Week 31 was yet again eventful. Losing 2-1 at Juventus was not the biggest surprise but the manner of the loss was. For a good number of minutes Milan did well against the defending champions and took the lead via Piatek late in the first. However, VAR and its lack of usefulness were put on view when Alex Sandro’s arm made contact with the ball inside the box after a Milan cross. A long deliberation called it a no penalty despite replays – showing a hand ball by current standards and interpretation – on view for all to see including Michael Fabbri, the main referee. Once again Juventus got away with it. Later there were whispers of an apology being offered to Milan by Nicola Rizzoli, Serie A’s chief referee. That may not have been the case since Rizzoli did not publicly acknowledge anything and in fact defended Fabbri against the threat of not being assigned games for a few weeks.
The second half was not as good. Problems crept in and one such mistake was Musacchio misjudging a Dybala run and instead of perhaps letting the ball run put a leg in and brought down the Argentinian. The same player converted the penalty to tie the game. Later Juve sub – and alleged Milan fan – Moise Kean scored from the top of the box after a nice play and individual move. Milan lost to a Ronaldo-less Juventus but retained 4th spot for another week due to the lackluster chasing pack.
Week 32 has been offered up as another “final”. To stay in Champions League places after going without a win in four match days is lucky in itself but losing any more games is likely to end that. Atalanta, Roma, Lazio and Torino are within 3 points of Milan and so ninth place is not far away. Borini got the start at Juventus and he is in line to get another, whether that’s the best way to approach to a so called final is questionable. As mentioned Musacchio was to blame for the Juventus goal and was generally below par. This had led to calls for Caldara getting a first Serie A start but it doesn’t looks like it will be happening. Gattuso’s now famous loyalty is likely to strike again as everybody including Rodriguez, Suso and Kessie are set to be starters. Paqueta is still out of course, the Brazilian midfielder will be out until early May. So is Donnarumma, although the young goalie is much closer to a return. Therefore Reina will start in goal and the 4-3-3 is here to stay.
Lazio are three points behind but have a game in hand. The 3-5-2 team are of course led by Ciro Immobile’s 14 Serie A goals.
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