AC Milan and Juventus played out a 0-0 draw on Sunday, with the result not helping either side’s cause in their Serie A objectives.

AC Milan and Juventus faced off in what was the standout Serie A tie this past weekend at San Siro. However, the game was a damp squib and ended 0-0 on the night with neither side able to break the deadlock.

Both sides did fashion openings but lacked the killer instinct in the final third to make the difference. Juventus started off well and had a good opportunity in the first two minutes to take the lead. Alvaro Morata could not find the target and the chance went begging.

Milan gradually grew into the game and were arguably the better side on the night. They had the better chances but could either find no way past Wojciech Szczesny or were wasteful in converting their efforts.

Stefano Pioli has every right to be frustrated as his side could have taken all three points but instead have now fallen four points behind Inter Milan in the Serie A title race. Juventus, too, have suffered a setback in their pursuit of a top-four finish, but given their performance on the night, one can claim it is a miracle that they are still in contention.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side failed to muster a single shot on target and looked passive in their performance in the final third. If anything, they will be glad to get away with a point and live to fight another day. The Hard Tackle now looks at how both sets of players fared on the night.

AC Milan

Mike Maignan: 6/10

The Frenchman had little to do as Juventus failed to get a single shot on target and were largely wasteful in the final third. Most of his night was involved in starting off attacks and distributing the ball for Milan.

Davide Calabria: 6/10:

The right-back put in a good shift and was active at both ends of the pitch. He was defensively sound and even had a rather contentious call for a penalty turned down in the first half. Calabria nullified the Juventus attackers who failed to get going all match.

Pierre Kalulu: 6/10

The Frenchman was guilty of losing his man a few times, but Juventus’s lack of bite helped him get away with it. The AC Milan defender’s pace is an excellent weapon and he continued to use it to great effect to recover and close down the Juventus attackers. Kalulu also showed great strength to shield the ball and make several interceptions on the night.

Alessio Romagnoli:6/10

The Italian also had moments when he was shaky, but Juventus’s profligacy meant they did not take advantage of it. However, Romagnoli grew into the game as it went on and became more solid. The AC Milan captain decided to continue playing after picking up a knock. Milan will hope that it is something he can shake off in the international break.

Theo Hernandez: 7/10

The Frenchman was excellent on the left flank and performed well in both a defensive and offensive role. He was one of Milan’s bright sparks in attack and caused the Juventus defence numerous issues with his forward forays. Hernandez should also be praised for his discipline as he avoided a yellow card that would have otherwise suspended him for the Milan derby next month.

Rade Krunic: 6/10

An improved yet guarded performance from the midfielder who had previously struggled to take his chances. Krunic looked comfortable in possession and used his physicality well in the middle of the park. But his lack of imagination stopped him from making full use of the opportunity as he often took the easy way out rather than force the issue in the final third.

Sandro Tonali: 8/10

The Italian international returned to the lineup after his suspension and showed why he is so important to the AC Milan setup. He bossed the midfield battle and was the standout performer in the middle of the park. As long as Tonali continues this rich vein of form, Milan can hope that there is life after Franck Kessie should the Ivorian leave the club in the summer.

Junior Messias: 5/10

The Brazilian certainly has good intentions but struggles to make it happen on the field quite often. His work rate cannot be faulted as Messias gave it his all on the field. He will hope to kick on from here and add the end product to his arsenal.

Brahim Diaz: 6/10

The Spaniard had moments where he threatened to slice through the  Juventus defence and almost did so as well. He linked the Milan midfield and attack smartly but lacked the end product. Diaz can certainly do much better than what was on display.

Rafael Leao: 6/10

Leao impressed on the night and put in an excellent shift down the left flank. Leao linked up well with Hernandez to cause Juventus problems on his wing on a regular basis and almost gave his side the lead with a low driven effort that was well saved.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 4/10

The veteran lasted just 28 minutes before being taken off. He will be hopeful of recovering during the international break ahead of the Milan derby next month.

SUBSTITUTES

Olivier Giroud: 6/10

The Frenchman got right into Giorgio Chiellini’s face and gave the Italian defender a few moments to worry about. He worked his socks off but lacked the killer instinct in the box to make a difference.

Ismael Bennacer: 6/10

The Algerian returned to action following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations and produced a solid outing. He could be set for a bigger role once the international break is over.

Alexis Saelemaekers: 6/10

The Belgian winger was a bright spark off the bench and was involved in the final third from the word go. He made one solo run that was impressive and tried to fashion chances on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it did not always come off.

Alessandro Florenzi: N/A

He barely had time to make an impact on the field.

Ante Rebic: N/A

Another player who barely had time to make an impact.

Juventus

Wojciech Szczesny: 6/10

The Polish goalkeeper held his ground as Juventus’s last line of defence. While he did keep a clean sheet, Milan were generous to shoot directly at him when given the opportunity.

Mattia De Sciglio: 5/10

The Italian endured a difficult night and was often overloaded by the Leao-Hernandez-Diaz triad. It was a largely forgettable night for him as he often came out second best in one on one duels.

Daniele Rugani: 6/10

He started in place of Matthijs de Ligt in the Juventus defence and gave an excellent account of himself on the night. He largely put his best foot forward and was usually reliable.

Giorgio Chiellini: 8/10

The Italian veteran organised his defence well in what was largely a rearguard action for Juventus on the night. He rolled back the years and superbly contained Giroud who was limited to just one header, straight at Szczesny. 

Alex Sandro: 5/10)

The Brazilian was largely pegged back in his own half as Milan were in the ascendency. While he did improve as the game went on, it was still far from his best performance.

Juan Cuadrado: 7/10

The Colombian continues to be Juventus’s best attacking threat and proved it once again on the night. He was the lone voice of inspiration in an otherwise blunt Bianconeri attack.

Manuel Locatelli: 5/10

The Italian international started in a defensive role and ran himself into trouble by getting booked in the first ten minutes. He was wary following that and it limited his ability to put his foot in and use his physicality to the best effect.

Rodrigo Bentancur: 6/10

Bentancur was largely assured in his role and kept the ball ticking. However, he struggled against the excellent Tonali who ran rings around the Juventus midfield.

Weston McKennie: 3/10

The American international has been Juventus’s standout player since the turn of the year. Precious little of it was on display on the night as he struggled to get going and looked out of sorts. It was a night to forget for the 23-year-old.

Alvaro Morata: 3/10

The Spaniard was shoddy on the night and made little of the few opportunities afforded to him. He will need to do much better if he wants to continue as Juventus’s top marksman.

Paulo Dybala: 4/10

The Argentine’s movement made him difficult to mark but Milan were not too troubled as he offered very little in terms of goalscoring threat. A largely anonymous performance by the team’s attacking lynchpin that permeated through to the rest of the attack.

SUBSTITUTES

Arthur: 5/10

He replaced Locatelli and offered more solidity in midfield. Did precious little otherwise.

Federico Bernardeschi: 4/10

Bernardeschi replaced the impressive Juan Cuiadado and single-handedly brought down the attacking quotient on the right flank. The Italian did not get going and looked devoid of ideas.

Moise Kean: 3/10

He replaced the ineffective Morata and continued from where the Spaniard left off. Kean’s biggest contribution of the night was earning himself a yellow card.

Adrien Rabiot: N/A

Rabiot replaced Bentancur as Juventus looked to see the game out. Barely got a touch on the field.

Dejan Kulusevski: N/A

A late replacement for Dybala as Juventus looked to run down the clock.

Leave A Comment...

*