SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 30 - 31 Mar 2018 (19.45 UK)
Juventus 3 - 1 Milan
Dybala 8 (J), Bonucci 28 (M), Cuadrado 79 (J), Khedira 87 (J)
Juventus Stadium

Leonardo Bonucci scored against his old teammates, but Juan Cuadrado on his comeback and Sami Khedira saw Juventus beat Milan 3-1 late on.

The Bianconeri were given a surprise bonus before kick-off, as Napoli were held to a 1-1 draw at Sassuolo. This result therefore means that Juve go four points clear at the top of the table, a situation only improved by landing a Virgin Games promo code.

Douglas Costa was rested ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid, while Mario Mandzukic, Alex Sandro and Federico Bernardeschi were injured. Leonardo Bonucci made his first return to Turin since his surprise exit last summer, and was greeted by insults and jeers every time he touched the ball, but Ignazio Abate and Andrea Conti missed out. Andre Silva was chosen to lead the attack.

Milan have lost their last six visits to Turin since a 1-0 result in March 2011, which was decided by a goal from Gennaro Gattuso. The Coach at the time was a certain Massimiliano Allegri.

Gianluigi Donnarumma had his gloves stung by a Gonzalo Higuain scorcher, but couldn’t get to the second chance of the game, as Paulo Dybala turned and smashed into the bottom corner with his left foot from 20 metres out.

Suso tested Gigi Buffon with a cross-shot and Andre Silva nodded wide from six yards out on a Hakan Calhanoglu assist after outjumping Kwadwo Asamoah.

Milan continued to play well and Andre Silva failed to get on the end of a Davide Calabria low ball, but from that Calhanoglu corner, Bonucci of all people rose above the crowd to nod in the equaliser. Having been insulted for the entire match by his former fans, Leo celebrated in his traditional manner with the ‘wash your mouth out’ gesture.

That was the first Serie A goal Juventus have conceded in 2018, terminating their clean sheet after 959 minutes, and they seemed rather startled, as Milan maintained the initiative.

There were penalty appeals for two Bonucci handling offences, but the first ricocheted off his foot on to his hand and could not be considered voluntary, while the second only occurred because he was being fouled by Medhi Benatia.

Allegri threw on Douglas Costa for Stephan Lichtsteiner, returning to 4-2-3-1 tactics. Lucas Biglia was booked and will therefore be suspended for the rescheduled Milan Derby with Inter on Wednesday.

The Rossoneri came so close to turning the game around completely on 55 minutes, as Calhanoglu’s missile smacked against the crossbar and it was still rattling as Buffon palmed Suso’s follow-up round the base of the near post.

Juan Cuadrado made his comeback and first appearance of 2018, but Jack Bonaventura curled just over the bar from a tight angle and Miralem Pjanic’s free kick was off target.

Donnarumma showed cat-like reflexes to claw a Higuain finish away with one hand, not realising Pipita had been flagged offside.

Milan started to look tired and Juve struck, as Sami Khedira floated a delicate cross to the back post where Cuadrado was unmarked for a diving header. It was the perfect way to mark his comeback after more than three months out.

Khedira proved decisive again soon after, because just as Milan were trying to mount a comeback, the German drilled low into the bottom corner from a Dybala cut-back to create a two-goal cushion.

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Juventus: Buffon; Barzagli, Benatia, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner (Douglas Costa 46), Khedira, Pjanic (Bentancur 76), Matuidi (Cuadrado 60), Asamoah; Dybala, Higuain
Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Biglia (Montolivo 76), Bonaventura; Suso, Andre Silva (Kalinic 65), Calhanoglu (Cutrone 80)
Ref: Mazzoleni