Juventus 3-1 AC Milan
Scorers: Tevez 15 (J), Antonelli 29 (M), Bonucci 32 (J), Morata 65 (J)
Serie A – Week 22 [Saturday, 7th February – 19:45 GMT] – Juventus Stadium
Juventus cruised to a 3-1 victory at Juventus Stadium verus Max Allegri’s ex-employer A.C. Milan. Despite the scoreline, it was actually one of the more entertaining Juve games of the past few weeks. Milan started the game off bringing it to Juve who responded in turn with some counter attacks. Juventus withstood the pressure and shortly began to overpower Milan, who eventually gave up after around 75 minutes.
Milan were arguably the better side for the first ten minutes. They were certainly attacking more, but Juventus was being very patient and trying to hit Milan on the counter. This worked generally, they were able to launch counters, but the counter attacks weren’t super dangerous. In fact, Juventus got a bit sloppy around the 8th minute, and Milan looked like they might be able to pounce on a Juventus mistake.
Unfortunately for the Rossoneri, calcio is a fickle game. Moments later, Alvaro Morata launched a through ball for Carlos Tevez. Tevez outpaced Gabriel Palletta en route to also beating keeper Diego Lopez to score Juve’s first goal. There were some complaints that Tevez was offside. It is not possible to say definitively if he was, but of course the anti-Juve crowd took these and ran with it. Campionato falsato, et cetera.
Less than 10 minutes later Patric Evra almost scored off of a Andrea Pirlo free kick. Evra again nearly scored two mintues after that, with a free header in the box, but his effort went over the crossbar. Then, Milan got a corner kick of their own.
Alessio Cerci sent in a phenomenal ball and Luca Antonelli met his pass in the box. Antonelli beat Giorgio Chiellini in the air and his header also beat Gigi Buffon. Just like that the game was level and Milan had scored. There were many corners in this game, and this wouldn’t be the last goal from a corner kick. In fact, another one happened three minutes later.
Carlos Tevez headed a corner kick to Leonardo Bonucci, who was meters away from the goal. Bonucci hit the ball in the air with some sort of backheel kick or scorpion kick, and his effort beat Lopez. Bonucci was quite excited about his go ahead goal, and he even leaped over the advertising boards to get closer to the fans while he celebrated. Bonucci wasn’t careful, though, and he fell right over the board. To his credit, he got right back up, but he had still created a great blooper. (Vine courtesy of @KhaledAlNouss)
The final 15 minutes of the second half consisted of more corners and close calls, with Carlos Tevez forcing a Diego Lopez save seconds before the end of the half. Bonucci also had a dangerous chance on a corner after his goal. That was mostly it for the first half, and it ended with a 2-1 advantage to Juventus.
The second half began at lower pace than the first half finished, and there weren’t nearly as many scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes as there had been throughout the first half. However, Milan did come very close to a second goal. In the 53rd minute, Giampaolo Pazzini was fed the ball from Luca Antonelli in Juve’s box, and his fierce shot was skillfully saved by Buffon.
After little more than an hour, Paul Pogba realized he had yet to really turn on his magic machine, and he started to perform some of his famous dribbling tricks. Or illusions, rather. This led to Juve’s third and final goal in the 64th minute.
Pogba was dribbling around some Milan players, one of them poked the ball away, and Claudio Marchisio managed to get a strong effort form just outside of the 18 yard box off. It bounced off the post, and Alvaro Morata found the rebound and scored. Morata had a phenomenal game, serving as a target man ala Fernando Llorente but also constantly running and causing havoc for the opposition ala Tevez. He could develop into a perfect hybrid of the two, and he certainly seems to be a smart choice to start at striker from here on out. Morata scored three goals today, but two of them were – correctly – called offside. But that still speaks to how on point he was, and how good his finishing was today.
Morata was the man of the match, but Claudio Marchisio was a close second. He almost scored that third goal, and he was tireless in midfield, helping in all areas of play. It was a very fine showing from Il Principino. On the other hand, Giorgio Chiellini had a bit of stinker. He was at fault for Milan’s goal, and he also blatantly elbowed Pazzini in the game. He was lucky to not get in any trouble for it, aside from a foul call.
Today’s win means Juve – and Allegri – are 2-0 versus Milan this season. Since they aren’t in Coppa Italia, Juve won’t be playing them until next season, or more likely over the summer in a friendly. So, goodbye for now, Milan. Onwards to Cesena.
Man of the Match: Alvaro Morata
Flop of the Match: N/A
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots on Target: 8
Total Shots: 20
Ball Possession: 53%
Juventus: Buffon; Padoin, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Marchisio (Ogbonna 84), Pirlo, Pogba; Vidal; Tevez (Llorente 91), Morata
Milan: Diego Lopez; Zaccardo (Rami 78), Alex, Paletta, Antonelli; Poli (Bonaventura 61), Essien, Muntari; Cerci, Menez (Pazzini 37), Honda