Juventus 3, Milan 1: More Juve Brutality

No one was a winner tonight. Juventus may take home three points and a result that more than flattered their performance, but even the poor performance was overshadowed by their terrible fans. It started with them smashing in a window on the Milan staff bus and continued as their fans whistled and jeered and failed to cheer at all the wrong times during the match. Even Buffon, their captain, called out his own fans for being so terrible. For a team that claims that winning is everything, once again, they’ve forgotten the most important piece of winning: being decent human beings.

Not the result we wanted, but at least they still have their integrity

The incident with the Milan staff bus fortunately did not include any injuries, but the staff were reportedly very shaken up. I was told by Juve fans that “it happens,” “in Italy and everywhere else.” Others claimed that Milan fans have done the same, but I honestly don’t know of any incidents like this from Milan fans. Additionally, at least since Juve returned to Serie A in 2007-08, Juve have had the most episodes of fan violence and racism than any other team in the league, punished or not. So it’s not everyone and everywhere else. This is still a Juventus problem, and it overshadows what happens on the pitch.

Why they must still do this, even when their team is winning, I will never understand. Some fans condemn the actions of the violent and racist fans and try to say it’s “a small percentage of fans.” But when those fans are removed from the equation, there are always more to take their places. I guess it’s the culture of the club, the win at all cost mentality, the entitlement of the fans… I honestly don’t know what it is. I wrote about it back in December of 2012, and nothing has changed. It’s not like I don’t call out Milan fans for poor behavior. But the Curva’s antics impact our own team, it’s not like they are being violent toward opponents or racist or other morally depraved things. No, that we leave primarily up to Juve fans, apparently.

His ex-team's fans "thanked" him more than they thanked their own players

The game started with Juve fans whistling, jeering, and screaming insults at Bonucci every time he touched the ball. That is not uncommon for an ex, especially in a case like this. But what was uncommon was that the Juve fans barely cheered their own team, even when Dybala scored in the 8th minute. 1-0 Juve. The fans’ hatred of Bonucci exceeded the love of their team, apparently. But Milan were brave and fought back, forcing Buffon out of retirement and into action.

Then, in the 28th minute, there was a moment of blissful Karma. Bonucci, who had been part of the defense that holds the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A, broke Juve’s current streak of 959 minutes by heading a goal in past his ex-keeper, Buffon. He was also sandwiched between the helpless Barzagli and Chiellini, the other two of his infamous “BBC” defense. 1-1 all, game on. And yes, he celebrated. A lot. He said after the game he wasn’t planning on celebrating, but the intensity of the whistles and jeers from the Juve fans changed his mind. And it was beautiful Karma. His goal is the only goal Juve have conceded in this calendar year. Brutal Karma.

Brutal Karma

There were yellow cards, one for each side, then a VAR review to see if Bonucci handled the ball in the box. But Mazzoleni reviewed it himself and said no, there was no handball, and no “rigore per la Juve.” Another bit of Karma, if you think about it, with all of the calls that haven’t gone our way in their house. But this one was spot on, and Juve did not deserve the penalty. Kessie also introduced himself to Chiellini’s face in stoppage time of the first half, but I don’t think there was any blood left or any bones left to break in that nose.

Allegri made great tactical and early subs, something he never did at Milan. Starting with putting on Costa for Lichtsteiner at the half. Rodriguez had completely neutralized his fellow Swiss player (pun intended and apologized for.) Biglia got the dreaded yellow, meaning he will miss the Derby. Calhanoglu hit the crossbar in the 56th, and more subs were made. Milan were losing steam, and as they did, our fans did, too. Early in the match, though down a goal, our little group of away fans were louder than the Juve fans.

He brings goals with him whenever he plays... just not for Milan

Gattuso made a game changing sub in the 76th, bringing on Montolivo for Biglia. Sure, Montolivo needed some time if he is going to start on Wednesday. But I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that Cuadrado scored just after that in the 79th to make it 2-1 Juve. Or the Khedira goal in the 87th. 3-1 Juve. While I can’t say for certain that the result would have been different, I do know that Montolivo is much less effective defensively than Biglia was. Whereas Biglia would run at opponents who had the ball and make the tackles and hold the ball, Montolivo was just happy to be on the pitch. And while there were all of the other teammates who could have done more to stop Juve, the timing was uncanny. And he got himself a yellow in the 81st for a sloppy tackle, as usual.

The loss hurt, I’m not gonna lie. In the last podcast, we talked about the belief we now have this year, and some of that belief died with us dropping three points to Juve in their house… again. But I was also filled with anger, not only at the brutality of the Juve fans to smash the window of our staff bus, but to jeer their own players, and to jeer Bonucci louder than they cheered Dybala’s goal. Sure, like a late sub, they cheered for the winning goals, but it didn’t make up for them being terrible before and during the rest of the game. Their infamous motto of “Fino alla fine” has become more and more ominous and more like something a mafia boss would say than something that belongs in a sporting venue. And speaking of mafia and Juve… nevermind, I’ll save that for another time. As it is, they are the most consistently violent and racist fans in Serie A. No matter how many times they bully the league to take another Scudetto, their fans will undoubtedly continue to do these horrible things, likely preventing them from earning another Champions League trophy. Because more Juve brutality means they will never be true champions.

This post inspired by the music of Cigarettes After Sex’s “Apocalypse”

Buona Pasqua!

Our next match is
Serie A Week 27 (rescheduled)
Milan vs. Inter
Wednesday, April 4 • 18:30 CEST (12:30pm EDT)

Juventus 3, Milan 1: More Juve Brutality Juventus 3, Milan 1: More Juve Brutality Reviewed by Elaine on 11:45 PM Rating: 5
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