Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughMilan vs. Juventus—possibly the turning point for the struggling Rossoneri? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Milan vs. Juventus—possibly the turning point for the struggling Rossoneri? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Milan vs. Juventus—possibly the turning point for the struggling Rossoneri?


Given that Milan have had faced their worst start in the league in over 80 years, and their opponents last Sunday have only suffered 1 defeat in over 50 fixtures, perhaps only a fool, or the most rabid Rossoneri fan would’ve bet on them claiming all 3 points. A draw? Perhaps, given that they managed to come from 2-0 down to salvage a point against Napoli the week prior. Yet, last season, Allegri’s men failed to beat the eventual league winners in either fixture—losing 2-0 in Turin and only managed a 1-all draw at home—all with a much stronger lineup available. Hence, in all honesty, this appeared, at least on paper, to be a match that would result in defeat—the only question being of by how much.

But, as we’re all aware in football, we should always be prepared to expect the unexpected, which is exactly what happened when 1st place faced off against their hosts who were mired in the bottom half of the table. At the end of 90+ minutes, the Rossoneri had gained a valuable 3 points while the Bianconeri were left reeling after their 2nd defeat of the season thus far, and coincidentally, again to a Milan-based team. For one set of fans, there were massive celebrations, while for the other, disappointment and frustration with their team who’ve so far have only gained 4 points from their 4 games played so far this month.

In any case, from a neutral perspective, one can agree that a few things can be ascertained form this past weekend’s fixture, which not surprisingly was somewhat mired in controversy—notably the penalty that sealed all 3 points for Milan.

“The Tinkerman has not left the building”

So, with Claudio Ranieri now coaching Ligue 2 side AS Monaco, Serie A fans had thought that they’d seen the last of the man best known as “The Tinkerman”. Well, they were wrong. Allegri, aka “Tinkerman 2” à la the former Roma, Inter, Juventus, (and the list goes on)coach, due to his using at least a dozen different lineups (especially in defense) so far, may finally be getting some semblance of order, especially at the left-back position with Kevin Constant, who has been mainly solid in that role. Yes, as with any major project, he has quite a ways to go—for instance, why he selected Flamini instead of Emanuelson to replace Boateng or Pazzini in lieu of Bojan for goal-scorer Robinho is beyond me, to be honest, and if anyone can offer a good explanation, I’d be interested to hear about it. Nonetheless, as the age-old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so perhaps, one shouldn’t expect drastic modifications—or logical reasoning—to come about immediately.

“Hitting Rock Bottom”

Speaking of quotes, it’s said in one of my favorite flicks, “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”. And as interim captain of the night Riccardo Montolivo stated before the clash with Juventus, “Milan have hit rock bottom”. So, if that’s the case, then after hitting rock bottom, the only way is up, right? We’ll have to see about that—but certainly, one thing we can all agree is that these 3 points will certainly help to boost morale in the Rossoneri camp. Players who had been, to put it lightly, underperforming, such as Kevin-Prince Boateng and Antonio Nocerino performed at a more acceptable level, putting in solid performances in the midfield, so fans should hope that the duo, who have looked a shadow of themselves compared to the previous season, will be contributing more as the team attempts to turn their disastrous season around.

“Juventus—facing a sophomore season slump?”

Simply put, this match further highlighted that Juventus are not invincible. Yes, they dismantled reigning CL champs Chelsea in a comprehensive 3-0 victory in Turin. Yes, two of their misfiring forwards were on the score-sheet, forcing this writer to eat just a wee bit of crow following her previous article (or not). In any case, it’s important to recognize that while they finished last season undefeated, they didn’t have any European continental football to fill up their schedule. Currently, now playing significantly more games per season, the squad appears to be showing signs of fatigue, having lost twice thus far—with the season not even half-way over. In Sunday’s match, the team as a whole seemed sluggish, with the normal dynamic midfield trio of Pirlo, Marchisio, and Vidal putting in an overall insipid performance and allowing Milan’s midfield to force play out of the middle and onto the wings, where Asamoah and Isla were unable to contribute much to the game. So, as was said previously, with only 4 points from 4 games thus far, and with previous struggling sides Fiorentina and Inter enjoying a sort of renaissance this season so far, the race for the title will certainly be an interesting one to observe both for Serie A fans and neutrals alike.

Yes, the penalty might have been contentious, and Milan is not the side they were in past seasons. Nonetheless, from a casual observer’s standpoint, this match showed that the concept of Juventus losing isn’t as anathema as previously thought and with these 3 vital points, Rossoneri fans can perhaps start to think positively after all.

Michelle Bonsu