A soft penalty from Mirko Vucinic saw Juventus squeeze past Milan 1-0 in the Trofeo TIM mini-tournament, but there were three big injury problems.
The Bianconeri lost the first match of this mini-tournament 1-0 to Inter, so faced the revamped Rossoneri for the second encounter at Bari’s Stadio San Nicola. There are many question marks over Milan after releasing top stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Alessandro Nesta.
Antonio Conte maintained the same defence as the Inter match, but introduced Simone Pepe, Reto Ziegler, Mirko Vucinic and Ghana Under-20 international striker Richmond Boakye.
Teams in the Trofeo TIM play 45-minute matches with three points for a win or, if it’s decided on penalties, two for a victory and one for the losing side.
Marco Storari smothered a dangerous Taye Taiwo free kick, while Stephan El Shaarawy peeled away from Lucio at the back post for a volley across the face of goal.
At the other end, Vucinic set up Simone Padoin with an inspired pass, but the daisy-cutter flashed inches past the far stick.
The pitch at the Stadio San Nicola was not holding up at all well under the pressure of these mini-matches, making play somewhat tricky. Ziegler nodded a corner off target and Pepe went on a blazing solo run that Mario Yepes charged down in the box with an arm, but the shot was on to the arm as the Colombian was already on the ground.
Juve introduced 19-year-old goalkeeper Nicola Leali, who arrived from Brescia this summer, and Michele Pazienza.
Vucinic went into the box and was tripped by Bakaye Traore for a penalty, although replays suggest contact was minimal. The Montenegrin striker also converted and celebrated by sucking his thumb, a reference to the fact his second child was born only two days ago.
Traore went close to making up for the error with a header just past the far post following a huge jump above Kwadwo Asamoah.
Robinho was booked for dissent after a Milan attack was correctly halted for a push on Ziegler, followed by Pepe’s yellow card for a mistimed tackle on Taiwo. Pepe limped off moments later when he suddenly pulled up with a suspected thigh strain.
Kevin-Prince Boateng’s fierce strike was beaten away by Leali, but Robinho’s follow-up was high, wide and scuffed.
Vucinic also went off with a thigh problem to make way for Alessandro Matri, who has been heavily linked with a move to Milan, followed quickly by Martin Caceres stretchered off after a sprained knee.
In stoppages, Robinho’s toe-poke was deflected wide of the upright by Lucio.
Milan 0-1 Juventus
Scorers: Vucinic pen 31 (J)
Milan: Amelia; De Sciglio, Bonera, Yepes, Taiwo; Traorè, Ambrosini, Emanuelson; Boateng; Robinho, El Shaarawy
Juventus: Storari (Leali 25); Masi, Lucio, Caceres (Lichtsteiner 45); Pepe (Untersee 38), Padoin, Vidal (Pazienza 25), Asamoah, Ziegler; Boakye, Vucinic (Matri 43)
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