fingers of butter (‘43). And it was at that point that the Milanisti wondered if this would in fact, be it, and if this would truly in fact, be the last time we saw Marco Giampaolo on our bench.
Fortunately, halftime came at just the right time for Giampaolo, and he managed to reshuffle his line-up and did the one (two?) things he probably should have done in the first place: he took off both Çalhanoğlu and Piątek, and substituted them with both Lucas Paquetá and Rafael Leão, respectively. The substitutions managed to be two strokes of genius, as the Rossoneri came out and began attacking in Genoa’s half from the get go. The pressure paid off in the 52nd minute, when Theo Hernandez’s shot found the back of the net (which was again, due in part to freak goalkeeping, only this time, it was Andrei Radu who was responsible for this).
And about five minutes later, Davide Biraschi would be sent off for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity (handball), which led to a penalty for Milan that was converted by Franck Kessié. Milan would finally take the lead in that game, and Giampaolo’s job would be safe for the time being.
Davide can take cold comfort in knowing he was in good company when he was sent off today, as ― at the ‘79th minute, his fellow Davide (Calabria) would get himself sent off for after a second booking. There were a total of four red cards today, and yellow cards were being handed out from the ref like Oprah gives out cars.
Genoa would have an opportunity to come away from this game with a point, as they were awarded a penalty at the 89th minute of the interval, by the referee. Fortunately, Pepe Reina (who was inserted into the starting line-up as a last minute replacement for Donnarumma, suffering from a stomach bug), managed to parry the penalty, and all was right in the land of Milan again. Milan managed to emerge from the game victorious, and with all three points.
The good thing about winning this game is that AC Milan are now no longer in the bottom half of the table. In fact, we are much more closer to being a midtable team.
This wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it’s between this and watching the way the Italian women won over lowly Malta yesterday, that I’m thoroughly convinced that the Italians live and die by the motto that it doesn’t matter how you win, just as long as you do in fact, win. One wonders just how long Milan can ride their luck and keep winning like this though. Guess we’ll just have to keep watching in order to find out.