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...
I agree with Daniel. De Sciglio looks a top player and Montolivo is also playing very well at present. Juve didnt play well I think playing a massive game mid week impacted on the performance. Buffon was unlucky with the penalty. Good win for Milan though not only the result but for their confidence. It further highlights Juves need for a top striker. Although I think Quags is great. As a big roma fan pleased with the win. We need to keep going. Also pleased with our defense in last 2 games.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:30am
Dubious penalty or not...what is relevant now is that Milan beat Rubentus.

on the 26th November, 2012 at 11:20am
I agree, that was Milan's best performance and their stand out player was Montalivio, he was a true leader.
Maybe Juve fans were just getting a bit spoilt winning comfortable all the time, like Buffon said; they had an hour to react and they could muster anything. However, it's a long season and a lot can still happen.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:48am
First time in this season Milan makes me proud to be a Milan fan! Hope you see GRAND MILAN again..
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:45am
the subs that were made were really poor. it made no sense that quag was subbed instead of vucinic. what the hell did he do that made him deserve 90 mins. isla was beyond bad. if these players have a hard time playing twice every 4 days we are in serious trouble.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:40am
"but the Old Lady did little to save the game"

Did little?

Juve dominated the match from start to finish. If it wasn't for the penalty and the stupid Alessio, Juve should have emerged as winners.

Alessio cost Juve a lot of matches, either losses or draws. These type of matches need Conte back in the bench.

I can't wait for him to be back.

Even Quagliarella had enough of his stupidity.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:35am
This game explains ones again: Conte does not have a plan B.
It's pescara - juve play 3-5-2. It's milan or chealsea- juve play 3-5-2. He never changes system so it becomes predictable for any opponent. Why not to try 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-5-1? Feel sorry about that.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:30am
Where is the usual hysterical media reaction to this phantom match-winning penalty? It seems that there's only a referee crisis when mistakes benefit Juventus. Everything else is OK. Juve played badly but that doesn't mean you should gift the opposition goals. That's now 2 Milanese teams being awarded non-existent penalties against Juve. Well predicted by Moggi before the game...
Juve will still win the league.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:21am
If juve the one who got this penalty, all of media will be flooded with the MATCH FIXING news.

Other teams ..... silence !
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:20am
Well I guess that's Karma for the Muntari incident last season. Maybe Milan fans can stop their moaning now as I think we're even.

We'll bounce back

on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:17am
Not to forget the terrible Alessio who failed again in reading the game in second half.
Juve will still win the scudetto but they need to improve their mistaked mentioned before if they want to target the big one "Champions League"
Forza Milan per sempre
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:16am
Great win for Milan despite of the dubious penalty.
Milan needs to play on defense like that every match because our defense sucks.
Juve helped Milan last night. +60% possession for Juve with only 3 shots on target.
Juve need a world class striker no questions asked.
Also not to forget that Constant looked like a veteran because of Isla's terrible crosses.
Asamoah needs to learn how to dribble to his right at least once per match to confuse fullbacks.
He is so stereotypical.
Juve let down Juve.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:14am
Milan were well organised & defended well. They were not that good in an attacking sense, but De Sciglio & Monty were excellent. Juve were poor, their usual intensity was missing & I cannot think of many of their players that had a good game; maybe Barzagli & Bonucci. Marchisio was anonymous & Vucinic was sloppy, lazy, & ineffective-Quags had every right to be upset at being subbed, it should have been Vucinic.
on the 26th November, 2012 at 10:07am

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