Federico Chiesa double helps give Juventus and Andrea Pirlo vital victory at leaders AC Milan
Serie A, San Siro – AC Milan 1 (Calabria 41’) Juventus 3 (Chiesa 18, 62’, McKennie 76’)
Juventus' Italian forward Federico Chiesa (C) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Juventus on January 6, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Federico Chiesa scored a brace as Juventus won 3-1 against Serie A leaders AC Milan who suffer their first defeat of the season.
Andrea Pirlo's side stormed out of the blocks led by Chiesa, who hit the post and three minutes later broke the deadlock with a low finish after a sumptuous backheel flick from Paulo Dybala.
Juve then stepped off the gas and allowed the injury-ravaged home side onto them. Former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny made a string of impressive stops but was eventually beaten by Davide Calabria's pinpoint first-time finish from inside the area which had the visitors seething as they believed Adrian Rabiot was fouled in the build-up.
AC Milan's Italian defender Davide Calabria (2ndR) celebrates with teammates after scoring an equalizer during the Italian Serie A football match AC Milan vs Juventus on January 6, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan
Image credit: Getty Images
The second half was equally enthralling with Szczesny again to the rescue to foil efforts from Diogo Dalot and Hakan Calhanoğlu, while Aaron Ramsey had a night to forget and missed two gilt-edged chances for the Bianconeri.
But it was Chiesa who stole the show after controlling Dybala's pass, cutting inside on the edge of the box and guiding the ball into the bottom corner to give his side the lead.
The strength of Juve's bench was showcased with Pirlo then bringing on Dejan Kulusevski and Weston McKennie and the two combined for their third with the latter firing the ball in from close range.
The result sees the reigning champions reduce the gap with Milan to seven points with a game in hand to spice up the race for the Scudetto further after second-placed Inter Milan lost 2-1 to Sampdoria earlier.
Should AC Milan's goal have stood?
With Juve leading 1-0, Calhanoglu seemed to take out Rabiot in his own half to allow Milan to win the ball back and then launch an attack for Calabria to score. Juve had a strong case for the goal to be chalked off although the home side can also claim Roderigo Bentancur was extremely fortunate to escape a second booking with 20 minutes remaining for a very late challenge.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Federico Chiesa (Juventus): The striker had fire in his belly from the outset and executed two brilliant finishes in either half that his father Enrico would have been proud of. He overshadowed Cristiano Ronaldo with his work rate in a game which Juve had to win.
Federico Chiesa of Juventus F.C. celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 06, 2021 in Milan, Italy.