AC Milan succumbed to Juventus 1-0 in Jeddah following some terrible calls by the referees; here's my review of the game. Please note the opinions noted in this article are my own and do not represent the views of AC Milan Offside.
Paqueta Performed Very Well
Lucas Paqueta has been putting in good shifts since his arrival and played a key role in driving play forward. His trickery and dribbling prowess is well appreciated into an otherwise dull midfield. Moreover Paqueta opened up options up front with precise passing that broke the lines and found himself moving into space with threatening moves on goal. Paqueta also seemed to have some chemistry building up with Hakan Calhanoglu which is quite important as they interplayed well and made the left flank look dangerous. Its unfortunate that he was subbed off again as he looked like one of Milan’s brightest spots and looks to be an important player going forward.
Cutrone hits the crossbar. So close. pic.twitter.com/Z6TdXo2SPN— Para (@Paracelsus) January 16, 2019
Cutrone at the Helm
Patrick Cutrone demonstrated his tremendous growth against Juve. He played well considering the little service he received in the box. He was proactive with the ball when collecting goal kicks and clearances. He recycled the ball well and always held onto possession allowing the team space to move forward into. Cutrone came extremely close to hitting the target when he smacked the post off a deflected ball. It seemed Milan had given up when Cutrone left the pitch for Andrea Conti as he is the life of the team and the holds the heart of the squad. With the imminent news of Higuain’s exit, we must support Cutrone and encourage him to keep the goals coming.
That ball needs to come out yesterday but **to be fair** to him the pass to Hakan was covered & Paquetá was marked. Still gotta be faster than that. pic.twitter.com/4fiyflfW95— Para (@Paracelsus) January 16, 2019
Franck Kessie received an extremely harsh red card following complaints by Juve leading to a VAR Review for his tackle on Emre Can in the middle of the pitch. It was heart wrenching to see another sending off for Milan against Juve this season for decisions that could have been yellow cards. Despite that, Kessie was a polarising player for Milan in the game. On the one hand, he covered so much ground made tackles and interceptions. He also drove up the field and was always an option for Gigio Donnarumma and Tiemoue Bakayoko to relay the ball to. However, Kessie’s passing and crossing leave a lot to be desired and he wasted some good opportunities due to his poor touch and his lacking technical skills.
Huh. Maybe it was onside.— Para (@Paracelsus) January 16, 2019
*rubs eyes* pic.twitter.com/XH3sLb3da7
Ronaldo Slips Through but Donnarumma Fumbles
Cristiano Ronaldo and Miralem Pjanic linked up very well for the Juve goal but it did seem as though Ronaldo was offside as his arm was stretched forward past Ricardo Rodriguez. Controversy aside, Donnarumma let the ball slide right through his arms whereby it should have been a pretty straightforward save. Donnarumma did really well for the rest of the game but seemed to be unaware and get caught out by Ronaldo for the goal. He needs to maintain his concentration in big games, he made quite a few fumbles in the Coppa final and could have done better today. This is not meant as a criticism but as an area for improvement.
Caught the shin as well, although most of the force came on the foot. pic.twitter.com/dXcqZPJokw— Isak Möller (@Isak_Moller) January 16, 2019
Fans will always take different sides when a ref makes mistakes. Some argue that Milan weren’t good enough, others argue that the refs decisions altered the game. In this case, the referee made terrible and biased calls that definitely impacted the ball and this is unacceptable. The major case is that of Kessie’s red card and the comparison to Blasie Matuidi’s challenge on Davide Calabria. The challenges were almost identical, grazing of the shin and stepping on the foot of the opponent; Kessie saw red, Matuidi saw nothing. The referee had no composure or awareness of the game to give Kessie a yellow and keep it that way instead he bowed down to Juve pressure. This is very clear from the replays and is truly disappointing for the referee to be this biased.
Juve Win Through Referees
It may sound extremely biased of me to say this but it is sadly true. Luca Banti made terrible calls throughout the game and sent off Kessie but the true crime came on the 88th minute when Emre Can brought down Conti in the box following a fantastic square ball by Calhangolu. Can slid in and made contact with Conti first bringing him to the ground whilst Conti got a touch on the ball. The referee waved this off despite the severity of the situation and the fact that VAR is available and is supposed to be used in potential penalty situations. Replays clearly show the tackle was a foul and Milan would’ve been awarded a penalty if the VAR was taken. Milan were robbed off a penalty by Juve and lose yet another game full of controversy. I truly hope to see less referees biased to favour Juve in Italy, the league will die if there are no fair calls against the bianconeri.
What should Milan do with Kessie?
This poll is closed
Sell Him Off (for $50+ million)
Develop Him (He is 22)