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Thiaw sees red, Locatelli goal is enough: Juve topples Milan from top spot

Juventus Turin has won the top match against AC Milan. After Malik Thiaw’s red card, the Rossoneri lacked the means to crack Juve. A deflected shot from Manuel Locatelli was enough for the Old Lady to pull to within a point of the Milanese.

For the Rossoneri, it was a matter of defending their place at the top of the table ahead of city rivals Inter, who had come from 3-0 down at FC Torino. Juventus could move even closer to the Milan duo at the top with a win.

The hosts, who have won all of their last four league games, were missing key team cornerstones with Maignan (red) and Theo (yellow) suspended.

Juve defends compactly – Thiaw sees red

The Old Lady from Torino let the home side have possession from the start and defended compactly from a 5-3-2. The first chance of the game belonged to the visitors, but Weah’s attempt failed to hit the chest of teammate McKennie (7th). When the Rossoneri were dangerous offensively, it was always through Rafael Leao, who challenged his opponent with his speed advantage time and again. This was also the home side’s best chance of the entire first half, but Giroud failed to score after Leao’s cross was saved brilliantly by Szczesny (15th).

For long stretches, the two teams neutralized each other. Milan had the majority of possession, but did not create much worth mentioning. Juve waited for the chance to switch the ball around, but little came of it at first. Rabiot, after Kostic’s preparatory work, at least had a chance to score (34th).

Six minutes later, a game-changing scene occurred: Thiaw had to let Kean pass – and as the last man, he then pulled him to the ground, for which he consequently saw red (40.). The visitors almost capitalized before the break, but Kean managed the feat of firing the ball past the goal from two meters (45). On the other side, Rugani blocked against Rafael Leao (45.+1).

Locatelli’s shot on target

After the break, despite Juve being outnumbered, nothing changed in the game at first. Milan remained the team with more of the game – but still without sparking any danger in front of the opponent’s goal. The visitors from Turin did not let themselves be lured out of their reserve and did not give up their compact block. A deflected shot from distance by Locatelli was enough for the Old Lady to take the lead (63rd). For a few minutes, it seemed like Juve got a bit of a tailwind from the goal, as they let both the ball and Milan players run from time to time, but without the clear aspirations to go for the second goal.

They didn’t have to, though, because Milan simply lacked the resources offensively. Rafael Leao was also no longer a factor in the second half. In injury time, Milan goalkeeper Mirante saved his team from conceding a second goal when he first saved Cambiaso’s long-range shot and then Vlahovic’s follow-up (90.+1). In the end, Juve won what was ultimately a chance-poor top match. The win brings the visitors to within one point of Milan, who meanwhile have to relinquish the lead in the standings to city rivals Inter.

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