On a night that saw Tottenham Hotspur get a historic win at the San Siro, the story will undoubtedly be about the lunacy of Gennaro Gattuso, his altercations with Joe Jordan that involved headbutting, and the dirtiness of the rest of the AC Milan squad.
Gattuso was a World Cup winner for Italy in 2006 and has twice won the Champions League, but at 33 his pace is fading along with, apparently, his mind. Gattuso has always been a hard man, known for his toughness and tackling, but on this night his was a caricature of his formerly world-class self.
The strangeness involving Gennaro Gattuso and Joe Jordan began just after Mathieu Flamini should have been sent off for his horror tackle on Vedran Corluka. If Flamini were still at Arsenal he would have seen straight red (though Arsene Wenger almost certainly would have disagreed) and the match might have calmed down. Instead Flamini was shown yellow and the game grew more contentious. During the stoppage for Corluka's injury, Gattuso seemed to get into it with Tottenham coach Joe Jordan and ended their tete-a-tete by shoving the Jordan in the throat.
For those of you that don't know, Joe Jordan is not a man to be messed with. Jordan played professional football for twenty years. He was a striker for clubs like Leeds United, Manchester United, and even Gattuso's own AC Milan. Jordan made nearly 500 league appearances and scored more than 100 goals in his playing days. He was a member of the rough and tumble Leed's squads of the 1970's and never shied away from rough play. Now at age 60 Jordan looked more than up for having a go at Gattuso especially after the Milan midfielder headbutted the Spurs coach after the match.
Gattuso's display in this match was utterly disgraceful, both in terms of his conduct toward members of Tottenham's staff and in terms of his on-pitch comportment. Gattuso finally received a yellow card after repeatedly punching the ground in frustration. The Italian had many questionable challenges on the night, including a shove to Peter Crouch, were utterly ridiculous.
The folks at UEFA, Michel Platini especially, must take a look at Gattuso's conduct (not to mention Flamini's challenge) and send a strong message to Milan that this type of conduct will not be tolerated. Gattuso is already suspended for the return leg of this tie due to his fourth yellow, but I would be in favor of him receiving a further ban from European competition.