Thankfully, Juventus’ pursuit of Dusan Vlahović had ridden us of the memories of Sunday night.
The latest iteration of one of Serie A’s most historic and glamourous fixtures was an insult to its predecessors. Milan and Juventus played out a drab stalemate on a turgid San Siro pitch with the lack of quality on both sides worryingly stark.
It was an awful game of football, one that threw us back into the dark ages of Calcio. But, before we move on and forget the contest ever even happened, let’s review the bout one last time.
3 key takeaways from Juventus’ stalemate with AC Milan
Here are three takeaways from Juventus’ dire 0-0 draw with AC Milan.
Allegri outdoes himself!
Serie A has been a haven for thrilling contests this season but Sunday night’s clash between two of Italy’s superpowers was nothing of the sort.
Milan, who were depleted in midfield and defence, mustered a meagre 0.71 xG despite enjoying several periods of sustained pressure, while Juventus’ inability to transition with any efficiency undermined Massimiliano Allegri’s dull masterplan.
After Marco Landucci had overseen a press-heavy, dynamic display in the 4-1 victory over Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia, Allegri unsurprisingly reverted to his default ploy of blocking space and counter-attacking on Sunday. However, it’s a plan that’s difficult to execute in the absence of Federico Chiesa, their primary transition threat, and Allegri quickly discovered that at San Siro.
Their 4-4-2 block was so deep that Juve couldn’t counter with any vigour. Paulo Dybala was receiving possession in the right-back zone, while Alvaro Morata, who was the furthest forward, had at least two or three Rossoneri shirts to beat before he could ignite a counter-attacking sequence. However, both lacked quality when they did get on the ball in more threatening areas.
Overall, Juventus were a side devoid of any cohesion or direction in possession, especially further upfield. The visitors did a pretty good job at bypassing Milan’s man orientation throughout, but poor structure inhibited them. They lacked width down the left, were rarely able to access their reference points between the lines and Milan’s defence was rarely stretched vertically. It was all very slow and predictable with the result being Juve’s lowest xG haul of the season (0.35) and no shots on target.
They never looked like scoring, and they wouldn’t have done even if they had Dusan Vlahović on the field on Sunday.