AC Milan recovered from their midweek humiliation at Chelsea by easily beating Juventus 2-0 on Saturday and level on points with Serie A leaders Napoli. Italian champions Milan showed no sign of a European hangover as they defeated fierce rivals Juve thanks to goals from Fikayo Tomori and Brahim Diaz before a packed San Siro. Stefano Pioli’s side are one of three with 20 points alongside Napoli and Atalanta who travel to the surprise Udinese on Sunday afternoon and have a chance to take the overall lead.
Milan sit third after a dominant performance, which should give them cause for optimism ahead of Tuesday night as they seek revenge on Chelsea in Champions League Group E.
It was another poor performance and result for Juve, a second league defeat of the season that leaves them seven points adrift in eighth place.
Theo Hernandez, missing Milan’s hammering at Stamford Bridge, was key to Milan’s lead. His tackle against Cuadrado resulted in a corner that the French full-back saved. This resulted in Tomori scoring his first goal of the season.
It was as much as Milan deserved. Rafael Leao had hit the post twice for the hosts and Juve, while threatening on the break, lacked the sensitivity of the suspended Angel Di Maria.
Dusan Vlahovic in particular was out of form and it was his poor pass that saw Diaz double the hosts’ lead eight minutes after the break.
Serb Vlahovic rolled a foul ball back to the center of the pitch. Diaz lunged and stormed up the field in a lightning run, leapfrogging Adrien Rabiot and Leonardo Bonucci before forcing a powerful finish past Wojciech Szczesny.
Diaz was hoisted onto Leao’s shoulders as the more than 70,000 fans at La Scala celebrated with the enthusiasm of a crowd who knew they had all but scored the points.
Juve tried to fight back when Pioli switched things around ahead of the Chelsea rematch but the best they could muster was a shot from Moise Kean which was deflected to a corner.
Milan would have emerged even more victorious if Szczesny hadn’t done well to stop the looting Pierre Kalulu from capping a commanding performance with his first goal of the season.
Milan are also five points ahead of local rivals Inter Milan, who won 2-1 in Sassuolo thanks to a brace from Edin Dzeko, continuing his side’s recovery from the midweek win against Barcelona.
The 36-year-old struck just in time at half-time to put Inter ahead at the Mapei Stadium and secured the points with 15 minutes remaining after Davide Frattesi equalized on the hour.
Dzeko has now scored 101 goals in Serie A, where he has played since joining Roma from Manchester City in 2016.
“Scoring a goal is a great feeling, when the ball crosses the line you’re the happiest man in the world,” Dzeko told DAZN.
“You can lose games like today and that happened to us recently. We didn’t play great but we wanted to confirm what we did against Barcelona.”
Inter meet Barca at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night, a game that will be crucial to their chances of qualifying after beating the Catalan giants 1-0 earlier this week.
Dejan Stankovic takes charge of his first game at Sampdoria later on Saturday when his winless side take on fellow contenders Bologna, who are trying to relegate from bottom of the table.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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