The first 45 minutes were excellent, it seemed Milan were not overwhelmed by the opponent or the moment. They came ready to play, well organized and intent to break and counter. This was a good game plan, but after 25 minutes it became evident that the lack of striker was going to be a problem against Allegri's 3-5-2. We will explore this fully in Tuesday's Tactics piece, but the match slowly slipped away after that...
At one point Menez broke out and you can feel his pace would be a problem for Juventus. It was, but only for the first man, and the wall of CBs was there to stop the counter. It went on this way for a while as Milan couldn't connect passes in the attacking third to create real chances. When they did it took a master class from Gianluigi Buffon, but Juventus answered back almost immediately to remind Milan who the Champions were. In fact it wasn't all bad, Milan looked well organized and understood the need to filter back and plug channels, the problem was still in the midfield as Milan continued to be outmatched and the match was slowly lost.
The general theme is that the loss doesn't bother me all that much. In fact, few losses really do. This was a difficult match to an opponent not only superior on the pitch, but on the bench and the transfer market. Juventus is in fact doing everything in it's power to replicate what Milan did in the 1990's. They part ways with the master tactician to bring in a steady hand, Conte and Sacchi to Cappello and Allegri. Allegri isn't try to innovate or revolutionize he is complimenting and with Juventus has become more balanced with more bite in attack.
It really becomes a matter or perspective, and Inzaghi shouldn't be discouraged and neither should we Two years ago there was noise about having to win game's like these even if they meant the same as a match against Empoli in the points totals. Now you can look at it as a measuring stick, something to learn from and progress from. If you were like me and expected nothing from this season or even this match, there were positives to be had. You can be upset at the loss and the poor play in a few phases, and you can be upset that the needs of this squad are still not be fully addressed. One thing you can't be upset about is the lack of heart. The team is working and while the talent and class is not fully there you can see the makings of something. I know this is a rosy outlook, but the reality of the situation is this the hand we are being dealt as Milan fans and you can play it with swagger or you can fold it and cry about your losses. On this day Milan were beat by the better team, plain and simple.