x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Gattuso is the unlikely Milan hero in Juventus win

The midfielder's first goal in three years is enough to separate the two rivals in Turin as AC Milan extend their lead at the top of Serie A.

AC Milan's Gennaro Gattuso, centre, celebrates after scoring his first goal in three years to earn his side three points at Juventus.
AC Milan's Gennaro Gattuso, centre, celebrates after scoring his first goal in three years to earn his side three points at Juventus.

AC Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Juventus which plunges the Bianconeri into the midst of a crisis.

Gennaro Gattuso was the unlikely hero for the Rossoneri, with his first goal in three years in the 68th minute earning all three points as Milan established an eight-point advantage over Inter Milan at the top of Serie A.

Juve, on the other hand, did not even manage a single shot on goal and, as a result, they remain in seventh but could drop to ninth by the end of today.

Juve were fortunate not to fall behind in the third minute when Zlatan Ibrahimovic, their former player, prepared himself to volley in a cross from the left, but Armand Traore managed to just get his toe to the ball and the Sweden striker’s shot went over the crossbar.

Milan had the better chances in a first half in which Juve dominated territorially but never came close to scoring.

Antonio Cassano should have scored in the 22nd minute, but he delayed his shot and then turned inside and blazed the ball over the crossbar from 10 yards.

Ibrahimovic tried to catch Gianluigi Buffon out with a free kick in the 53rd minute, but the Juve goalkeeper scurried across his goal to push the ball wide.

Milan then took the lead in the 68th minute with Gattuso ending his long drought.

Ibrahimovic chested the ball down and when Juve failed to clear their lines, Gattuso latched onto the ball on the edge of the area and his left-foot shot slid under the arms of Buffon.

Juve showed little signs of life, even after going behind, and the closest they came to scoring was with a late scramble in the penalty area which did not lead to a shot on goal.

The result will also increase the pressure on coach Luigi Delneri, whose job was already hanging in the balance before the game.