Match - Sun 21 April, 20:45, Juventus Stadium
Juve instill first defeat on Milan in 2013
Arturo Vidal: His penalty was the difference
It was an opening 57 minutes to forget for Milan as they were forced to make two injury induced substitutions, before a Marco Amelia foul in the box resulted in Arturo Vidal striking home a penalty.
Juventus were on the home stretch in ensuring their 29th Scudetto title, and with a 14 point gap over the Rossoneri the game was more about restoring pride for Milan than denting the host’s title aspirations.
Massimiliano Allegri was looking to do so through the aid of his African companions, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Kevin Constant. All while the return of the Egyptian-born Italian, Stephan El Shaarawy, brought music to the fans ears with his return to the starting line-up.
Likewise, coach Antonio Conte was also seeking aid from the African continent and his was in the shape of Kwadwo Asamoah, who was finally starting to show the form he expressed just before departing for African Cup of Nations duty.
The match kicked-off with a bit of an eerie atmosphere and it took a Robinho handball, on the edge of Milan’s box, for the first threat of goal to appear. Andrea Pirlo stood up to take the 7th minute free-kick and it took a deflection off the wall to force Christian Abbiati into making an impulsive reflex save by pushing the ball out for a corner kick.
Still, despite his heroic efforts in goal seven minutes prior, he was forced to come off the field of play after sustaining a calf injury, resulting in Mario Amelia having to come on.
Then in the 20th minute, Asamoah disappointed with his effort in which he failed to take his time on a shot and, instead, blasted it over into the top stand from Pirlo’s corner.
The game was lacking the desired urgency and goal needed to spring the fixture into life, as each team looked strangely content to keep the result at bay with their lax passing.
Amelia was then called into action in the final moments of the first half, when he used his foot to beat away Claudio Marchisio’s strike before it was eventually flagged for offside.
At the start of the second half Massimilano Allegri was forced into making his second substitution of the match, by bringing on Sulley Muntari in place of the injured Massimo Ambrosini.
It just didn’t seem to be going in the way of the visitors when they conceded a penalty, in the 56th minute, after Amelia had brought down Asamoah in the box. Arturo Vidal stood up to take the spot-kick and he made no error in putting it in between the post and ‘keeper, making it 1-0.
In the 73rd minute of play Milan went on a rare break in attack and it was Boateng who supplied a cross towards Giampaolo Pazzini from the byline, only for Giorgio Chiellini to clip it out of danger.
Even with Milan’s late siege of possession they couldn’t find an end product for the equalizer, as they fell to their first defeat of the calendar year and resulting in them falling 18 points behind Juve.