Robinho’s Penalty the Difference as AC Milan Hangs on to Beat Juventus
By Andea Lorini On November 26, 2012 @ 4:30 pm In Football (Soccer) | No Comments
A sold-out San Siro celebrated AC Milan’s 1–0 victory over the “Old Lady” Juventus, who suffered their second defeat of the Serie A season.
Milan dominated the first half, Juve the second. The match was decided by a Robinho penalty in the 31st minute.
“We are very happy, we had a great match, we suffered all together,” said young Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio on Sky after the match. “Now we have to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next games.”
“This performance, the boys have been pursuing it, defending neatly, and allowing only one shot from Juve,” said Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri. “To be able to concede so little, it’s the team’s merit.”
Milan started the match on the right foot, aggressive in every part of the field. It frustrated the offensive role of Juve’s midfield genius and former Milan star Andrea Pirlo.
The attack of Juventus was fleeting. Neither Mirko Vucinic or Fabio Quagliarella was able to finish and they were often left high and dry by their midfield.
Juve’s play turned into a struggle around the Milan penalty area guarded by the impenetrable wall of the Milan’s defense.
The Milan wingers did a great job in covering, blocking any offensive action from Juventus wingers Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla, who were never able to cross effectively.
The teams were well balanced in midfield, but it was AC Milan who was more determined employing high pressure that kept the Juventus’ defense under constant stress.
Arturo Vidal, one of the protagonists of many Juve victories, appeared distracted and uncertain; his errors often resulted in counter attacks for Milan.
Near the half-hour mark, the tension materialized when the Chilean Isla handled the ball in the box after a cross from Robinho that was aiming for the head of Antonio Nocerino.
The referee Nicola Rizzoli called the penalty kick, which the Brazilian Robinho scored, sealing the advantage Allegri’s men.
Late in the first half, the “Pharaoh” Stephan El Shaarawy and Riccardo Montolivo both had good chances, the latter off a free kick.
The first half ended with Milan ahead by a goal. Their goalkeeper Marco Amelia hardly ever touched a ball. Milan was dynamic and lively in counterattacks with a watertight defense that never left space centrally or on the wings.
The Old Lady returned on the field determined to turn around the game. Pirlo returned to be the boss of the midfield and Simone Padoin, who had come on for Isla, gave freshness to the offensive play of Juventus.
The game’s pace was increasing. Milan seemed to be in big trouble, even if the defense marshaled by the excellent Philippe Mexes, showed no sign of slowing down.
Milan defended and only in the 82th minute they ventured in the Juventus area with Mario Yepes heading a corner kick, which Buffon parried.
Antonio Conte’s team could not catch up. On the second half Juve dominated, but it was not enough against a Milan side who fought like a lion.
AC Milan’s Serie A season has been a write-off thus far but this victory is a small redemption for them. They moved in to a tie for eighth place while Juventus remain in first place with a four-point lead over Inter and Fiorentina.
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