SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 28 - 10 Mar 2017 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 2 - 1 Milan
Benatia 30 (J), Bacca 43 (M), Dybala pen 97 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Juventus beat Milan with a controversial penalty, converted by Paulo Dybala with the last kick of the game, after Carlos Bacca wiped out a Medhi Benatia opener.

The Bianconeri had Juan Cuadrado suspended, Giorgio Chiellini and Stefano Sturaro injured, but Mario Mandzukic pulled out with a stomach bug just before the warm-up, so Marko Pjaca was given a rare start. Vincenzo Montella missed Suso, Ignazio Abate, Manuel Locatelli, Jack Bonaventura and Riccardo Montolivo, so Lucas Ocampos stepped in with Cristian Zapata at left-back.

Milan had lost all five of their Serie A games played at the Juventus Stadium, while the Bianconeri were on an all-time Serie A record run of 30 consecutive home wins.

It was a very aggressive Rossoneri start, but Gigio Donnarumma had to get down quickly to fingertip Pjaca’s daisy-cutter out of the near bottom corner.

Paulo Dybala was furious when he seemed to be tripped by Cristian Zapata, but play continued and Pjaca drilled wide. Gonzalo Higuain controlled and spun on the edge of the box, forcing Donnarumma into another difficult low save.

All the pressure eventually paid off with an unexpected goalscorer. Dani Alves chipped up a pass and Alessio Romagnoli was keeping Medhi Benatia level, controlling well to turn past Donnarumma from close range.

Sami Khedira’s volley into the ground went wide from a free kick and Higuain’s effort was charged down after a strong Dybala run.

Gerard Deulofeu’s heel was clipped by Dani Alves on the edge of the area, but the referee incorrectly booked him for simulation.

Milan got their equaliser somewhat against the run of play, as Deulofeu sprinted forward on the counter and threaded through for Carlos Bacca, who prodded past Gigi Buffon with the outside of his right boot. That was the Colombian’s fourth goal in the last three games.

Max Allegri made a change for the second half, introducing more traditional right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner for Andrea Barzagli.

Donnarumma palmed away a Miralem Pjanic free kick, but on the corner Bacca’s shinned clearance risked an own goal. The 18-year-old goalkeeper needed another sensational save from point-blank range on Khedira and it looped back over him, but was cleared off the line by Mattia De Sciglio.

Pjaca flashed an angled drive across the face of goal after a defensive error, then Pjanic’s effort took a strange deflection off Donnarumma and looped up to bounce off the crossbar.

Dani Alves chipped up a pass on the counter and Pjaca was wasteful again, volleying over when unmarked. Higuain and Dybala combined beautifully with a series of passes from midfield, but La Joya’s final touch was poor and allowed Donnarumma to smother.

Donnarumma required a splendid double save on Khedira’s strike and then the acrobatic volley Higuain follow-up at the near post.

Buffon had something to do too, his gloves stung by Jose Sosa’s snapshot, then was fortunate Deulofeu didn’t make the most of a poor Benatia back-pass, so the goalkeeper was able to parry.

Milan remained dangerous on the counter, but Sosa was sent off in stoppages for a second bookable offence, as he went sliding in on Kwadwo Asamoah.

Juve went all-out, but Higuain’s acrobatic scissor-kick was palmed off the line by another sensational Donnarumma save. As Lichtsteiner crossed it back into the box, it struck De Sciglio’s arm from point-blank range and the officials opted for a penalty. It was an extremely harsh decision, partly because they were so close together, partly as it might’ve bounced off his stomach first, but the images are not that clear.

Dybala stepped up and with the last kick of the game, unlike in the Italian Super Cup in Doha, he beat Donnarumma for the decisive penalty.


Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli (Lichtsteiner 46), Bonucci, Benatia (Rugani 78), Asamoah; Khedira, Pjanic; Dani Alves, Dybala, Pjaca (Kean 88); Higuain
Milan: Donnarumma; De Sciglio, Zapata, Paletta, Romagnoli; Pasalic (Poli 70), Sosa, Bertolacci; Deulofeu, Bacca (Kucka 54), Ocampos (Vangioni 89)
Ref: Massa

Sent off: Sosa 93 (M)