Juventus 3-2 AC Milan: Top Top Stuff in Turin, ‘Brazzo’ Sinks the Rossoneri (Serie A Matchday 33)

Juventus vs. AC Milan (Serie A)

Serie AWhoever said Serie A isn’t entertaining? Amidst all the praise the English Premier League’s been getting this year, it is truly refreshing to see a match like Saturday’s Juventus vs. AC Milan: pure spectacle and a delight to watch, a game during which the two teams openly attacked each other and played to score. It should come as no surprise, based on these premises, that a total of 5 goals were scored at the Stadio Olimpico of Turin tonight, which also highlights the main difference between today and the 0-0 from the ‘first leg’ (played back in December at San Siro). Back then, Bianconeri and Rossoneri had essentially played to avoid conceding any.

But coming back to the subject at hand: today’s match. At the end of the night, the match-winners for Juve Saturday can be easily identified in three players: Alessandro Del Piero (33 years old and in absolutely stunning condition… Donadoni take notes), Momo Sissoko (recovering a countless amount of balls) and Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic, the unlikely hero of Turin and author of his first Serie A double. As for AC Milan, the Rossoneri played a good game throughout (especially in the first half), but paid once again a heavy price for their weak defensive ability on high balls, as well as being forced to play the last 20 minutes of the match short-handed (deserved red card for Daniele Bonera).

Alessandro Del Piero celebrates after scoring the opener vs. AC Milan (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)

Serie A Matchday 33 - Juventus 3-2 Milan

Tactically, both managers had to deal with some important absences for today’s match. Claudio Ranieri was without midfield-dynamo Pavel Nedved and passing specialist Cristiano Zanetti, thus opting for his classical 4-4-2 but with Tiago replacing the Italian in the center and Hasan Salihamidzic the Czech Before the match, Alessandro Del Piero’s (center) 553rd match with Juventus is acknowledged by Gaetano Scirea’s wife (left) and son (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)winger on the left. Milan however, was in way deeper trouble with almost their entire defensive line-up injured (Jankulovkski) or suspended (Nesta, Kaladze). Thus, Ancelotti fielded the Bonera-Simic-Maldini-Favalli line, and relied on the offensive abilities of the Kaká-Seedorf-Inzaghi trio to bring in the bacon (aka the goals).

Before the match, Juventus skipper Alessandro Del Piero was honored by the wife and son of the late Gaetano Scirea, 1982 World Cup Champion and renowned Juve legend back in the 80′s. For someone who just broke the record of 553 caps with the Bianconeri, Del Piero sure knows how to celebrate appropriately: on the first chance of the night, the Juve skipper exploited a good Camoranesi through ball and beat Kalac with a soft, but dead-accurate shot on the far post. 1-0 Juventus.

Joy for the home team was however short-lived, because no sooner had AC Milan kicked off that Buffon was picking the ball from the back of his net. The Rossoneri left side (and thus by corollary, Juve’s right side, ergo Grygera’s) Pippo Inzaghi picks up Daniele Bonera’s pass and scores the 2-1 goal for AC Milan (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)had been a constant source of danger for the Juve keeper, and it was precisely from there that the Milan tying goal arrived, Kaká got through, provoked Chiellini before going deep towards the goal line, then put the ball across for an unmissable chance for Filippo Inzaghi. 1-1, with Super Pippo missing another sitter just a moments earlier.

From then on, the Rossoneri really started to dominate the play and at the half-hour mark, went ahead: as Daniele Bonera exchanged passes with Ambrosini on the edge of the box, the Juve backline missed their offside trap and allowed the Milan defender through on goal. Buffon came out to challenge, but could not prevent the cushy assist for Pippo Inzaghi, who didn’t need an invitation for seconds. 2-1 Milan.

What could have turned into a decidedly sour night for the Bianconeri (the 38th-minute volley from Kaká –saved by Buffon– testament to that fact) actually Hasan Salihamdizic picks up David Trezeguet’s rebound and scores. 2-2! (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)turned into a “call for arms”: before the break, Juventus re-established the tie in pure goal-poaching fashion. Del Piero seemingly lost the ball slipping on the right wing, but got back up and stole it away from Maldini, setting up Mauro Camoranesi for the cross. The Italo-Argentine’s delivery found the header of David Trezeguet, on which Zeljko Kalac made an instinctive save. Hasan Salihamdizic was however close-by to apply the finish, and Juve were back in contention. 2-2 at the break.

In the second half, Juventus really upped the tempo: Zdenek Grygera showcased the full extent of his long-range shooting abilities (the goal vs. Genoa comes back to mind) by forcing Kalac to deflect an absolute stormer from 40 yards, then 10 minutes later Guglielmo Stendardo‘s (on for the injured Legrottaglie) diving header nearly connected with a Sissoko cross from the right. On the latter chance, the deflection of Daniele Bonera was capital, and the Milan center-back was really turning into a match protagonist tonight. For better (for the aforementioned clearance and the first-half assist to Inzaghi), but also for worse: in the 66th minute, a killer-challenge on the ankle of Sissoko cost Bonera a direct red, leaving Milan to play the remainder of the match with 10 men.

Hasan Salihamdzic jumps up for the header and gives Juve the win. 3-2! (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)Ancelotti reacted by replacing Inzaghi with Cafu, and for a while it seemed as if Milan could weather the storm. Until minute 80 that is, when yet another set piece opportunity cost them the game. The foul by Maldini on Grygera was, it must be said, quite doubtful, but irrespective of that fact, a team of AC Milan’s caliber simply cannot get away from allowing Hasan Salihamidzic to connect with Camoranesi’s cross completely unmarked, and comfortably put his team in the lead. 3-2 Juventus with 10 minutes to go.

The match virtually ended there, despite the 5 minutes of added time and the desperate attempts of Milan trying to find the equalizer before the full time whistle (Kalac was even making runs forward). At the end of the night, Champions League qualification for next season looks more and more certain for Juve and more and more of a dream for Milan…

Juventus players celebrate (Juventus vs. AC Milan, Serie A Matchday 33, April 12, 2008)


 Juventus F.C.
[Match Highlights]
A.C. Milan
GOALSCORERS: 12’ Del Piero (J), 14’, 31’ F.Inzaghi (M), 45’, 80’ Salihamidzic (J)
JUVENTUS (4-4-2): Buffon – Grygera, Legrottaglie (50‘ Stendardo), Chiellini, Molinaro– Camoranesi (90’ Nocerino), Sissoko, Tiago, Salihamidzic – Del Piero, Trezeguet (75’ Iaquinta). (bench: Belardi, Birindelli, Marchionni, Palladino). Coach: Ranieri.
MILAN (4-3-2-1): Kalac – Bonera, Simic, Maldini, Favalli – Gattuso (82’ Gilardino), Pirlo (88’ Brocchi), Ambrosini – Kaká, Seedorf – F.Inzaghi (66’ Cafu). (bench: Dida, Digao, Gourcuff, Paloschi). Coach: Ancelotti.



Posted in Juventus, Milan, Serie A |

Related Posts:

  • Serie A Matchday 33 – Week-end Review + GOALS of the Week (2007-08)
  • Serie A matchday 6 – Week-end review
  • Roma vs. Milan Preview: Beckham Serie A Debut Imminent
  • ONMS Latest: Juventus Supporters forbidden from Milan-Juve
  • AC Milan 2-1 Inter Milan: Northern Italy Gets Painted in Rossonero, Champions League Gets Closer (Serie A Matchday 36)
  • 4 Responses to “Juventus 3-2 AC Milan: Top Top Stuff in Turin, ‘Brazzo’ Sinks the Rossoneri (Serie A Matchday 33)”

    1. Kenny says:

      I’m pretty sure the first goal by Salihamdizic was offiside. He was level with Trez and well beyond any Milan defenders when he knocked the ball in.

    2. He wasn’t Kenny. It was a close call, but both Trezeguet and Saliham’s were level with Dario Simic when Trezeguet hit the ball, replays showed that. In any case if it was offside, you can’t really fault the linesman for not spotting it, as it happened so fast…

      The more dodgy call was the Maldini shoulder barge on Grygera, that gave rise to the Camoranesi free-kick and the ensuing Saliham’s 3-2 goal.

    3. Kenny says:

      I guess, oh well, that’s part and parcel of football. I just thought it was really funny seeing Kalac grabbing onto Salihamidizic after he scored the first goal. :razz:

    4. [...] weeks ago, at the end of the 3-2 match lost to Juventus (Matchday 33) Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti had declared: “Our objective for the rest of the [...]