AC Milan finally lose as Chiesa fires Juventus to thrilling win

Federico Chiesa of Juventus celebrates scoring during the Serie A match against AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 6, 2021 in Milan
Federico Chiesa of Juventus celebrates scoring during the Serie A match against AC Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 6, 2021 in Milan
Image: Marco Luzzani / Getty Images

Juventus inflicted a first Serie A defeat of the season on league leaders AC Milan as a Federico Chiesa double led the Italian champions to an exhilarating 3-1 win at San Siro on Wednesday.

Chiesa fired home a superb opener before makeshift midfielder Davide Calabria equalised for Milan at the end of an eventful, end-to-end first half.

But the visitors pulled away after the break as Chiesa curled in his second and substitute Weston McKennie swept in from close range to consign Milan to their first league defeat since March 8, 2020, a run of 27 games lasting 304 days.

Stefano Pioli’s side remain top of the table on 37 points, one ahead of second-placed Inter Milan, who lost to Sampdoria earlier on Wednesday.

Juventus rise to fourth place on 30 points, but have a game in hand over the three teams above them.

Milan coach Pioli was forced to play right back Calabria in midfield after Rade Krunic and Ante Rebic were ruled out on matchday following positive Covid-19 tests, adding to an absentee list including Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer, Alexis Saelemaekers and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Juventus had issues of their own, with Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro in isolation and Alvaro Morata injured, but the selection problems did not impact the quality of an action-packed opening period.

Chiesa blasted a powerful half-volley off the post before finding the breakthrough in the 18th minute, when a clever backheeled pass from Paulo Dybala sent the Italy international through on goal to finish.

Rafael Leao curled a shot narrowly wide and Chiesa had another effort saved before Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny’s diving save stopped an Aaron Ramsey clearance from flying into his own net.

Milan hit back four minutes before the break when Leao picked out Calabria in the box and he fired into the top corner.

The tempo dropped slightly in the second half and Juventus took control on 62 minutes when Chiesa curled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

The winger was forced off after hurting himself in the process, but the strength of the Juve bench showed when two replacements combined for their third.

Dejan Kulusevski weaved into the box from the wing and laid off a pass to McKennie, who was left with a simple finish from six yards.

- Reuters

 

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