Manuel Locatelli’s scorching strike gave Milan a 1-0 win over Juventus, cutting their lead to two points, but Miralem Pjanic’s goal was controversially disallowed.
It had been many years since these sides were fighting for the top of the table, but went into San Siro with the hosts second (alongside Roma) and five points behind the leaders. Riccardo Montolivo, Davide Calabria, Andrea Bertolacci, Luca Antonelli and Mati Fernandez missed out, so 18-year-old Manuel Locatelli again held the midfield reins. The Bianconeri were without Giorgio Chiellini, Marko Pjaca, Kwadwo Asamoah and Rolando Mandragora. Hernanes started after Mario Lemina’s red card in a 1-0 midweek Champions League victory at Lyon.
The Stadio Meazza was sold out as Milan tried to end their incredible nine-game losing streak against Juventus in all competition, as the last time they won was in November 2012 – when goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was 13 years old. They also wanted revenge for the Coppa Italia Final defeat in May.
Paulo Dybala forced the first save after 45 seconds, but he was flagged offside. The same was true of Medhi Benatia’s header on a Miralem Pjanic free kick. Suso was onside when his curler from the edge of the box was palmed round the far post by Gigi Buffon.
Donnarumma smothered a low Dybala half-volley on Alex Sandro assist, then Hernanes kept getting back for a series of crucial blocks on Milan corners.
Dybala attempted a lob from the centre-circle and slipped, clutching the back of his right thigh. After a couple of minutes, he had to give up and limp off for Juan Cuadrado. Sami Khedira’s pull-back from the by-line was just behind Gonzalo Higuain.
There was an extremely controversial moment on 36 minutes. Pjanic’s very long free kick went past everyone into the far bottom corner, as Donnarumma was put off by Bonucci trying and failing to meet it at full stretch. After a good two minutes of complaints, the officials disallowed the goal. However, replays showed Bonucci was not offside, Medhi Benatia was, so technically it was a valid goal.
Cuadrado blasted high and wide under pressure from Locatelli and Khedira turned off target, but the deadlock was broken by a moment of magic.
Locatelli burst into the box down the right and unleashed a right-foot rocket that bounced in off the underside of the bar at the far top corner. It was absolutely unstoppable, even for Buffon, and the 18-year-old sensation’s second scorching goal of the season.
Cuadrado wasted a golden opportunity on the counter, as he hesitated and Alessio Romagnoli got back to tackle cleanly.
Juventus introduced Mario Mandzukic and moved to four at the back. Ignazio Abate was fortunate nobody was ready to make the most of his fresh-air clearance, but Pjanic was lucky to avoid a second yellow card for his very late foot that caught Donnarumma on the side of the head as the brave goalkeeper went for a Cuadrado cross.
With the last kick of the game, Khedira unleashed a screamer from the edge of the box and Donnarumma flew to fingertip it away with his trailing hand.
Juve have lost both trips to San Siro this season, also falling to Inter, and their lead at the top of the table is sliced to just two points.
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