Monday November 26 2012
Milan live life to the Max

An inexistent penalty gave Milan a win against Juventus, but the Old Lady did little to save the game. Giancarlo Rinaldi wraps ups the weekend action.

Maybe it was the presence of Marco Van Basten in the stands to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his four-goal haul against Gothenburg. Perhaps it was the pre-match visit to the dressing room by Silvio Berlusconi. Whatever the secret ingredient, it was just enough to give Milan their most significant League win of the season when Juventus came to town.

It was the second Rossonero miracle in a matter of days. Having qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League midweek, they followed it up by beating the top team in Serie A. Not bad for a side dubbed by many as the worst Milan in living memory and a manager more under fire than an MP quitting the constituency for a spell in the celebrity jungle.

The first half of the key encounter in the San Siro produced, depending on your viewpoint, one of the best Milanese displays of the season or one of Juve’s worst. It was capped by a contentious penalty and endless replays struggled to establish whether the ball had brushed Mauricio Isla’s arm. Robinho duly converted and while the spot-kick could be debated, Milan’s lead was entirely deserved.

“From the bench it seemed like a penalty but, seeing the replays, it doesn’t look like one,” admitted Max Allegri after the match. “The team worked well together and we did not concede much to Juve. We have lost games this season giving the opposition just one chance on goal. We are getting better match by match.”

Juve responded well enough to what was presumably Angelo Alessio channeling his inner Antonio Conte-style rage at half-time and did their best to fight back. However, they looked the more jaded side after their Herculean midweek European efforts. You wait 49 games to see them suffer a League defeat and then two come along in the space of a month.

“When we don’t play as a team, we can lose a game like we did tonight,” said the stand-in Bianconero boss. “Sometimes decisions go in your favour and other times they go against you. I can imagine what might have happened if we had got a decision like that.”

There seemed to be a dash less bitterness in the post-match comments than on previous occasions, perhaps because of the large gap between the sides. Gigi Buffon hit the nail on the head when he said that it was important to get the message across to fans from time to time that their team had not played well and might have deserved to lose – regardless of individual refereeing decisions. As he rightly pointed out, Juve had about an hour to get back into the game but could not carve out many clear chances to turn the game around.

The result left the door open to other challengers to close the gap at the top of the table with Fiorentina doing half the job earlier in the day. The Viola suffered a serious test of their resilience as, without Stevan Jovetic (injured) and David Pizarro (suspended), they twice came from behind to get a point away to Torino. With Luca Toni and Alberto Aquilani also having to leave the pitch with knocks during the match, it was a gutsy display. Almost inevitably, their controversial old boy Alessio Cerci was among the Granata scorers in a gripping 2-2 draw.

“It was a good game between two teams who wanted to win and might have deserved to do so,” said Fiorentina Coach Vincenzo Montella. “We showed maturity, quality and personality. But to keep ourselves in third place will be difficult.”

Elsewhere, Roma continued their rise with a win over Pescara and another clean sheet. There were also morale-boosting victories for Genoa, Sampdoria and Palermo. They allowed their followers to breath a little more easily than they have been doing of late.

But with Napoli, Lazio and Inter still to play, there are plenty of question marks over how the week will play out. The Nerazzurri could close the gap at the top of the table to a single point. A victory could catapult the Partenopei into serious Scudetto contention. Or the Biancocelesti might get themselves back into the hunt for a top three slot.

One of the only things certain was that there were big smiles around the San Siro on Sunday night. Adriano Galliani was full of jokes, Allegri looked a little more relaxed and the fans hoped they might have reached La Svolta – the turning point – in their season. Only time will tell if that is actually the case but, in the meantime, the Rossoneri can at least savour their best week of the campaign by quite some distance.

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Have your say...
Well done Milan a good victory, scored and hung in there against the champions never easy to do but they did it. Still I think Juve will win Serie A Milan top 5 maybe
on the 26th November, 2012 at 5:15pm
I couldn't watch the match (FOX and ESPN dropped Serie A in the US) but saw the highlights. Can anyone weigh in on how ElShaaraway played? Also, is Constant playing Left Back better than Antonini?
on the 26th November, 2012 at 4:48pm
Well well seems like your constant trash talk(which is what you're accustomed to do) and lack of knowledge of the game really caught up to you.. You continue to use excuses because you can't even cope with the fact that you lost to a team who is well behind you still. For you to say Milan defended with 11 the whole game is pathetic.. They were eventually pressed into their own half since Juve really isn't down a goal ever. Ah well. Forza Milan Chump :) or should I say Mustafa
on the 26th November, 2012 at 4:40pm
two clean sheets in a row for roma?! wow, this can't possibly be zemans team! ...but it is. so maybe now some patience could be working, you never know. with the gelling of many new players and many young ones too, maybe zeman approach could be alive. there is no problem in the scoring department, just had to do some fine tweaking in the defense, because conceding too much. zeman understands that. he knows that so what if you score 5 goals a game if you are giving up 6! winning, 3 important pts.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 3:03pm
Bad Karma for juve.. Muntari disallowed goal is now paid off. That goal cost us the title. Juve still on top but at least it blows the competition wide open again. And this could be the stepping stone for new Milan team and Allegri.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:59pm
Let's see what happens in the reverse fixture when Juve has Conte back.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:57pm
Milan were playing to their current strengths Monte was imense and hats off to him, i was very impressed with De Sciglio looks like a real find, classy youngster but dont build him up too much jus yet.

Juve its one defeat but looks bad as its 2 in 4! and against the milan teams, hard to swallow right now but there is a long season ahead, lets wait for Conte and see what happens...
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:55pm
And Juve DO! have a plan B as was evident last season where we could switch up mid game. the subs yesterday were farcical! Alesio is out of his depth. Vucinic is our main striker who doesnt know how to score. Yesterday was a mix of many things really. ive always said it 352 works but not for every game! Give Marrone a chance too and Pepe could have been brought on instead on Padouin who i still dnt know y is even in the squad im sure hes a good player but NOT juve standard.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:50pm
Anonymous1 - Ok then that goal must have stoped milan dropping points at HOME! to smaller teams does it? that goal had no impact on the title Milan threw it away and juve took their chance!

And to ALL on here, calm down so we lost, we were not at our best. Milan Played their best to date this season, defended deep and well. Juve huffed and puffed to no avail whats possesion with no end product?! it was a 1-0 win with a non existent pen! we should accept it & move on simple as that,
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:46pm
LOL barely threatened with 6 shots to Juve's 1 lol... Mustafa really... SHHHHHHHHHH!!! lol
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:45pm
Padoin can cross a ball that's summin that is the minimum requirement for a winger wing back??????? Lichtsteiner asamoah isla don't even understand the concept of whipping a ball in
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:43pm
I have said this last week when commenting! Milan is more balanced than Chelsea and would hurt us if we were not careful. Last night i was proven right, penalty or no penalty Milan didn't deserve to lose & Juve didn't deserve to win. This was probably the worse game i have seen Juve play since Conte took over. For me the dubious penalty was just a symbol of how poorly we played. No player on the field deserved praise as in my opinion they were lazy and half drunk on the Chelsea win.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:41pm
Milan & Allegri must be credited for this match. Juve and Milan had played equally important games during the Mid-Week & i think we cannot use that as an excuse.

Yes, the game being a scrappy one for both sides unable to hold possession for long could be due to fatigue. But, Allegri got it right, he knew that Juve would pay too much attention to Milan's wide players, but the puzzle here was Milan always looked to pierce the defence from the center.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:17pm
@ Daniel Giambrone

Dude, you don't get clear-cut chances in these type of matches. Milan defended with 11 players and barely threatened.

Alessio, Alessio and Alessio ! They should have kept Carrera until Conte is back.

Juve miss Conte a lot.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:17pm
Constant was a monster too.. great game from him... Pazzini was horrile.. all he did was give the ball away with everyone of his touches...
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:09pm
Juventus are the best team in italy,but they arent Barcelona!Only Barca can break down a team that parks the bus! Milan were defending with 11.With below standard strikers like Giovinco and Quag,it was impossible.Another example was Lazio game.
Despite the fact that no one can understand why Alessio played the obsolete Padion and not Lichestiner, Juve were never going to break down a team defending for the lives.It requires the likes of Suarez, Aguero..which Juve will never get! 10x to Marotta!
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:06pm
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:06pm

Juve dominated !? Are you insane? Did you even have a go at goal? Totally Milan's game.. And for the the pen, he shouldn't have he's arm up there anyways as it clearly blocked the balls direction. Loved how the juve players disputed every call from ref. Really showed class.

Hopefully you'll go through in CL. Milan as always are already qualified.

Forza Curva Sud
on the 26th November, 2012 at 2:02pm
@ Vito doria i also don't have a problem with 352 the problem with the juve 352 is the space in front of the back 3 pirlo plays there but I'm not sure it works maybe with a 4 but the back 3 are so exposed because when pirlo pushes upfield there is a ocean of space between him and the back 3 that's why alesio switched pirlo and vidal, vidal has more legs and can tackle its a big problem personally i would play pirlo behind the front 2 so he can float more, behind the front 2 is a free role
on the 26th November, 2012 at 1:46pm
@Rossoneri Coming from Serie B minus 7 WC players and they still finished above meelan....Anyway I do agree with you, form is temporary. Juve has shown what there form is, last night was a drop, they will get it back. And class? Educate yourself. Juve are the most prestigious club in Italy, only the highest in CLASS will get to wear that shirt, ie. not Cassano etc. Anyway I say lap it up now while you can, CONTES Juve will face Inter/Milan next year, will be a different story.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 1:36pm
On another note how does matri not get a run of games in this team vucinec is lasy wastes possession quag will shoot from anywhere on the pitch he never looks up all he thinks about is shooting, i mean it's not as if them two are pulling trees up i think juve need to give matri a run in the team. It's obvious why gio was brought back he's the only one with any pace juve lack pace all over the park they really struggle with a pacey team. Juve have more problems than a world class striker
on the 26th November, 2012 at 1:28pm
Well firstly padoin is better at crossing the ball with either foot i might add than isla asamoah and Lichtsteiner, yet again no cover for the back 3 from the dm before you jump down my throat pirlo plays there he is to easy to play around and shows a real lack ergency when a juve move breaks down, in fact you moan about the manager he actually changed it round with 20 minutes to go and put vidal there because juve was getting over run its obvious to see pirlo cannot cover the defence
on the 26th November, 2012 at 1:22pm
I love how when Juventus lose to a highly questionable (at best) refereeing decision, everyone cheerily accepts that these things happen, the Juventus players own up to their shortcomings, and calm heads prevail.

Now imagine if the situation and scoreline was reversed.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 1:17pm
I wouldnt say that its even now between Milan and Juve. Muntari goal cost Milan scudeto last year. Maybe if Milan win it this season by some miracle, then we can call it even
on the 26th November, 2012 at 12:49pm
I quite agree with mark ...Juventus dont have a plan B .It was clear that the flanks were disabled by a new Constant and a marvelous De Sciglio . I was expecting shots from outside the penalty area by Vidal or Marchisio or an in depth pass by Pirlo but the whole juventus midfeild was disabled and the Milan players fought rigourously and won the battle in the midfeild .Nothing significant was coming through to the attackers .This is where Alessio should have changed to 3 forwards instead of 2 .
on the 26th November, 2012 at 12:08pm
Mustafa, Juve did have a lot of the ball, but how many clear-cut chances did they create? Neither team were particularly good in the final 3rd last night. Don't be too harsh on Isla! He has come back from a long lay-off, & hasn't really had that much football. Sam I am happy for Roma. Patience is needed because, like Milan, they are playing with a new back four. I like Zemans attacking approach, and guts when it comes to playing youngsters. Buffon speaks with so much objectivity and common sense
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:55am
Mark, Conte does have contingencies; with both 433, & 424 amongst his favoured systems. The players were poor last night! The wing-backs, Vucinic & Marchisio had off-days. Juve just didn't have intensity in their play. The fatigue excuse also doesn't work because Milan had less time to recover from their CL game, & they also played away from home. I have doubts over Alessio's ability to; consistently motivate the players, make decent substitutions, & make timely tactical changes.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:44am
@ mark

Have you checked Conte's formations before 2012? In the first half of last season, he used a 4-3-3 formation and before he came to Juve, he used the 4-2-4 formation. Juve had a poor game but the 3-5-2 is the best formation for these players. I won't use one loss or poor performance to prompt a formation change.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:38am
Every team has matches during the season where they arent at their best. I think by the end of the season Juve will win the scudetto no doubt. Last season Juve didnt have europe so it was easier for them. Hopefully Juve will go all the way in europe which will be great for us all,both for italian football and the teams we support in the sense that their serie A performances may not be as good as if they werent in europe.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:36am
When juve came up from Serie B (hahahah) they were getting battered by 4 goals from small teams, i remember milan crushing them with 3 goals then stopped scoring because they felt sorry for them. This milan is the worst side any body have seen since decades and yet what happens??? Class is permenant..Form is temporary
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:30am

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