Where to begin!? On Tuesday this Milan blog was a place for Juventus admiration. A few of our self-deprecating colleagues were in awe of Juve's 3-0 win over Chelsea. The same Chelsea who a few months back won the CL title not on the back of their old guard, surely it had not nothing to do with Didier, Frank, and John Terry. No, no, no it had everything to do with "slick football" and the purchase of "World Class" players. In fact, the lose to Juve was so crushing they had to hire Rafa Benitez to fill the void!?? Chelsea has problems, but Juventus is truly the best team in the World following that victory, are they not? Well I don't believe that for a second, nor do I believe Milan's win yesterday is an epic turning point for this team. Juventus are still in first place and still the team to beat in Serie A, but Milan fired a warning a shot, the Old Lady is not invincible!
Sure Robinho's goal was a PK, a soft PK, but who are we to argue. This is what happens in football and if you play smart football referee decisions don't make or break you and this is what Milan did. More importantly Max Allegri showed the World first hand how to stop Juventus, and why he made the choice to move away from Andrea Pirlo as he did. Like Carletto's Milan, Conte's Juventus is Pirlo dependent. He controls tempo, he dictates play from the back and he is the focal reference point to this team, stop Pirlo you stop the Old Lady. This is not a secret, Max just went out and did it! Taking a page out of Spain's book, he deployed Boateng as a false nine, not to score or create havoc in the attacking third as many would have wanted. Instead he told Prince to simply make Pirlo miserable and that he did!! So while Juve collapsed closer and closer to their defensive line, it opened space for Montolivo and Nocerino to shine and shine they did!
It also needs to be said that defensively Milan were fundamentally sound and the ability to keep a clean sheet makes the single goal all the more rewarding and satisfying. With that said, Juventus has been beaten and the armor is appearing to show signs of weakness, does it mean Milan can win the Title? Not sure really, this team is growing and progressing and while this may lead to nothing, it is the sort of small victory that galvanizes the team and move them forward as a group. A step up in the table, a boost in confidence and further clarity showing Allegri who is part of the solution and who is part of the problem in terms of personnel. To put things into perspective, this win is ONLY worth three points, it doesn't matter that we beat Juventus, what matters more is the byproduct of the win. The confidence, the clarity and the ability for Max and company to give a resounding salute to the naysayers! That's a victory!