Sometimes you take a step back and wonder why you've wasted so many countless hours. Countless time engaged in incessant arguing, fighting, nagging, bragging, and shouting all in the honor of the team you've chosen to align yourself with from an early age.. However, you don't really mean anything to the squad itself. You're merely one of the numbers, feeding the millionaire players/owners simply by purchasing one piece of memorabilia. You wonder why something taking place (in some cases) on the other side of the world, could have such a profound effect on your well being.
You ponder why you'd skip school, or call in sick to work, to watch a game that in the end, is nothing more than a pixelated image on a screen, or often time an atrocious stream with a foreign language as commentary. Most of you have never been to the San Siro, or even Milan - but yet you bleed the colors of a team you've (mostly) never even seen in real life. Then it hits you. All these minutes spent following them, all the money spent supporting them - it all pays dividends on days like this. Days when a collective sports orgasm is reached. A simple pass or shot on goal gives you a burst of pure euphoria that really, is unmatched by any other event (except perhaps on a night out trying new substances with Moris Carrozzieri and Mark Iuliano). Now it all makes sense. Why we spend countless hours discussing, probing, arguing. Now, we feel a sense of sheer jubilance unlike anything else. What else could possibly make you jump out of your seat so violently as if Poseidon struck you in the heart with an electrical trident? No other feeling compares to this, except seeing Luca Antonini being subbed off.
I raced to a friends house to catch the match. Ran kilometers like Usain Bolt (actually, imagine Usain Bolt running.. now image the exact opposite of that) to make sure I'd arrive in time to catch that corny song where the players are lined up and are all looking at the stands thinking, "Okay, let me look as serious and cool as I can right now." I arrived just in time to see the camera panning on Luca Antonini and his beard. Wait a second - No, this can't be right. Mesbah was supposed to be the starter! Then I saw Phillippe Mexes right alongside him, NO - impossible! But the Gazzetta said Nesta would start alongside Silva. What in God's green earth is going on here? How could these bastards deceive me like this!
Mexes is a strange breed of centerback, one that takes too many untimely risks, sometimes producing spectacular challenges that stop the striker dead in his wake, and other times makes him look just as foolish as his neck tattoo's. Surely, Robin Van Persie would twist and turn his way to success, slithering around the Frenchman with ease. And Antonini. Don't get me started on him and his beard.
And boy, was I wrong. Today, Mexes partnered with Silva to form an incredibly compact duo. The Frenchman himself was calm, composed, made a few integral challenges and clearances, and even showed his passing range with a great lob which covered the distance of the field in the last minute to find a streaking Alexandre Berlusconi - who looked uncomfortable on the ball as he just returned from a sexual injury.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be compared to the Lebron James of football. He might have won eight consecutive domestic titles, but seems to have a dark cloud hanging over him in Europe. Recently, it seems that the team that sells him, goes on to win the Champions League the year after, as it happened to Inter and Barcelona respectively. The Swede has probably heard all of the criticisms about his no-shows in the Champions League. Some of this criticism is unfair, however, and you could see all of his rage and emotion spilling out after his penalty kick conversion in the second half. I have never seen Ibrahimovic run so hard or chase down midfielders so fervently. Why can't Zlatan replicate this performance every match? Why does he so often times seem lethargic, when in the end he IS capable of moments like this. Do we not pay him enough money?
Two of the goalscorers
- Robinho's brace was the silver lining of the match. After a year of disappointment and embarrassing blooper reel misses, the Brazilian samba dancer had quite possibly the finest outing of his club career. A perfectly placed header from a rocket cross, and an exquisite finish into the bottom corner from right outside the penalty area. For all the times I've criticized the much maligned Robinho, he showed vs. Arsenal the type of technique (that we all know) he is capable of displaying. Once again, Milan gambled with these former sulkers, capable of brilliance & failure. There will be days like this, just like there will be days of head smashing disappointment.
- This match was not only a turning point in a dramatically brilliant week for Milan, which started with an improbable 2-1 comeback over Serie A contenders Udinese, but also a signal to all of Europe that the rossoneri are capable of magic on their best days. Now, this 4-0 romp says slightly more about the atrocious display of Arsenal than the brilliance of Milan. The London side was diabolical on defense, and left me shaking my head as players with much experience seemed to be jogging around the pitch. Biggest example, Sagna inexplicably easing off of Ibrahimovic as he streaked down the wing and played a perfect cross to Robinho which resulted in the second goal.
- What else can we say about Kevin Prince Boateng? In the biggest moments, he shines brighter than the sun, and evokes his finest individual displays. That beautiful backheel and blast vs. Barcelona could not possibly be outdone, could it? How about yesterday's absolutely clinical no look volley into the top corner, which would have decapitated Szczczcfrjferjkgsny's head had it made any contact. I dare say, but the Prince is truly becoming one of the finest midfielders in the world. Not many that I know could score such marvelous goals, while aiding in other facets of the game so effectively. Bravo.
- For a split second, I thought the game was being played on a grass patch which had just been bombarded by asteroids. I wouldn't have flinched if a Groundhog decided to stick his head out of a hole near the goalposts covered by Szczczfejnw. In other news, Jamie Foxx has decided to do a new remix of 'Blame it on the Alcohol', but this time starring Arsene Wenger. The title: 'Blame it on the pitch.' For 90 minutes, I kept hearing the British commentators making excuses about the state of the field, which I agree, resembled something more along the lines of a slob of grass you'd see right off the interstate. However, both teams had to play on this worn out field, which had been hammered by the recent blizzards that crippled the entire country. Not even a Cessna would have dared land on that field, as it probably would've catapulted after hitting a crater around the sidelines and slammed itself into the Curva Sud and that atrocious Berlusconi 'si tromba' the Queen poster. (By the way, absolutely shameful display. I won't even translate it. Ironically, the people who designed that trash unknowingly we're mocking their owner & President.)
- With Milan all but secured into the next round of the Champions League, it will be interesting to see how this victory carries on into the future. A much needed morale booster after all this talk of crisis (by me especially). But what I've learned to do is not act so spontaneously, and realize that we employ some of the world's greatest at their respective positions. And Ibrahimovic, it was about time you had such a marvelous display in Europe..
On to the next one.
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