SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 7 - 6 Oct 2013 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 3 - 2 Milan
Muntari 1, 90 (M), Pirlo 15 (J), Giovinco 69 (J), Chiellini 75 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Milan took the lead after 19 seconds, but Juventus turned it around to win 3-2 with Philippe Mexes sent off.

This is traditionally one of the classics in Italian football, though both teams were eager to answer critics after this week’s results. Juve were held to a 2-2 draw by Galatasaray, while the Rossoneri stalled against Ajax and had only eight points from six Serie A rounds.

Mirko Vucinic, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Simone Pepe and Martin Caceres missed out for the Bianconeri, who rested Paul Pogba. The visitors were without Valter Birsa, Kaka, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Bonera, Matias Silvestre, Jherson Vergara, Mattia De Sciglio and the suspended Mario Balotelli.

It was an incredible start, as after just 19 seconds Milan had taken the lead under pouring rain! It was a wayward Antonio Nocerino shot that turned into an assist for Sulley Ali Muntari at the back post, taking Gigi Buffon by surprise. This was the quickest goal of the season so far.

Juventus were shocked, but fought back with Fabio Quagliarella off target, then Christian Abbiati palming over both a Kwadwo Asamoah effort and a Giorgio Chiellini screamer from distance.

Andrea Pirlo got them back on level terms, as Abbiati performed heroics before then, but was taken completely by surprise on the free kick. It dipped over the wall and he was not placed well, flapping a weak hand at the ball. However, Milan protested that it should not have been a free kick, let alone a booking for Nigel De Jong on Carlos Tevez.

Leonardo Bonucci ran a risk with a slight head-butt on Robinho, but the Brazilian tried to make the most of it. Cristian Zapata had a rare shot on goal, forcing Buffon to fingertip wide, then Tevez fell under pressure from Kevin Constant, but the referee waved play on.

Riccardo Montolivo blasted straight at Buffon after the restart, but cameras caught Philippe Mexes aim a punch at the back of Chiellini’s head as a Juve corner was whipped in. The officials did not spot it, but the Milan defender is likely to receive a ban using video evidence.

Buffon had to sprint off his line to deflect Robinho’s angled drive across the face of goal when sent clear by a through ball.

A Nigel De Jong volley flew wide, but Abbiati parried an effort from Paul Pogba and Asamoah sent the follow-up off target.

Sebastian Giovinco came off the bench and after one minute and 46 seconds had scored a great goal. He ran on to an Arturo Vidal assist, dummied Zapata and kept his cool to place the angled drive across Abbiati. Antonio Conte celebrated wildly and shouted at the fans behind him, who have often jeered the Atomic Ant.

Mexes had avoided a red card earlier, but was sent off for two yellows in quick succession. The first was for a foul on Giovinco, followed immediately by another for dissent.

From that free kick caused by Mexes, Pirlo curled on to the crossbar and Chiellini was first on to the ricochet in order to make it 3-1 for Juventus.

It still wasn’t over, as Muntari pulled one back for the Rossoneri in the final minute when his snapshot took a deflection off Bonucci’s heel to surprise Buffon at the near post.

Milan almost got it back to 3-3 deep into stoppages, but the Zapata diving header from a corner was over the bar.


Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Padoin (Pogba 54), Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Tevez (Llorente 85), Quagliarella (Giovinco 67)
Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Zapata, Constant; Nocerino (Niang 71), De Jong (Poli 85), Muntari; Montolivo, Robinho (Zaccardo 76); Matri
Ref: Rocchi

Sent off: Mexes 74 (M)