AC Milan vs Juventus

AC Milan defeated Juventus 2-0 at the San Siro in Serie A on Saturday, October 8. The result saw them go level with leaders Napoli and second-placed Atalanta on 20 points.

Milan entered this contest on the back of three wins and two losses in their last five games, the latest being a 3-0 defeat against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Stefano Pioli’s men won the league last year and were a win off top spot prior to kick-off. He fielded a strong lineup for this clash.

Juve, on the other hand, came into this game on the back of two wins, two losses and a draw in their last five games. They secured a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Maccabi Haifa in the UCL, setting up this tie perfectly in terms of competition. Massimiliano Allegri fielded a strong lineup for the game.

Both Juventus and AC Milan begain the game by exercising caution as they tried to keep the ball for longer spells before building attacking moves. Juve dominated possession while Milan had the higher number of chances to score from. The hosts attempted a whopping 12 shots in the first period, with just one on target. The visitors, on the other hand, attempted five with just one on target, too.

Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud looked lively from the start as they combined well to create chances for AC Milan. Their midfielders supported them well as Ismael Bennacer and Sandro Tonali made bright starts to the game. Juve, on the other hand, saw Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik made positive starts. However, neither was able to get into a goalscoring position.

Fikayo Tomori then broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage-time following a deflection. Giroud attempted a header that was directed goalwards which hit Tomori and nestled in the back of the net. AC Milan carried a narrow one-goal lead into the break.

AC Milan came out for the second half with confidence given by their one-goal lead. They looked determined to score again and committed the men forward in a bid to achieve just that. Their efforts were rewarded just nine minutes after the restart as they were able to put Juventus to the sword yet again.

Vlahovic gave away possession in his own half and Milan did well to gain control of the ball. Diaz then took matters into his own hands as he drove forward, beating multiple defenders before scoring to make it 2-0 after 54 minutes. He took his shirt off in excitement of scoring and was rightly shown a yellow card.

Both managers made several changes as they looked to give key players some rest, but also looked eager to get a result from this game. Trailing by two goals, Allegri was the first to make his changes and used all five substitutes to try and turn things around. Pioli, too, used all five options.

However, AC Milan held on to secure a statement 2-0 win over Juventus. That said, let’s take a look at the five hits and flops from the game.

#5. Hit – Olivier Giroud

Giroud played 64 minutes and had a great game for AC Milan up front. He provided an assist for his side’s opener, albeit unintentional. Giroud attempted to direct a header goalwards and Tomori found himself in the way. The Englishman initially blocked the attempt but managed to squeeze it into goal to make it 1-0.

Giroud also played two key passes and won seven of his eight duels.

#4. Flop – Dusan Vlahovic

A striker enjoys nothing more than being involved in goals for their team, whether they score it or provide an assist. Vlahovic had two goal involvements today. Unfortunately, both were for the opposite team.

Vlahovic was dispossessed twice in midfield in the build-up to both of AC Milan’s goals. He dropped deep to combine with his midfielders but had his pocket picked on two occasions. Bennacer first stole the ball from him before passing it to Giroud, who created the chance for Milan’s opener. Vlahovic then gave the ball away to Diaz, who scored an incredible solo goal.

#3. Hit – Fikayo Tomori

Tomori scored only his second-ever goal in Serie A, giving AC Milan a much-deserved lead against Juventus in first-half stoppage time. Coincidentally, his other league goal in Italy was also against the same opposition.

Tomori was in the right place at the right time as he initially looked like he denied Giroud a wonderful goal. However, he managed to finish the move off as he squeezed the ball into the net from close-range.

#2. Flop – Wojciech Szczesny

Juventus’ goalkeeper was called on thrice but failed to stop two shots leading to goals despite getting a hand on the second one. He made just one save, which came late in second-half stoppage time following a tame shot. Overall, a disappointing performance from the custodian.

#1. Hit – Brahim Diaz

Diaz scored a lovely solo goal in the second half to double AC Milan’s lead as they looked to capitalize on home advantage.

The ball fell to his feet following a melee in midfield, wherein Vlahovic gave the ball away to Milan. Diaz drove forward, beating three defenders before unleashing a shot goalwards. Wojciech Szczesny did well to get a hand on it but was unable to keep the effort out.

Diaz won three of his four duels, played three key passes and completed both of his dribbles. He was also booked for excessive celebration as he removed his shirt after scoring.

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