Coach Leonardo leaves Milan with a victory against Juventus
MILAN 3 Antonini 14, Ronaldinho 26, 67
Milan versus Juventus one of the biggest clashes in the Serie A calendar but this time the result means absolutely nothing. The Rossoneri are secure in third place while the Old Lady is rooted in seventh. This game was about the Coaches, Leonardo was going to leave after what can be viewed as a good quality season and the result further proves his quality. Alberto Zaccheroni on the hand will be thankful that his stint at Juve is over after losing yet another game.
The game had started very open as a win for either team wouldn’t change anything, it was Juve who had the first chances at goal when Vincenzo Iaquinta sliced at the ball and went straight for goal instead of passing it to Alessandro Del Piero. Iaquinta was named in Marcello Lippi’s preliminary 30 man squad and it seemed as though he was trying a bit too hard to get the goal as he sliced at the ball a number of times. Juve had the better part of possession in the first half but no quality at the end to execute it. The Rossoneri on the other hand were boosted by the return of Alexandre Pato. The young Brazilian had brought pace and the skills that Milan needed, from the way the Rossoneri played it showed how much they had missed him in the season, had he been available their season could’ve been so much different.
The Bianconeri had an excellent opportunity to go ahead on the 11th minute when Claudio Marchisio (another player going to South Africa) produced a thunderbolt shot, but it was straight at Nelson Dida and Milan could catch Juve on the counter. The goal came against the run of play and by Luca Antonini. It was his first ever Milan goal and he shared his joy by lifting Leonardo. The tactician had been an inspirational leader and even though he is leaving, he managed to help Milan become serious title contenders even without some of the key players. The players were not done thanking Leo when on the 26th minute some wonderful play by Pato and Ronaldinho doubled the lead and further compounded the misery for the Turin club as he shot went low to Gianluigi Buffon’s left. After the second goal went in it was visible that heads started to drop and the Bianconeri had lost the drive to get a goal back. After the break Juventus again had the chance to get back into the game but they didn’t have the quality or desire to get back into the game as Ronaldinho made it three on the 67th minute.
Juventus end the season in tatters and it was made very clear how the fans had felt, as half had left the stadium before the game had ended. Yet this game was won by the Brazilian for his fellow Brazilian as all the Milan fans gave a fond farewell to Leonardo who had been at the club for 13 years.