Three takeaways from AC Milan 0-1 Juventus: Thiaw’s big-game issues, Juventus fail to thrill despite man-advantage

Manuel Locatelli's goal was enough to secure victory for Juventus in Serie A against AC Milan, but Malick Thiaw's red card was a major factor at San Siro.

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Juventus helped to close things up at the top of Serie A by beating AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro on Matchday 9 after Malick Thiaw‘s red card.

The Bianconeri were the team showing the least attacking promise in what was a fairly tepid first half, but they were given a golden ticket when Thiaw dragged Moise Kean down when the striker was about to go through on goal.

Juventus did not exactly seize the opportunity when they were given the man advantage, creating few chances and failing to entertain their travelling fans. That being said, Manuel Locatelli’s deflected shot, seven years to the day since he scored a winner for Milan against Juventus, found its way in to secure the points.

Thiaw’s big game woes develop

Malick Thiaw has done tremendously well to make himself a regular component of Stefano Pioli‘s defence at AC Milan, but there is a clear area of his game that needs to be worked on.

The German had a really torrid time during the Derby della Madonnina thrashing earlier in the season, making multiple mistakes and coming in for a lot of criticism about how panicked he looked against the likes of Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez.

This game against Juventus was a chance for him to make amends and show that he can handle the big occasions, but he pulled Moise Kean down in a panic and could have no complaints about the straight red card that he was shown, giving his team a huge task.

Juventus miss the chance to entertain

Juventus’s Timothy Weah takes on AC Milan’s Alessandro Florenzi. [@juventusfcen]

The points are what really matters, of course. That being said, there was a chance to Juventus to really entertain their travelling fans and the hundreds of thousands watching around the world at San Siro and they didn’t take it.

Given Thiaw was sent off with over half of the game to play, Milan were there for the taking. This isn’t a case of the Rossoneri defending heroically and keeping the damage to a minimum, Juventus didn’t test them. They ended the game with four shots on target, which isn’t many, but three of those came in the final 10 minutes after Milan had really tired.

This was a Juventus team which had attacking injuries, with Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic having to start on the bench, but the whole affair was much nervier than it needed to be. You can picture Inter, Milan or even Napoli really laying siege to the opposition goal and grabbing an extra couple of goals were they placed in the same situation.

Juventus and AC Milan may not scare Inter

Juventus’ Moise Kean sprints away from AC Milan defenders. [@juventusfcen]

Perhaps the real winners from this game were Inter. They moved to the top of the table, taking the place from AC Milan.

More importantly, any Inter fan watching this contest will likely not have been scared by either Juventus or Milan. Of course, it is relevant that Milan were stunted by Thiaw’s red card, but even before that, they were not looking overly impressive and Inter beat them 5-1 earlier in the season.

There is a long way to go in this title race, but Inter sit top for good reason and will be getting the feeling that it is their’s to lose.

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