Milan vs Juventus 0-1: Locatelli Upsets Former Employers

Juventus put a stop to a five-game losing streak against Milan in Serie A with a narrow 1-0 triumph at the San Siro on Sunday night. The record-time Italian champions squeezed past 10-man opposition thanks to the former Rossoneri player. 

Milan came into the game searching for a seventh consecutive home win in Serie A, a feat they last achieved a decade ago. Several notable absences, especially at the back, cast some doubt on Stefano Pioli’s to shut Juventus out in a fourth league encounter on the trot. Without Mike Maignan and Theo Hernandez, Rossoneri had a point to prove. 

Likewise, Juventus had a huge motive to take home three points. Massimiliano Allegri’s men have faced harsh criticism for constantly underperforming in high-profile fixtures. Ongoing off-field problems involving Nicolo Fagioli and Paul Pogba and injuries to Alex Sandro and Danilo plagued their chances of ending a five-game winless league run against Milan.

Allegri’s conservative approach saw Juventus surrender control of proceedings to Rossoneri in the early goings. Milan had the first clear-cut chance to take the lead. Rafael Leao slalomed past Federico Gatti and picked out Olivier Giroud inside the box. The Frenchman still had plenty to do, but he found a pocket of space and unleashed a decent low shot. Wojciech Szczesny was up to the task, going to the ground quickly to parry the ball away.

Juventus tried to respond through Filip Kostic, but his well-driven effort from the edge of the box flew a whisker wide of the far post. The action was back and forth, but scoring opportunities were at a premium. A moment of complete disaster for Milan came right before halftime as Malick Thiaw received a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Moise Kean. Referee Maurizio Mariani had no doubt as the German was the last man. 

Moments after Thiaw’s expulsion, Juventus came inches away from taking an immediate advantage of numerical superiority. Kean latched on Kostic’s teasing cross on the far post but inexplicably failed to hit the target from a couple of yards out. It was the last chance of the first half, but it was obvious Milan were on the back foot going into the second half.

Juventus had a man up, yet Allegri’s men struggled to create many scoring opportunities. The breakthrough came through an unlikely source, as Manuel Locatelli ended his long-running scoring drought with a wishful attempt from a distance. The midfielder’s shot took an awkward deflection off Rade Krunic and tricked Antonio Mirante, who enjoyed a phenomenal Milan debut.

The 40-year-old goalkeeper pulled off several top-class saves to keep Milan in the game. He first made a stunning diving save to deny Dusan Vlahovic’s well-taken shot from the edge of the box flying into the top corner before completing a sensational double block. 

Mirante thwarted Andrea Cambiasso’s attempt from close range and impressively kept Vlahovic at bay on the rebound. Unfortunately, his efforts went in vain, as Milan couldn’t produce anything noteworthy on the opposition half. 

Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football