Match Analysis: Milan 1-2 JUVENTUS

Posted on 30/10/2010


Against the odds, Juventus secured a vital win at San Siro, defeating Milan with a second-string, makeshift side

A poor start by the Bianconeri saw the defence initially struggle to deal with the movement and pace of Milan’s front-play, but despite looking likely to concede and just as unlikely to create – Jorge Martinez and Claudio Marchisio failing to impress on the wings – Paolo De Ceglie’s high, first-time cross caught out Milan’s back-line, unable to adjust in time to counter Fabio Quagliarella’s presence for the night’s opening goal.

Despite the selection problems at either end of the pitch – exacerbated in the warm-up by Giorgio Chiellini’s withdrawal and then De Ceglie’s near the end of the first half through injury – it was the midfield’s failure to gel that will have caused most concern for Gigi Del Neri throughout the game.

Andrea Pirlo was asserting himself on play completely unchallenged for the opening period and the Juve midfield was uncertain of whether to track Robinho in the trequarti, or press Pirlo further up the pitch. Felipe Melo and Alberto Aquilani seemed reluctant to both drop deep.

Aquilani initially started as the deeper laying of the duo, but a lack of genuine width by the mis-positioned Marchisio and the drifting Martinez saw most of his passes end up as long balls gifting possession back to Milan, or as simple side passes that saw Juve moves lose the pace they were initially eager to implement in possession.

With Robinho looking lively and Aquilani not presenting a significant obstacle, Melo took the deeper role, forcing Robinho out of the centre, but also forcing Aquilani out of the game, unable to pick the ball up and looking off the pace for the remainder of the contest. The most telling aspect was the defence’s reversion to an early-season tactic of looking long for their strikeforce, one that despite Quagliarella’s headed goal, was struggling to assert themselves physically without one of Amauri or Vincenzo Iaquinta on the pitch.

Nicola Legrottaglie’s inexplicable positioning that pulled Leonardo Bonucci across to leave Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Simone Pepe for his headed goal was the one blot on the centre-back pairing’s performance, otherwise organised and intelligent.

Although the team benefited greatly from Milan’s self-imposed tactical collapse that saw their front three drop out of the game after 20 minutes, Del Neri can take heart from the fact that despite his own inability to vary the formation to suit the players available to him – a five man midfield could have made better use of counter-attacks – he has imprinted a selfless work-rate and dedication on the Juventus side that was missing last season.
Source: Football-Italia