Manuel Locatelli downs former club AC Milan as Juventus claim San Siro spoils

By Sports Desk October 22, 2023

Former AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli returned to haunt his old side as he claimed the goal which gave Juventus a 1-0 victory in San Siro.

Locatelli, who joined Milan at the age of 11 only to leave for Turin a decade later in 2021, enjoyed a huge slice of luck to net the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute courtesy of a massive deflection off Milan substitute Rade Krunic.

The unfortunate Krunic had only been on the pitch three minutes but there was little he could do when Locatelli’s speculative 30-yard shot, which was heading wide, cannoned off him and left third-choice goalkeeper Antonio Mirante stranded.

Juve had struggled to make the most of the numerical advantage handed to them five minutes before half-time when Milan defender Malick Thiaw was shown a red card for hauling down Moise Kean as he made a run on goal.

In fact Locatelli’s shot was their best attempt in the 50 minutes they faced the 10 men but even victory over Milan for the first time in six matches, inflicting their hosts’ first home defeat of the season, did not appear to impress head coach Massimiliano Allegri who became increasingly agitated on the touchline.

Victory moved Juve, who registered a fourth successive clean sheet for the first time since January – meaning they have now have the most shut-outs (16) in Serie A in 2023, to within a point of Milan and just two behind leaders Inter.

There had been little between the two sides prior to Thiaw’s sending off after he was adjudged to have denied Kean a goalscoring opportunity as the Juve forward raced onto Timothy Weah’s through-ball in the inside-right channel.

Olivier Giroud had Milan’s best chance in the 14th minute when his low shot on the turn from Rafael Leao’s cross was tipped around the post by former Arsenal team-mate Wojciech Szczesny.

Adrien Rabiot flashed a cross-shot wide of the left-hand post of the 40-year-old Mirante, making his first appearance in two years, before the red card saw Christian Pulisic sacrificed in order to be able to bring on Pierre Kalulu.

Kean should have put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time but after getting between Fikayo Tomori and Alessandro Florenzi he failed to connect properly with Rabiot’s low, inswinging cross from six yards out.

Juve failed to make their advantage account until the 63rd minute when Locatelli let fly and benefited from the unfortunate Krunic’s inadvertent intervention.

Mirante, himself a former Juve player, then found himself with more to do as he tipped over Dusan Vlahovic’s powerful strike before producing a good double save from Andrea Cambiaso and Vlahovic in added time.

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