deltablue

[FM11]Deltablue Rising II: Delta's Darlings.

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Talk about eratic...

Aug 2041

Milan 5-2 Aberdeen (EL)

We started the season at home to Aberdeen in the final Europa League qualifying round. We pounded them from the start, but were still vulnerable to the counter-attack, and went behind after half an hour. We were in a bit more of a mess until the break, but it took just 4 minutes of the second half for Terzi to get a brace and give us the lead. They levelled it in the 55th minute but Lovell restored the lead just 2 minutes later. Eweka extended the lead in the 61st minute. Katsikas got sent off a few minutes later, but Terzi completed his hat-trick to finish off what looked like a comfortable win, but we could definitely write the book on winning the hard way.

Milan 1-1 Lazio (A)

Before going to Scotland, we started the league campaign against Lazio. We had a tough start, and were on the back foot until Eweka’s disallowed goal after 25 minutes, though managed to improve afterwards. The second half was quieter until they took the lead in the 74th minute. Toninho managed to give us a point 11 minutes later but I wanted to avoid dropping points outside the top sides, especially at home.

Aberdeen 2-4 (4-9) Milan (EL)

The away leg against Aberdeen wasn’t too much trouble. Kunisch got a brace of headers in the first 21 minutes. They got a goal back but Toninho made it 3-1. They still kept coming, with a goal disallowed and a penalty saved before eventually getting a second goal, but after Toninho had a goal disallowed, Kunisch finished off a hat-trick, and a crazy 9-4 aggregate win. Valencia, Guimaraes and Wisla made for an easier group draw than 2 years ago.

Sept 2041

Napoli 3-1 Milan (A)

We went to Napoli, hoping to improve on being completely outplayed like in the equivalent game last year. It did not go well. They were 2-0 up after 17 minutes. Things improved a bit after Puncheon was brought on in goal, he saved a penalty and Terzi got a goal back. However it was otherwise an awful performance, and unsurprisingly they later got a 3rd, with another disallowed.

Chievo 0-7 Milan (A)

We needed to get firing at Chievo and beyond, or we’d have an uphill struggle by the time we got to the biggest games. We certainly did that, Kunisch gave us a 7th minute lead, and we picked them off with further goals from Terzi, Toninho and Sebastiao in the first half an hour. The Angolan got another goal in the first minute of the second half, and after waiting a while, Terzi got 2 late goals to finish off a hat-trick. After the shambles of Napoli, everyone shone this time.

Milan 2-0 Valencia (EL)

The first Europa League group game was against Valencia. When the draw was made I looked at their side and felt they might bee too good for us, but they were surprisingly impotent as we battered them in the first half, to little effect. Pugliese coming on for an injured Toninho changed that. He gave us the breakthrough in the 59th minute, and his corner was leaded in by Kunisch in the 66th.

Milan 6-3 Triestina (A)

Triestina were surprisingly up in 6th, but we were always going to be too strong for them. Kunisch and Terzi put us 2-0 up in the first 6 minutes. They got a goal back a few minutes later but Richter and two Bertoni goals made it 5-1 at the break. Bertoni completed his hat-trick in the 47th minute, and we eased off afterwards as they got a couple of goals.

Fiorentina 4-2 Milan (A)

A trip to Fiorentina was the first I was worried about, especially as they were the only side with a 100% record. They dominated from the start, and eventually broke through after half an hour with a pair of goals. Eweka got a goal back before the break, and Pugliese equalized in the 73rd minute, but holding onto a draw as always going to be a tall order. They regained the lead eventually, but their 4th goal in stoppage time was a bit harsh.

Milan 3-1 Udinese (A)

We had a bit of difficulty breaking through Udinese, but Bertoni managed it after half an hour. An own-goal and a Sebastiao header made it more comfortable after an hour, before they got a consolation.

League Table

Oct 2041

Wisla 1-6 Milan (A)

Pugliese had a goal disallowed after 5 minutes at Wisla, so it was great that he gave is the lead anyway 20 minutes later. His second goal was followed by Bertoni, then they got a goal back in the 40th minute. Eweka got 2 goals after an hour, with an own-goal finishing off our 6-1 win.

Pescara 2-1 Milan (A)

A trip to Pescara was potentially problematic, and so it proved to be. They scored in the 55th minute, after pushing Alberti hard all match. Bertoni equalized 10 minutes later but they soon got a deserved winner as we were alright, but they were the side on fire.

Milan 6-1 Atalanta (A)

A similarly strong Atalanta were surprisingly easy after that. Pugliese gave us the lead in the first minute, With Traore and Eweka racing us into a 3-0 lead after 22 minutes. An Atalanta goal in the 38th minute did nothing to knock us off our stride as Traore and Terzi gave us 2 more within 10 minutes of the second half starting, and a second Eweka goal finished them off. Nothing better illustrates our frustrating ‘hot and cold’ nature than the last two games.

Milan 2-0 Guimaraes (EL)

We had beaten Guimaraes on our last Europa League campaign, and they weren’t too hard this time either. Eweka had a goal disallowed a few minutes before Terzi gave us the lead in the 29th minute. The German managed to grab a goal anyway just before the break, and we perhaps deserved a third in the second half.

Roma 3-1 Milan (A)

That could only prepare us so much for a trip to Roma. We were just about on top in the first half, with Terzi giving us the lead in the 29th minute. We looked capable of getting another in the second half, but then they took us down. They equalized in the 53rd minute, , after 2 goals in 5 minutes from the 69th minute condemned us to defeat. Wohlfarth being injured for about a month, and Terzi picking up a suspension-triggering yellow card (With Toninho and Pugliese both injured) made things far worse.

Juve Stabia 0-3 Milan (A)

Even with an early red card in our favour, it took some time for us to get anywhere at Juve Stabia. However our only available forward, Eweka shone in the second half, with a hat-trick in just over 20 minutes.

League Table

I genuinely don't think they know the meaning of the word 'consistency'. We've seriously shone in some games, and put up some fight in the two big games (but only for part of the game), but it's very hit and miss, and hit and miss does not take a side anywhere near Cl qualification.

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Maybe in terms of consistency as you're always around the same level in the table. It's early so there's definitely room for movement.

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Maybe in terms of consistency as you're always around the same level in the table. It's early so there's definitely room for movement.

Improvement this time. Still roughly in the same place but things are much tighter. Managing the big games a bit better than when I arrived as well.

Nov 2041

Milan 3-0 Atletico Roma (A)

We made heavy weather in what should have been a simple home game with Atletico Roma, who were bottom with just 2 points. Eweka’s 40th minute disallowed goal was the only point in the first half where we looked like taking the lead. However just as Eweka saved us against Juve Stabia, Terzi roused himself with a second half hat-trick, starting from the 57th minute.

Guimaraes 0-3 Milan (A)

We had another slow first-half at Guimaraes, but really switched on in the second half, Terzi giving us the lead in the 60th minute. Things got very hectic at both ends, but we not only held on, but Richter extended the lead with a few minutes left followed by a Terzi stoppage time goal as we secured qualification already.

Milan 5-0 Inter (A) (Not a typo this time :D)

Lovell’s free-kick gave us the lead after a minute in the ‘home’ derby. We really weren’t afraid to have a good go against the champions, Terzi extending the lead after 22 minutes. There wasn’t even a hint of a second-half fightback as Eweka made it three after an hour, Terzi getting a 4th in the 76th minute and Terzi finishing off a 5-0 win in the last minute. If it hadn’t been for the earlier slip-ups I’d have said we were establishing our title credentials, but it was no less impressive, the sort of result that would really count when it mattered and took us to within a point of the CL places as we were getting back into contention for that at least.

Palermo 2-0 Milan (A)

However we had trickier opposition for a while (including Valencia in Europe) starting at Palermo. They took Eweka out in the 5th minute, then sneaked past a shaky defence and scored in the 9th minute. We steadied our ship in the second half but at the cost of our remaining changes which came back to bite when Ambrosi went off injured in the 49th minute. Ironically, having done pretty well to hold out and even have a go ourselves occasionally, it was after two red cards for them that they snatched a late second goal.

Milan 2-2 Catania (A) (1,100th career game)

Catania was my 1,100th career match, but didn’t start well as we went behind in the 13th minute, and a penalty made things worse 9 minute later. We rallied but found a comeback to be tough going. Terzi eventually got a goal in the 69th minute. Lovell equalized in the 81st and the last 10 minutes were hectic as both sides came close to a winner a few times.

Juventus 1-1 Milan (A)

At Juventus, Terzi gave us the lead after half an hour, though they had perhaps been a little better. The second half saw them ramp up the pressure to incredible levels, and as usual, we almost held out, but not quite. They eventually scored in the 88th minute, but I was still reasonably happy with a point.

League Table

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Looks like you're slowly turning the sleeping giant into a force to be reckoned with again, the 5th place finish implied it and the 5-0 win over Inter shows just how far you've come!

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The signs of improvement are encouraging and it's only a matter at a time before you turn them back into a force.

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Looks like you're slowly turning the sleeping giant into a force to be reckoned with again, the 5th place finish implied it and the 5-0 win over Inter shows just how far you've come!
The signs of improvement are encouraging and it's only a matter at a time before you turn them back into a force.

The gap's definitely closing, still some players needing a lot of development (or potential replacements), and consistency questions (especially in defence) but we've improved on our start to the season we're getting occasional results that demonstrate what we can do, despite having few players that are or ever will be world-class (as opposed to just being 'pretty good'), and if nothing else we certainly don't lack firepower. Not just Inter, but holding out at Juve (which on paper's pretty much the toughest game of any season) and coming back from 2 down to get a point against Catania which are the sort of things that will really help when we can get a challenge together. Still so tight at the business end of the table, especially this year, so progress will continue to be gradual and very tough from now on, so a scudetto could still be some way off, but once we get close we'll always have a decent shout.

Dec 2041

Valencia 2-0 Milan (EL)

We went to Valencia hoping to secure top spot in the group. They took the lead in the 2nd minute, and we were unlucky not just not to equalized but also to concede a late second as the game was pretty even. However we remained top with a game to go.

Milan 3-0 Parma (A)

Pugliese gave us the lead after 12 minutes against Parma. Katsikas gave us another a few minutes later, and another Pugliese goal made it 3-0 before half an hour was up, and amazingly we failed to get another one or two, though a broken leg for Larsen didn’t help.

Sampdoria 0-2 Milan (A)

Pugliese gave us the lead again in the 9th minute at Sampdoria. We still found it tough getting another, and could have shipped an equalizer but Bertoni celebrated a new contract by making it safe in the 83rd minute.

Milan 5-1 Wisla (EL)

The final Europa group game was at home to Wisla, and a win would secure top. It was easily done, with Terzi giving us the lead in the 5th minute, and Sebastiao extending it in the 20th. They got a goal back but Pugliese restored the 2-goal advantage just before the break. He got another in the 70th minute and Terzi wrapped things up with 5 minutes to go. Nancy wasn’t a bad draw for the next round, with Twente or Arsenal potentially afterwards.

Milan 3-0 Salernitana (A)

The last game of the year was against Salernitana. Pugliese scored in the 4th minute, but having expected a big win, we only got a pair of second half goals from Terzi, the second of those being right at the end. While still 7th, the top half was very bunched up (top was 6 points away) so having improved from the first couple of months, higher places were there for the taking.

League Table

Jan 2042

Siena 1-2 Milan (A)

We went to Siena mindful of the shock defeat they inflicted last May. This one started in similar fashion as we’d had all the chances (and a penalty claim turned down) before they took the lead in the 26th minute. Pugliese equalized in the 34th minute. Getting a winner was much harder but Pugilese delivered in the 72nd minute, leaving us at the bottom of a pack of 4 side on the same number of points, with the top two just 4 ahead, and just a point ahead of Fiorentina in 7th. Really anyone’s game right now.

Lazio 3-3 Milan (A)

Bertoni gave us the lead in the 11th minute at Lazio. They equalized in the 24th minute, but Pugliese restored the lead before the break. Lovell had assisted both goals so far and was unlucky to have a goal of his own disallowed a few minutes into the second half, but Bertoni gave us a 3rd goal in the 55th minute. As they fought back, Alberti seriously let the side down with some weak goalkeeping as they pegged us back to 3-3 and completely lost momentum, and the chance to go 3rd. I was that annoyed that only an injury to Puncheon after the game saved Alberti from being thrown back onto the bench, having already got lucky when I didn't replace him with the Englishman after another bad game early in the season (Napoli I think it was).

Milan 2-0 Chievo (CI)

We were at home to Chievo in the cup prior to having the same fixture in the league. Toninho gave us the lead eventually in the 37th minute. Terzi missed a penalty shortly afterwards, as part of a woeful game for him but after Toninho got sent off he did give us a second goal in stoppage time at the end of the game.

Milan 2-0 Chievo (A)

We struggled to score in the league game, but Wohlfarth broke through on the stroke of half-time. Toninho extended the lead after an hour, and Terzi had another disallowed.

Fiorentina 1-2 Milan (CI QF)

We went to Fiorentina in the quarter-finals. We struggled to take the lead in the first half but again Wohlfarth gave us the lead late in the first half. They pushed hard in the second half. They had a goal disallowed shortly before they equalized in the 69th minute, but within 5 minutes Pugliese had given us a winner but not before having to survive many strong attacks (Alberti redeeming himself). It was a great away win against a very strong side which would have been even better as a league result. It also took us to the semis for the first time since I took over.

League Table

Everytime I look at that table I think a number of things like 'Blimey it's tight, wouldn't take much to do a lot better', 'seriously can't afford slipups', and 'glad I wasn't thinking of a title challenge as we're wasting the chance to get very close this year'.

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I find Italian football to be very close. The tables can go anyone's way. A win or a loss can mean a change in 3 spots either way. Definitely makes for interesting matches! :) and heart attacks!

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I find Italian football to be very close. The tables can go anyone's way. A win or a loss can mean a change in 3 spots either way. Definitely makes for interesting matches! :) and heart attacks!

Often I've found a side (usually Juventus, Milan or even Parma on one FM11 save) dominate for a while, and the first couple of seasons with Milan suggested that Juventus would be the side who would take some stopping (indeed they're heading for a 3rd title in 4). This season has shown that things can be pretty mixed at the top, which in a way makes dropped points against sides that should have been beaten more frustrating.

Feb 2042

Triestina 1-1 Milan (A)

We went to Triestina, and a slow start was compounded when they took the lead in the 27th minute, anything other than a win would be unacceptable, and while we got our act together, we faded again after Terzi eventually equalized in the 67th minute. 2 points dropped, and of we failed to make Europe again this would be a good reason why.

Milan 5-1 Juventus (CI SF)

This was followed by three important home games, with Napoli and Fiorentina in the league, but Juventus in the first leg of the cup semi. Pugliese gave us the lead in the 2nd minute, followed by 2 in 5 minutes from Richter and Terzi to make it 3-0 after 17 minutes. We were very much on the back foot after that, and they eventually scored in the 51st minute, but within a few minutes, Terzi and Pugliese gave us a 5-1 lead, and they were very quiet after that.

Milan 1-1 Fiorentina (A)

Fiorentina were level on points with us, and neither side failed to do much until they took the lead after 40 minutes. Nothing really happened in the second half either, aside from a Wohlfarth equalizer in the 83rd minute, though that was followed by a disallowed (thankfully) Fiorentina goal.

Milan 1-1 Napoli (A)

The Napoli game was remarkably similar. Nothing happened until they took the lead after an hour, Sebastiao equalized in the 77th minute, and they had a winner disallowed.

Udinese 2-6 Milan (A)

I wasn’t happy with three 1-1’s in a row and wanted to break that run (in a good way) at Udinese. We definitely got our wish. Richter gave us the lead in the 7th minute, extended by Sebastiao 6 minutes later. They got a goal back before the break, and another after Wohlfarth restored the 2-goal advantage in the second half, but Terzi gave us a quick 4th, got another in the 81st minute, and completed a hat-trick after Richter got sent off, giving us a win that took us 4th.

Nancy 0-4 Milan (EL)

We went to Nancy in the first leg of the Europa League tie. As far as European knockout away legs go, it was pretty easy. Wohlfarth gave us the lead in the 7th minute in a comfortable first half. They received a red card just before the break, and within a few minutes of the second half, Wohlfarth and Toninho made it 3-0. Sebastiao scored from a proper shot (not a header) in the 84th minute to round off a great win.

Milan 4-0 Pescara (A)

Pescara were pretty tame for the first time in a while when we played them before the home leg. Toninho gave us a 14th minute lead, and after missing a few chances, Terzi made it 2-0 a few minutes before the break. Terzi got two late goals to finish off a hat-trick and a 4-0 win, which was rather harsh on Pescara who had come close to scoring a few times before that.

Milan 3-0 (7-0) Nancy (EL)

At home against Nancy, we were able to sit back early on, and it looked a more even game for a while. However Toninho gave us the lead in the 20th minute. Terzi (getting his 35th goal of the season) extended it after half an hour, and he got another in the 85th minute. They had some good players so I was surprised it had been such an easy tie, but it showed that while we weren’t quite as strong as I hoped we’d become, we’d come a long way from years of mediocrity. Arsenal would not be so easy. Even in the league, we hadn’t played our second game against any of the other top 5 sides yet.

League Table

Mar 2042

Atalanta 0-3 Milan (A)

We made heavy weather early on of a trip to Atalanta, but that all changed when Bertoni gave us the lead in the 14th minute. Terzi extended the lead in the 22nd minute, followed by Lovell 10 minutes later as the win was rather comfortable in the end.

Milan 3-0 Juve Stabia (A)

Terzi got his 25th league goal of the season in the 25th minute (appropriately enough) against Juve Stabia, who we had otherwise struggled to break through. Sebastiao got another after half an hour, and Terzi’s second in the 55th minute wrapped up another 3-0 win (our 3rd 3-0 in a row, and 8th of the season as it seem pretty common).

Milan 2-1 Arsenal (EL)

I wasn’t expecting an easy ride at home to Arsenal, who were 5th in the PL, and the first half was very hectic, though we gradually took control and Bertoni gave us the lead on the stroke of half-time. Helped by having a man advantage we had plenty of chances in the second half to make the tie a lot more comfortable, and eventually extended the lead in the 58th minute from Eweka, but after some more chances for us, they got a goal back with a few minutes left, and the tie was much closer than we should have let it be.

Atletico Roma 0-2 Milan (A)

A trip to bottom side Atletico Roma seemed much more comfortable than the London trip would be. It was still tricky in the first half, but Terzi’s 40th goal of the season in the 22nd minute gave us the lead. Richter gave us another goal in the 63rd minute, giving us a comfortable win, but Alberti in goal was still man of the match.

Arsenal 2-0 (3-2) Milan (EL)

We couldn’t take anything for granted ahead of the away Arsenal tie. We had a few good chances early on, but then had to face incredible Arsenal pressure. They had three disallowed goals before finally taking the lead with 15 minutes left. That was enough for them on away goals, but they broke us with a second 10 minutes later. Couldn’t really argue with the result, just a pity a tough draw meant we couldn’t go as far as last time.

Milan 0-3 Roma (A)

We faced Roma, who were one place behind us, in the league. We were rather unlucky in that we were at least equal, but went behind in the 28th minute, and went a further goal behind in the 55th minute. We lost the fight after that, Hoffman’s red card giving us a defensive hole, and we went down 3-0, our first league defeat in 17.

Milan 2-3 Palermo (A)

We were badly depleted by international call ups to face Palermo. Diallo’s early red card didn’t help, and we went behind in the 19th minute. Terzi equalized but it was a rare respite, as they had most of the chances, and retook the lead 10 minutes later, eventually getting a 3rd, which was a pity as Terzi made it 3-2 in stoppage time, and another day would have likely seen us get something.

League Table

Apr 2042

Catania 0-0 Milan (A)

I was worried we were about to throw away a few league positions, but at Catania, who were now in 4th, we managed to survive being on the back foot, and better finishing might have seen us take a win.

Inter 1-2 Milan (A)

The fixture list got tougher, starting with the ‘away’ Inter game, where I was expecting a backlash from that 5-0, then 2 Juventus games. Sure enough Inter battered us in the first half, and took the lead in the 40th minute, however Bertoni sensed he was on the verge of being taken off and equalized just before the half-time whistle. In the second half they were heavy favourites to take the lead, but Terzi gave it to us in the 62nd minute, and they were only a threat at the end afterwards. It was great to complete a double over the champions and our arch-rivals, and greatly damaged their chances to retain the title.

Juventus 3-1 (4-6) Milan (CI SF)

I’d be really annoyed if we let go our advantage against Juventus in the cup, though no doubt they’d make it much closer. In the 25th minute they got a goal back, and we had to work very hard to avoid shipping another before the break. They got a second early in the second half, and a third in the 73rd minute. One more goal would be enough for them, and we looked very shaky indeed. There was one more goal in the game, and thankfully it was an injury-time Terzi penalty as we went through to the club’s first Italian cup final for 25 years, where we’d face Palermo.

Milan 2-2 Juventus (A)

We faced Juventus again at home in the league. A penalty gave them the lead in the 10th minute. Terzi delivered again (his 45th goal of the season) with an equalizer just before the break, and Eweka gave us a surprise lead in the 54th minute. It was a bit too good to last, and we couldn’t complain that that they got an equalizer. Whether we’d be in the CL or even in Europe at all was anyone’s guess, but we did have the toughest games out of the way now, having proved that they were no longer going to be probable defeats, and wanted to get a good start to the run-in at Parma.

Parma 0-3 Milan (A)

We were very much on top, but still survived a disallowed goal early on. Eweka gave us a deserved lead in the 25th minute. Between the 50th and 60th minutes, Kunisch and Pugliese secured a 3-0 win (yet another one). Chances are we’d be in the Europa League next year, but how we’d finish is anyone’s guess. Sampdoria and Siena at home, and Salernitana away is a pretty good finish so we could stay where we are at least and hopefully can move up into 5th or even 4th.

League Table

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Got an excellent chance of some silverware now. Good luck for the final!!

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Got an excellent chance of some silverware now. Good luck for the final!!

Sadly the wait continues.

May 2042

Milan 5-1 Sampdoria (A)

The run-in got off to a great start against Sampdoria. Pugliese’s shot was turned in for an own goal after 4 minutes. A cracking Kunisch strike made it 2-0 10 minutes later, and Pugliese got a goal of his own after half an hour. They got a goal back in the 57th minute, but Terzi woke up from a poor game to get a quick pair of goals in the last few minute.

Milan 1-2 Palermo (CI Final)

Before the last two games, we played Palermo in the cup final. The club hadn’t won anything since 2007 (35 years previously) so it would be great to break that run. However Palermo were in the top 4 so it wouldn’t be easy to get it. The game started very slowly, and when things started happening, we were on the back foot, but Terzi gave us the lead in the 21st minute. However we would have to wait a bit longer. They equalized in the 34th minute, and as we failed to retake the lead, they took control, and the lead in the 53rd minute, and we couldn’t rouse ourselves to come back, not helped by an Eweka injury reducing us to one up front. It was a missed opportunity, as I wasn’t expecting many more chances to break the trophy drought for a while. However there was still the CL prize, we were now 5th, and 2 points behind Inter.

Salernitana 1-3 Milan (A)

We went to bottom side Salernitana in the penultimate game, and hoped to avoid a repeat of Triestina. We went behind in the 5th minute, took some time to gather ourselves, and when we did we couldn’t get past the Salernitana keeper in the first half. What made it worse was that as things stood a win would take us above Inter. A lot of coffee cups were thrown about at half-time, and Terzi quickly equalized. Everyone else would still be taken out and shot if we failed to win. Sebastiao eventually gave us the lead in the 66th minute, and Terzi’s 35th league goal of the season made it safe in the 74th minute. The race for the CL places was very tight. Palermo were a point ahead in 3rd, our two wins over Inter kept us in 4th ahead of them, and Napoli were 2 points behind in 6th, and even Catania in 7th, a further point behind, had a slight chance. Certainly things would change a lot in this part of the table on the last day.

Milan 4-2 Siena (A)

We had Siena (9th) at home. Not a certain win, but a likely one, and you can imagine my mood if we don’t. It didn’t help that Eweka was injured and Terzi would serve a suspension. We still had our attacking drive, but 35 minutes was a worryingly long time to wait before Toninho gave us the lead. However that was followed by a couple of quick Pugliese goals. They got a goal back in the 52nd minute, but a few minutes later Pugliese finished off a hat-trick with a penalty. They got a second goal but chances were very few for them so we were safe. Unfortunately Atalanta couldn’t quite do us a second favour by holding Palermo, having held Inter in the previous round, so having given us 4th they couldn’t quite gift us 3rd as well.

Final League Table

What had been looking like a disappointing season early on was very well rescued, to a point. Getting third (and avoiding what was likely to be a tricky CL qualifying tie) or/and the cup would have made it considerably better though. However things were tight enough for the European places that we weren’t too far off not making Europe at all, let alone the CL. There were very few results I was that unhappy about, so it was more a case of not quite doing enough against the number of other good sides. While we weren’t losing those games that much anymore, we weren’t winning them very often either. Slowly but surely we were getting there, cup finals and 4th places not being seen around these parts for some time. The last top 4 finish was their sole 3rd place, 20 years ago, and as mentioned earlier the last final was even longer.

After waiting this long, a possible extra few years to get some glory wouldn’t make too much difference, and it was promising that Inter were taken down in the league, and Juventus in the cup. There was one very big bit of promise on the horizon, (and it wasn’t the CL, where we could well fail to make the group stages anyway, though it could open the door to some much better players) that being the arrival in August of Adriano, a very talented Brazilian defender whose signing I’ve had to wait over 2 years for, and a player who hopefully will give us far more defensive solidity, which would definitely enable us to start mounting a serious challenge, making this a potentially key signing in our quest to return to proper success.

Terzi had already proved to be a key man. 16M was fairly expensive but I knew I had to snatch him from Juve Stabia before another big side did. Not quite the best forward around, but still very strong in his own right, and after a slow start, shone this season with 50 goals in 51 games, and 35 in as many league games (though he was still 5 goals behind the league’s top scorer this year), with a good number of assists as well, either as the poacher to Eweka’s advanced forward, or taking the latter role for Toninho or Pugliese. The BATE mediocrity stopped me showing a ‘key’ player each season, but this seems worthy of reintroducing that. We had a number of strong seasons from other players but needed him to keep firing to have a chance against the very strong competition both at home and in Europe.

Terzi

Squad Stats

Thought it worth showing Milan's league record up to when I joined, to show that while progress has been a bit gradual, it still represents good improvement from before. However when it comes to competing tight at the top of the league, things are only going to get much tricker from now on.

Milan Past Positions

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Hey deltablue. Not sure if it's just me but I can't get any of your links to work.

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Hey deltablue. Not sure if it's just me but I can't get any of your links to work.

Sorry about that, spotted and fixed the problem (hopefully).

Summer 2042

This wasn’t too busy a summer. There wasn’t much on the radar, especially as Adriano’s transfer meant I couldn’t chase any non-eu players from abroad. Aside from the Brazilian defender, the only two signings were for the future, an excellent 15yr old German forward, and a French winger who admittedly would be of far more use when the now 31yr old Bertoni declined in a year or two, neither going to be making much impact this season I think, though it did mean that squad familiarity would be on our side again. There was far more upgrading of the backroom staff than the squad, and the big event was the summer was keeping Terzi. Palermo took advantage of his 35M release fee, but I was able to get him to stay with a big new contract. The minimum expectations were European qualification, I didn’t want to gamble on raising them to ‘title challenge’, though CL qualification/being in the top few places were what was on my mind. I was right to be worried about the CL playoff as we drew Chelsea, though they had been struggling with mediocrity until recently just like Milan, and on paper we were slightly stronger, but not enough that we could be too confident.

Adriano (From Mineiro, already featured him 2 years ago but thought I'd show him again now he's joined)

Clement (From PSG)

Helm (From Bochum)

Aug 2042

Milan 4-1 Chelsea (CL playoff)

We were at home in the first leg against Chelsea. Alberti was injured, which was just as well as I was planning to gamble in blooding the less-developed potentially far better Puncheon as first-choice keeper anyway. We had a tricky time of things in the first half. Richter gave us the lead after half an hour, but they equalized just before the break. Wohlfarth restored the lead in the 57th minute (I’m sensing a German backlash against Chelsea here). The winger took advantage of a Chelsea player being sent off for being a cheating git to quickly get his second. Richter got his own second in the 83rd minute, as it ended up Germany 4-1 Chelsea.

Chelsea 3-1 (4-5) Milan (CL Playoff)

I hoped the return leg would go much better than our last trip to London, where Arsenal won 2-0 and had 3 more goals disallowed. It looked a lot more comfortable this time, we easily deserved the lead, and had a Bertoni goal disallowed in the 27th minute. However the defence switched off catastrophically in the last 10 minutes of the half to give them three goals that handed them the advantage on away goals. Just as it looked like they had the momentum, Terzi woke up and gave us a goal in the 55th minute to cancel out their away goal and put us back ahead in the tie. That was enough to win it despite the occasional Chelsea threat. I was all set to write about how surprisingly comfortable the tie had been, and aside from that woeful last 10 minutes of the first half, it actually had been, and it was harsh to lose that game and make things look closer than it was.

Being 4th seeds would land us a tough group, but actually we had Everton, Evian and Zenit, which looked a relatively open group which I felt we had a good shot at qualifying from. However Everton were a serious threat, being in the CL for the 14th year in a row, mostly having been in the top 3 or 2 in the PL, with a couple of recent titles to boot.

Milan 4-1 Lazio (A)

Like last year, we had Lazio as the first league match, and it would have been three in a row if what should have been the opening game 2 years ago hadn’t been moved. They were the sort of team we needed to beat more often than we have done. Wohlfarth gave us the lead in the 3rd minute, followed a few minutes later by Richter, who also gave us a third from a free-kick in the 32nd minute after they got a goal back. Katsikas finished things off after an hour, and it was a great way to start the league season.

Been just as strong in the couple of games I've had since. It goes without saying that it's far too early to be sure of anything but we're really looking excellent so far this year, those 10 minutes against Chelsea aside.

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Great season, champions league qualification shows the club is back on the up. Seems like a decent group, Everton will be tough but atop two place is definitely achievable. Good luck for the new season!

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Congrats on qualifying for the Champions League and you've made a good start so far.Looks like it will be an open group but you could get 2nd place.

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Just got into that last Champions League place, well done. Hopefully that has provided something to build on now.

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well played on getting back into the CL, nice work beating Chelsea in the play-off as well, should have a good chance of getting through that group as well :thup:

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Great season, champions league qualification shows the club is back on the up. Seems like a decent group, Everton will be tough but atop two place is definitely achievable. Good luck for the new season!
Congrats on qualifying for the Champions League and you've made a good start so far.Looks like it will be an open group but you could get 2nd place.
Just got into that last Champions League place, well done. Hopefully that has provided something to build on now.
well played on getting back into the CL, nice work beating Chelsea in the play-off as well, should have a good chance of getting through that group as well :thup:

Epic season in progress, we're looking good to top the group, let alone qualify (though still nothing assured), and after 10 league games, we're at the head of 3 sides equal at the top on 22 points (having just beaten the side who were top away from home), with Juventus a point behind and with a game in hand. Defence thrown away a couple of games, (though we've also salvaged a few points) so the title might well not happen yet, but definitely targetting it from now on. All bets are off so far.

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With Terzi in the squad, progress in the CL as well as domestically shouldn't be too far around the corner :thup:. I wish I could find strikers like that :(.

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With Terzi in the squad, progress in the CL as well as domestically shouldn't be too far around the corner :thup:. I wish I could find strikers like that :(.

We're definitely turning that corner.

Sept 2042

Juve Stabia 0-5 Milan (A)

Juve Stabia was our first Serie A away game. Adriano got his first goal for the club in the 16th minute, but we hit problems when Hoffman got sent off just after. After a couple of years of limited opportunities, Pastor got his first goal for the club (and a beauty it was too) in the 38th minute. The Frenchman (still only 17yrs old) followed it up by assisting Terzi, in the moment that Bertoni’s spell as clear first choice at right-wing came to an end. Terzi got his second goal just a minute after half-time. Sebastiao headed in a 5th in the 69th minute. ‘Just Juve Stabia’ or not you’d never guess that we were the side playing most of an away game with 10 men.

Milan 5-2 Evian (CL)

Our opening CL group game was at home to Evian, a good chance to stamp our claim on qualification, though like Everton they weren’t to be taken lightly. It took just 30 seconds for Terzi to get things underway. Adriano got another in the 10th minute. Terzi got his second in the 18th minute. This against a side who theoretically were at least our equals! However they quickly started showing it, and while we wasted more chances, they got 2 goals in the next 10 minutes. However we were clearly the stronger side. Terzi completed a hat-trick in the 58th minute, then missed a penalty, but Wohlfarth scored one to give us the winning margin we deserved.

Sampdoria 0-4 Milan (A)

Sampdoria had also won both league games so far, but we put them in their place in front of their own fans. In the first 10 minutes, Pastor and Terzi gave us a 2-0 lead. Richter made it three in the 24th minute, and while the second half was more even, and Terzi had to go off injured (thankfully he’d be alright in a few days), Eweka gave us a final goal in the 82nd minute.

Milan 2-0 Cagliari (A)

I expected us to be far too good at home for promoted Cagliari. Terzi gave us the lead in the 5th minutes, but they were actually reasonably good, and if Puncheon hadn’t been having a good game, they may well have equalized. As it was, Eweka made it safe in the 52nd minute. That made it 4 wins, 15 goals scored and just 1 conceded.

Chievo 3-3 Milan (A) 200th Milan Match

Going to Chievo was my 200th Milan game. They were party poopers as they took the lead in the 18th minute. Terzi equalized 11 minutes later and it seemed only a matter of time before we took the lead but instead they headed in a corner in the 54th minute for a most undeserved lead. That was quickly followed by Richter being sent off and Chievo getting another. We weren’t quite down and out yet as Wohlfarth and Eweka scored within a minute of each other after 78 minutes to give us a point, and while obviously I was expecting a 5th win in a row (which would have been 9 going back to last season), it wasn’t the end of the world.

Zenit 0-0 Milan (CL)

Zenit wouldn’t be an easy trip in the CL, they didn’t look much easier than the other two. While we had some chances, they were easily on top, and I was delighted that Puncheon was repaying my faith, helping keep in goalless for an important point.

League Table

Oct 2042

Milan 1-3 Catania (A)

I hoped to get back to winning ways in the league against Catania, but unfortunately we were going through a bit of a blip. We looked just about the better side until they took the lead after half an hour, stunning us into silence. They got a second just before half-time, and we never really recovered. They made it 3-0 in the 56th minute, before Terzi got a late consolation. We were now at the head of a 5-way tie for top, and I suspect that if Juve didn’t have a game in hand they’d be top instead. We hadn’t faced any of the big sides yet either, though Catania weren’t too far off.

Bologna 2-5 Milan (A)

Promoted Bologna away was definitely not one to mess up. Richter was on inspired form on his return from suspension. Terzi scored in the 1st minute, followed by Eweka in the 7th. Terzi completed a hat-trick before half time, though they got a goal back in between those further two goals. Pastor was sent off late on (already giving us three red cards this year) and they got a second goal, but Lovell finished off a 5-2 win.

Milan 2-1 Everton (CL)

Everton came to the San Siro for our first CL encounter. Terzi gave us the lead in the 13th minute, but most of the first half consisted on having to resist a lot of Everton pressure, again Puncheon showing himself equal to the challenge of those tough European games. Surprisingly an own-goal gave us another just before half-time. They got a goal back in the 49th minute, but surprisingly we managed to ease off the pressure (for the most part, they still came close a few times) to get the win, taking us a point ahead of them to top the group, but Zenit were just 3 points behind so with the Everton trip next there was still a lot of work to do.

Milan 4-5 Fiorentina (A)

Fiorentina was the trickiest game we had so far in the league, not least since they had a forward who got 40 league goals last year, 5 more even than Terzi (though our man was winning 8 goals to 6 so far this year). It was Eweka who flew our attacking flag. He scored in the 3rd minute, equalized in the 27th minute after they came back to take the lead, and again in the 44th minute to make it 3-3. Bertoni was also taking advantage of his return to the side. However the defence was awful, and in the second half they took a 5-3 lead before Terzi gave us a final goal. The defensive flaws were still very much evident, potentially title-costing, indeed they knocked us off the top for the first time this season.

League Table

Nov 2042

Roma 3-4 Milan (A)

After the Fiorentina fiasco, I wasn’t too confident about going to Roma. It did not look good when they took the lead in the 4th minute. An equalizer came from an own-goal in the 22nd minute, but it was a very brief respite from being taken apart. By the 46th minute, they were 3-1 up. That seemed to be that, despite Bertoni getting a goal back in the 64th minute. He got another to level it in the 86th minute. It looked like they got a winner, only to see it disallowed, and this was followed by Schmiedel (probably the least likely outfield player to score) giving us a last gasp winner. If our defensive vulnerability could cost us CL qualification or a title challenge, the fact that we already rescued a bad situation a few times could keep us in it.

Everton 0-2 Milan (CL)

We could use less of the former at Everton. As expected it was a survival mission, though in the 49th minute Richter gave us a very surprising lead. We couldn’t take anything for granted, and it was amazing to see Eweka extend the lead in the 73rd minute. It was so harsh on Everton, but we had a good chance of topping the group now, let alone qualifying, though we hadn’t achieved that yet.

Siena 1-3 Milan (A)

Our next trip was to Siena, who were very surprising table-toppers. While we were third, we had only won two of the last 5 league games (the easy Bologna game, and the Roma escape), while they (and Fiorentina) had won all 5. They weren’t too tough at first. Bertoni gave us the lead, and while they equalized, Eweka restored the lead just before the break. As things stood, we’d be in a three-way tie at the top, with Juve potentially making it 4 of they won their game in hand. Terzi made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute, and while they pushed hard late on, with Puncheon having to save a penalty, it was surprisingly comfortable, and proof that when the defence weren’t parting like the Red Sea, we could beat just about anyone, even away.

Milan 0-0 Napoli (A)

Napoli had given us a lot of trouble in the past, this time they were hard to break down, as we had to settle for 0-0, but they could have snatched a winner late on.

Milan 3-2 Inter (A)

We had couple of tough games coming up, starting with the ‘home’ Milan derby, then going to Juventus, and I had a feeling we’d have a bit of ground to make up after that. Bertoni gave us a 20th minute lead. They almost immediately equalized, and the game was pretty quiet until Terzi have us the lead in the 59th minute. Wohlfarth made things more comfortable 8 minutes later, which was just as well as they gave us a late scare, including getting a second goal. It wasn’t 5-0 but it would do nicely.

Juventus 2-2 Milan (A)

At Juventus, we went behind they converted a free-kick in the 7th minute, but otherwise we really should have had at least an equalizer. They extended the lead in the 53rd minute, and we were pretty quiet until Sebastiao gave us a goal in the 71st minute, and 5 minutes later Eweka equalized, to give us another important rescued point. Plus we had now faced all the other top 6 sides and most of the top half (and neither of the bottom two) so had a good chance to get into a very strong position by the time we faced our close rivals again.

Evian 2-2 Milan (CL)

If we beat Evian in France, we’d secure qualification and top spot from our CL group. Like the other away games, we found it tough going, and went behind in the 20th minute. Terzi equalized 5 minutes later, and had another disallowed after a penalty restored the lead. However after a second half where we were on the back-foot, Terzi rescued a point with a few minutes left. It didn’t change anything as we’d have stayed (but not been guaranteed) top, and secured qualification even if we lost. We’d have to beat Zenit at home to secure top.

Milan 4-1 Udinese (A)

Terzi gave us the lead after 5 minutes against Udinese. However they surprisingly equalized in the 11th minute, and we chased very hard to retake the lead. Wohlfarth had a goal disallowed shortly before Eweka finally gave us that goal after almost an hour. Terzi took control to make it safe, scoring his 20th goal of the season in the 62nd minute, then completing a hat-trick with his 100th career goal a few minutes after that. He even had a 4th disallowed.

League Table

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I've been basically away from reading any threads for over a month, so had loads of posts to skim through, you were still in Slovakia at the moment. Very nice job there in Slovakia but I was quite chuffed to read about the sudden move to AC Milan :D, certainly the ACN final you had reached with Ghana then that brilliant WC run to the quarters beating Brazil gave you a large reputation boost. The ACN title afterwards was a nice send off to Africa too.

It sounds weird to congratulate you for just qualifying for the Champions League after 3 seasons of AC Milan, but given the club history of increasing failure in recent decades, it's definitely a good job, keep on pushing as I believe you'll definitely bump Milan to their former heights eventually. :thup:

Oh, and being on the 2042 season. :D Mental. I love reading about these super-long careers as being way into the future is super fun, I wish I played this quickly.

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I've been basically away from reading any threads for over a month, so had loads of posts to skim through, you were still in Slovakia at the moment. Very nice job there in Slovakia but I was quite chuffed to read about the sudden move to AC Milan :D, certainly the ACN final you had reached with Ghana then that brilliant WC run to the quarters beating Brazil gave you a large reputation boost. The ACN title afterwards was a nice send off to Africa too.

It sounds weird to congratulate you for just qualifying for the Champions League after 3 seasons of AC Milan, but given the club history of increasing failure in recent decades, it's definitely a good job, keep on pushing as I believe you'll definitely bump Milan to their former heights eventually. :thup:

Oh, and being on the 2042 season. :D Mental. I love reading about these super-long careers as being way into the future is super fun, I wish I played this quickly.

It took 4 years, and it's hardly quick, not with that big a setup and just 2Ghz processing power. Got almost a month on the game clock. And those heights are pretty close now. Anyway I always love going far into the future and seeing things change so much the 'same old' of real life, with so much 'in-game' history being made, it's one of the joys of the game for me.

Dec 2042

Palermo 0-0 Milan (A)

We still had a couple of away games that could yield dropped points. Certainly we were lucky not to be behind at the break at Palermo. In the end that mattered more than Fiorentina going 6 points clear.

Milan 3-0 Zenit (CL)

We hoped to beat Zenit and top our CL group. It was easy in the end. Everton were also already qualified and were losing to Evian as it was only a matter of time until we claimed the win, as they were very quiet. Eweka scored in the 29th minute, and 2 Toninho goals sealed it. Schalke was a pretty good draw for the next round, as much as we could expect anyway.

Final Group

Pescara 1-5 Milan (A)

What wouldn’t be so easy was going to in-form Pescara, who had really risen up the top half and were now 4th. In the end it was very easy putting them back in their place. Sebastiao scored in the 2nd minute, followed by Bertoni in the 10th, and Richter 10 minutes later. Terzi made it 4-0 after half an hour, immediately followed by a Pescara goal but Eweka gave us a 5-1 win after an hour. It would have been better if Roma had held on to beat Fiorentina in the top of the table clash (putting both sides just 3 points ahead), but a late Fiorentina equalizer did still mean we closed to 1 point of the Romans and 4 points (as opposed to 6) of the Tuscans.

Milan 3-3 Atalanta (A)

Atalanta was hopefully the start of things getting easier for a while. Eweka gave us the lead in the 9th minute, and all was going smoothly until they equalized 20 minutes later. Terzi made it 2-1 a few minutes before the break but they suddenly roused themselves to equalize again. Somehow they were able to take the lead at the beginning of the second half, and as we went on the offensive again, we only managed a Terzi equalizer in the last minute, leaving me to wonder what on earth we were playing at as we lost a bit of ground on the top two.

Jan 2043

Milan 3-3 Parma (A)

The new year got off to a very bad start when we went behind in the first minute against Parma. An own-goal levelled it, but they retook the lead in the 25th minute. Terzi equalized almost instantly, but before half time both he and Eweka had a goal disallowed as we chased a vital winner. It was an own-goal (from a Bertoni shot) that eventually gave us a 35th minute lead, but they spoilt things with an equalizer, and I couldn’t believe that we hadn’t won that, or Atalanta. We had so much ground to make up that the title was unlikely for now.

Livorno 0-3 Milan (A)

We didn’t mess up the trip to Livorno. Terzi scored in the 7th minute and had another disallowed in the 20th (a depressingly familiar feeling). Eweka eventually extended the lead in the 42nd minute, just putting a shot out of reach of the keeper, and Terzi got his second (his 20th league goal of the season) in the 65th minute. Surprisingly at the half-way point of the season we closed to 5 points of top, though were still 4th, which was better than I thought we’d be so soon after the last two disasters, but as was usual, I felt we should be higher/closer.

Milan 7-0 Parma (CI)

In the cup we had a second chance to beat Parma, and we utterly tore them apart. A pair of Terzi goals between the 20th and 30th minutes got us off to a goof start. Eweka gave us a 3rd a few minutes later, getting another after 50 minutes. Terzi completed his hat-trick (in turn getting his 30th goal of the season) with 8 minutes left, and there was still time for Sebastiao to head in a 6th, and Terzi to get his personal 4th. Too bad we couldn’t do that in our league encounter.

Lazio 1-0 Milan (A)

At Lazio we struggled to repeat our opening day performance, and also had to face Richter getting a straight red in the 28th minute. They broke through in the 36th minute, and while we felt we had done enough to get an equalizer, we didn’t.

Milan 6-1 Juve Stabia (A)

At least we couldn’t mess up Juve Stabia (who were bottom) at home. Well we could, but we didn’t. Terzi gave us a 12th minute lead, followed 5 minutes later by Pastor. Terzi soon got another, and completed a hat-trick against his old club (just as well the transfer deal didn’t involve paying them by the goal) with a penalty in the 38th minute. Eweka scored at the start of the second half and while they got a goal back, Terzi was denied credit for what would be his 4th of the match as it ended up an own goal. Not a bad day at the office I guess.

Juventus 1-3 Milan (CI QF)

I wasn’t so sure about going to Juventus in the cup. We went behind in the 5th minute, but we gave as good as we got chance wise. Eweka managed to finally equalized just before the break. He set Terzi up for the lead in the 53rd minute (his 35th goal of the season). 12 minutes later, Terzi pounced on a Pastor shot that had hit the post to make it 3-1 and send us through.

Milan 4-2 Sampdoria

Having managed that, we went behind in the 18th minute against Sampdoria. Terzi hit back immediately, but they suddenly came out very strongly, and though Eweka gave us the lead after half an hour, they soon levelled it. In the middle of the second half we took control of the game, Larsen’s 67th minute goal being followed 5 minutes later by Terzi’s 25th league goal of the season. It helped my mood that Fiorentina dropped points to Atalanta just as we had, and Juventus beat Roma. It did mean they were now top, but that was ok as our remaining game with them was at home, compared to having to go to Florence.

League Table

Feb 2043

Cagliari 1-3 Milan (A)

Puncheon made his first major error in the 10th minute at Cagliari, allowing Alberti to return between the posts. Their lead was never going to last, and Wohlfarth equalized in the 33rd minute. Getting a winner was rather harder, not helped by the fact that they went majorly on the offensive in the second half, but Terzi gave us the lead in the 58th minute, and after having to face numerous chances from the Sardinians, he made it safe in the 81st minute. That made it 40 for the season so far for him.

Milan 4-0 Chievo (A)

Having dropped our first points of the season against Chievo, we paid them back this time. A Terzi shot was deflected for an own-goal in the 14th minute. They were still a potential threat, then midway through their second half they lost their discipline. Terzi got his goal in the 58th minute, rousing himself from a poor performance (which does happen reasonably often). Pastor scored a free-kick in the 72nd minute, and Toninho, having had an earlier goal disallowed, finished it off in the 80th minute.

However there was very bad news. Toninho was only on the pitch because of Eweka going off with a knock, and while he was ok, Terzi, who went off at the end, wasn’t, a torn hamstring ruling him out for 2-3 months, and most of the toughest games, as well as denying him his chance to smash his scoring record from last year. Toninho could shine, and we still had Eweka, whose 21 goals (16 in the league) was still a good compliment to his partner’s 41 (28 league). That said he was a yellow away from a suspension in all three competitions, plus you can never completely compensate for the loss of a player with Terzi’s record.

Catania 1-2 Milan (A)

A trip to Catania (not easy, but manageable) was the first test. They had beaten us at the San Siro, but we looked much more comfortable this time. Eweka went off injured which gave the new German forward, the 15yr old Helm, his first appearance. It took just 2 minutes of his professional career to give us the lead, in contrast to Toninho having a poor game. He already looked decent at 15, and was no doubt going to be huge. They equalized in the 58th minute, and they looked like getting a winner many times. Helm very nearly got one, but Sebastiao was there to clinch it in stoppage time. As amazing as Terzi was, we weren’t a one-man side, not by a long shot. Eweka survived his knock again, but Larsen had the same hamstring problem as Terzi, and Pastor would be out for a few weeks as well.

Milan 2-0 Bologna (A)

Sebastiao scored again to give us the lead in the 16th minute against Bologna. It wasn’t one of our more impressive showings, but Eweka got a 76th minute goal as a reflection of how quietly comfortable it was.

League Table

Wow. While I hadn't given up on the title, in the past couple of months I felt that with a lot of challenging games to come (which would mean at least some dropped points), even a relatively small gap would be hard to make up, so small was the margin of error at the top, and with a few glaring ones already on our record. However suddenly here we are 1 point behind a Juve side who we still had a home game against compared to trailing a Fiorentina side we had to go to by 6 points or more in December. However the point about tough games still stands, in fact the Fiorentina trip is next in the league, followed by most of the other toughest games in just over a month, we could win any of those now, but certainly not all or even most, and would need a few more points dropped by Juventus in other games at least, unless we beat them at home, and maybe even if we did, so while I was obviously excited about the possibiity of the title, I wasn't counting too much on doing it this time, instead being delighted that at the very least this is a gesture of intent that Milan mean business once again.

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Great form over the last couple of months, if you can keep it up the title could well be yours.

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Quality stuff, the 7-0 over Parma is very impressive, so is the away win over Juve in the cup. It's looking very tight up there at the top of the table, it's almost certainly going to make for a tense finale, just watch out not to get too stretched out between the 3 competitions as your team may not yet be ready to have a proper go in 3 fronts without tiring the key players.

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Great form over the last couple of months, if you can keep it up the title could well be yours.

With all the big games coming up (we also have Roma over 2 legs in the cup, but not until near the end of the tough run) it'll be quite a challenge, but so we'll see how well we can stay in the mix.

Quality stuff, the 7-0 over Parma is very impressive, so is the away win over Juve in the cup. It's looking very tight up there at the top of the table, it's almost certainly going to make for a tense finale, just watch out not to get too stretched out between the 3 competitions as your team may not yet be ready to have a proper go in 3 fronts without tiring the key players.

Would be more impressive is we hadn't just dropped 4 very easy points against them and Atalanta at home. When I was talking about having probably slipped up a bit too much this year that's what I was thinking of. The Juventus cup win is a prime example of how we can potentially win any game, which is just as well as I'd forgotten that Fiorentina just 2 points behind meant that playing them away next is still that critical. While we have a core of players entering their prime, we still have a few players in their first seasons as regulars, so there has still been a bit of a 'boys against men' feel, and I'm far more excited about the title race than I am bothered about our chances (which I'm not that confident about). As you say we may not be ready for such a challenge as we're about to face in the cup and CL, as if our upcoming league games weren't daunting enough (though as we have good depth, I'm thinking mentally and experience wise as well as just tiredness. Eweka is on the verge of a 'suspension' rest on any front, and Helms ability to make a good impact already will be helped by being too young for European games, though from a footballing perspective neither's that helpful), but we're capable of anything when we're up to it.

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This whole squad rotation issue is reminding me of that crazy idea I had in my FM 11 career with Roma, resting my entire starting 11 in the league and cup to focus on the Champions League. I remember you saying at the time it was a bad idea, ultimately I got lucky and scrapped a treble as my league opponents imploded in the final fixture. Definitely you shouldn't do the same, that was way too radical, but picking a competition to focus on (the league?) and carefully managing the squad to optimize your chances there would be beneficial.

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This whole squad rotation issue is reminding me of that crazy idea I had in my FM 11 career with Roma, resting my entire starting 11 in the league and cup to focus on the Champions League. I remember you saying at the time it was a bad idea, ultimately I got lucky and scrapped a treble as my league opponents imploded in the final fixture. Definitely you shouldn't do the same, that was way too radical, but picking a competition to focus on (the league?) and carefully managing the squad to optimize your chances there would be beneficial.

The one time I rested a bunch of players in FM I got badly punished. For me consistency is far more important, my personal experience is that rotating tired players a lot has been no better than leaving them in, though I do switch tired players out on more isolated occasions. I'm generally not one for focussing too much on one competition, because it only gives you one chance of success that's only increased a bit. Besides the cup's more likely to end the massive trophy drought, and we need the rep and Coefficient from as strong a CL showing as possible, and it's not a competition you don't go full out in.

Anyway, to establish the situation, the next month and a half of fixtures goes...

Schalke (away, CL)

Fiorentina (away)

Siena (home)

Napoli (away)

Schalke (home, CL)

Roma (home)

Inter ('away')

Juventus (home)

Roma (home, cup first leg)

And maybe a pair of CL quarter final games near the end of that, with only Siena being that comfortable. Definitely a big challenge, not least since that's pretty much the period that Terzi's out for, we'd done ok so far without him but a 7:6 goals/game ratio will be missed over that time. Not all the league games after that are an easy ride but I imagine if we're close we're in with a good shot. This is our first season as serious challengers and my expectations aren't that high so it seriously won't be that big a deal we miss out this time.

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Yeah I understand your points, rotation also depends on the depth of the squad,I got away with it because I had a near world class bench.

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My rule of thumb with squad rotation is to play the fittest side I can whilst making no more than 5 changes from the previous starting XI unless you're up against a truly rubbish team. Seems to work pretty well.

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Yeah I understand your points, rotation also depends on the depth of the squad,I got away with it because I had a near world class bench.
My rule of thumb with squad rotation is to play the fittest side I can whilst making no more than 5 changes from the previous starting XI unless you're up against a truly rubbish team. Seems to work pretty well.

This season I've stuck for a more consistent 11 (defence excepted due to the usual inconsistent form there) much more than usual as I figure that we've mostly been so good, that I'm sticking with the players who have really performed, especially as young players can be very hit and miss so changes are much more of a gamble, and the perfomance bar is very high for a lot of positions, so it's a bit too risky. Anyway we have a real 4-horse race now, with the top 4 covered by 2 points, and a tie at the top, with 10 games left.

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Feb/Mar 2043

Schalke 1-1 Milan (CL KO)

We went to Schalke for the first CL knockout game, and we definitely needed Eweka to perform against his old club. Indeed he delivered in the 13th minute. However they played incredibly well and deserved an equalizer almost instantly, and it would have been very unfair on them if Eweka’s disallowed goal after 20 minutes had been allowed to stand. They eventually did level it with a penalty in the 3rd minute of the second half. They had most of the chances to win, so 1-1 was a very good result to take back to the home leg.

Fiorentina 3-1 Milan (A)

We went to Fiorentina needing to avoid defeat at the very least. I put everything short of a sniper on their star forward Baldeli, who had 26 league goals in 25, and when Eweka gave us the lead in the 2nd minute, I was hoping it would do the trick. It didn’t. They equalized (though not through him) in the 14th minute, then as we had numerous chances to retake the lead, he struck tp put them 2-1 up instead. We were unlucky not to be ahead, but the second half just went from bad to worse. Pugliese went off injured (with all subs used up), then after they got a late third, Lozo was injured as well. With 9 men and a defensive hole, we did well to avoid conceding another in the last 15 minutes.

Milan 3-0 Siena (A)

Eweka continued his habit of giving us the lead after 25 minutes against Siena. Unfortunately our squad was being dashed to pieces, and he went off injured again late in the first half, Wohlfarth having already gone off, and both would be out for 2-3 weeks. Thankfully Toninho finally found his shooting boots in the second half. He extended the lead in the 66th minute and 20 minutes later scored a rebound from his own missed penalty. Interesting developments in the title race as Juventus lost so were level with Fiorentina at the top, we were just a point behind, and Roma were just behind us.

Napoli 1-1 Milan (A)

The Napoli trip was our first game for a long time without either of our main two forwards. It was also Richter’s first game as a left-winger. This new attacking setup was a massive failure. We had a few chances in a dull first half, and still occasionally probed when they took the lead in the 63rd minute. They looked good for another, but Lovell showed Richter how it was done with an equalizer in the 75th minute, and the last 15 minutes was a masterclass on how to fail to win a match. Olaizola was the latest injured player, though only for a few days, which would keep Richter in the side in his old position.

Milan 3-1 (4-2) Schalke (CL KO)

Richter shone back where he belonged against Schalke, giving us the lead in the 16th minute. They levelled the tie in the 23rd minute, but Bertoni restored the lead just before half an hour was up, which was just as well as the rustiness of Pugliese and Toninho up front was showing. Toninho at least managed to burst into life, and extended the lead early in the second half, which would have been vital had their second away goal been allowed to stand, but we pulled through to the quarter-finals, where we’d have a rematch with Everton. The winners would play Atletico Madrid or Man Utd.

Milan 3-3 Roma (A)

The Napoli draw had allowed Roma to move ahead into 3rd, so we needed to beat them to fix that. Helm showed his German pedigree by giving us the lead from a penalty after 20 minutes. We were otherwise mostly on the back foot (and Lovell provided us with our now-customary injury), but he gave us a second goal in the 39th minute. They showed their strength in the second half, getting an early goal back, then another after Schmiedel made it 3-1. Toninho also went off injured, and we could quite hold out. They had a goal disallowed with 5 minutes left, but a horrible Alberti fumble gave them a late equalizer.

League Table

Apr 2043

Inter 3-2 Milan (A)

The writing wasn’t on the wall yet, but it would be getting that way if we couldn’t beat Inter and Juventus. We did have Eweka and Wohlfarth back and fully fit though. The first half was very much a rear guard action, and they should have been more than a goal up at the break, however Eweka assisted an own goal in the 48th minute to draw us level. Unfortunately he was the only player performing for us. They eventually broke through to regain the lead in the 69th minute, followed by a Bertoni own-goal, before Eweka finally got a goal of his own in the last minute, though it was too late.

Milan 5-2 Everton (CL QF)

Before Juventus we had the home leg against Everton. We had beaten them both times in the group stage, but had lucked out both times. This time they took the lead in the 5th minute, but we piled on the pressure and Eweka levelled it after 25 minutes. He completed a hat-trick in the following 10 minutes, but they got a second goal before the break, keeping the tie very close. Davalos got a rare goal in the 55th minute as we looked much more comfortable in the second half, and after pushing for a 5th we eventually got it at the end through Pugliese.

Milan 2-0 Juventus (A)

Juventus had also had a bad time of things of late in the league, and this game wasn’t as important as it looked like being. In the first half we put in the strong defensive performance that had very much been lacking in the recent big games, and Bertoni gave us the lead in the 18th minute. We were far more comfortable in the second half, and Pugliese’s 65th minute goal made it safe. Too bad it wouldn’t matter too much. However it did put us just ahead of them in 3rd. Unfortunately a torn calf muscle meant it would be Pugliese’s last contribution of the season, and maybe the last ever as with Helm as the promising young backup to Terzi and Eweka, one of Toninho and Pugliese would be going in the summer, maybe both if I found another forward.

Everton 0-1 (2-6) Milan (CL QF)

That left us short on options up front for the return game with Everton, as Helm was underage. Terzi was available though very unfit, so while he would be on the bench (which I often do for important players returning to fitness) I decided that with the advantage we had, he might as well keep recovering if we didn’t need him. Instead a reasonably talented forward from the last youth intake played. Everton were pretty weak at first, but somehow going down to 10 men in the 14th minute galvanized them, and we had to survive considerable pressure in the first half, but they failed to make a dent in our aggregate lead. We had more chances to survive in the second half, but since coming back in after Alberti’s Roma slip-up, Puncheon had been excellent. Eweka struck in the 67th minute, and that silenced them. Ironically then they put the ball in the net in the last minute, but it was disallowed, meaning that we had beaten them all 4 times this season, which I wasn’t expecting when the group draw was made all those months ago. We would face Man Utd, who were PL champions but had only sometimes even been close in recent years so weren’t impossible to beat.

Atalanta 0-2 Milan (A)

I left a still-recovering Terzi out for the trip to Atalanta as well, as I could use Helm, and the Roma cup game was a far more important one to save him for. We didn’t need him this time either. It took just 18 seconds for Eweka to give us the lead, and he had another disallowed in the 18th minute. Bertoni had a goal disallowed himself in the 67th minute, and with 10 minutes left, Wohlfarth finally gave us a second goal, as they’d been threatening to equalize for a while.

Milan 2-0 Roma (CI SF)

I decided that the cup was important enough to put Terzi back in for the home leg against Roma, though it would probably mean a rest at the weekend before Man Utd. Eweka had a goal disallowed in the 2nd minute, but eventually gave us a deserved lead in the 38th. They pushed hard in the second half but after an hour Terzi marked his comeback by giving us a very important second goal, putting us in a far more comfortable position. The crowd went wild, not to mention the manager. Terzi + Eweka = Win.

Udinese 3-3 Milan (A)

As Terzi’s recovery was taking a while, Helm was back in for the relatively unimportant game at Udinese. It was a our 7th game of the month (with Man Utd making 8) and it showed in the first half as it was a mega off-day. They took the lead after 3 minutes, Terzi was called into action when Helm was injured (Wohlfarth having suffered the same fate against Roma), and they grabbed a second before half time, by which point we should have at least been level. We very much improved in the second half. Terzi got a goal back 5 minutes in, Davalos missed a penalty, and Eweka took advantage of a goalkeeping spillage to level it in the 70th minute. Terzi showed us why we had missed him when he gave us the lead in the 82nd minute, but we shipped a very late equalizer.

League Table

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Looking pretty solid for a top 4 finish, could probably get 2nd if you find some consistency as well. Looks like you could win the Cup as well after getting into the final, not to mention the upcoming CL semi final :thup:

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A very good season all around! A top 2 place in the league is not out of the realm of possibility and the CL is looking good too.

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Looking pretty solid for a top 4 finish, could probably get 2nd if you find some consistency as well. Looks like you could win the Cup as well after getting into the final, not to mention the upcoming CL semi final :thup:

The semi final is 2 legs, though we made it through anyway.

A very good season all around! A top 2 place in the league is not out of the realm of possibility and the CL is looking good too.

It gets better...

Apr/May 2043

Man Utd 0-3 Milan (CL SF)

There was still plenty to play for this season, and hoped to continue our European run when we went to Man Utd in the first leg of the CL Semi. We had a couple of very narrow escapes, but took the lead in the 7th minute from Terzi. Bertoni extended the lead in the 14th minute. Eweka made it 3-0 in the 48th minute. They woke up again in the middle of the second half, but still we held firm, in contrast to the weekend’s shambles against Udinese, and we’d take a 3-0 lead back to Milan, not the worst of positions to be in.

Milan 1-1 Palermo (A)

The league was even less in my mind when we played Palermo. Eweka scored after 25 minutes, but otherwise it was the calm in between the Man Utd storm so it wasn’t one of our more inspired games. Another injury didn’t help, and after they equalized in the 50th minute. We both came close enough that a draw was fair.

Milan 2-0 (5-0) Man Utd (CL SF)

We couldn’t afford to be so lacklustre against Man Utd, 3-0 advantage and home leg or not. Eweka gave us the lead in the 30th minute, quickly followed by Sebastiao. They improved after that, with a disallowed goal early in the second half and could easily have had at least one, but we went through to the final, where we’d face a Lyon side that had just beaten Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate in the other semi.

Milan 5-0 Pescara (A)

Terzi gave us the lead in the first minute against Pescara. Bertoni and Eweka made it 3-0 after 16 minutes, and Terzi got another in the 25th minute. Sebastiao headed in a final goal with a minute left.

Roma 4-4 (4-6) Milan (CI SF)

We went to Roma in the second leg of the cup semi-final. They scored in the 7th minute and immediately looked like they’d soon level the tie. However Larsen levelled the scores on the night in the 17th minute, and Bertoni gave us the lead 5 minutes later. Terzi gave us another in first half stoppage time. They finally got their second goal in the 50th minute, but the tie was mostly beyond them. Eweka extended the lead further in the 64th minute, but while we fell asleep and allowed them to get 2 more goals to level the game (denying us a 6th consecutive knockout victory) we were still in the final. However while Eweka was again ok after a knock, Bertoni was out for the final games of the season, which was a poor time for Pastor to be called up to the French U19 squad.

Parma 1-3 Milan (A)

The penultimate league game was at Parma. Terzi pounded on a Larsen rebound in the 14th minute to give us the lead. He had another disallowed just before half-time, which was immediately followed by Parma heading in an equalizer. It was a blip, we were hard on the offensive afterwards, and eventually took the lead from Clement, making a rare appearance on the right wing (as he had been bought as a pre-emptive replacement in the squad for the aging Bertoni, and was 3rd choice for now). Terzi wrapped it up in the 82nd minute with his 50th goal of the season (matching last season’s total after all despite the injury, though he was still one off in league goals).

Milan 8-0 Livorno (A)

The last league game was at home to bottom-side Livorno, and while we were 4th, we were a point behind Juve in 3rd and 2 behind Roma in 2nd, so hoped to grab a top 3 place. Terzi matched last season’s 35 league goals when he gave us a 5th minute lead. Eweka added to it in the 10th minute. Terzi got his second in the 20th minute. The last 15 minutes saw a glut of goals, even with Clement having been sent off. Terzi completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute, but a few minutes later went off injured. Eweka gave us our 110th league goal of the season in the 84th minute, followed a couple of minutes later by Helm. Eweka competed his own hat-trick in the 89th minute, and Helm completed an 8-0 win in stoppage time, the 15yr old’s 5 goal in 9 games. Imagine how good he’ll be in a few years time! It was enough to secure 2nd! However there was some very bad news about Terzi. He was out for both finals. He was also 5 league goals behind Baldelli for the second season in a row. Pugliese and Toninho were injured as well, and Helm was too young or the CL final.

Final League Table

Milan 3-1 Inter (CI Final)

The first final was against Inter in the domestic cup, it was a tie-breaker of sorts as both league games ended 3-2 to the ‘home’ team. We may not have Terzi, but we still had Eweka, who gave us the lead in the 9th minute. They were on top for the rest of the half, but we survived, and a Helm penalty extended the lead in the 56th minute. They got a goal back with 10 minutes left, setting up a tense end, but Clement made up for being sent off against Livorno by setting Eweka up for the winner in the 89th minute, ending a 36 year trophy drought!

Italian Cup Final

Milan 4-1 Lyon (CL Final)

That left the big one. Lyon were the newly crowned French champions. They had taken Arsenal apart just as easily as we had Livorno. Eweka was hardly in Terzi’s shadow, as he had 43 goals of his own this season, but if ever we needed him to shine, it was now. I was amazed to get anywhere near the final, to think that I was worried about Chelsea in the qualifier back in August, and that we’d just sneaked a CL place at all last season on head-to-head record from Inter. The pressure was very much off, especially as we were far from full-strength, and it was our 16th game in 2 months, but if tiredness had been an issue, we’d never had made it this far.

Richter gave us the lead in the 2nd minute, and while they had a few chances, Eweka extended the lead in the 19th. I was still far from complacent. We were wasting many chances to get a 3rd while they probed, and they got a goal back in the 73rd minute, 10 minutes after having one disallowed. However Eweka made it 3-1 just afterwards. A couple of minutes later, Olaizola (who hadn’t featured much since joining 2 years ago and was only on the pitch after Wohlfarth went off injured for the 3rd time this year already) got his first goal for the club, and what an occasion for him to get it! Since their goal we had been pretty much dominant, and there was little danger of them getting another. Just a pity we couldn’t cap it off with a 5th.

CL Final

I wasn’t expecting that! Just being runners up in all three competitions would have been a good season, as the goal for this season was merely to prove that we could compete. While our results against Fiorentina (among other things) cost us the league, that mattered little compared to what we achieved. It had been a long wait for trophies since 2007 (which also saw a CL win, appropriately enough), but it had been well worth waiting for. The cup win, against Inter, was nice enough but the CL win was just amazing. I didn’t expect to get anywhere near it for some time, so it was quite the epic victory, and of ever we needed proof that we were a big side again, you can’t do better than winning the CL. It was also a vindication of my policies, not to throw my eggs in the Serie A basket, to keep the faith with those who were performing rather than rotating, and had the fixture congestion been a problem we certainly wouldn’t have been able to keep up our CL run. See guys, I know what I’m doing ;)

This was hopefully the first of lots more to come. While I didn’t expect to dominate Italy or Europe, this was a side that was still coming to fruition, and there were still better players to get that I couldn’t before, so I was hoping to soon end up with a golden squad with many trophies to their name eventually, even those with experience had most of their prime ahead, while others showed what they could so already, let alone when developed. It had been a very long season, and we’d coped with it very well, especially the Terzi injuries (among a lot of others we had in the spring), but if I had to pick a star it would be Eweka, for while his partner still had the better season, Eweka was a consistent attacking force that kept us going when Terzi was out. They had almost 100 goals between them this season (98 to be precise, 64 in the league), and along with Richter, they swept the top three ‘Champions League Best Player’ places. That said while we were obviously pretty good, we were far from the best, even in Italy, to show that, here are the players who played in the CL final.

GK:Puncheon

RB:Schmeidel

CB:Sebastiao

CB:Adriano

LB:Ambrosi

CM:Davalos

CM:Richter

AMR:Clement

AMC:Larsen

AML:Wohlfarth

ST:Eweka

Sub: Olaizola

We still felt would have a tough time of it in the future, lacking that much quality on paper (full-back was the main problem position), but as we’ve proven, we can still do it, hopefully we can do it over 38 games, as I’m especially gunning for the league title now. Whatever happened, this year would live long in the memory.

Squad Stats

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Woah there, excellent end to the season! 2nd in the league would already make for a very positive season, to add the Cup and the bloody Champions League on top, hammering Man Utd and then the runner-up too, is excellent.

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Woah there, excellent end to the season! 2nd in the league would already make for a very positive season, to add the Cup and the bloody Champions League on top, hammering Man Utd and then the runner-up too, is excellent.

And Everton in the quarters. That's the most amazing thing of all, not just that we won but instead of riding our luck, we genuinely took the other sides down very convincingly, when we were beating Man Utd 3-0 at Old Trafford I could hardly believe it.

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2nd place, cup win and a Champions League win. I think AC Milan are a superclub once again!

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Brilliant season there, absolutely destroyed the competition in the Champions League. Now to retake the Serie A throne.

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Amazing number of goals in the league, just a few too many draws. Great result in winning the cups though, something to build on next year with the treble!

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Congrats on winning the cups and was a brilliant performance in the league especially in the goal scoring area.

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Now that's a season finish! Congrats on the CL and Italian Cup! :thup:

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Well done! Who needs to win the league anyway? Especially when you've just won the CL! :D

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congrats onn the CL league winners next year?

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Fantastic! Two cups and a well earned second in the league. Hopefully you can go one better next season and compete for the treble!

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2nd place, cup win and a Champions League win. I think AC Milan are a superclub once again!

Not quite, but we're almost there, probably need more trophies soon to earn that status, and we're still lacking a bit of star quality in some areas to make that certain.

Brilliant season there, absolutely destroyed the competition in the Champions League. Now to retake the Serie A throne.
congrats onn the CL league winners next year?

Definitely, especially as it would end a title drought of exactly 40 years. Before FM11 I'd never won the CL in a season where I hadn't won the league title as well. I didn't at Dortmund on FM12 but already had a couple of titles, however I did win a rather surprising CL with Ipswich first, and finally got the league the following year, which is a good sign.

Fantastic! Two cups and a well earned second in the league. Hopefully you can go one better next season and compete for the treble!
Well done! Who needs to win the league anyway? Especially when you've just won the CL! :D
Now that's a season finish! Congrats on the CL and Italian Cup! :thup:

Not the worst of seasons, and when I do win the CL but not the league (which is rare, see above) I think 'X can have the league for all I care, we have the big one'. Second was very much last-ditch though, I was amazed that both Juventus and Roma dropped points on the last day to let us snatch 2nd instead of 4th, though I felt we might have managed 3rd. Bit lucky with draws as only twice in the previous 10 seasons had teams we faced reached the final (once each for Man Utd and Everton, though the latter won), we didn't play Bayern who had won the prevous three, or Man City who had been the second strongest recently, so it'll still be a test when we face them.

Congrats on winning the cups and was a brilliant performance in the league especially in the goal scoring area.
Amazing number of goals in the league, just a few too many draws. Great result in winning the cups though, something to build on next year with the treble!

A few of those draws were 'rescued' from defeats, but aside from the Fiorentina defeats, too many defensive slipups were the reason I wasn't getting my hopes up in the first place.

Summer 2043

There was one thing on my mind this season, take the Serie A title. Two narrow defeats to Fiorentina last year meant they we were closer in theory than the league table showed, one of them being a defensive disaster that ended up 5-4, and the other where we were unlucky to be behind instead of ahead at the break, but injuries reducing us to 9 men put paid to our chances of getting anything. It didn’t help that they had the most dangerous forward in Italy, whose 82 league goals in the past two years dwarfed even Terzi (who had 72). If only we could shine as consistently as we did in the CL then there’s no reason why we couldn’t be top, especially as next season would be the 40th anniversary of the last triumph. It helped that the board finally agreed to improve the training facilities, the CL triumph no doubt helping to convince them that ‘good’ was no longer enough as we rose back to the top.

However that applied to quite a few earlier signings, some of whom I knew even when I signed them that while they were good for getting into Europe, I’d have to do much better to have a good chance at the title. 32yr old club legend Bertoni had very much been earning his right to stay with his performances but he’d have to make way soon for wonderkid Pastor, and his intended replacement Clement (who played in both cup wins). We still had Lovell, Toninho and Pugliese out the door for over 33M in total, and actually made a comfortable transfer profit. There was also the fact that the bar had been raised rather more than rep (minimum expectations were just ‘European’ qualification, though I raised that to title challenge to get more of the almost 100M we had in the bank, not that I’d have cause to use that much of it year on year), so in our weaker areas (well, full back) we might have to make do with what we had and not be as strong as we could be, which may make it a bit of a wait for more glory.

As a result, there were only two newcomers for just over 7M in total, one was a potentially explosive Dutch forward, though beyond greater depth his impact would be limited for now with Helm a high development priority, not to mention that Eweka and Terzi had near-guaranteed starter status, something very rare for me, but it’s not like they hadn’t earned it. The other was an English left-back, who while hardly a future star, would hopefully still be the reasonably strong full-back we definitely needed. A few others looked reasonable but wouldn’t give us much of an improvement and just didn’t seem worth it.

Beadle (From Man City)

Knapen (From Almere City)

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Aug 2043

Fiorentina 1-0 Milan (SC)

We opened the season up against Fiorentina in the Super Cup. It was a poor game, they scored in the 14th minute, Richter had an equalizer disallowed a few minutes later. Our only consistent spark of life came from Pastor, while we at least held firm and avoided conceding more.

Milan 4-1 Roma (A)

Roma was a tough opening league game. On the first day of the season, there are no shortage of players to get the ‘first goal for the club’ against you, and that’s what happened in the 5th minute. We were pretty mediocre until Eweka equalized after half an hour, but still didn’t really get anywhere until another Eweka goal gave us the lead in the 70th minute. We took control of the game with a Davalos headed 5 minutes later, and another Eweka shot was deflected in for an own-goal to get a 4-1 win.

Milan 5-0 CSKA Moscow (ESC)

Our second super cup game was against CSKA Moscow in Europe. An own-goal gave us the lead in the 1st minute. Terzi decided to join the rest of the side in starting the season in the 7th minute. Richter was adjusting playing on the left now (as I had decided a couple of years ago that retraining him there and selling Lovell was a better option than having to get rid of Larsen or the then-new Olaizola) and made it 3-0 after 18 minutes. Terzi got his second goal in the 36th minute, and completed his hat-trick 20 game minutes later. While one poor game and one average game to start the season were hardly terrible, given Terzi’s record it was hard not to feel ‘nice of you to finally join us’ about his hat-trick. What was especially good was that CSKA Moscow were also in our CL group, alongside Hajduk and a Feyenoord side who hopefully weren’t as strong as they had been in the past decade.

Euro Super Cup

Padova 1-4 Milan (A)

Going to Padova in the league wasn’t expected to be a problem either. It took some time before we finally managed to score, from Terzi in first-half stoppage time. They got an equalizer from a very rare attack in the 50th minute, but a few minutes later Richter restored the lead. A great Eweka goal put it beyond them in the 84th minute, and we got a 4th in injury time from Olaizola, who had used his maiden goal in the CL final and Richter’s repositioning, to finally get his Milan career up to speed.

Sept 2043

Juventus 2-2 Milan (A)

Like Roma, Juventus away was another tough early game, it didn’t help that Puncheon was injured shortly after making his full England debut and the reasonable but now limited Alberti was between the sticks. After Terzi gave us an 11th minute lead, the former first choice had considerable work to do, even when we eventually started going back on the offensive. Eweka appeared to have eased the pressure off when he scored just 30 seconds after half-time, but 5 minutes later Davalos got sent off. They eventually got a goal back after an hour, and equalized just after Adriano went off injured. On balance a draw was something to be reasonably happy with.

CSKA Moscow 0-3 Milan (CL)

Our CL defence started in Moscow against CSKA. For most of the first half, they weren’t much more of a threat than they had been a couple of weeks previously, though they started pushing late in the half with the score still goal less. Terzi gave us the breakthrough in the 62nd minute. It looked like we’d lost the opportunity to control the game as they pushed hard to equalize, but Terzi got another after 75 minutes, and completed a hat-trick 10 minutes later.

Milan 2-0 Siena (A) 1,200th career match!

Siena was my 1,200th career match. Terzi gave us a 20th minute lead, but despite being on top we failed to make it a big win. Later on we were in greater danger of conceding an equalizer, but so far the defence hadn’t been the liability it had been in the past, and Terzi got another with a couple of minutes left (taking him to 10 for the season already).

Chievo 2-1 Milan (A)

Pastor, cementing himself in the right wing, take us the lead in the 7th minute at Chievo, we were punished for wastefulness when they equalized in the 38th minute. They took the lead early in the second-half and managed to stop us mounting a comeback. I thought we were beyond that sort of nonsense. If we could keep up our good form against the likes of Roma and Juventus we could afford a couple of these but I didn’t intend to count on it.

Milan 2-1 Atalanta (A)

It was a great relief when Eweka put us ahead after half an hour against Atalanta, with another 5 minutes later. As usual we should have got more by the time they had a late consolation and chances to equalize.

Milan 3-0 Hajduk (CL)

The first CL home game was against Hajduk, whose had a point from their opener with Feyenoord, and were very close to winning, but were never going to be in our league. It helped that we had a man advantage for most of the match, but Eweka gave us the lead in the 17th minute (when they still had 11 men). Richter added another in the 68th minute, and within 10 minutes Eweka got our third.

League Table

Milan 2-1 Palermo (A)

We had a few trickier games coming up, starting with Palermo. They went ahead after 10 minutes. Eweka had an equalizer disallowed just a minute later, and we were very unlucky to still be behind at the break. We were also reduced to 10 men shortly after half-time with an Olaizola injury, but Richter managed to equalize in the 69th minute, and we pulled through thanks to a stoppage time Kunisch header.

Fiorentina 2-0 Milan (A)

We then had to go to Fiorentina, a side we’d lost our last three games against. Kunisch went from hero to villain as he got sent off in the 9th minute. I expected them to be a lot worse, but actually they only were an occasional (but still serious) threat, and thanks to a save penalty by Puncheon we were still level at the break, and looking like snatching something on the counter. However they scored in the 52nd minute, getting another in the 65th,as the inevitable happened.

Feyenoord 0-0 Milan (A)

We went to Feyenoord in the CL, theoretically the trickiest game of the group (and they still had my former Ghana star Frimpong leading the line). We were on the back foot for most of the game, but as the second half wore on we were getting plenty of chances to grab a win, in an oddly end-to-end 0-0 draw that ended our run of European wins (the first leg against Schalke in February was the last game we drew), but we remained undefeated since the Chelsea game way back the previous August.

Bologna 0-3 Milan (A)

We were back on scoring form at Bologna. Eweka scored in the 43rd minute, and was on song in the second half, getting another after 70 minutes (his 10th of the season), and completing a hat-trick in stoppage time.

Milan 3-1 Sampdoria (A)

Eweka scored his 10th league goal of the season in the 2nd minute against Sampdoria. However they immediately went on the offensive and equalized, with further pressure as they sought the lead. Olaizola put us ahead instead in the 35th minute, and we were reasonably comfortable afterwards. Eweka got a second goal in the 65th minute, but unfortunately picked up his second booking of the game to go with it (curiously Olaizola had the other booking just as he had the other goal, completing a perfect correlation between yellow cards and goals for us) in stoppage time. The silver lining was that another forward would get a look in for a change, but Lazio away wasn’t the best game for that to happen, especially as Terzi hadn’t scored in over a month (though was still playing reasonably well, even he couldn’t be genuinely poor over a period of time without being dropped properly), after 10 goals in 5 games. Not one to do things by halves then.

Lazio 0-3 Milan (A)

Time was very much on Helm’s side so I gave Knapen his debut. The first half was finely poised, but we had the lead from a Richter goal in the 29th minute. Terzi going off injured allowed Helm a run out as well. We got lucky in that they had 2 goals disallowed in the first 15 minutes of the second half before we regained control, and Pastor set up Helm in the 75th minute, Richter wrapping it up in the 83rd minute, cueing ‘Germans sack Rome’ headlines. Terzi was out for 3-4 months with a torn calf muscle so now was the time for the backup two to shine.

League Table

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Nov 2043

Milan 2-2 Feyenoord (CL)

Having just taken 2 minutes to get his debut goal, it took just one half for Helm to get his first European goal in his first start (he was underage last season). It was an equalizer as we had been on top, but gone behind in the 28th minute. The tide very much turned in the second half, they eventually took the lead in the 59th minute, but otherwise a herculean effort from Puncheon as rewarded when a 79th minute Eweka goal was enough to give us an important draw.

Milan 1-5 Inter (A)

Having Richter out as well for the rest of the month was a blow ahead of the ‘home’ Milan derby. Unfortunately the defence decided that it had been too long since they had a complete disaster. They took the lead against the run of play in the 22nd minute. Helm equalized after half an hour, and looked close to doing it again when they retook the lead, but he was the only bright spot as in the second half the rest of the team parted and Inter ran up a 5-1 win. Oh and Pastor was injured as well, but just for a week.

Torino 0-2 Milan (A)

The reverse happened at Torino, when Helm and Eweka played like they wouldn’t recognize a goal if they walked into one. Thankfully Eweka woke up in the second half (Helm having been replaced by Knapen) to finally give us the lead in the 55th minute (his 15th goal of the season), with another 10 minutes later.

Milan 5-2 Pescara (A)

Eweka gave us the lead in the 17th minute against Pescara. With Larsen pulling the strings, we dominated the first half, Wohlfarth and Adriano giving us a 3-0 lead. They scored after 50 minutes, and again after Wohlfarth’s second goal in the 85th minute, with enough time for Knapen (who had also been excellent) to assist an own goal.

Milan 8-1 CSKA Moscow (CL)

We had the chance to secure qualification to the CL knockout stages if we beat CSKA. It’s fair to say we took that opportunity, starting with Adriano’s 3rd minute goal. Knapen followed up his good start to his Milan career by getting his first pair of goals to make it 3-0 after 15 minutes, Eweka inevitably joined in after 25 minutes, and an own-goal put us 5 goals up before they got a goal back late in the half. Things were slower in the second half after Larsen scored in the 48th minute, but a pair of Eweka goals in the final few minutes gave us an 8-1 win.

Juve Stabia 1-2 Milan (A)

At Juve Stabia, Sebastiao gave us the lead in the 24th minute. We look comfortable despite Clement having another disallowed, but they struck with a 40th minute equalizer. We got lucky near the end as an own-goal gave us the win in the 84th minute, then they had an equalizer disallowed.

League Table

Dec 2043

Milan 2-0 Napoli (A)

We needed to get a win over a Napoli side who were in our pack of 3 sides all just a point behind Juventus. We rose to the occasion very well. We took the game to them in the first half, and Eweka gave us the lead in the 27th minute. They came back very strongly, but we showed that Inter aside, we were pretty resilient when we needed to be, and even got another goal from Wohlfarth in the 72nd minute. Again, Inter aside (and bogey side Fiorentina) I was very happy with consistently strong performances in these games, with wins over Roma and Palermo as well (admittedly all three at home), and being very close to beating Juventus away with 10 men.

Hajduk 1-3 Milan (CL)

A draw against Hajduk in the final CL group game would give us top spot. I had a (correct) feeling that we didn’t need to with Feyenoord going to Moscow, plus I felt we’d win anyway, and so we did. We took the lead from a 37th minute Wohlfarth penalty. Eweka had another disallowed, but in the 68th minute Helm extended our lead, and the 16yr old got another with a minute left after they pulled a goal back. In the knockout round we got precisely who I didn’t want, a Bayern side who had won the previous three competitions before our triumph this year.

CL Group

Triestina 2-4 Milan (A)

Helm scored again in the 6th minute against Triestina, but it wasn’t one of our best games. They equalized in the 11th minute. Helm restored the lead a couple of minute later, but the defence gifted them a 41st minute equalizer. We weren’t as sure of ourselves in the second half, and I got very worried when a Brighenti injury left us with a defensive hole. However we pulled through with Clement scoring with a few minutes left, then Helm finishing off a hat-trick.

Milan 4-1 Osaka (CWC SF)

Thankfully all the regular games were out of the way just before the CWC. We faced Osaka first. Larsen gave us the lead in the 6th minute. They equalized in the 10th, just before Helm had a goal disallowed, but Schmiedel scored in the 20th minute. Helm got on the scoresheet in the 44th minute, and added another in the 68th. The oddest thing was that our least impressive player was Eweka, who you thought would dine out on goals against a side like this.

Milan 4-1 America (CWC Final)

In the final we faced America. Again Eweka didn’t fancy it, but Helm definitely did, as he gave us the lead in the 10th minute, adding another 2 minutes later. A defensive error let them get a goal back. Helm completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute, with Knapen finishing things off a few minutes later.

It wasn't the most important thing in the world, or the toughest for the European champions, but I do find being 'world club champions' to be a very nice cherry on the cake of CL success. It also meant that after all that time without a single trophy, important or not, we got 4 in 2043. It was also nice to win something on my birthday.

CWC Final

League Table

Oh and I became Spain manager in October. They topped their qualifying group for the Euros then their manager left, just like that. I had been thinking of taking Italy in the future (maybe after next year's tournament) but decided to jump at the Spain opportunity. Not looking forward to it as the top end of international football is about 4-5 teams demanding you reach the final of whatever competition and little margin for error, but thought I'd have a chance at winning stuff internationally.

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Going to be very close in the league but your doing well in the cups.Best of luck against Bayern in the Champions League.

Also good luck with Spain :D

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A very close league, only a point behind! And congrats on Spain :thup: Nice that you get the Euros right away.

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Close at the top, just a matter of taking advantage of any points Juventus drops

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Should be an exciting season if the top 4 keep winning. Good luck.

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