Six Goal Thriller Sees Juventus Top Milan In Turin

Juventus took all three points against ten-man Milan after a penalty from Alessandro Del Piero was equalised by Alexandre Pato, before further Juve goals from Giorgio Chiellini and a brace from Amauri was only dispersed by a Milan strike from Massimo Ambrosini, giving Juve a 4-2 win following a sending off for Gianluca Zambrotta.

Juventus 4-2 Milan

This match presented one of the biggest games of the year, with two of the Scudetto contenders facing each other in a classic show down between Juventus and Milan. Before the game they found themselves on equal points, and nine away from leaders Inter at the top of the table.

This match was certainly decisive for the standings, and many believed that it would determine who Inter's true competition for the title would be this year.

Milan were third in the standings, level on 30 points with second-placed Juve after 15 games. This would certainly be a classic encounter between two of the best teams in the world.

First Half

The game got underway in the pouring rain in Turin after captains Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Del Piero exchanged handshakes and pleasantries. Milan kicked off in a game that saw the absence of Kaka for Milan and Camoranesi for the Bianconeri, amongst a list of injuries for both squads.

Milan began the brightest, desperate not to lose ground to leaders Inter at the top of Serie A, with Ronaldinho and Clarence Seedorf linking up well with good passing play, but unable to get a shot at Alex Manninger is the Juve goal. In the 5th minute Alexandre Pato passed across to Seedorf, but the Dutch midfielder’s effort went high and wide of the target.

The Juve fans were intent on stripping former player Gianluca Zambrotta of all his confidence, whistling and booing whenever the wingback got a touch on the ball. In the ninth minute Brazilian striker Amauri attempted a fine bicycle kick from a Del Piero cross, but the ball went high over Christian Abbiati’s goal.

Juventus began to put the visitors under more pressure, and in the twelfth minute a cross found Amauri, but his he could not get high enough to redirect the ball. A confident Del Piero pushed his charges forward in an effort to open the scoring in Turin.

In the 14th minute a pass to Del Piero saw Jankulovski make a rash challenge from behind, and the referee awarded a penalty to the home side. Del Piero stepped up and blasted the ball home to make it 1-0. Milan responded quickly, but Ambrosini wasted a perfect chance when Seedorf crossed a ball onto his head. The Milan midfielder sent the ball over the bar from close range.

A few minutes later Milan won a free kick from just outside the area, and Andrea Pirlo’s attempt required a great save from Manninger to keep the ball out of the net. Milan applied good pressure in attack, desperate to level matters at the Olimpico in Turin. In the 26th minute a dangerous ball from Zambrotta caused havoc in the Juve box, but a great block from Giorgio Chiellini kept Seedorf from an attempt at goal.

In the 29th minute Pavel Nedved was forced to leave the pitch through injury. On the half hour mark Milan’s pressure paid off when an attack ended with Ronaldinho slipping the ball just behind the Juventus defence, finding Pato who slid the ball into the net for the equaliser. Three minutes later Chiellini put Juventus back in front, when he rose highest to head a goal off a corner.

Juventus continued to apply pressure, but the Milan defence was weary, after conceding two already. Frustration began to plague both sides and a flurry of yellow cards were shared among both sets of players.

Five minutes from half time Juventus extended their lead with a towering header from Brazilian Amauri to make it 3-1 to the Bianconeri. A minute later Del Piero tried to get in on the act, but Maldini did well to block his strike at goal.

Just before the break Marchisio had a great solo run before unleashing a shot, but his effort went high over the Milan goal. After two minutes of injury time the teams went into the dressing room for half time at 3-2 for the hosts.

Second Half

The game restarted and Milan threw Andriy Shevchenko into the mix in an attempt to put more pressure on the home side. Two minutes after the start of the second half Marchisio struck the ball well from long range and after a deflection the ball went agonizingly over the bar.

Three minutes later Abbiati was called into action to make a great save as a fantastic half volley from Sissoko almost sneaked into the bottom corner of the goal. Juventus began the half in the same way as they had ended it, applying constant pressure to the Milan back line, but the Rossoneri gradually gained momentum and began to push back.

On 55 minutes that pressure was converted into a goal after a strike from outside the box from Massimo Ambrosini was deflected off Chiellini and into the net, fooling Manninger with the sudden change in direction of the ball. In the 62nd minute Milan pushed forward well but the Juventus defence lead by Chiellini were up to the task of shutting them down.

In the 64th minute a great ball from Del Piero let De Ceglie run down the left flank, forcing Zambrotta to challenge the player who was a second too fast for the Italian international. The subsequent challenge earned Zambrotta his second yellow card and a sending off.

Ten-man Milan had more woe on 68 minutes after a second goal from Amauri as the Brazilian controlled well in the box and slotted away with a left foot strike. A minute later Del Piero was unlucky not to get his second of the match after his drive cracked the post and came back out.

Milan sent Filippo Inzaghi on in the 76th minute in a last ditch effort to get something out of the game. A minute later a disappointing Del Piero free kick went uncharacteristically high of goal. Milan struggled to create anything in the final stages of the match, with the home side playing a tough game in misfiled and the Rossoneri feeling the effects of being a man down.

With eight minutes remaining Inzaghi got his first opportunity of the match when a cross from Ronaldinho picked him out in the Juve box, but his header was too central and Manninger easily parried. Two minutes later Marchisio had another effort on goal, but his strike went wide of the target.

With only a few minutes left to play Milan won a corner, but the Rossoneri were unable to make it count and the Juventus defence cleared for a throw in. The game seemed to be settled and by the ninetieth minute Juventus completed their three substitutions and kept possession in midfield.

After three minutes of injury time and a few fouls out of frustration the game was ended with the score at 4-2 for the Bianconeri. Milan are now nine points off leaders Inter Milan, while Juventus are six points away from the top.


GOALS: Del Piero 15’, Chiellini 33’, Amauri 41’, 69’ (Juventus) Pato 31’, Ambrosini 56’ (Milan)

JUVENTUS: Manninger; Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini, Molinaro; Marchionni, Sissoko (Zanetti 88'), Marchisio, Nedved (De Ceglie 29’); Amauri (Iaquinta 88'), Del Piero.

MILAN: Abbiati; Zambrotta, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski; Seedorf, Emerson (Shevchenko 46’), Ambrosini (Antonini 73’); Pirlo; Pato (Inzaghi 75’), Ronaldinho.

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Six Goal Thriller Sees Juventus Top Milan In Turin Reviewed by admin Ucop on 1:52 AM Rating: 5

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