Milan 1, Juventus 3: Back to Reality

We knew that when our undefeated streak was broken, it would hurt. But we didn't realize it would be like this. A young squad stripped bare, missing seven players to injury/suspension/COVID-19, and six of those were starters. We lost at home to Juventus, who have won nine Scudetti in a row, beginning with the year of the Gol di Muntari, and who are coached by Pirlo, that homeless guy who played ten years at Milan and then went to Juve, acting like none of that ever happened. With a squad that costs them €286 million per year in wages, we were hoping that our young €90 million per year in wages squad could hold out with so much stacked against them. But they didn't, so now it's back to reality.

United in victory and in defeat

Our day started with learning that both Rebic and Krunic had tested positive for COVID-19. In a squad that was already missing five important players, this was devastating. Juventus also had two players who tested positive for COVID-19, plus Dybala had a fever as of Monday, and the match was nearly postponed as it was. Only time and future swab tests will tell whether or not it should have been. 

It is scary to me that Dybala was allowed to play, even if he already had a lengthy bout with COVID-19 last year. We know that the antibodies don't last forever, and some people have contracted the virus again. But then again, this is Juventus. Winning isn't the only thing, it's everything. We saw how they behaved when Napoli did he right thing for health and safety, this shouldn't surprise. 

Not too bad for being played out of position

Our fearless young team played well enough in the first half, despite Chiesa scoring in the 18th minute. Milan would take 20 shots in all, with eight on target, while Juventus only took 14 shots, with six on target. Milan had shots from Leao, Hauge, Castielljo, and Calhanoglu, but it was Calabria's second shot, with a great assist from Leao, that found the back of the net just before halftime. 1-1 all.

The second half, Juventus showed their quality. Not that they overwhelmed Milan with their play, but rather their depth. After Chiesa's second goal, Pirlo was able to bring in quality players like McKennie, Kulusevski, Arthur, Bernardeschi, and Demiral, while Pioli only had more relatively inexperienced young players at his disposal. He brought on Brahim for Hauge, and then Conti, Maldini, and Kalulu for Calabria, Dalot, and Kjaer, and finally Colombo on for Castillejo.

Feels like that today, but we know the sun will rise again

Even after McKennie's goal in the 76th, though, Milan kept fighting. To their credit, this young side sweat blood to the end, never giving up, despite being the underdogs on paper. That mentality that saw us go 27 Serie A matches undefeated. Which is still amazing. Thanks to Sampdoria, Inter also lost today, which also means that despite this painful loss, Milan are still top of the table.

Defeats are always painful, this one particularly so. However, as Maldini had said near the beginning of the season, we would lose at some point. We had a great undefeated run, but this loss does not negate the undefeated streak and all of the other many accomplishments of this amazing team. We need to lift our heads up high, because we have two back to back games against the other side of Turin beginning on Saturday. After tonight, it's back to reality.

This post inspired by the music of NIN's Hurt

Our next match is
Serie A Week 17
Milan vs. Torino
Saturday, January 9th • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

Milan 1, Juventus 3: Back to Reality Milan 1, Juventus 3: Back to Reality Reviewed by Elaine on 4:29 PM Rating: 5
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