Milan and Juventus line up for remember the victims of Paris before the match on November 21, 2015 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

AC Milan were defeated at the Juventus Stadium by a solitary Paulo Dybala goal on Saturday night, condemning the side to it’s fifth defeat in 11 games to start the season.

It was a strange game in many ways, one in which Milan looked comfortable without threatening at the other end. The one moment of quality in the game told.

After all the anticipation, it is sadly another big game where the side has failed to turn up, and so the inquest begins.

What did we learn from the defeat?

Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty ImagesPhoto by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

1. Back to square one

The same old problems seem to come about with this team.

Nobody was expecting miracles, in fact even the most ardent of fans may have expected Milan not to have come away with the victory from Turin.

However, I think everyone was expecting the team to give it more of a go than that. The defence looked well organised but only because nearly every man was behind the ball, and the attack was completely toothless.

The team never clicked; rarely using possession effectively and ultimately just waiting until Juventus did something with the ball themselves.

It was a huge opportunity to prove to the rest of the league that this team means business. It’s yet another let down.


Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty ImagesPhoto by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

2. Questions to be asked

Part of what I mentioned in the previous point has to be directed towards coach Mihajlovic.

It was under his orders that the team sat back to frustrate Juventus and make life difficult for them. The best thing that could have come from that set-up was a 0-0 draw, because there was no way the Rossoneri were scoring at the other end.

With all the questions surrounding Juve this season and their confidence being as fragile as it is, it wouldn’t have hurt to take the game to them and try and strike early. That is how you approach a game like this. Going into a shell was obviously going to produce the worst outcome.

Some may have been happy with a 0-0 draw. Understandably, the clean sheet would have been very nice, and they were very close to getting it. Sadly, it came at the expense of all creativity, and as soon as the score went to 1-0 the game was over.


MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty ImagesMARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

3. Reverting to the past

Another negative point unfortunately has to be Alessio Cerci.

I will hold my hand up. I thought that, with Cerci being a confidence player, he may have turned a corner after the 2-1 win against Sassuolo.

Somehow, he has gone back to his frustrating self, putting in another poor display. He is a dynamic player, but he never takes the chances he is presented, and doesn’t offer enough from other areas of open play to warrant a place in the starting line-up.

It really is a shame, as a Torino-form Alessio Cerci would be a huge asset to this team and this formation in particular. His time is on the pitch is up; his time on the bench must begin.


MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty ImagesMARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

4. A solitary positive

The goal aside, the team actually looked very organised against (on paper) one of the best attacking forces in the league.

The defensive duo of Romagnoli and Alex seem to be complementing each other very well, and Luca Antonelli is a very consistent performer on the left side.

Realistically, Ignazio Abate isn’t good enough, but he was far from the worst player on the pitch on Saturday night.

My only worry is that this solidarity came due to the fact the team kept men behind the ball and played a conservative game, rarely threatening at all up the other end.

It almost worked against the champions, but it didn’t, and there is no way the team should set up like that again this season.


MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty ImagesMARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images

5. All is not lost

Although it is very easy to get down about things at the club, it is crucial that the team do not.

There are five very winnable games coming up; Sampdoria, Carpi (A), Hellas Verona, Frosinone (A) and Bologna.

If any European football is the objective this season, the team has to win four of them. No disrespect to the opponents, but the squad is good enough to win them all without question.

Mihajlovic needs to tell the team that there is life in this yet.

So, that is what I took from another rather depressing game.

Every week I hope this team will prove me wrong, but I’m yet to see anything other than the same concerning signs.

A big change is needed in the mentality.

Article by Oliver Fisher

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