Carlos Tevez on target again as Juventus stun Milan
Carlos Tevez scored his fourth goal in the space of a week to hand champions Juventus a precious 1-0 win over Milan, and new coach Massimiliano Allegri the bragging rights, at a packed-out San Siro on Saturday.
Milan: Carlos Tevez scored his fourth goal in the space of a week to hand champions Juventus a precious 1-0 win over Milan, and new coach Massimiliano Allegri the bragging rights, at a packed-out San Siro on Saturday.
Milan had taken full points from their opening two matches under new coach Filippo Inzaghi following two horrendous campaigns under Allegri and, latterly, Clarence Seedorf.
But after a promising first half performance, the Rossoneri allowed themselves to be pegged back for the second before being punished by an alert Tevez.
It was the Argentinian`s fourth goal in seven days having scored once in a 2-0 win over Udinese last week and twice in a 2-0 Champions League win over Malmo in Turin.
Spanish striker Fernando Torres started on the bench for Milan, with Keisuke Honda, Stephane El Shaarawy and Jeremy Menez spearheading Milan`s 4-3-3.
Allegri made only one change from his Champions League starting side, Patrice Evra dropping to the bench with Roberto Pereyra starting among a reshuffled midfield that is still missing injured Andrea Pirlo.
If any extra tension was required for the first major fixture of the season it came from Allegri`s presence on the sidelines, prompting a mass chorus of whistles as the 47-year-old former Milan handler`s name was read out.
But by the end of the first half, Juve were on the ascendancy.
Milan had shown plenty of early promise in the tense opening exchanges, Honda notably forcing Buffon to block his header from Sulley Muntari`s long cross at the back post on 27 minutes.
But minutes later, a Tevez chip for Pereyra saw the Argentinian volley the ball back into the path of Fernando Llorente, who skipped a challenge before seeing his toe poke blocked by Christian Abbiati at the near post.
Following a patient build-up by Juve, Abbiati was summoned minutes later to parry Pereyra`s shot from just outside the area after Tevez`s smart lay-off.
Milan went to sleep when Claudio Marchisio took possession in midfield and hit a powerful shot which beat Abbiati but came off the upright.
Menez, who has made a big impression since joining from Paris Saint Germain, was again Milan`s top performer and dispossessed defender Giorgio Chilleni on the edge of the centre circle only to see Buffon block his drive.
Juve continued as they left off after the restart, while Milan struggled to get out of an apparent slumber.
Marchisio was allowed to dribble his way along the edge of the area before Ignazio Abate came to the rescue with a brusque clearance.
Minutes later Muntari gave away possession in midfield and Paul Pogba`s dipping drive deflected off Adil Rami. From a short corner, Marchisio saw his first-time effort curl just wide of Abbiati`s far post as the Milan defence looked on.
Milan were finally made to pay in the 71st minute thanks to a fine piece of Tevez magic.
The Argentinian stumbled to the ground as he took possession on the edge of the area, but somehow got the ball to Pogba.
Tevez then ran on to the Frenchman`s dink to beat Abbiati with a chip at the keeper`s far post.
Torres was one of several substitutes to make a late appearance but the former Chelsea striker was given scant time to settle before earning a yellow card for an accidental strike on Kwadwo Asamoah.