Juventus 3, Milan 1: Just Like A Band-Aid

The only thing worse than getting a nasty scrape or cut is taking the band-aid off when it’s healed. Or so you think. You dread it so much that by the time you need to actually pull the strip off of your skin, you are in a panic. This match was kinda like that. An opponent that seemed nearly insurmountable, all of the odds against us, and meeting us at one of our lowest points of the season, injuries and all. But in the end, like the band-aid, it wasn’t so painful. Well, except for Muntari wearing the captain’s armband. That’s gonna leave a scar. But other than that, this match was just like pulling off a band-aid.

What a debut from our Milan youth product's homecoming

Compared to many of our performances of late, this was much improved. Except for that midfield, of course. It’s been pretty awful when De Jong and Montolivo are fit, but exponentially worse when Muntari and Essien are attempting to play. But people calling for Suso or van Ginkel to have started instead haven’t watched how those two youngsters get completely run over by the opposition, or how they lose the ball almost as well as the old men. Besides, at least Muntari and Essien leave a path of destruction in their wake.

Muntari's heat map

The goals: What can I say? We conceded three, but none of them were on “what were they thinking” kinds of errors. They were well played by Juve, deserved, and Milan are simply an inferior team. In the 14th, on Tevez’ brilliant goal, Paletta, for example, raced back and almost got the tackle. Maybe that speed is why he’s losing the hair? 1-0 Juve. But then it was Milan’s turn. Antonelli scored a header in the 28th from a corner we actually shouldn’t have had, 1-1 all. Unfortunately, Bonucci pulled another one back in the 31st, 2-1 Juve. But it lost a little with that epic fail celebration. Finally, Morata’s goal in the 65th, not long after Marchiso had hit the crossbar. 3-1 Milan. He would have had another one six minutes later, too, were it not called back for offside.

The almost goals: Juve troubled Lopez with 20 shots, eight of which were on target. So Diego Lopez is easily the Man of the Match for me. It’s not as though Buffon had a picnic, as Milan had 11 shots, with three on target, two of those in particular from Pazzini early in the second half had to give Buffon some more grey hairs. But Lopez had to go to work in the second minute vs. Morata, and kept it up throughout on saves such as Marchisio’s shot in the 31st that he tipped out, or a big save on Bonucci in the 41st, and more.

They invented the phrase "Man of the Match" for this guy

The subs: Menez was reportedly not feeling well, as he had been suffering from the flu, so had to be subbed off in the 37th for Pazzini. Despite reports that Pazzini was possibly suffering from a calf problem at the half, he played to the final whistle, which allowed him to get Chiellinied™ in the 87th (an elbow to the face.) In the 61st, even Muntari seemed certain he was going to be subbed off, but instead, Inzaghi brought on the not-fit Bonaventura for Poli instead. And finally, in the 78th, Zaccardo, aka The Miracle at Parma™, was subbed off for Rami. I am not really sure about all of the subs, besides the one that was obviously forced, but Inzaghi had also had the flu, so I’m gonna give him a break on this one. Besides, it’s not like Allegri's "subs", like his star player Tevez, who also had the flu, and wasn’t subbed off until stoppage time, even with a two goal lead. Or how Allegri only made his first sub in the 84th and only used two subs in all. I definitely don’t miss those days.

What he lacks in hair he makes up for in beast

I don’t know that I can use any excuse for Muntari to have the armband. After his tantrum just a few weeks ago, he’s lucky to still be playing, let alone even still at Milan. But if that was the worst part of this match, and I believe it is, then I can otherwise sleep well tonight knowing that Milan played with heart and against all odds. With 11 or 12 players out to begin with, plus illness, recurring injuries, and more amongst those deemed "fit," I was expecting the worst.  But they showed improvement from their recent performances, and caused problems for the unstoppable Juve. Just like pulling off a band-aid, it really didn’t hurt too much.

This post inspired by creamy, luscious, heavenly tiramisù

Our next match is
Milan vs. Empoli
Sunday, February 15 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)

Juventus 3, Milan 1: Just Like A Band-Aid Juventus 3, Milan 1: Just Like A Band-Aid Reviewed by Elaine on 5:30 PM Rating: 5
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