Close but not close enough. Juventus appeared to be heading towards their Serie A victory of the season thanks to Alvaro Morata’s early goal, but failing to properly deal with a late corner kick allowed Milan to equalize through Ante Rebic.
For the Rossoneri, it was undoubtedly a pleasant draw, but on the other hand, Max Allegri’s men now find themselves in the relegation zone after garnering only two points from their four outings.
So here are three major takeaways from Sunday’s big showdown at the Allianz Stadium.
New Season, Same Problem
We mentioned this issue time and time again throughout the last campaign, and once again we find ourselves facing the same problem; Juventus are unable to perform well for two halves.
Whilst the first 45 minutes weren’t exactly a masterpiece, the team’s performance overall was decent enough, with the defense being alert, the midfield retrieving the ball and the strikers combining to score.
No one expected Allegri to solve all of the club’s problems with one magical stick, but watching the side crumbling after the break made for a disappointing sight.
If the manager doesn’t find a quick solution for this issue, then this campaign will be as hopeless as its predecessor – if not worse.
A Deadly Weapon Restored
Let’s talk about the positives for a second. During the last two campaigns, Andrea Pirlo and especially Maurizio Sarri tried to enforce their own tactical philosophies, and were perhaps too proud to win matches on counter attacks.
On the other hand, Allegri adopts a much more pragmatic approach and is more than happy to sit back and wait for his opponents to commit a mistake and punish them with a swift counter. This is basically the story Juve’s lone goal on Sunday night, while the team could have added others in a similar manner.
This tactical twist might be the ideal way to pounce on the speed of Morata, Juan Cuadrado and Federico Chiesa. Whilst the smaller sides are unlikely to leave much space at the back when facing the Bianconeri, counter attacks remain a major weapon at the Old Lady’s disposal when facing an opponent who’s willing to advance his lines.
Back to Basics
Following the match, Allegri felt that he had his substitutions wrong, as he should have strengthened the defense to secure the result instead of changing personnel upfront.
Therefore, the next time Juventus are in the lead against a tough opponent, we can expect the manager to revert to his old ways and bring in an extra defender or two to secure the result – reminiscently to the old days when he used to bring in Andrea Barzagli to strengthen his defensive wall.
However, we’ve seen Allegri pulling off this trick by introducing Giorgio Chiellini against Udinese during the opening match of the season, and the result was far from ideal.
Max has apparently set his mind, and only time will tell whether he’s right or wrong.