Week 23: Milan – Juventus
Week 22 is probably best described as a fiasco. While the old cliche that Milan didn’t take their chances applies one can also point to the refereeing as one of the more clearer influences on a football match. Late in the game with the score 1-1 Messias scored with a nicely taken curling shot. The referee called back the goal and awarded a freekick to Milan while he could and should have given advantage and let the game flow. Moments later Spezia scored the winner via a player who objectively must have been sent off earlier the match.
The aftermath of the match versus Spezia was dominated by the referee’s apparent apology or something close to that. He is now relegated to Serie B matches.
An important match awaits however and focus must shift to points needed to remain in the top 4 places. Milan is healthier and Algeria’s unexpected early exit from the Africa Cup Of Nations has made Bennacer available as well. Tomori and Kjaer are out and one of their backups could be close to a loan exit. Gabbia has been the subject of ever growing dry loan rumours. Loaning the player out is of questionable value but if Milan find a few euros to sign a defender Gabbia is going to spend some months elsewhere. With Romagnoli back he will partner Kalulu at the back with Florenzi and Theo around them. Calabria could be fit enough to play instead of Florenzi and Theo needs to be extra careful as he is one yellow away from missing the derby coming up in two weeks after an unusual January break. Tonali and Bakayoko should be the starters in midfield with Krunic and Bennacer ready to play. Leao’s status is growing every week and he scored a well taken goal versus Spezia. He often took up a more central attacking position as Ibra drifted deeper. Beside the Portuguese will be Diaz. The Spaniard’s reputation is moving in an opposing direction to that of Leao. Messias or Saelemaekers will play on the right and Ibra should be up front. Ibra and Giroud are set to have one less back up as Pellegri’s future is likely already away from Milan. The oft injured forward is set to return to Monaco not to stay but to return to Italy at Torino. His time at Milan can only be described as a waste.
Allegri’s men have clawed their way back to fifth place with only one Serie A loss in the last 10. The Old Lady are missing Bonucci and Chiesa. The latter had season ending anterior cruciate ligament surgery and won’t be back for a while.
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