Milan 1-3 Juventus: Serie A – as it happened

Simon Burnton on 6 January 2021

I’m afraid that the naughty wires services are quite determined not to file a timely match report, more excited as they seem to be by Manchester City and Barcelona, so I’m just going to sidle quietly out of the building (not literally out of the building, of course, we’re in lockdown here). Bye!

Excellent entertainment, that. Three superbly-taken goals, one preceded by a fairly obvious but unpunished foul, another by a pretty special backheel assist, and another more straightforward but still stylish finish. Some eye-catching running with the ball, principally from Chiesa and Rafael Leão, a total of 34 shots, with Milan 20-14 ahead on that count (though it felt like most of those were wayward Calhanoglu 25-yarders), and all played at a lightning pace. At the end of it, Italy appear to have a thrilling title fight on their hands.

Today’s Serie A results:

Milan 1-3 Juventus
Atalanta 3-0 Parma
Bologna 2-2 Udinese
Cagliari 1-2 Benevento
Crotone 1-3 Roma
Lazio 2-1 Fiorentina
Napoli 1-2 Spezia
Sampdoria 2-1 Inter Milan
Sassuolo 2-1 Genoa
Torino 1-1 Verona

Ten games in Serie A today, and 19 teams scored at least one goal. Five games ended 2-1 to someone, and Parma were the only side to draw a blank. Here is the league table, with Juventus up to fourth and a won-game-in-hand away from third:

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 AC Milan 16 16 37
2 Inter Milan 16 20 36
3 Roma 16 11 33
4 Juventus 15 17 30
5 Sassuolo 16 6 29
6 Napoli 15 17 28
7 Atalanta 15 15 28
8 Lazio 16 0 25
9 Verona 16 5 24
10 Benevento 16 -7 21
11 Sampdoria 16 -1 20
12 Bologna 16 -6 17
13 Udinese 15 -6 16
14 Fiorentina 16 -6 15
15 Cagliari 16 -10 14
16 Spezia 16 -10 14
17 Torino 16 -7 12
18 Parma 16 -18 12
19 Genoa 16 -14 11
20 Crotone 16 -22 9

Final score: Milan 1-3 Juventus

90+6 mins: It’s all over! It was a game Juventus couldn’t afford to lose, and they’ve won it in style!

90+3 mins: Diaz goes over in the area as Rabiot dangles a leg, and the referee immediately brings the whistle to his lips. But he doesn’t blow until Bonucci pretends to trip over Diaz’s now prone body, and then it’s for a Juventus free kick.

90+2 mins: Maldini runs into the heart of Juventus’s half but instead of passing to an unmarked Diaz to his left he keeps going himself, and has a weak left-footed shot from the edge of the area.

90+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there will be five minutes, or similar.

89 mins: Milan have the ball for a while on the edge of the Juventus area, but they can’t do anything with it, and Hernandez eventually has a shot from range that is blocked.

88 mins: Calhanoglu shoots over the bar from 20 yards or so. That must be, what, his seventh shot of the night?

87 mins: Milan bring Colombo on for Castillejo, and Calhanoglu’s free-kick is headed over the bar by Romagnoli.

86 mins: Castillejo accidentally brings his head into Kulusevski’s arm, goes down clutching his nose and wins a free kick.

85 mins: Donnarumma rolls the ball out to Calhanoglu, who runs 60 yards to the edge of the Juventus area only to find not one red and black shirt trying to run into it, forcing him to hold the ball up and pass it backwards.

84 mins: A bullet of a shot from Calhanoglu, but it goes straight to Szczesny, who falls on it.

82 mins: Everyone but Ronaldo is back for Juventus, and Milan can’t find a path through the crowd.

81 mins: Milan make a triple substitution, with Kjaer, Dalot and Calabria going off and Kalulu, Conti and Maldini coming on.

79 mins: Hernandez goes down clutching his left ankle, and the physios come on.

GOAL! Milan 1-3 Juventus (McKennie, 76 mins)

Juventus get the third, and it’s all about the substitutes! Kulusevski runs infield off the right, takes a slightly heavy touch at the end forcing him to throw out a foot and try to conjure a decent pass infield, and he gets a lovely touch that sends the ball trickling lazily just out of Kjaer’s reach and into the path of McKennie, who thumps in from six yards!

Juventus’ Weston McKennie thumps home their third.
Juventus’ Weston McKennie thumps home their third. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA
Juventus’ Weston McKennie, right, celebrates with Dejan Kulusevski after scoring his side’s third goal.
McKennie, right, celebrates with Dejan Kulusevski. Photograph: Antonio Calanni/AP

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74 mins: The massively fortunate Bentancur goes off, along with Ramsey, and Arthur and Bernadeschi come on.

73 mins: From the free kick Calhanoglu hits a shot of great pace and dip, but not great accuracy.

72 mins: Milan break, Hernandez sprints down the middle of the field until Danilo gets a foot to the ball. The referee, puzzlingly, gives Milan a free kick.

72 mins: Save! What a pass from Ronaldo from the left flank to find McKennie’s run into the penalty area, and he controls the ball before spearing a shot towards the near post, which Donnarumma saves.

70 mins: A comedy challenge on Calhanoglu by the already booked Bentancur goes unpunished, as the referee plays the advantage and then just plays on when the move ends. Juventus should be down to 10 men.

67 mins: Milan bring Brahim Diaz on for Hauge.

66 mins: Kulusevski sprints down the left, sprints a bit further down the left, and eventually, running out of left to sprint down, hits a low cross, which deflects to Donnarumma off a defender.

63 mins: There will be no hat-trick of goals for Chiesa, or of assists for Dybala. Juventus bring Kulusevski on to replace the goalscorer, and McKennie on for Dybala.

GOAL! Milan 1-2 Chiesa

Another Dybala assist, another Chiesa goal! The assist is a bit more prosaic this time, a heftily overhit 15-yard pass. Chiesa does well just to control it, but he then shifts it onto his left foot, away from Hernandez, and shoots low with his left foot, inside the far post, from the edge of the area!

Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (right) slots the ball home to give the visitors back in front.
Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (right) shoots ... Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Juventus’ Federico Chiesa scores their second goal.
And scores to put the visitors back in front. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters
Federico Chiesa celebrates after scoring his, and Juventus’, second goal.
Chiesa celebrates after scoring his, and Juventus’, second goal. Photograph: Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Updated

60 mins: Bentancur is booked for a foul on Hernandez.

59 mins: The second half has been disappointingly sane thus far. Juventus have dominated possession, but await a killer chance.

56 mins: The free kick is headed clear but the ball is sent wide to Chiesa, whose cross finds Ramsey unmarked beyond the far post, but he controls and then shoots wide.

55 mins: Juventus win a free kick, 40 yards from goal. Ronaldo stands over it, sizing it up, but then decides it’s a bit far out and leaves it for Dybala.

52 mins: After a few minutes of the referee seeming to give Juventus every possible free kick Theo Hernandez feels a kick on his ankle, plays on for a while because the kick wasn’t very hard, then abruptly decides to stop and gingerly feel his ankle as if it’s only just started hurting, and the referee gives him a sympathy free kick.

50 mins: Juventus overload the right, the Milan defence comes across to match them, Ramsey runs free into an open left flank and Ronaldo only narrowly fails to find him.

48 mins: From the corner Bonucci holds off Calhanoglu with two arms and a fair amount of bodyweight, then falls over and somehow gets a free-kick.

48 mins: Save! Dalot sends in a low shot from 25 yards which catches Szczesny with his weight on the wrong foot, but he just about gets down to it.

46 mins: Milan attack from the off, Hauge finds Castillejo in the area, but Bonucci does an excellent job of defending him, blocking his options, forcing him back, and in the end leaving him with no option but to hit an aimless cross.

46 mins: Peeeeeeep! Crikey, Premier Sports don’t give you a lot of warning before play restarts, do they? Anyway, this has been an insanely entertaining game. Keep it up lads!

Half time: Milan 1-1 Juventus

45+1 mins: The referee plays a couple of seconds of stoppage time before ending the half. He is instantly surrounded by Juventus players. Andrea Pirlo comes on for a chat. It has been magnificently madcap from first to last, with the equaliser the crowning glory.

44 mins: Such a good finish from Calabria. Definitely a foul from Calhanoglu.

42 mins: VAR has looked at that Calhanoglu challenge, a fairly enthusiastic shoulder-barge from a player making no attempt to win the ball, and given it the thumbs up. Juventus kick off and work a shooting chance for Ramsey within 25 seconds, but he sends it meekly at Donnarumma.

GOAL! Milan 1-1 Juventus (Calabria, 41 mins)

Controversy! Calhanoglu seems to take out Rabiot in his own half to allow Milan to win the ball back, and they race down the other end where Leao tees up Calabria, who sidefoots into the top corner from the edge of the area!

Milan’s Davide Calabria puts the home side back on level terms.
Milan’s Davide Calabria puts the home side back on level terms. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA
Milan’s Davide Calabria celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates.
Calabria is congratulated by his team mates. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Updated

37 mins: Calabria threads the ball through a thicket of players to Hernandez, running into the penalty area, but he can’t control it and Juventus have a goal kick.

35 mins: Hernandez touches the ball to Calhanoglu on the edge of the area, and a defender gets back, gets a foot on the ball, and very nearly sends it into his own net! Szczesny makes a fine save, and a few seconds later Calhanoglu has another go, and this one goes wide.

Juventus’ goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny makes a save.
Juventus’ goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny makes a save. Photograph: Matteo Bazzi/EPA

Updated

34 mins: Now Calhanoglu has a go from 23 yards, but it’s too close to Szczesny.

33 mins: Hauge, making his first Serie A start, has looked pretty decent so far, prompting and probing from the edge of the area. Meanwhile, Calabria has a shot that flies over the bar.

30 mins: Juventus win a corner, which Dybala sends into the area. In the middle Ronaldo leaps, he pulls back his head and tenses his neck muscles, and then a defender gets a touch on it, and the ball disappears.

28 mins: Calhanoglu’s cross flies straight across the Juventus goalmouth and out for a goal kick.

27 mins: Juventus attempt to self-destruct again. Ramsey hits an insane crossfield pass inside his own half that goes straight to Hauge, who feeds Leao, whose shot is turned behind by Szczesny.

27 mins: The level of madness and genius here simply cannot be sustained. We live in hope, though.

24 mins: A glorious, full-speed dribble from Chiesa ends with him blasting a shot too close to Donnarumma, and Ronaldo blasting him for not passing. Chiesa’s touch to go past Romagnoli then was super.

23 mins: Juventus nearly hand Milan a goal from the goal kick, passing it around in their own area only for Castillejo to close down Szczesny and get his studs on the ball, when more significant contact would have given him an open net!

23 mins: And Milan nearly score on the break! Rafael Leao pretty much magics this out of nothing, dribbling mazily towards the edge of the box before attempting a curler which curls just wide of the far post!

22 mins: Juventus haven’t just had the better of the last five minutes, they have absolutely savaged the league leaders. It’s been lions and lambs out there.

21 mins: Chance for a second! Chiesa this time gets to the byline and cuts back to Ronaldo, whose shot hits a defender.

GOAL! Milan 0-1 Juventus (Chiesa, 19 mins)

Lovely goal from Juventus! Chiesa has the ball on the right, he passes infield to Dybala and runs into the area, Dybala backheels perfectly into his path, and Chiesa sidefoots past Dunnarumma and in at the far post! That is scrumptious!

Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (right) shoots past Milan’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to open the scoring.
Juventus’ Federico Chiesa (right) shoots past Milan’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to open the scoring. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Updated

18 mins: Another chance! This time Bonucci crosses from the right, but it’s just too high, skims off Chiesa’s forehead and runs away.

17 mins: Damned fine effort that from Chiesa - the first touch on his thigh, the second with his right foot, but he cut across the ball slightly and it was that spin that took it onto the post!

16 mins: Juventus hit the post! The corner isn’t fully cleared and when the ball drops to Chiesa he lashes it against the woodwork!

15 mins: A first significant involvement from Ronaldo, who dribbles down the left for a while before sending in a random cross, which is turned behind for a corner.

12 mins: Good pressing from Juventus pushes Milan back, but they play their way out of it with confidence and a couple of passes later Dalot has the ball on the right and Hauge has space in the middle, but the cross doesn’t quite pick him out.

9 mins: A promisingly madcap start to proceedings. Kessie nicks the ball off Dybala’s toe on the edge of the penalty area and it runs to Frabotta, who shoots a foot or so high!

7 mins: Bentancur tries a lazy backheel on the edge of his own area, misses the ball entirely and Castillejo nips in to take it, but he can’t find the finish!

6 mins: Milan win a corner, which is played back to Hauge, on the left-hand corner of the penalty area. His low cross-shot looks decent, but it hits a defender on its way and rebounds to safety.

4 mins: Hernandez wins a high ball on Milan’s left, but he gets a bit too much of Chiesa in the process and Juventus have a free-kick, inside their own half.

3 mins: And a shot at the other end from Leao, who cuts infield from the left and sends a low shot across goal but comfortably wide of the far post, with Szczesny able to pull out of his dive.

2 mins: Chance for Juventus! Frabotta gets clear on the left, cuts into the area and cuts the ball back to Dybala, whose shot hits Kjaer and deflects into Donnarumma’s hands!

1 min: Peeeeeep! Juventus get the game started. It’s win-or-bust for them tonight, surely. Time to see what they’re made of.

And out come the players!

Right, time to tear my astonished eyes away from the goings-on in Washington and towards Milan, where Paolo Maldini is currently presenting a player-of-the-month award to Hakan Calhanoglu.

“Milan are at the top of the table, they have played well,” says Danilo. “They’ve got a balanced team with clear tactics. But we know very well what we need to do to win this evening.”

Warm-ups are under way at San Siro, soundtracked by, and I may be showing my age here, very noisy noise.

This man, contrary to appearances, is happy.

Ivan Provedel of Spezia
Ivan Provedel of Spezia celebrates victory after the Serie A match between Napoli and Spezia at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Photograph: Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

The final whistle has just blown in Naples, where Napoli have gone down 2-1 at home to Spezia, their first win in nine games. Napoli remain fourth, but will be overtaken by Juventus if they win tonight.

The teams!

Team news is in, and tonight’s starters are these:

Milan: Donnarumma; Dalot, Kjær, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Calabria, Kessie; Castillejo, Hakan, Hauge; Leao.
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Frabotta; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo.

Hello world!

Well, this is exciting. Juventus, Serie A champions in 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, find themselves 10 points off the lead, albeit with a game in hand and with the season less than half-cooked. Thanks to Inter’s unexpected 2-1 defeat at Sampdoria this afternoon Milan lead the pile, themselves briefly enjoying a game in hand on their two closest challengers, Inter and Roma, and would have a 13-point lead over the nine-time successive champions should they win this evening in the first of three successive home fixtures against Turin-based sides (with Torino next in the league on Saturday, and coming back again in the cup next Tuesday).

“We know the importance of this match,” Andrea Pirlo says. “Milan-Juventus always was fascinating as a player and will be as a coach . We’ll do our best, but I don’t think it’s decisive for the rest of the championship.”

Time will tell on that front, I suppose. Welcome! And here’s the latest league table:

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 AC Milan 15 18 37
2 Inter Milan 16 20 36
3 Roma 16 11 33
4 Napoli 15 18 29
5 Sassuolo 16 6 29
6 Atalanta 15 15 28
7 Juventus 14 15 27
8 Lazio 16 0 25
9 Verona 16 5 24
10 Benevento 16 -7 21
11 Sampdoria 16 -1 20
12 Bologna 16 -6 17
13 Udinese 15 -6 16
14 Fiorentina 16 -6 15
15 Cagliari 16 -10 14
16 Torino 16 -7 12
17 Spezia 16 -11 12
18 Parma 16 -18 12
19 Genoa 16 -14 11
20 Crotone 16 -22 9

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