Nocerino and Matri Split Serie A Match of the Season (AC Milan vs Juventus)

Juventus and Milan were both looking to for a draw, and both got what they wanted. Nocerino with a lucky goal early on, Alessandro Matri with the equalizer rather late, each team deserving another goal that was wrongfully disallowed or ignored by the referee, and a 1-1 draw that keeps the status quo at the top, with a slight advantage for Juventus thanks to a game in hand.

Antonio Conte didn’t do his homework it seemed, while Massimiliano Allegri did the better of the preparation work. Juve opened in a very problematic 3-5-2, that left too many holes defensively, especially on their right side where Robinho found plenty of space throughout the first half, while the choice of letting Marco Boriello start instead of Matri while leaving Vucinic on the bench cost Juventus an entire half in which they struggled to create anything positive.

The excellent job Nocerino did by marking Claudio Marchisio, who had a nightmare of a match, left Andrea Pirlo as the sole responsibility for running Juve’s attack. He was far from his best through all the 90 minutes, but especially in a nightmarish first 45. A terrible pass by Bonucci was intercepted, and Nocerino’s shot ricocheted off Bonucci, giving Milan a deserved 1-0 lead.

It should have been 2-0 after Muntari’s header cleary went beyond the goalline, probably twice, but no whistle was heard, and Buffon’s saves were probably convincing enough to let Juventus off the hook. The second half came, and the substitutions that changed the match for Juve along with it.

Mexes opened the second half by punching Borriello, which was another thing the referee missed. Borriello didn’t last long in a match he never should have started, with Pepe, Vucinic and Matri all coming on within 19 minutes. Matri soon scored his first goal, but despite being onside, saw the flag lifted to disallow it. In the 83rd minute, Simone Pepe’s cross found Matri, hitting the ball from the air, giving Juventus a deserved 1-1 result.

Milan just tried to keep their 1-0 intact throughout the first half, and only after conceding and gaining an advantage by Arturo Vidal getting sent off did Allegri’s men actually look to score again.

In hindsight, playing without Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Clarence Seedorf, a 1-1 draw against Juventus might be a good result. But Milan were much better during the first half, and Robinho doesn’t look so sharp too often. Antonio Conte signaled from the first minute he’d be happy with a draw, and eventually got the goal that keeps the advantage on the Torino side of Italy’s match of the season.