The crazy thing? This is probably going to be considered one of Milan's best showings of the season, one that has turned into the definition of a complete mess. But they gave Juventus a run for their money, giving the three-time Serie A champions a run for their money for the better part of the game.
And yet Milan still lost 3-1 to Juventus. They still looked like a mess at the back at times. It still showed why there's such a dearth of talent on the current Milan roster, especially with all the injuries Pippo Inzaghi is dealing with right now.
It also reminded us that Juventus can play some pretty good football.
The impact from Carlos Tévez was immeasurable once again. Álvaro Morata's place in the starting lineup now seems fully locked down as he put in another fine, fine outing. While the second half wasn't nearly as good as the first half, Juventus played well — something we haven't come close to saying the past few games. You compare the Juventus impact in the attacking third to that against Udinese or Parma and it was almost night and day.
That not only allowed Juventus to get the lead, but grab it back less than three minutes after Milan tied it midway through the first half. Not bad at all, right? (Well, definitely the defending on the set piece that led to Milan's equalizer...)
Claudio speaks the truth, people, so don't you dare disagree with him.
The second half wasn't great football, but Juventus didn't let Milan grab a second goal. They could have, but they didn't. And because of it, Juve is now riding high once again a week after one of their more frustrating results of the season in Udine. That's the kind of response you want to see. That's the kind of response we've come to expect from a team full of champions like Juventus.
Random thoughts and observations
- Great moment from after the game: Leonardo Bonucci said he's been practicing his tripping over the advertisements goal celebration. Well played, Leo, well played.
- Sulley Muntari, Milan captain. Yep, it's that bad.
- Carlos Tévez wasn't 100 percent coming into the game due to a fever. If you didn't see this in the press or just didn't know it all, would you have known it by how he played? It was just Tévez being Tévez — running, tackling, everything we've come to expect from Carlitos. Outside of that stupid yellow card that will cause him to miss next weekend's trip to Cesena, it was another great game from Tévez.
- I don't want to hear about Tévez's goal being offside. I've seen arguments both ways. Let's just leave it at that.
- And how about the guy who played alongside Tévez on Saturday night? The win over Milan was the latest example as to why Álvaro Morata should be playing next to Tévez for the rest of the season. He got the assist on Tévez's opener, then provided the dagger in the second half with a poacher-like goal inside the box. There was the Tévez-like running and effort on the defensive end of things. He's not doing anything these days to say he shouldn't be starting week in and week out.
- Another wonderful game from Claudio Marchisio. He continues to be just so incredibly consistent, and could have easily had at least one goal against Milan. That standing ovation he got as he was subbed off the field in the second half, yeah, that was fully deserved. Marchisio is having a great season, with this latest Man of the Match-worthy performance being the latest in a string of rock-solid showings.
- Who had the better saves, Gigi Buffon or Diego Lopez? We can talk about all the so-so defending, but the goalkeepers were pretty darn good on both ends of the field.
- Max Allegri has beaten Milan twice to begin his Juventus managerial career. Based on how he was essentially run out of town, how good do you think those six points feel?
- It took Juventus until early February to allow their 10th Serie A goal of the season. I know I was somewhat concerned how the defense would play under Allegri, but, for the most part, they've pretty much continued where they left off last season. They'll still allow stupid goals like the one they gave up against Milan, but 10 goals in 22 Serie A games is still 10 goals in 22 Serie A games. That's good.
- The Simone Padoin In the Starting Lineup Theory proved correct once again. The way they're going this season, I'm sure Milan wish they had a Padoin or two to bring them some good luck for the first time in weeks.
- Plus-10 in the table. What a beautiful thing.