Wednesday January 6 2021
Depth decisive for Milan and Juve

Federico Chiesa tormented Theo Hernandez and was decisive in Juventus’ win over Milan, but Lorenzo Bettoni believes another factor will be key in the Scudetto race.

Federico Chiesa scored twice in the Old Lady’s win at San Siro on Wednesday evening, tearing highly-rated Milan left-back Theo Hernandez to shreds.

He was the undisputed man of the match and his brace allowed the Bianconeri to move within seven points of leaders Milan, with a game in hand.

The former Fiorentina star had even hit the woodwork with a magnificent volley minutes before breaking the deadlock, making the most of a smart back-heel assist by Paulo Dybala.

Even if Theo has shown signs of improvement in the defensive phase this season, Chiesa exposed him like nobody else had done before.

The French winger was caught off position in both Chiesa’s goals and many more times during the game. He also failed to create genuine problems going forward for Juventus.

“I needed someone who could prevent Theo from attacking,” Pirlo confirmed at the end of the game.

Even if the Old Lady are still some way off the top of the table, this win can boost the self-confidence of Pirlo’s side, just like their away Champions League win at Barcelona did in December.

Ironically, Juventus have impressed more against big sides this season, rather than against the so-called ‘small teams’.

They won against Milan, who were the only unbeaten team in Europe’s leading leagues, they beat Barcelona 3-0 last month and recovered from one goal down despite being reduced to 10 men at the Olimpico against Roma at the start of the season.

It's good news for Pirlo, who will face Napoli in the Italian Supercup final and Inter in Serie A in January, but Chiesa wasn’t the only difference maker for the Old Lady at San Siro.

Juventus’ depth was also as decisive and it is no coincidence the Serie A champions closed the game with a Weston McKennie goal, set up by Dejan Kulusevski. Both had come off the bench just a few minutes earlier.

Depth could be key factor in the race for the Serie A title this season.

It is impossible to discuss Milan-Juve without taking into account the absentees. The Rossoneri were without the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ismael Bennacer, Matteo Gabbia and Alexis Saelemaekers. Sandro Tonali was suspended, while Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic tested positive for COVID.

Juventus had Alvaro Morata injured, Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro positive for Coronavirus.

Imagine how Pioli felt, who had prepared such a tough game without some of his most important players only to find out hours before the game two of his most valuable replacements had COVID.

The former Lazio coach had to adapt Davide Calabria as a defensive midfield and the Italian right-back did well in his new position, even scoring the equaliser in the first half.

But take a look at the possible replacements at Pirlo and Pioli’s disposal and you would understand where the difference between the two sides lay.

Milan had Ciprian Tatarusanu, Andrea Conti, Pierre Kalulu, Brahim Diaz, Mateo Musacchio, Daniel Maldini, Lorenzo Colombo, Leo Duarte and Marco Frigerio.

The players sitting on the Juventus bench were: Giorgio Chiellini, Arthur, Weston McKennie, Merih Demiral, Carlo Pinsoglio, Federico Bernardeschi, Marco Da Graca, Alessandro Di Pardo, Manolo Portanova, Nicolo Fagioli, Dejan Kulusevski and Gigi Buffon.

Without Ibra, Rebic and Saelemaekers, Pioli had no options to change the game when he needed it, while Juventus’ third goal was set up by two players who came off the bench.

Depth was vital for Juventus to beat Milan and depth will be crucial to win the Serie A title. This, of course, does not only apply to Bianconeri and Rossoneri, but also to Inter, Roma, Napoli and Atalanta.

The fixture list is as busy as ever due to the COVID pandemic, which can also take players away from the squad from one day to the next. It happened to Milan and Juventus this time, but it had already happened in the past with other clubs, in Serie A and Champions League.

Max Allegri, who won the Scudetto with both Milan and Juve, loves to say “the management of unexpected events is fundamental in order to achieve success.” That rings true this season more than any other, as coaches will need that quality and a deep squad in case of emergencies.



Have your say...
Hey ITA 1,
I have a question for you:

Are you familiar with Juve's fans & players mocking their weaker Serie A rivals for complaining... Yet when these Juventini lose against bigger/ better clubs in Europe they DO THE EXACT SAME THING??
Are you aware of their hypocritical transformation from arrogant & conceited, to whining & crying?
When they are not top dogs, the "graceful winners" become "sore losers" & "victims".
(Just rewatch Buffon attacking poor Michael Oliver on AND off field. Classy.)
on the 16th January, 2021 at 7:09pm
"And for Bonucci I have never said those things.."

LMAO @viktor. Yes you said all those things like a lover is drowning in love. And stop saying Bonucci used to be worldclass. He never was, fanboy.
on the 16th January, 2021 at 3:07am

So you really CAN be bothered, it seems lol

U seem to have problems answering questions.

I didn't ask you whether u had anything to do with it or not - I asked u were you familiar with it or not. You must be. It's pretty rampant online. Blaming Juve for their own mistakes is a national pastime amongst fans of loser clubs.

And as for the 36 major trophies of the last 9 years ... how many have those 5 clubs I mentioned won between them?
on the 16th January, 2021 at 1:24am
@1985 Do you always express yourself like a teenager playing in a boy band waiting to get scouted? I cringe over your weak attempt to get attention and stating anything of value at all to the subject. OF COURSE Milan is progressing well, we all know it. And for Bonucci I have never said those things, yes he use to be world class, he aint any longer, never made a metafor to wine and getting better. Not amused by people lying and making things up. 
on the 15th January, 2021 at 9:51pm
I cringed when i read this from childish Milan fan boy here but refuse to call him that way:
"Way I look at it is Milan is greatly progressing."

This is the fanboy who used to say Bonucci is a world class player, df's old age doesn't matter, it's like a fine wine. Milan will win Scudetto with the best fk taker in the world aka Calhanoglu, and many more bs who can only come out from typical fanboy's mouth.

Actually it's us who can't be bothered discussing with fanboy like you. LOL
on the 15th January, 2021 at 5:21pm
@Ita 1

"are u seriously telling me u aren't familiar with this?!"

Im seriously saying I have nothing to do with that. Milans performance has been dreadful last couple of years, that doesn't make them a loser club tho. 9 years is nothing, you sounds like a crying Man City fan who gets pissed for a dip of performance for a few years. Will see what happens going forward the way I look at it is Milan is greatly progressing.
on the 15th January, 2021 at 11:52am

For someone who "can't be bothered discussing" and doesn't want it "dragged on", you spend an awful lot of time doing the opposite of what you say!

Yes, loser clubs. U been asleep the last 9 years??

What have Milan/Inter/Napoli/Roma/Lazio won since?

There are 4 worthwhile trophies available each year, so that's 36 in 9 years. How many have the above 5 won?

Fans of these stumbling clubs often blame Juve for their problems - are u seriously telling me u aren't familiar with this?!
on the 14th January, 2021 at 9:45pm
@ita 1

hahahahah "loser clubs"

"Fans of loser clubs in Italy are obsessed with Juve, it's a common human reaction of transferring blame"

"a worthless hunch counts for nothing". Your entitled to your very narrow-minded opinion.

Give it a rest son, you're draggin way too long.
on the 14th January, 2021 at 7:11pm

You've just done it again lol. I said "they've", referring to Juve (as you wrote yourself). Then you say straight after that that '"you" (twice) have 2 sets of 11'

I don't support Juve at all. But you accusing Anonymous of supporting them (a worthless hunch counts for nothing - try using that in court lol) with literally zero evidence, and then assuming I do too just proves my point

Fans of loser clubs in Italy are obsessed with Juve, it's a common human reaction of transferring blame
on the 14th January, 2021 at 2:21pm
@Ita 1 "And the last few seasons is the worst squad they've had for years, so I wouldn't expect them to be wrecking much now, in fairness"

in all fairness you have 2 sets of 11 players superior to other teams, you could play with two teams in serie a or should I say should be able to play with two teams and yet be on top.

Its pretty evident based on his comment, its a hunch, a feeling, based on his comment.

"And you talk of Juve regularly" that's nonsense, I rarely speak about Juve.
on the 14th January, 2021 at 12:43pm

Can't be bothered? ... Yet here you are bothering

Obsessed? Yes, you accuse people of following them without any evidence. And you talk of Juve regularly

Wrecking teams? Yes, for 10 years. Which is quite the achievement given they're the biggest game for every other club

And the last few seasons is the worst squad they've had for years, so I wouldn't expect them to be wrecking much now, in fairness

Now, that question you avoided ... How EXACTLY did u know Anonymous was a Juve fan?
on the 13th January, 2021 at 10:21am
@ITA 1

Can't be bothered discussing with someone like you.

Obsessing about Juve? Hardly.. Not sure where you get that from.

Considering the squad they have they should wreck other teams in Serie A, which they don't.
on the 13th January, 2021 at 9:38am

I didn't ask u if it was evident he was a Juve fan - I asked u how did you know he was one. Given there was zero evidence from his comment that he was one

What actually happened with u is that u returned to your default-mode of blaming Juve for everything - something fans of failure clubs in Italy that have been in the last decade (Milans x2, Napoli esp

Quit it, it's embarrassing - and pretty pathetic. Quit obsessing over Juve lol

YOU were the one who mentioned Juve ... not him.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 9:14pm

Im the last Inter fan on earth... Black and red here.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 5:49pm

"Btw, do you still think Bonucci is a world class player? LOL!"

He is your captain, you tell me.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 5:49pm
Ha Ha Vikdork is rooting for Inter.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 11:16am
Sussulo had that same game plan as Milan butcher 1st then play ball.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 11:14am
"You are nowhere of the team you use to be"

Do you mean when we had Matri and Vucinic upfront? and Estigarribia as our left winger? LOL

Did you watch the match, salty boy? The commentator said "It would be a miracle if Obiang is still on the field after referee checks on VAR. It's a straight red card foul."

Btw, do you still think Bonucci is a world class player? LOL

So true with anon said earlier: I guess some things never change.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 7:18am
@ITA 1

Nope it didn't, but at least they didn't win in a convincing way.

Lets see how they will handle Lukaku and Martinez next week.

Its pretty evident that he is.. don't you think
on the 11th January, 2021 at 7:28am

Push the gas pedal? Please, you BARELY won against Sasssulo with a player sent off fo them, for a straight red, who wasn't even a red (surprise surprise)

You are nowhere of the team you use to be, deal with it.
on the 11th January, 2021 at 7:26am

Living a pretty decent life, moved to Marbella a year ago, 320 days of year sun. Real estate market currently had a lot of opportunities. I can go on but I just get shit from some jealous suckers saying its a lie. So yeah... im pretty comfortable
on the 11th January, 2021 at 7:25am

Your hope didn't do much lol.

How do you know Annonymous follows Juventus?
on the 10th January, 2021 at 10:21pm
Juventus is getting better and better under Pirlo. I can smell Milan fans' fear and anger towards Juventus good streaks. It smells lovely. An old coat like @Viktor for example. He knows exactly that when Juve decide to push the gas pedal, they'll be unstoppable. Therefore, his weak attempt to calm himself by writing down "hope Sassuolo wrecks you tonight",it's so hilarious to read.
on the 10th January, 2021 at 10:03pm

I wonder what happend in your life for you to end up like this. Well we can all be winners in life i guess.
on the 10th January, 2021 at 4:56pm

hahah pathetic ... you know its true. Its not about excuses it about plain truth. Hope Sassasulo wrecks you tonight.
on the 10th January, 2021 at 2:54pm
Milan fans and their excuses. I guess some things never change
on the 10th January, 2021 at 8:52am

Then a clear red and a pent?

Doubt it.
on the 10th January, 2021 at 8:31am
@ Milan Fan

No, let's go there. Milan's goal was a foul. That has more direct impact on a match than the other two incidents you mentioned.

@ Chris

Good points but half of those names are not really in their best form this season (Bernadeschi, Chiellini, Dybala).
on the 9th January, 2021 at 10:27pm
You can, if and but, all you want. It's up to the 11 on the pitch to get it right. Balance Milans absentees on a seesaw against Juve's but it's all speculation as Ronaldo was on the pitch but had one of his quieter games. A player that Milan wouldn't have played ended up scoring. If Juve can play more consistently like the 15 minute period around the 1st goal it will be good season.
on the 9th January, 2021 at 1:47pm

"Milan's issue in this match was clearly mental and tactical."

Thats by far the stupidest comment on this tread.
on the 9th January, 2021 at 12:22pm

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