Juventus 2 - 1 AC Milan: Paulo Dybala spot on in added time as Juventus beat AC Milan

Posted Saturday, March 11, 2017 by PA

Juventus 2 - 1 AC Milan: Paulo Dybala spot on in added time as Juventus beat AC Milan

Paulo Dybala scored the latest of penalties to sour a fantastic display from teenage AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as Serie A leaders Juventus snatched a dramatic 2-1 victory.

The 18-year-old largely withstood a 90-minute bombardment at the Juventus Stadium, conceding only once in the first half to on-loan Bayern Munich centre-back Medhi Benatia.

He consistently batted away the likes of 90million euro striker Gonzalo Higuain, tricky Croatian winger Marko Pjaca and sharpshooter Miralem Pjanic, strengthening his claim to be Gianluigi Buffon's heir.

Carlos Bacca's equaliser just before the interval looked to have earned seventh-placed Milan a share of the points as they bid to gatecrash the Europa League spots.

But, after the late expulsion of Jose Sosa further weakened an already injury-stricken squad, Mattia De Sciglio committed a foul deep into stoppage time that would have dire consequences for Milan.

Juve, meanwhile, pull 11 points clear of nearest challengers Roma, but their Friday night exertions will have caused unnecessary fatigue ahead of next week's Champions League meeting with Porto.

Fully aware of just how much Milan wanted to cause an upset in Turin, Juve started enthusiastically, with Donnarumma called into action inside four minutes of what would prove to be an exacting game.

The academy product - now well past 50 top-flight outings - swiped Pjaca's right-footed attempt away but had Cristian Zapata to thank for diverting Sami Khedira's follow-up over the crossbar.

Pjaca came knocking again when put through by Dybala and within a few seconds the Argentinian went for goal himself, Donnarumma punching the ball out for a corner.

As the half-hour mark approached Juve tried to beat Milan's young stopper through Higuain, whose twisting drive from 25 yards met an instinctive save.

It fell to Benatia to nudge the hosts ahead, the former Roma defender controlling Dani Alves' pass on his chest before slamming home for a maiden Juve goal - and his first in Serie A since January 2014.

Milan's defence tightened up and, after repelling several raids, sent Gerard Deulofeu forward on the counter-attack.

Two minutes before half-time, he slipped in Bacca for a leveller over Buffon's shoulders.

Juve regrouped over the break and Pjanic almost restored their lead with a free-kick following the restart, his rocket repelled by the fists of Donnarumma.

In the 52nd minute, the incisive Pjaca skipped into the Rossoneri box to assist Khedira, with Donnarumma covering before De Sciglio cleared the danger.

The Italy full-back was not so effective moments later, however, as Pjaca skinned him easily before fizzing a shot inches wide of a post.

Juve continued to pile on the pressure and the constantly under-siege Donnarumma touched Pjanic's strike on to the bar before, some time later, closing down Khedira and parrying Higuain's next effort.

The hosts could not get another look in until the fifth minute of stoppage time, when Donnarumma thought he had capped a wonderful evening by once again smothering a Higuain drive.

But there was one more twist in the tale. Stephan Lichtsteiner's cross drew a handball in the box from De Sciglio, with Dybala gratefully stepping forward to rescue Juve while crushing Milan's spirit.



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