Tue, Oct 08, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Juventus rally to down bitter rivals Milan

Reuters

AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, front, fails to save a free-kick by Andrea Pirlo of Juventus in their Serie A match at Juventus Stadium in Turin, Italy, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Andrea Pirlo’s majestic free-kicks and a stunning entrance from Sebastian Giovinco undid AC Milan as Juventus recovered from conceding a goal after only 20 seconds to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 in Serie A on Sunday.

Pirlo, who spent 10 seasons at Milan, canceled out Sulley Muntari’s lightning strike by scoring direct from a free-kick and saw another effort hit the bar and fall for Giorgio Chiellini to fire home for Juve’s third.

In between, substitute Giovinco put Juventus 2-1 ahead two minutes after coming on as the titleholders kept up the pressure on AS Roma, who made it seven wins out of seven on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at previously unbeaten Inter.

SSC Napoli also stayed in touch with the leaders by brushing aside AS Livorno 4-0 earlier on Sunday, while there was plenty of drama elsewhere.

There were shades of the 1978 World Cup when UC Sampdoria had a goal canceled out at home to Torino because the referee had blown for halftime seconds before the ball entered the net.

Genoa snatched a late 1-1 draw at Catania as coach Gian Piero Gasperini returned for a second stint at the club after some atrocious defending by both teams, while Parma played the entire second half with 10 men and still beat US Sassuolo 3-1.

Udinese defeated Cagliari 2-0 with goals from Brazilian defender Danilo and Antonio di Natale, while ACF Fiorentina were held to goalless draw at SS Lazio.

There were ugly scenes at Bologna where visiting Hellas Verona fans chanted throughout the minute’s silence for victims of the Lampedusa migrant boat disaster, before seeing their team win 4-1.

Other games were also preceded by a minute’s silence, impeccably observed elsewhere, after a boat carrying about 500 migrants sank off the island of Lampedusa on Thursday last week.

Milan kicked off and were immediately in front when Ghana midfielder Muntari turned in Antonio Nocerino’s deflected shot, but Juve were level after 15 minutes when playmaker Pirlo curled in a typically exquisite free-kick.

The game was evenly balanced, tense and niggly until a disastrous six-minute spell for the visitors.

Giovinco replaced Fabio Quagliarella in the 67th minute and put Juventus in front two minutes later, brilliantly twisting past Cristian Zapata and slotting in from close range.

Milan defender Philippe Mexes was sent off for a second booking, Pirlo crashed the resulting free-kick against the crossbar and Chiellini volleyed home the rebound from the edge of the area.

Muntari gave Milan hope when he dispossessed Paul Pogba and blasted a deflected shot past Gianluigi Buffon, but it was too late.

Napoli made light of injured striker Gonzalo Higuain’s absence due to a calf-muscle injury against Livorno.

After suffering their first defeat of the season in the UEFA Champions League at Arsenal last week, Napoli were quickly back on track when Goran Pandev fired them ahead after three minutes.

Switzerland midfielder Gokhan Inler added the second when his curling long-range shot slipped through Francesco Bardi’s hands in the 26th minute, before Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik completed the rout in the second half.

Winless Sampdoria took a first-half lead against Torino through Gianluca Sansone and thought they had added a second when Nicola Pozzi tapped the ball in after Angelo Palombo’s free-kick was spilled by goalkeeper Daniele Padelli, but referee Andrea Gervasoni had already blown for halftime and ruled out the goal amid furious protests.

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