SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 32 - 9 Apr 2016 (19.45 UK)
Milan 1 - 2 Juventus
Alex 18 (M), Mandzukic 27 (J), Pogba 65 (J)
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Juventus fought back from an early Alex goal to beat 2-1 Milan at San Siro and continue their march on the Scudetto.

The Rossoneri were in a training retreat for six days after their embarrassing defeat to Atalanta, but missed Jeremy Menez, Christian Abbiati, M’Baye Niang and suspended Andrea Bertolacci. The Bianconeri were six points clear at the top of the table following 20 wins in 21 rounds, so confidence was sky high. Sami Khedira sat out a ban with Paulo Dybala, Giorgio Chiellini, Roberto Pereyra and Martin Caceres sidelined.

Juve had won their last two trips to San Siro, unbeaten here since November 2012. It was an early taster of the Coppa Italia Final in Rome on May 21.

There was a touching tribute to Cesare Maldini before kick-off, as all of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza gave the club legend a standing ovation.

Gigi Buffon was almost caught out by an Ignazio Abate cross-shot that thumped the near post after just eight minutes.

The goalkeeper then had to scoop a splendid Mario Balotelli free kick off the line one-handed, then denied the follow-up from point-blank range.

Milan had been very aggressive from the get-go and took the lead when Balotelli curled a corner in for Alex’s bullet header, which was just too powerful for Buffon to keep out.

Juve created their first real chance on 22 minutes, as Gigio Donnarumma smothered Stephan Lichtsteiner’s toe-poke from close range.

Donnarumma flew to fingertip a Claudio Marchisio screamer over, then the Bianconeri equalised. Mandzukic knocked down a long Buffon ball, Alvaro Morata returned it forward and the Croatian scuffed his finish across Donnarumma from 12 yards.

Buffon beat away a sudden Keisuke Honda snapshot, while Lichtsteiner was already offside when Morata nodded in his cross.

In first half stoppages, Lichtsteiner blasted across the face of goal from a Paul Pogba assist.

Straight after the restart, Buffon again came to the rescue for Juventus. He beat away a Bacca strike, then somehow palmed the Balotelli follow-up on to the crossbar until SuperMario bundled it over the line with his arm for a booking.

Balo also blasted a screamer over the bar, but Pogba was unlucky to see his free kick smack the upright with Donnarumma beaten.

Pogba did get his goal soon after. He chested down a corner at the back post and hit the half-volley into the ground, which bounced over Donnarumma to squirm under the bar.

Morata went off with a left calf injury, but Milan seemed to run out of steam as the game wore on. Kevin-Prince Boateng’s volley flew just over the bar in stoppages.


Milan: Donnarumma; Abate, Alex, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Honda (Luiz Adriano 74), Montolivo, Kucka, Bonaventura; Bacca, Balotelli (Boateng 77)
Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Rugani; Lichtsteiner (Cuadrado 80), Pogba, Marchisio, Asamoah (Evra 84), Alex Sandro; Mandzukic, Morata (Zaza 67)
Ref: Orsato