Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
90’+2′ Sosa Sent off (Second bookable offence)
90’+7′ Dybala (P)
Juventus moved eleven points clear of second-placed Roma in Serie A after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over rivals AC Milan at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.
Medhi Benatia volleyed the Bianconeri ahead in the first-half before Carlos Bacca levelled the scores for Milan two minutes before the break. The Rossoneri had José Sosa dismissed late-on for two yellow cards before a late Paulo Dybala penalty ensured Juventus extended their consecutive winning streak at home in the league to 31 games after Mattia De Sciglio was very harshly penalised for handball.
The hosts started well and went close to taking the lead in the third minute when late inclusion to the starting line-up Marko Pjaca, who replaced Mario Mandžukić due to an injury in the warm-up, forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into a fine save with the keeper palming the ball away into the path of Sami Khedira, who fired the follow-up just over the bar via a deflection.
Four minutes later the hosts thought they should have had a penalty when Dybala was caught by Cristián Zapata after dribbling past three players but the referee was unmoved. Pjaca curled the loose ball inches wide of the far-post.
Two minutes later Dybala went close when his half-volley from-range forced Donnarumma into a fine save with the keeper palming the ball behind.
In the 23rd minute the hosts went close again when Gonzalo Higuaín fired an effort that Donnarumma did well to palm away.
Six minutes later the hosts went ahead through Benatia, who did well to stay onside and control a first-time Dani Alves cross before volleying home to finish-off a fine Juventus move.
In the 33rd minute the Bianconeri had a good chance to double their lead when a dangerous Miralem Pjanić freekick was cleared into the path of Khedira, but he miscued his volley and fired the ball wide.
Two minutes before the break the Rossoneri drew level with their first meaningful opportunity. Gerard Deulofeu surged forward on the break before playing Bacca through on-goal, the Colombian had Gianluigi Buffon to beat and he did, firing the ball home first-time: through the legs of Buffon with the outside of the foot.
Four minutes into the restart Juventus went close to taking the lead when Pjanić curled a freekick that was palmed behind by Donnarumma. The hosts went close from the resulting-corner when Pjanić’s dangerous delivery caused havoc for Bacca, who miscued his clearance: slicing the ball inches over his own bar.
A minute later the Bianconeri went close again when Pjaca’s pull-back found Higuaín, who teed up Khedira, but his effort was tame and Donnarumma palmed the ball away before the loose ball was cleared by De Sciglio on the goal-line.
Seven minutes later the hosts had another great chance to take the lead when De Sciglio failed to clear the ball away following a freekick allowing Pjaca to pounce on the loose ball, but he fired his effort inches wide of the far-post.
Two minutes later the hosts very nearly took the lead when Pjanić’s dangerous delivery following a corner was awkwardly palmed onto the bar by Donnarumma.
In the 64th minute the Turin side went close again when Alves wonderfully picked out Pjaca with a cross but the Croatian striker side-footed his volley harmlessly over the bar.
Eight minutes later the hosts came close to going ahead when Khedira’s powerful strike forced Donnarumma into a fine save with the keeper palming the ball away into the path of Higuaín, whose acrobatic effort was tipped behind by the keeper.
Two minutes later the hosts went close when Sosa fired a powerful effort at goal that Buffon was forced to palm away.
In the 92nd minute the visitors were reduced to ten-men when already booked Sosa, cynically fouled Kwadwo Asamoah to receive a second yellow card and his marching-orders.
A minute later the hosts nearly capitalised when Leonardo Bonucci’s teasing delivery found Higuaín, whose acrobatic volley flew inches wide of the target. A minute later Higuaín had another great chance to find the winner when the Argentine controlled a lofted pass from Alves before firing an effort that Donnarumma terrifically palmed away. However from the resulting-move, the Bianconeri were awarded a penalty when De Sciglio was cruelly punished for handball after substitute Stephan Lichtsteiner’s cross struck the Italian’s arm from a yard-out.
Dybala stepped up to fire the penalty home, despite Donnarumma guessing right, to earn Juventus a hard-fought victory.
The result meant that Juventus extended their lead at the top of the league to 11 points as they moved onto 70 points whilst Milan remained in seventh on 50 points before the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.