It was all true, but it was so difficult to think within San Siro that none seemed particularly relevant or contain the slightest bit of real significance. . The stadium, which both clubs so desperately want to keep, was so noisy, so lively, so raw, so vibrant, it almost felt like a kind of sensory overload.
The game itself wasn’t all that engaging. It may have been a little more gritty and rougher than its predecessor, but compared to Nicolò Barella’s exuberant passion, Federico Dimarco’s daring play and faintly desperate determination, it is. It didn’t seem to matter. Sandro Tonali rescued something – anything – from Milan’s dismal start to a draw in the first leg.
If not, it was the pinnacle of football as a sport, but nothing short of a spectacle. From the moment the Champions League anthem began, Kurva instantly turned into a sneering devil face. It should not be taken lightly and given a slap on the head and a condescending smile as an unwanted consolation prize.
There’s something evocative about football played on a perfect pitch when a team transforms into something that borders on art. That is why those who can influence that change are highly respected and very richly rewarded. But you don’t necessarily have to reach such heights to be engrossing, engaging, and thrilling. All you need is contests, functions and events.
After all, it has a much broader, much more intuitive appeal. Some games exist to be watched, admired, and appreciated. Others are there to hear, feel, and feel. Both teams’ slight technical flaws will go unnoticed. In the pure white heat, they might not have noticed. But even though what Milan feared most is slowly becoming a reality, the noise of falling from the Kurva South River will echo for some time.