Saturday March 11 2017
Milan must see Turin positives

The last-gasp Juventus penalty fuelled rage, but Milan should emerge more confident from their defeat in Turin, writes Adam Summerton.

Few things rile football fans more than a perceived sense of sporting injustice. It can eat away at you and narrow focus – making supporters metaphorically short-sighted with virtual tunnel-vision. Whether it was a penalty or not for Juventus in Turin on Friday night is something we can all debate, but whatever conclusion you draw there is a bigger picture for Milan supporters to take note of here.

When you’ve previously conquered all, winning the small battles, and gradually retaking ground must be harder to appreciate – but that’s what is happening at Milan. Yes, they lost that game in Turin, and on the balance of play I’d argue Juventus just about deserved it, but Milan came away from that game enhanced, even if the gains were not necessarily tangible.

As he proved once again in Turin, Milan have, as his agent has already pointed out, “a rare jewel” in Gianluigi Donnarumma. There is no doubt in my mind that he is the ‘real deal’, nor that he is the successor in waiting to the magnificent Gianluigi Buffon. I have to remind myself sometimes that Donnarumma is only just 18, he could still be playing in 2040. By then I expect he will be dripping in silverware, and partly because he has that extra something that often sets apart the very good from the excellent: a strong mentality.

It’s a quality Milan sides of recent years have collectively been accused of not having. An inability to dig in, to show strength in adversity, to believe in your teammates and your manager. But anyone who has watched the Rossoneri in recent weeks can see that, for their many faults, this squad is developing that resilience and character.

They won with nine men at Bologna, rescued a late point at a very capable Lazio, but also won hard-fought contests against Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Chievo, and were seconds away from ending Juve’s staggering run of home league wins.

In all of those games there was more determination than dazzle, but the former is creating the conditions for the latter to eventually follow, and Vincenzo Montella is cultivating the environment quietly and effectively. The Milan Coach showed great dignity in defeat in Turin, and even stopped Carlos Bacca confronting the referee - small yet significant details that strengthen his arm yet further.

Despite minimal transfer funds, the backdrop of a protracted takeover, and with an injury-hit squad badly lacking strength in depth, Montella is slowly but surely turning this juggernaut around. In short I just think he’s proved he ‘gets it’. He gets the situation/politics, he gets the size of the club and, in trying circumstances, he has put out a team that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Clear tactical acumen and a solid managerial grounding can only help – a ‘young’ manager with the benefit of ‘miles on the clock’, the Juve defeat was his 266th game in the dug-out at the age of 42. Young enough to still be on a similar wavelength as senior players, yet experienced enough to be able to handle the huge challenges in managing a club like Milan.

Montella’s short reign has already delivered the club’s first silverware since 2011 (honourable mention for Sinisa Mihajlovic) – and just as December’s Supercoppa success over Juventus could be viewed as another small step in the right direction, so could the league defeat against the same opponents in Turin. It’s about seeing the wood, rather than the trees. 

Have your say...

Mistakes after mistakes. The referee is under the pockets of Juve.

No more mistakes please. We all hate Juve
on the 20th March, 2017 at 1:50pm
And while everyone is posting in such old topics (keep the laughs coming, losers) we're the last Italian team remaining in Europe. Interesting how none of the teams we've faced whine that much about the referee, while you guys still lose like it doesn't matter who you face.

Or did we break your hearts by putting you in your place, dearies? Now go to bed, the Old Lady has bigger fish to fry.
on the 16th March, 2017 at 11:50pm
It looks to me there are many haters of Juventus. The game against AC MILAN showed the world how much everyone hates Juventus. They cannot understand it too. LOL. Get a life whoever is posting positive stuff about Juventus
on the 16th March, 2017 at 2:47pm
Juve are the most hates team in Italy and outside the world. They are corrupt and hell bent on winning the easy way. They are the most boring team in the world.
on the 16th March, 2017 at 1:46pm
Juventus should be embarrassed

All their footballing wins are linked to underhand mafia links.
on the 16th March, 2017 at 1:44pm
All u juve haters used to say that ucl is d best indicator of strength.
Well, look carefully.
All italian team that has been kicked out of the competition are d team that consistently said that they're stronger than juve.
Fact: juve, the only italian that went through in ucl.
Why? Because juve is the strongest italian team.
Face it.
Like buffon said: "shut up, go home,& improve".
on the 16th March, 2017 at 6:25am

Oh, wait. Sorry. I treated you like a kid running his mouth off and didn't listen.
Al Dino and I are the same person.

How cute... for you see, you only scratched the surface. It's not just Al Dino, it's all Juventinos around the world. We are one and we are many. We are LEGION!
on the 15th March, 2017 at 4:43pm

Yes, sweetheart. We all hear you. Now move along, it's been 5 days.
on the 15th March, 2017 at 12:57pm
@juventini86 @al dino are the same person. Looks like he may be the same person for all positive posts for Puventus. What a sick man.

The world knows it. Do not be ashamed. Puventus are the biggest sinners in the world. The owners are too. The refs have no choice but to obey Agnelli demands.

The refs made sure Puventus won so they can ease their champions league fixture. No doubt about it.
on the 15th March, 2017 at 9:33am

Oh, totally. I also of this guy named Santa Claus conspiring with the toothfairy for some shady dealings including the lizard people.
on the 14th March, 2017 at 5:33pm
@al dino Ok Calvin Mcdonald. what a tool.

Everyone knows how Juventus have been winning for many years. Every team is playing with 11 men and Juve are playing with 12 men.
on the 14th March, 2017 at 3:58pm
New generation of moggi et al.

This dumpster class of a club with no European pedigree should have been buried in SerieB when they were relegated.
on the 14th March, 2017 at 12:11pm
@Sergio Buhu cry me a river
on the 14th March, 2017 at 10:46am
@AL DINO, I think you forget. Juve are corrupt, bent, love to match fixing with refs, .. ask Conte, and everyone knows their players took drugs. Ask Vialli!

You should be ashamed.
on the 14th March, 2017 at 12:47am
SHAMEFUL that is what i will repeat again here. When Juventus gets a call god forbid its in any way debatable Immediately you see the media, opponents (coaches, players), Fans, everyone calls it stealing, cheating, bribery controversial etc. It’s the end of the world. But look no further than this weekend for evidence of hypocrisy Inter gets a nonexistent penalty awarded a nonexistent free kick leading to the first goal and no one says anything the media concentrates on the win opponents say nothing and fans are all quiet. Then you have Roma and Napoli both benefiting from controversial goals and penalties again no media coverage no fan outcries no damaged lockers absolutely nothing is being said in the match reports you don’t even see the word debatable or controversial. Mind you all this is happening less than 24hrs after Juve was crucified for getting a penalty in the 94th minute. A call btw. that is in no way or case debatable as you can see in the replays not one but two players with their outstretched arms in a non natural position and yet some Blog writers, opposing fans, have the balls if you will to come on here and talk about how Serie A clubs are cheated by Juve and how Juve owns the media and refs.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 9:29pm

There, there, baby. Have a sucker.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 4:32pm

Oh, you poor souls. All caps and namecalling are your last resort when you know you've got no case. Please, just go back to having referees favour you and still fail to even qualify for Europe. You'll spare us the embarrassment of Serie A spreading all over the continent.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 3:56pm

There, there, baby. Have a sucker.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 1:55pm
user: Ravanelli - So Juve are in the top chain of the hierarchy? Basically refs favour Juve at number 1, and Milan in top 5? Oh please.


I see a lot of Juve fans having to defend, which means they are guilty fake fans.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 9:05am
at the end of the day we're talking about a team that went to the finals of the UCL 2 years ago whilst kicking out Real, the team that dismantled Napoli, and then nearly kicked out Bayern the following year a team that dismantled roma and this year are again going to the quarter finals after winning a group which had lyon who dismantled roma just last week. What exactly do you guys expect?
on the 13th March, 2017 at 8:57am
someone said why is it everyone hates juve is it they are ALL mad..the fact is winning breeds contempt. Why would everyone hate on losers like Napoli who haven't won a league since the 80s ? haters hate winners it's not exactly rocket science. just like ''everyone is our rival'' LOL and in the meantime time we see all of you on the same level, little whiners who play us expecting to loose so get excuses ready to go from before hand.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 8:53am
In all honesty I nearly wished it came draw, 1. I knew the backlash that would endure and 2. milan tried there hardest for he draw. But let's be honest if donaruma wanst on fire we would have won about 4-1. Having said this I truly hope Milan get back on their feet asap, Italy needs another classy team and another which could compete in Europe, I've always respected milan.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 8:41am
Focus on milan n juve.

Handball-->penalty =controversy juve penalty
Kick grass--> penalty = forza milan?
Milan players get mad when handball results penalty.
On previous match, they enjoy a penalty rewarded just for kicking the grass.

They escaped a penalty spot when zapata foul dybala in front of their goal.
Bacca handball goes unpunished. Happy milan.
Rigore per la WHO? Hypocrites.
Pjanic goals disallowed by donnaruma's bullshit to manipulate d ref. ref play for who?
on the 13th March, 2017 at 8:00am
As for the FFP that this one clown brought up. It affected the Milanese clubs, because you're two of the WORST run organizations in Europe.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 12:52am
So Roma gets a 97th min penalty in the Coppa QF to avoid losing to Cesena on away goals, they get awful penalties against Udine at the start of the season(no complaints), Napoli gets a last second penalty against Firenze from Merten's acting and thats fine. Who yelled when Sassuolo got a last minute penalty to win 1-0 against Inter? nobody. The match is over when the ref blows his whistle, you make an amateur mistake like De Sciglio did and you pay the price.
on the 13th March, 2017 at 12:48am
Funny how Palermo had a legit goal to take the lead against Roma taken away for an imaginary offsides......
on the 13th March, 2017 at 12:16am

I did not see matches yet; however if the fouls were non-existent for the penalties than clearly that is wrong. This is what many of your Juventus fans do not understand. It doesn't matter who is favoured, referees must not favour ANY TEAM. Every fan from every team in Serie A sees a problem with the referees, the only people who don't are Juventus fans. Referees need reform but some very powerful people are extremely happy with the status quo.
on the 12th March, 2017 at 10:36pm

Nobody mentioned FFP because it has nothing to do with this blog.
You, on the other hand, will bring it up even on a cooking blog..
Like a dumb parrot.

It's like those rules only applied to your club.

It's not our fault that your club is managed like a circus.

Btw, your Thohir is wanted in an investigation and he might go to prison.. You might wanna pay attention to that instead of your usual repetitive pathetic bitching.
on the 12th March, 2017 at 7:05pm
Hmmm 2 non-existent penalties for Napoli, plus Rog should've seen red. Inter non-existent penalty. Where are you now Maradonamac? Where are you hypocrisy? Where are you interello? Enough with the whining about Juve getting favoured by the refs, because it really is getting quite pathetic.
on the 12th March, 2017 at 6:17pm
Dodgy penalties for Napoli and Inter today. I wonder if there will be an uproar at these decisions..... Juve now the team with the least amount of penalties awarded to them in the top 10 of Serie A despite dominating the most games.
on the 12th March, 2017 at 4:55pm

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