A dramatic second half collapse from Juventus allowed Milan to come back from two goals down to seal a stunning 4-2 win at San Siro.
There was little to note during the first-half, with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s disallowed goal for offside the only bit of action worth jotting down on the notepad.
Moments after the restart, Juventus hit the front through Adrien Rabiot’s first goal for the club before Cristiano Ronaldo steered home his 26th Serie A goal of the season. With La Vecchia Signora 2-0 up, you’d have backed the Old Lady to extend their lead atop Serie A to ten points after Lazio’s shock defeat at Lecce.
Not long after, Ronaldo took advantage of a defensive mix-up to steer in his 26th league goal for the season and double his team’s advantage. But after a long VAR check, Leonardo Bonucci was penalised for handball, giving Milan a penalty and a chance to come back into the game. Step forward Ibrahimović, who slotted the ball past Szczesny to give the Rossoneri renewed hope.
But after Leonardo Bonucci was penalised for handball, Milan turned the game on its head. Ibrahimović slotted the resulting penalty past Wojciech Szczesny before Franck Kessie finished off a wonderful team move to draw the scores level.
A minute later, Rafael Leão’s right-foot finish put Stefano Pioli’s side in front before more slack defending from the visitors alloed Ante Rebić to net a fourth in the space of 20 stunning second half minutes.
Here’s 90min‘s breakdown of the game.
Key Talking Point
After defending well in the first half, all Stefano Pioli’s side were lacking was creativity. So inevitably after that bright showing, Milan promptly fell two goals behind – staring down the barrel of an 11th defeat of the season.
But after Ibrahimović’s successful spot kick, Milan suddenly clicked back into gear. The introduction of the pacy Leão allowed for more fluidity in transition, and suddenly the hosts looked like a side brimming with confidence.
Juve didn’t help themselves with lapses in concentration at the back, but Pioli will have been delighted with the impetus and drive shown by his team – which saw Milan press home their advantage and take the game to Maurizio Sarri’s side.
The improvement in their play was evident in Kessie’s equalising goal, a tremendous team move capped by a smart finish from the Ivorian.
Milan Player Ratings
Starting XI: Donnarumma (6); Conti (6), Kjær (7), Romagnoli (6), Hernández (7); Kessié (8*), Bennacer (7); Saelemaekers (6), Paquetá (5), Rebić (7); Ibrahimović (7)
Substitutes: Çalhanoğlu (7), Leão (7), Bonaventura (7), Krunić (N/A), Calabria (N/A)
Terrific in the second-half, Franck Kessié was the driving force in Milan’s midfield.
The 23-year-old didn’t allow Juventus any time on the ball, and his positive all-energy display was too much for the visitors to handle. Those who doubted his ability for the big occasion will think again, with Kessié’s display showing he’s capable of mixing it with the very best.
Key Talking Point
It was a slow start to the game for Juventus, who appeared to be sorely missing Paulo Dybala’s spark in attack. The Argentine was suspended and his replacement, Gonzalo Higuaín, was largely ineffective after being starved of any kind of service.
Things improved going forward in the second half, but Juventus were a shambles defensively. Daniele Rugani was poor and question marks must be raised against Szczesny’s positioning for Milan’s third goal.
Juventus’ mental implosion will be a huge worry for Sarri, particularly with a clash against in-form Atalanta coming up. Still, with Lazio also losing, I Bianconeri will feel they’ve got away with one as they remain seven points clear.
Juventus Player Ratings
Starting XI: Szczesny (5); Cuadrado (6), Rugani (4), Bonucci (5), Danilo (5); Bentancur (7), Pjanić (6), Rabiot (6); Bernardeschi (5), Higuaín (5), Ronaldo (6)
Substitutes: Matuidi (6), Ramsey (6), Costa (6), Sandro (N/A), Muratore (N/A)
On a disappointing evening for Juventus, Rodrigo Bentancur was one of the few players to emerge from the game with any credit.
The midfielder was tenacious in the tackle, full of running and up until Juventus’ collapse, looked to have things under control in the centre of the park. The Uruguayan can’t do it all though, and will eagerly be anticipating the arrival of Arthur Melo next season.
Milan have the opportunity to show what they’re made once more, when they take on Napoli this weekend. Juventus, meanwhile, have a heavyweight clash of their own, as they take on free-scoring Atalanta in what could be one another crackerjack of a game.