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AC Milan stalemate piles on misery for Juventus

Published : Tuesday, 21 September, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 365

MILAN, SEPT 20: Juventus were left struggling in the unlikely surroundings of Serie A's bottom three on Sunday after a 1-1 draw with AC Milan kept them searching for a first league win this season.
Alvaro Morata's fourth-minute goal gave Juve the lead but Ante Rebic headed in a 76th-minute equaliser as Milan ended the weekend in second place on goal difference behind city rivals Inter who crushed Bologna 6-1 on Saturday.
Milan could have won the match in the dying moments but Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a brilliant point-blank save to deny Pierre Kalulu.
Juventus, still reeling from the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, are 18th with just two points from four games with only Cagliari and Salernitana propping them up.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri had harsh words for some of his stars.
"You have to be determined, to bring home the tackle, keep focused. This is part of the general growth process of some players," he said.
"I will admit that I made mistakes on the substitutions, I got it wrong. I should've put more defensive players on and put the 1-0 lead under lock and key, so I take responsibility for that."
Milan, missing both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud, dropped their first league points of the season.
However, they will be relieved not to have lost back-to-back games having gone down to Liverpool in the Champions League in midweek.
Spanish international Morata temporarily allowed Juventus fans to forget about Ronaldo when he sped away from Theo Hernandez before coolly slotting the ball past Mike Maignan in goal.
Milan only threatened through three long distance attempts from Sandro Tonali in the fitst half.
But Croatian winger Rebic preserved Milan's unbeaten league start by heading in a Tonali corner with 14 minutes left.
"We came here to win the game," said Milan coach Stefano Pioli told DAZN.
"Juventus did better in the first 20 minutes, were more determined and focused, but we continued playing and did much better towards the end with chances to win, so it was overall a positive performance."
Roma dropped their first points in Serie A under Jose Mourinho as Verona came from behind to earn new coach Igor Tudor a 3-2 victory on his debut.
Lorenzo Pellegrini's clever backheel flick gave visitors Roma a half-time lead in the pouring rain as they sought a fourth successive win to start the season.
Antonin Barak equalised for Verona shortly after the interval and Gianluca Caprari put the hosts ahead with a precise finish five minutes later.
Ivan Ilic turned a Pellegrini cross into his own goal to bring Roma level before the hour, but Davide Faraoni's brilliant volley secured the win for Verona to halt a run of three straight losses.
"I knew their qualities, even before the change in coach," Mourinho told DAZN.
"They'd already posed big problems to their opponents. And when there's a coaching change there's often a reaction mentally, it can happen."
Roma's city rivals Lazio needed a late goal from Danilo Cataldi to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to Cagliari.    -AFP




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