In a game that was expected to be decided already, Milan shocked Juventus who had to put a real fight to win the points at home. Here’s what went down.
Milan (4-3-3); Donnarumma; Conti, Duarte, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Paqueta, Bennacer, Krunic; Suso, Piatek, Calhanoglu
Juventus (4-3-1-2): Szczescny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De ligt, Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi; Ronaldo, Higuain
“It won’t be easy”
Milan started the game with considered the best possible line-up. Even under this consideration, the team has an obvious weakness in the right side in the form of Conti and Duarte. Surprisingly, both of them started strong and confident with a clear improvement in the passing and positioning. All Milan players were mentally ready for the game and played with the same character shown against all teams since the arrival of Pioli. The only difference is that each week the team improves in terms of both individual and team performances. The mentality and confidence shocked Juventus who were struggling to create any chances due to Milan’s dense midfield. Cristiano was isolated most of the game while Bernardeschi was underperforming. Bennacer again has shown his worth and he can be one of the most important players in the future with his continuous improvement. On the other hand, Piatek was the only player who was totally out of form. He had few chances which he could deal with better including a free header that was misdirected. Paqueta had some highlights but he still needs to improve as he managed to lose the ball multiple times asking for a foul. The first half ended goalless with chances from both teams.
The Difference In Quality of Subs
The second half was all about the substitutions. Cristiano who had no good moments in the game was subbed off for Dybala, Bernardeschi left his place for Costa, and Rabiot took place for the injured Matuidi. On the other side, Bonaventura took place for Krunic who was risky to keep due to the early yellow card and Leao for Pitaek. Bonaventura did not add much to the team as he had more defensive work to cover Krunic’s place while Leao gave more energy to the attack especially in counter attacks. When Bonaventura came in, Bennacer had more work to do and started losing energy. Another player who deserves to be praised was Romagnoli. With perfect positioning and and defensive awareness, he played one of his best matches. He would have got the man of the match but Dybala ruined his chances. In the first one-to-one situation, Dybala beat Romagnoli and then Donnarumma with his weak foot to give Juventus the lead. Milan kept pressing to the last minute but Szczesny came on top every time with great saves to end the game by Dybala’s goal.
Milan players left the pitch with pride. They fought hard and did everything they can. Despite the bad position in the table, the continuous improvement gives the impression that the team is in the right direction.