Federico Chiesa scores. AC Milan vs Juventus

Champions Juventus defeated AC Milan 3-1 in a highly-anticipated match which moved them up to fourth in Serie A.

Head coach Andrea Pirlo defeated the Rossoneri, where he made 401 appearances as a player, as they were denied the chance to go four points clear of Inter Milan at the top.

Milan have done well to maintain their unbeaten streak since the back-end of 2020 with Matteo Gabbia, Ismaël Bennacer, Alexis Saelemaekers, and Zlatan Ibrahimović injured, Sandro Tonali suspended, and Rade Krunić and Ante Rebić with Coronavirus on the morning of the game.

Thus, all of Milan’s super-subs were entrusted from the start against the nine-time champions as right-back Davide Calabria filled in at central midfield, Jens-Petter Hauge made his first Serie A start, partnering Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Samu Castillejo behind Rafael Leão

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Juventus pressed the hosts high early on as their 4-4-2 provided solidity and balance to a depleted side. Both sides were far from full-strength due to injuries and Covid-19, but Juve had the more experienced options off the bench and could withstand the intensity of their rampant hosts.

Milan worked Wojciech Szczesny into making some brilliant saves and made a good account of themselves after going down twice to Federico Chiesa; before getting the knockout punch from a combination of substitutes Dejan Kulusevski and Weston McKennie for the third goal.

End of the streak but more to come

The Rossoneri’s 27-game unbeaten streak was the longest in 2020 and they were the only side yet to lose in Europe’s top five leagues in 2020/21. 

Going 13 points above The Old lady would have been catastrophic and this outcome keeps things interesting in the title race. Particularly with Inter also losing to Sampdoria.

Stefano Pioli’s men would dust themselves down after another gutsy performance. Losing their magnificent streak was always going to happen and no better opponent to end it than the Bianconeri against a depleted team. 

Pioli summed it up to Sky Italia after the game.

“It was a very even game up until the second Juventus goal and I feel that’s the moment that changed it. The team could’ve been frightened by the situation, we found out last night that these two players couldn’t participate, but we held onto our values and identity.

“We knew Juventus could take advantage of the situation, as they’ve won the last nine Serie A titles, but we held out well overall. We were penalised by their quality in situations where we could’ve been a little more concentrated.”

AC Milan vs Juventus
A second-string Milan side were brave against the perennial Champions. (Alberto Lingria/Reuters)

Pertinently, Milan would be looking forward to welcoming their key performers and particularly Ibrahimović in the coming games.

The 4-2 victory in July marked a coming of age for Milan, and this streak-breaker must be seen as a switch of gears in their title challenge.

AC Milan might have lost the 90 minutes sprint to Juventus, but the Serie A marathon is still on.

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
January 7, 2021
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.


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