Last call the derby. Milan draw with Juventus (0-0), are joined by Napoli in second place and Inter find themselves four points higher at the top of the standings. If to this ranking we add a game that the leaders must recover in Bologna, it is clear how the advantage points of the Inzaghi band could be even seven. Therefore, to stop their escape and bring themselves back, at least virtually, the Rossoneri must win the derby on 6 February, take advantage of the apparently sweet calendar in the three subsequent matches (while that of Inter will be harsh and arduous) and get back to where it was up to two shifts ago. That is before Milan lost five points in two games.
Milan-Juve was a bad show. Pioli’s men did something more in terms of conducting the maneuver and shooting on goal, but to say that they deserved to win would be an exaggeration. Juve, on the other hand, as expected, lined up with a very compact 4-4-2 (De Ligt absent for a gastroenteritis), at least eight men behind the line of the ball and a few restarts to try to hurt. Honestly, it is not clear if Allegri cannot do more and better or if in the end he wanted this performance and this result.. Not that equalization is of great use to Juve, even if now it is only one point from the fourth place occupied by Atalanta who on Saturday, without ten starters and without any striker, drew in Rome at a Lazio that only Sarri has seen tactically progressed.
However, Atalanta has one game less (the one not played due to the non-arrival, due to Covid, of Turin) and, therefore, potentially the points of advantage of the Bergamo players would be four. Allegri, however, can be an ant. And, just as he doesn’t waste ideas and energy to win games, he can be satisfied with the point at San Siro. The coach must be understood. With a center forward like Morata, who was also void last night, a draw is better (without a shot on goal) than nothing. Of course, if this is Juve that must take away Atalanta’s place in the Champions League (from which they were beaten at home in the first leg) there is no illusion. Indeed, the overall performance proved that those who – like me – did not believe in Juve’s progress in recent weeks were right. It had been circumstances or too tender adversaries that helped her.
In fact, for what little we have seen, Milan made the match, even if Juve started it better, aggressive and self-confident especially in Square, the man who, on a par with Theo Hernandez, opposite him in the wing, played more balls in the first half (in the second the AC Milan player continued, while Cuadrado struggled). At the beginning, a danger came from a corner by the Colombian, which Maignan thwarted with an open hand. The only real intervention, albeit from an inactive ball, by the French goalkeeper. All time Square he tried (12 ‘) with a left foot (out) then Leao grew up and for Juve the initiatives dropped until they disappeared completely for a time and a half. The Portuguese, extraordinarily fast even with the ball and chain, made the Juventus defense suffer especially on the left front, where De Sciglio often needed the double marking of his teammates, were they Rugani (very good at all), Chiellini (idem) o Locatelli (tired, warned and not very useful in the setting phase). Leao could not have been the most dangerous shot on goal of the entire match, launched after a Messias-Ibrahimovic combination. The Swede was quick, Leao went along with him, but Szczesny rejected with skill. Then (27 ‘) Ibrahimovic injured himself (probable tendon problem) and Giroud entered (little and badly). So the true conclusions came from Calabria (twice within two minutes) with the ball to the side of very little.
Pioli tried to win it more than Allegri. Therefore in the 60 ‘he removed Brahim Diaz (also in bad shape) and Messias to insert Bennacer e Saelemekers, alive, fresh and one step further than Alex Sandro. And also of De Sciglio from whose side he went to look for space and glory (high shot after a tunnel). The most enterprising, however, was Theo Hernandez (which neither Cuadrado, nor McKennie, nor in the end Bernardeschi were able to create opposition) that he tried both with his bucking and with long shots. Szczesny, however, was never surprised. Least of all in the only header of Giroud (central). Meanwhile, Allegri, increasingly in the odor of a draw, took away Locatelli for Arthur and Cuadrado for Bernardeschi (65 ‘). Only nine minutes later (74 ‘) Kean replaced a Morata that was as dull as a worn candle.
Before closing with the bianconeri changes typical of the loss of time (Rabiot per Bentancur e Kulusevski for Dybala at 90 ‘), Pioli tried with Rebic for Leao e Florenzi for Calabria (75 ‘). But the game as flat as a sidewalk produced no breakthroughs. And Allegri, never beaten by Pioli on the bench, got what he was probably looking for. One last note: the referee Beautiful, while not a phenomenon, he directed with no hindsight. He may have been a little homely at first, but no one can seriously complain about his boos.
Milan-Juventus (first half 0-0)
Milan: Maignan, Calabria (from 30 ‘st Florenzi), Kalulu, Romagnoli, Theo, Tonali, Krunic, Messias (from 15’ st Bennacer), Brahim Diaz (from 15 ‘st Bennacer), Leao (from 30’ st Rebic) , Ibrahimovic (from 27 ‘pt Giroud). Herds Pioli.
Available: Tatarusanu, Mirante, Stanta, Florenzi, Gabbia, Bakayoko, Bennacer, Saelemaekers, Rebic, Maldini, Giroud.
Juventus (4-2-3-1): Szczesny, De Sciglio, Rugani, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Bentancur (from 45 ‘Rabiot), Locatelli (from 20’ st Arthur), Cuadrado (from 20 ‘st Bernardeschi), Dybala , (from 45 st Kulusevski) McKennie, Morata (from 28 ‘st Kean). Herds Allegri.
Available: Pinsoglio, Perin, Danilo, Pellegrini, De Ligt, Bernardeschi, Rabiot, Arthur, Kulusevski, Kean, Kaio Jorge, Akè.
Booked: 8 ‘pt Locatelli (Mil), 12’ pt Leao (Mil), 43 ‘pt Messias (Mil), 42’ st Kean (Juv)