THE ROSSONERI succumbed to their first away defeat to Juventus in 3 years, in a poor display earlier tonight. The game was largely dominated by Juventus, with only Christian Abbiati standing out as a Milan player for most of the game. Just 7 minutes from time the home side took a deserved lead after some 1 touch play in the Milan area and a slightly lucky deflection, then a howler from Abbiati gifted Marchisio his 2nd in stoppage time.
Massimiliano’s side was boosted against Pilzen with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and tonight, Kevin-Prince Boateng returned to play behind him and Cassano in attack. In midfield, Seedorf and Van Bommel were deployed with Nocerino, and in front of Abbiati were Daniele Bonera, Alessandro Nesta, Thiago Silva, and Gianluca Zambrotta.
In the opening 10 minutes, Milan kept the ball well, despite Juve pressing fairly high, the Rossoneri did well to maintain possession, and worked the ball into some decent areas, however the final ball was poor and so Allegri’s men struggled to create many clear cut chances.
The next phase of the game was more towards Juventus. Milan were keen to slow down play when they got the ball but the younger Juventus side continued to press high, meanwhile Andrea Pirlo orchestrated well, and tested Abbiati with a freekick from around 20 yards out, however Abbiati was more than up to the task and saved comfortably.
It soon became clear that Abbiati was being worked much more than his opposite number, Vucinic in particular testing him a few times, and Juve were beginning to dominate, although it wasn’t completely one sided, the home side certainly looked a lot more likely to score, whilst Milan seemed lethargic and weren’t keeping the ball as well as earlier, and passed poorly when they did get in the right areas.
10 minutes before half time and Juve very nearly took the lead. Andrea Pirlo played the ball into Mirko Vucinic’s feet, and the Montenegran clipped a very intelligent lofted shot which had beaten Abbiati all ends up – he was only denied by the crossbar, a lucky escape for the Rossoneri, but also a warning sign.
Despite being on top for a spell of 20-25 minutes, they still hadn’t scored, and hadn’t made that many chances either, the Rossoneri were then tasked with keeping them out until half time, and redoubling their efforts in the second half, despite a decent long range effort from Vucinic in the last minute, the scoreline remained level at half time.
Just moments into the second half and only a superb Buffon save denied a Milan goal, thanks to good work from both Nocerino and Boateng. Alessandro Nesta was then booked for a rather cynical foul as Juve looked to counter, however the booking was probably a fair call.
the Rossoneri were making much more of a game of it now, it was a slightly more open game than before, and the tempo was more consistent, the Rossoneri had a good chance with almost 55 minutes gone, following terrific work from Antonio Cassano in the buildup – however, Clarence Seedorf was unable to pick the right pass into the box as Boateng made the run, it was a fairly tired ball, Seedorf perhaps struggling having played 90 minutes in the last 3 games.
With around half an hour to go, Urby Emmanuelson was brought on for Antonio Cassano.
In the 68th minute, Juventus were almost awarded a golden opportunity, as Thiago Silva slipped as a ball was played through for Vucinic – however, the Brazilian sprinted as fast as he could and got back to win the ball cleanly as Vucinic took 1 touch too many to try and capitalise on it..
just 2 minutes later, Alessandro Nesta was taken off, after taking a knock, and replaced by Luca Antonini (pushing Bonera central)
Arturo Vial almost gave Juventus a (probably deserved) lead with about 15 minutes to go, as Juve broke on the counter, the ball was played into Pirlo, who dummied, let it through his legs, and running onto it was the Chilean Vidal, who’s low, driven effort pulled narrowly wide, meaning the score remained level. Moments later and Vucinic was allowed a free shot from the edge of the area, and only missed narrowly too, despite the chances though, the score was level with 10 to go.
Massimiliano Allegri decided to solidify the game with 7 minutes to go, as Massimo Ambrosini was brought on for Nocerino.
However the plan failed disasterously. Just 4 minutes from time following some intricate 1 touch play on the edge of the area, the ball was heading for the 6 yard box, and as Bonera got a block in, Marchisio deflected the ball in with an element of good fortune. In all honesty, Juve deserved it.
And just when things couldn’t look more bleak, it went from bad to worse – insult was added to injury as Kevin-Prince Boateng (just back from injury) picked up his second yellow card for raising his arm foolishly to attempt a handball (which would have sent him off anyway) only to catch the had of Chiellini, and so he was sent off for a second yellow.
Juventus weren’t finished there. Heaping onto Milan’s misery came Claudio Marchisio. As Marchiso struck a volley from well outside the box, the ball went straight at Abbiati – and Abbiati let it straight through his legs, an embarrassing blunder to end the night, although again, it was arguably deserved.
Best Moment: n/a
Man of the Match: wouldn’t be fair to pick a Milan player really, anyone who watched the game will know which Juve player (sadly) ran the show.