Saturday’s Italian Serie A clash between Genoa and AC Milan turned into an absolute barnstormer for neutral fans in the wider world of football, and although the final score reads 1-0 to the Rossoneri, that in no way explains how weirdly entertaining and ridiculous the game turned out.
Football fans will know, sometimes there is just no normal place to start when you see a game that plays out so wildly different to what anyone ever thought it would, but with the three points secured following Christian Pulisic’s late 87th minute winner, Milan move to the top of the table with seven wins and one defeat from their opening eight games leaving them on 21 points, and they are now two points clear of close rivals Inter Milan.
The Serie A twists and turns are not over yet, but it is incredibly unlikely that Italian fans will see such a chaotic game like this again in the domestic 2023/24 season.
AC Milan had rested a number of notable players for this game and following their Champions League draw with German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and with Simon Kjaer, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rade Krunic, Ismael Bennacer, Pierre Kalulu and Mattia Caldara still out of action, Luka Jovic got his first start and they would still have been confident of victory at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium.
Whilst Milan were the better side, it was only really slightly and Genoa had a few penalty appeals waved away that many will think could have been given on another day, but the game exploded into life after they took the lead.
To begin with, Milan stopper Mike Maignan was shown a straight red card after VAR had decided he caught Caleb Ekuban outside of the box in the 98th minute, and that saw the strange sight of Frenchman Olivier Giroud take on the gloves as all substitutes had been used.
Giroud in fairness pulled off an utterly fantastic brave double save during his time between the sticks, but then Genoa saw themselves reduced to ten men as their own keeper, Josep Martinez, was yellow carded for a second time in the 113th minute after he fouled Yunus Musah whilst attempting to help them score in a late attacking corner.
They did not get the goal they were so desperate for, and veteran striker Giroud took the majority of the plaudits when the final whistle was ultimately blown.
Neutral fans may well have loved it, I imagine both sides will not be looking for a repeat.