Milan 4, Juventus 2: Finally


This is the Milan we knew could show up tonight. After so many years of turmoil and yo-yo mentality and performances, it can be tough to believe. But this team was starting to convince before the break, and have come back firing on all cylinders. The piece that was really tough to believe in was the refereeing, after we have suffered so many big blunders from refs in big games against Juventus. Milan fans have simply had enough. So to have a match that was free of controversy, free from question marks, but simply a convincing win was victory upon victory. Finally.

Finally.

The first half was a very tense affair. Both sides had attempts, beginning with Saelemaekers in the eighth minute. There were tackles and fouls, and Kjaer took a Danilo shot straight to the head, not the only time his head was used for point blank target practice tonight, I hope he is okay. Paquetá and Bennacer both saw yellows as the tension built like a rubber band winding up. In the final minute of stoppage time, Ibrahimovic scored a goal, but it was called back for offside.

If the tension was building in the first half, it simply exploded in the second half… with goals. The first was two minutes in, when Rabiot made a brilliant run and caught Milan’s defense sleeping to make it 1-0 Juve. No one saw that coming, I’m not even sure Rabiot did. Cristiano Ronaldo, having given up the hideous ponytail for a look that might actually be worse, scored five minutes later, again with Milan’s defense making uncharacteristic errors. 2-0 Juve. Would Milan’s mentality fail them?

Undeniable.

The answer came in a slightly ironic turn of events. In the 59th, Guida showed Rebic a yellow card, seemingly for dissent. The reason Rebic was upset was because Bonucci had handled the ball in the box. Guida did not call it at first, but the VAR refs let him know what he missed, and he made things right, giving Milan a penalty against Juventus. That’s right, you read that right: the referee gave Milan a rightful penalty against Juventus.

Papa Ibrahimovic went to the spot, made no error, and slotted it home, 2-1. With Milan back in the game, any sign of disbelief vanished, and suddenly, Milan were in charge. Kessie scored a brilliant goal from a pass first from Calhanoglu then to Ibra, and then Kessie sent it straight past Szczesny to equalize. 2-2 all.

Well-deserved.

Not even three minutes later, Leao took the ball and dribbled in and just nailed it home, 3-2 Milan. That was not enough, though. Milan kept fighting. Sarri threw on all the subs, none of whom made the difference. Our former “captain,” Bonucci, not only made the handball error, but others, too, maybe he was confused as to which team he was playing for? And that guy Higuain, who struggled to score at the San Siro? He was there, too, only this time, he came back to haunt Juve, who were missing Dybala to suspension.

"Hey, dad! Guess what I did?!"

In the 78th, Gigio had a massive save on a Rugani header, practically point blank. Then another one on Ronaldo in the same minute. Two minutes later, to answer those attempts, Rebic took a Bonaventura cross and did what he does best: score. 4-2 Milan. Juventus fought back like they are used to doing, but Milan’s defense were not backing down. Although Ronaldo fittingly scored a goal near the end of stoppage time, it was called off for being so far offside a blind ref would have caught it. Or even a referee in charge of a Milan-Juventus game.

Victory.

This victory was so much more than three points. It was vindication for being robbed so many times. It was proof that this team is who we thought they were, beating the number two and now number one team in the space of four days. This victory showed us that the mentality is there, the talent is there, and the belief is there.

Tonight, the fans are there, too. After years of acrimony between these two teams, Milan threw the gauntlet down and picked up all three points without question. The work this team has done is unmistakable, and the football is absolutely delicious. Four goals against Juventus for the first time in over 30 years, with four different goal scorers. And Guida got to leave the San Siro without fearing for his life. Finally.


This post inspired by the music of Queen’s “Love of My Life”


Our next match is
Serie A Week 32
Napoli vs. Milan
Sunday, July 12 • 21:45 CEST (3:45pm EDT)

Milan 4, Juventus 2: Finally Milan 4, Juventus 2: Finally Reviewed by Elaine on 4:28 PM Rating: 5
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