A lacklustre Juventus overcame Milan 1-0 in Serie A at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening, with substitute Paulo Dybala scoring the all-important goal.
The away side started the brighter and should have taken the lead through Krzysztof Piatek, but his header drifted wide. Lucas Paquetá and Theo Hernandez both then had chances to open the scoring for Milan, but Wojciech Szczęsny did well to keep the score level.
Juventus looked sharper in the second half, with Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi firing narrowly wide from distance. However, I Rossoneri continued to impose themselves on the game to great effect and looked assured in their defensive work.
I Bianconeri were looking lost for ideas and were once again struggling to carve open any real openings, but they moved into the lead on 77 minutes through Paulo Dybala – who had replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the 55th minute only to see him storm down the tunnel.
The Argentine combined brilliantly with Gonzalo Higuain for the winner, shifting the ball onto his right foot and firing home ruthlessly.
The hosts were far from their best, but they were able to hold on to secure a valuable three points.
Key Talking Point
Juventus will have seen Inter come from behind on Saturday to pick up a valuable three points, which saw them move to the top of the table. As a result, Maurizio Sarri’s men needed a win on Sunday to dislodge their title rivals.
The general consensus heading into the match was that the Bianconeri would prove too strong for a struggling Milan side – but this wasn’t really the case. Sarri’s side started slowly and made countless sloppy mistakes in the early exchanges, struggling to really create any notable chances in the first half.
Milan were the better side in the opening 45 and frustrations grew around the stadium, resulting in boos beginning to ring out in certain sections. I Bianconeri lacked width, with full-backs Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado the only real outlets on the wings. As a result, the home side found it hard to break Milan down.
Sarri acted by bringing on Paulo Dybala early in the second half, which wasn’t a surprise. However, the surprise was that the man to make way was Ronaldo. The Argentine looked bright when he came on and, ultimately, proved the difference as he fired home the winner.
It was a performance filled that looked lethargic, but in the end, Sarri’s men picked up all three points and have returned to the top of the table heading into the international break.
Sarri is still incapable of making some of his best players play together, poor performance tonight. #Juventus
— Tracy K (@khalaf_tracy) November 10, 2019
Thats why i am completely against those midfield players they just aren’t for juventus qe need a dramatic change in midfield this january if we want to win something #juventus
— Denis Januzi (@denisjanuzi) November 10, 2019
Of course #Juventus are struggling against a #Milan team that is in shambles.
In the end it’s gonna be an undeserved ugly win..
How is Juve playing even worse under Sarri than they were under Allegri?#JuveMilan #SerieA
— Uzair Majid (@IamUzairMajid) November 10, 2019
Starting XI: Szczesny (8); Cuadrado (6), Bonucci (5), de Ligt (6), Alex Sandro (5); Bentancur (5), Pjanic (5), Matuidi (6); Bernardeschi (4); Higuain (6), Ronaldo (5)
Substitues: Dybala (8*), Douglas Costa (6), Rabiot (5)
STAR PLAYER – It was a lacklustre and tame display by Juventus, but it was substitute Dybala who provided the moment of magic they were searching for.
It was a shock to see Ronaldo brought off, but nonetheless, Dybala injected pace into Juve’s attacking play and looked purposeful in possession. The Argentine combined well with Higuain on a number of occasions after coming on and the pair linked up sensationally once more to give the home side the lead late on.
The forward has popped up with a number of important strikes this season and it was his quality that ensured his side didn’t stutter to a draw.
#Dybala Looks good & He has a point to prove. But #Juventus have looked far from convincing. And the #Ronaldo issue is something they need to work . If he’s really not fit,then I would rather have him for last 30 minutes off the bench than getting sub at 54 #JuveMilan
— Kartik O (@KOCricket528) November 10, 2019
Key Talking Point
Milan have become one of Europe’s “sleeping giants” in recent years, and they came into Sunday’s match sat in the bottom half of the table. The Italian giants have already lost six times this season and, as a result, it’s fair to say they were not expected to be a match for Juventus, who were hoping to return to the top of the table.
However, they started the brighter and should have been ahead by the break, with Piatek and Paqueta both coming close to scoring. Each player looked to harry and press the Juventus players, which forced them into a number of mistakes. Stefano Pioli’s men took advantage of these mistakes and broke forward at pace time and time again.
The away side were unable to take their chances, however, and they were eventually punished for this as Dybala’s goal proved the difference. While it was another defeat for Milan, it was a positive performance and one which they can most certainly build on.
If #Milan can match #Juventus as it was in the first half, we can still get the win tonight. Krunic and Bennacer being booked will be the only disadvantage. #JuveMilan
— Abdulrasheed Adeniyi (@Richie2106) November 10, 2019
Piatek has to evolve past waiting for service and provide a greater presence for the team. #JUVMIL
— _JJ Speaks_ (@MrJJ_Speaks) November 10, 2019
Starting XI: Donnarumma G. (6); Conti (7), Duarte (6), Romagnoli (6), Hernández (6); Paquetá (6), Bennacer (6), Krunić (5); Suso (6), Piątek (5), Çalhanoglu (8*)
Substitues: Bonaventura (5), Leão (5), Rebić (N/A)
STAR PLAYER – It was a much-improved display by Milan and there were a number of players who stood out for their performances. However, it was Hakan Calhanoglu who was the star player.
The midfielder worked tirelessly to get back and support his defence, constantly tracking the runs of Cuadrado to prevent the Juventus man from linking up with his teammates. He was equally impressive going forward as well, interchanging with Piatek and looking to test the home side’s backline.
On another night, Calhanoglu could well have found himself on the scoresheet, but Wojciech Szczęsny produced a number of top saves to deny him.
After the international break, Juventus travel to take on Atalanta in the league, before hosting Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Milan, meanwhile, face another tricky test as they host Napoli after the international break, before facing Parma the following week.