The final whistle may have blown, but the war of words between Juventus and AC Milan following the former’s 3-1 win on Saturday shows little sign of abating.
The controversy stems from Juve’s opening goal, a 14th-minute strike from Carlos Tevez that may or may not have been offside. AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani accused the Italian champions of manipulating the replay footage to make the goal look onside when it actually wasn’t.
Juventus has ridiculed this claim. But unlike other Serie A clubs, Juve is responsible for producing its own video replays. Galliani and Milan argue that the replay was only shown at halftime, meaning that Juve’s video replay people had time to doctor the footage.
Speaking to Corriere della Sera, Galliani claimed, “They purposely don’t show the replay of the opening goal. I’m going to kick up a storm at the next [Serie A] assembly to ensure the Lega can produce all of the games without conceding to just one club to control their own images. I am against the fact that they just end up showing what they want.”
Juventus has predictably blasted Galliani’s claims as ridiculous, releasing a statement that read in part, “Galliani is trying to create a farcical scandal in the media in a clumsy attempt to distract Milan fans from the clear-cut result in yesterday’s match: 3-1.”
Milan countered with a statement of its own, saying, “Arrogance is a Juventus trait and something that they cannot escape from.”
The whole controversy has made for some good headlines in Italy’s “pink papers,” the sporting dailies dedicated to football. But in the end, it’s hard not to agree with Juventus that Galliani is merely trying to draw attention from the huge gulf in class that’s grown between the two sides in the past three years.
Milan last won the Serie A in the 2010-11 season. However in the three seasons since, Juventus has had a virtual lock on the Scudetto and looks set to cruise to its fourth consecutive title, with Saturday’s win having opened up a seven-point lead atop the table.
Part of Juve’s current dominance stems from the fact that it’s the only club in Italy that owns its own stadium. Last week, Milan revealed plans for a new stadium that would be built and owned by the club. If Milan is successful in building its new stadium, it may one day be able to compete with Juventus again. Otherwise, barring a sale of the club or an injection of cash from somewhere, Milan may be resigned to manufacturing controversies to try and obscure the fact that the former Serie A giants can no longer compete at the highest level.
Saturday’s loss left Pipo Inzaghi’s Milan side languishing in 11th place, six points out of the European spots.