Two Tale Story

46

After this weekend’s match against Juve, I, as most of you were,was angered not by the fact that we tied against them, but how the tie was defined. Now, I won’t whine about all the bad choices the referee made since some of them favoured us too, but I’ll leave this topic alone with one idea in mind : a 2 goal lead at HT is way different than a 1-1 scoreline at minute 80. Different tactical and moral approach would have been taken by both teams. I shall pass to a more tactical approach of the game.

Certainly with KBP out of the starting XI our “high pusher” position had to be filled, and Allegri can only work with hat he has. He chose to put the dynamic Urby up to the task of “keeping track of Pirlo” (I’ll detail this further on the article). With Mesbah out do to a fever Antonini was chosen to play on the left; an odd feeling came into my mind since he would have to defend which to me seems to be the 3rd best right back of Serie A just behind Maggio and Abate. Nocerino played on the right where he doesn’t shine as much as on the left, but a in shape Sulley Muntari took the left mezz’alla. Robinho and Pato up front guaranteed a lot of flair and pace to go against Juve’s 3 man line, if you can’t out number them, out run them…or so he thought.

The first half was a tactical battle between Allegri’s and Conte’s wits. With Milan’s injury crisis some important pieces were not present for probably the most important match of the season so far. Conte’s team played a 3-5-2 similar to the one that played against us in Coppa Italia while Milan played what seemed to be a usual 4-3-1-2.

Allegri used what seemed to me as two different tactics in the first 60 minutes to neutralize Pirlo. First he used the known “tracking Pirlo” supposed to be done by Urby, mark him all the time so he doesn’t have time and space to think. The issue with this tactic is that Pirlo can play back or sideways to an unmarked player so he can organize for him and with players like Marchisio, Lichsteiner or even Chiellini several options were available in case Pirlo was harassed. The second tactic emplyed by Allegri was in fact the opposite and rather than marking Pirlo, Milan’s players marked every single possible target for Pirlo. At times Pirlo had a lot of space an time but he only could play back or with Marchisio and Vidal. Both their strikers and their wingers were thoroughly marked. Pirlo tried pull the strings from behind only for the ball to find a rossoneri rather than a bianconeri : this made Pirlo lose a lot of balls and look out of ideas. The issue with this tactic is the enormous amount of focus needed, defenders needed to stay sharp to not losing their respective mark. The combination of these two tactics had Pirlo and Conte against the wall since they didn’t have time to figure out against which one they were playing, therefore not finding the solution as easy.

Milan’s attack vs Juve’s defense :

football formations
MvB & Silva the engines/others' movement w/out the ball

With Binho and Pato  up front and Urby just behind them Allegri’s forward’s line seemed to lack a strong man, it spell pace pace pace all over it, however what seemed to be a 4-3-1-2 in defense deployed as a 4-3-3 in attack with Urby going wide to the right and Binho wide to the left, leaving Pato as a lone striker. I don’t know if you saw the match as I did, but Pato was borderline poor! I can’t remember seeing him playing this bad! 8 touches of the ball, 75% pass accuracy, 0 shots on or even off target in 45 minutes. It took EL Sharaawy only 10 minutes to touch the ball, make more dribbles and more passes than Pato, all that with more energy and more defensive minded. The inclusion of El Sharaawy didn’t change the tactical approach up front with 3 pacy strikers out running and out dribbling Juve’s defense where the only player that seemed to be 100% focused was Chiellini who had a great match. With Nocerino and Muntari pushing at times to the box Milan seemed far more dangerous than a “suffocated” Juventus.

 

football formations
Juve played as if they were 12 vs 11 at times 😉 but that wasn't enough against our midfield trio

 

Midfield vs Midfield :

In midfield there were two different battles played, the     one to neutralise Pirlo (which was succesfully carried out to my opinion) and then the battle fought when we had the ball. This one was far more important since due to the movement of our attackers we had a lot of space for our three midfielders to push far up the pitch. Urby going wide and Pirlo following him created a void in front of their defense who was spread by Urby and Binho. It was 3 vs 2 for us in front of their defense. If you see the situation of the goal you can observe how Milan overcrowded Juventus in that area and Nocerino had a lot of time to prepare his shot patiently. To that we have to add the fact that when Juve attacked, both of their wing backs where in our side, leaving their flanks exposed to Binho’s and Urby’s pace and having the before mentioned action happen.

Van Bommel and Muntari were key pieces in this part of the pitch recovering 3 and 8 tackles to overpower Juventus midfield and lunch the counter attacks catalised by the “twins” pace.

 Milan’s defense vs Juve’s attack : 

Until the minute 60 when Urby was brought out to display a more defensive tactic, Juventus’s attack were almost completely neutralized! The few chances they got came from outside the area or through crosses hoping to find a bianconeri before a rossoneri. After that replacement, Juventus got control of the flanks pushing up and delivering crosses mostly via Lichsteiner. A mistake by Antonini who didn’t cover well enough Juventus’s number 3 and fresh Matri gave Juventus the equalizer. Other than that Mèxes and Thiago Silva kept on showing why they are the best defenders of their countries and Abate and Antonini (if you forget about the goal incident) had a good match.

To summarize this game up, we can take more positive things than negative things. Even though we might feel robbed, that’s the way football is played. To be honest, the Scudetto is not defined by one match only and seeing the schedules both teams have we have no excuses to not win the Scudetto since our fixtures are maybe not as complicated as theirs. So take a deep breath and relax because we might not have won the 3 points but we won a mental battle, we showed them who was the better team even if the scoreline didn’t reflect it that way. We can win without Ibra, Cassano, Boateng, Nesta and almost half our staff injured, I’d like to see how Juve does without Buffon, Chiellini, Pirlo or Matri.

Allegri showed once again why Galliani and Berlusconi trust him so much because even though he had a few rough patches this season, even though we have a terrible record against top teams in Serie A this season and even though we are not undefeated, right now we are Italy’s top team.

Forza Milan!

Follow me on Twitter @Fr_vasquez

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lady gaga

the Scudetto is not defined by one
match…….
We shall see whats gona happen to em” juve come next season when they qualify for tha CL spot….
As for me,Allegri has presented tha best team so far ”this season” and i will never ask or call 4his head anytime anyday….
Milan is the best …….it really hurt me so much that we were robbed in our own stadium….all tha best milan

Ouch!

AC Milan>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>jube all day everyday!! FORZAAAA MILANOOO

ichaltobi

Great analysis…. Forza Milan

Milanista93

GREAT ARTICLE AND ANALYSIS FRANCISCO!I’M PROUD MILAN HAVE A FAN WITH ONE HELL OF A BRAIN LIKE YOU..HAHA

AW

@Francisco Vasquez, It would also be great if you could analyse the injuries being caused,It not only costs Milan the trophy but also the physical qualities of injured players.Milan by far is the only team in the whole of Europe have been struggling with injuries of somewhat suspicious nature.Mesbah down with Fever,astonishing but not impossible.Players of Milan quality should be agile and healthy to forego a season.Since the management is not interested in spending huge amounts of money on players at least they can get healthy players at a cheap rate.The point here is “What good is a player when… Read more »

84

Great read. Thanks Francisco!

I was really hoping Maxi would get the starting striker spot ahead of Pato as he could be the central point and allow most of the movement to come from ‘binho and Urby. I think that works quite well as he doesn’t slow the game down as much because the ball doesn’t have to be played through him as it is in Ibra’s case.

Nevertheless, it’s great to know that the club can in fact function well and WIN without some of the key giocatori.

Forza Milan!!!

Juller

I like the linesman’s strip

KenyanMilanNo.1Fan

On point! Need I say more? Yes. Allegri has this knack of revitalising ever-average players. Look @ Emanuelson, he’s a totally & positively different player if you’ve him keen over the last year.

Ibra

Forza Allegri, i never 4 once doubt his capacity to handle Milan. I’ve said it before that in Italy today there are 2 most capable Manager and they are Prandelli & of course Allegri. Very good analysis, in all every body tried their best & noone is to blame. Only thing we need is concentration & we win d league. Bet me Juve will lose against Bologna & after which they will loose concentration. FORZA MILAN, THE ROSSONERI

Gharny

It’s gud to be a Milanista!

Bashing joe

Lets learn to never judge someone before we see what he has to offer. Muntari who joined us on a free has to be better than both Palombo & Poli signed by inter. Also it shows everyone deserves to be given a chance as has been the case with robinho, emmanuelson & mexes. Pato is milans future star. So we should see him as just a 22 year old who is yet to reach his full potentials. Forza milan.

infra_x

great article but i would just like to point out that Silva commited mistakes towards the end,his back header to antonini and failed to track down matri during juve goal.but perfect tactics!!!FORZA MILAN!!!

King

Keep d fire burning!d scudetto is ours!

King

Milan are winning d scudetto! Cos it’s ours! We gat more than they do!

Olalekan mojeed

Forza milanista why did Max keep on doing similar mistake which we normally pay for similar things against Arsenal & juventus sub Urby we almost pay for it against Arsenal which make them too av their confidence even against juve y y y? Whereby we pay for it against juve.

Bone chronic

If pato played to maximum, we would have been up by 3 goals in the 1st half, b/c juve’s back 3 struggled against our front 3 and they were stretched in d 1st half, that’s why conte switched to 4-3-3 in the 2nd half and allegri responded by moving emmanuelson to the right. Great article

Stephan Kareem El Shaawary

Urby is better than Boateng in way of driblings,pace ,creativity and body balance and Urby can play in diff roles.I wouldn’t sell him under 20 M to nobody and if he continue like this he could become vital for us.

Rico

have u heard about pablo armero?
galliani will make an offer about 15 mio for him

2012/2013 ??

abate – mexes – silva – armero

i like

Simo

I watched him since the beginning of the season, he is great at Udine. But he is a wing-back/winger in 3-5-2, he should get used to our system. But he is fast, creative, and strong. One of Udine’s best (along with Benatia, K. Asamoah, Isla and Di Natale).

Nice article anyway…

D-Bo

I would also put Nesta ahead of Mexes when healthy. I would be excited either way with the way Mexes has performed.

Ted

offtopic – Pato injured, muscle strain…

Bilko

pato = sold, mann injuries is a problem. Get somone who is stronger, fast, n less injury prone.

D-Bo

I hope that price still holds. I say a double swoop for Sandro and Bale to support Antonio/Ibra/Robinho/El-Shaarawy/Verdi. A midfield with some combination of Emanualson/Boateng/Nocerino/Van Bommel/Sandro/Bale would work for me.

milanfan

It’s practically impossible to find someone who is both stronger and faster then pato. That’s why I want us to keep him, we’ll have perhaps the only muscular player with lightning pace. Remember, his injuries are caused by excess muscle mass, and yet he is one of the fastest players on the planet. As for the less injury prone thing, throw a rock… It’s kind of a balance thing between pace, technique, finishing, and world-cla*ss potential on one side, and extreme injury proneness on the other. His current form isn’t helping his case though.

D-Bo

I agree for the most part. The problem has been finding form amid the injuries. the truth is that I’m a big fan of Pato and it is frustrating to see him struggle. My idea above was more a matter of what I would like to see happen if he is sold. I would like nothing more then to see Pato play a full season and find his form. I root for him every time he sets foot on the field. I hope he can find some consistency and a way to avoid the injuries that have hampered him throughout… Read more »

Sune

I can’t believe Pato is Injured again!!!!!!!! this is actually the 13th time he is injured in the last 2 years! 13 times!!!!!!!!

Sell him!!!!!!!

Afanofmilan

Wont miss him . Actually quite gud for stephan . Hope pato picks up enuf to attract teams den sell him .

Afanofmilan

Also milan lab is a joke . Partially blame them for pato’s injury .

TWF

juve play using 3-5-2 formation…hmm…i believe that they will lose for at least 3 times this season.
about pato, i heard the rumour saying that real madrid are interested to have his signature. how about pato for sahin plus some cash?

Bilko

if real madrid want pato, than trade sahin, kaka, diarra, khedira, som 1 wit cash as well ai.

milanfan

I’ll once again say what I’ve always said, don’t sell Pato, loan him to Genoa for a season… According to an article I read, his injuries will reduce once he stops growing and his body readjusts to his muscles. Might take a few years, but, if he regains his old form, I believe it’ll be worth the wait. I’m not trying to defend him, just saying what I think.

gianluca

anyone read about galliani make an 10 m offer 4 luis muriel?is he good enuf?how bout john guidentti?

Walexis

Lets sell him and purchase hamsik.

Rico

we should buy essien to replace vbm

boateng – essien – muntari

3 ghana mid’s

Bilko

just sell him, torres and ibra up front with boateng robinho, urby. Wat a team

Olalekan mojeed

If realy madrid need the signature of pato it means they have know the solution to his injury prone and he will become something for the club .what is the major job of the milan lab then?

Olalekan mojeed

If realy madrid need the signature of pato it means they have found the solution to his injury prone and he will become something for the club .what is the major job of the milan lab then?

lado

Essien ,Torrres. They are past their prime. We dont need them

milanmania

hi guys,is prince will play against palermo?,what of aquilani and nesta?

Bilko

tevez, benzema, higuain, lucas barrios, van persie, these r just som of the players dat r stronger, fitter, dribbling skills. The best option i think is van persie or tevez. Ibra van persie robinho behind boateng rm, nocerino cm, urby lm, dats wat i think.

Afanofmilan

Aquaman pls come bak .

milanfan

You do realize that if we sell Pato, then our youngest sriker (except El Shaarawy) will be 28(robinho)? An ageing defense isn’t such a serious issue, as experience is almost as important as skill there, but an ageing attack is worrisome.

Afanofmilan

Aqua , out kpb , out mexes n nesta both out .

D-Bo

Nesta and Mexes have been terrific along side Silva. To get rid of them now does not seem like a good idea.

Boateng has been fantastic when healthy. I’m not sure why we would want to get rid of him either.

I think many other players should go before any of those 3.

milanoshark

D solution to pato’s problems is for d physios to do dia job better n most importantly for barbara to live him train. He is not half as dedicated to training as he was n shld be (at his age), he shld be training as much as messi, di maria, e.t.c if he wants to b as gr8 as d̶̲̥̅̊ε̲̣̣̣̥Y̶̲̥̅̊ r. She has taken his mind off his career n someone needs to help him, get rid of her n show him wat he is missing. He said Alegri doesn’t tell him wat to do as did Ancelotti, I guess… Read more »