AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli admitted his side must get their Serie A title challenge back on track with victory in Saturday’s home game against Frosinone.

Just one win in their previous five league matches has seen Milan slip six points behind leaders Inter and four behind second-placed Juventus.

A home Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund in midweek left Milan bottom of their group and while they can still qualify for the knockout stages with one game to play, the pressure is mounting on Pioli.

The 58-year-old former Lazio, Inter and Fiorentina head coach told a press conference: “Frosinone are doing very well and have confidence, (Eusebio) Di Francesco is doing a great job.

“They are aggressive, but we know how to cause them problems. We want to win, and we need to. We need points, the league campaign is long.

“As usual, we’ll need to show concentration, determination and quality. We need to show we are still competitive and put in a good performance.”

Milan beat Pioli’s former club Fiorentina 1-0 at the San Siro last week to halt a domestic league run of two draws and two defeats and a slump in form has coincided with a lengthy injury list.

Pioli was without half a dozen key players for Tuesday night’s loss to Dortmund and saw defender Malick Thiaw forced off early in the second half.

Thiaw will not feature against Frosinone and Olivier Giroud is still suspended, while Rafael Leao, Noah Okafor, Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjaer, Marco Pellegrino and Mattia Caldara are unlikely to feature.

Pioli added: “There are still 25 league games to play. I told the players not to come in on Thursday to Milanello if they didn’t believe we could reach Inter and Juventus.”

Frosinone boss Di Francesco has injury concerns of his own as his 10th-placed side bid to halt their poor away form, with Luca Mazzitelli, Riccardo Marchizza, Pol Lirola, Francesco Gelli and Marco Brescianini all doubtful.

Frosinone’s impressive start to the season after promotion has been built on five wins and a draw in seven home league matches, but they are winless on the road.

Di Francesco told a press conference: “We need to get this obstacle out of our heads. We made the last point (on the road) in Salerno (in September).

“We need to try to approach the away match with the right attitude. Here at home, however, we feel stronger when going to face our opponents. This way of thinking certainly needs to be changed.”

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli says his players can take inspiration from tennis star Jannik Sinner and Italy’s Davis Cup-winning team.

Pioli’s side will bid to keep their Champions League last-16 hopes alive on Tuesday when they face Borussia Dortmund in their penultimate Group F match.

Rossoneri fan Sinner led Italy to their first Davis Cup triumph in 47 years in Malaga at the weekend and Pioli hopes the world number four will be at the San Siro to cheer his side on.

Pioli told a press conference: “He’s an inspirational figure due to his determination, his talent, his quality, his mentality and his desire to win every single point.

“If Jannik attends, we’ll be happy. In the meantime, I’d like to congratulate him, the Italy Davis Cup team and the captain, (Filippo) Volandri.”

Pioli described his side’s clash with Dortmund, against whom they drew 0-0 on the road in October, as a “turning point” in the group.

Milan sit third with two games remaining, two points behind leaders Dortmund, after beating Paris St Germain 2-1 at home in their previous group match, while all four sides – Newcastle being the other club – can still qualify for the knockout phase.

Pioli, whose side are third in Serie A, six points behind leaders Inter after Saturday’s 1-0 home win against Fiorentina, added: “It’s a very important game, a turning point in the group.

“We know all about our opponents, who are a strong side and can cause problems.

“However, they can come into difficulties, too. We’ll need to be attentive throughout the 95 minutes and understand when to close them down when we’re out of possession.

“When we have the ball, we’ll have to try and take up the right positions and find the right spaces.”

Dortmund remain in pole position to qualify from the group. After losing their opening game to PSG 2-0 they were held 0-0 at home by Milan before back-to-back wins against Newcastle.

The German club’s sporting director Sebastian Kehl told a press conference: “We know the table and of course you look at what is still possible in this group. We know what awaits us.

“Milan showed in their home match against PSG that they can be very strong. It will be a close one. But the opportunity to qualify for the round of 16 will be in our own hands in both upcoming group games. We’ll go there with that in mind.”

A first-half penalty from Theo Hernandez helped AC Milan return to winning ways in Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina.

Stefano Pioli’s champions had not won in the division since October after home defeats to Juventus and Udinese were sandwiched between 2-2 draws on the road at Napoli and Lecce before the international break.

While it was far from vintage Milan, France defender Hernandez made the difference with his second goal of the season after he won and converted a spot-kick at the end of the first half to earn a much-needed three points.

History was made late in the victory when Pioli introduced 15-year-old Francesco Camarda for his debut, making him the youngest ever player to appear in Serie A.

Milan’s hopes of a first league win since October 7 were dented by the absence of the suspended Olivier Giroud and injured attacker Rafael Leao.

Christian Pulisic was back after a hamstring injury though and he forced Pietro Terracciano into action midway through a tense first half at the San Siro.

After chances had been few and far between, Milan started to take a stranglehold of the contest with Davide Calabria denied, but Fiorentina remained a threat.

Eight-goal hitman Nicolas Gonzalez fired wide before the break and the half looked destined to end goalless until Hernandez took matters into his own hand in stoppage-time.

Full-back Hernandez was fouled inside the area by Fabiano Parisi and was able to dust himself down to slot home from 12 yards and make it 1-0 to Milan.

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano had seen enough and introduced Maxime Lopez for Arthur at half-time.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by AC Milan (@acmilan)


It had the desired effort with a string of opportunities created for Gonzalez, but a combination of Mike Maignan and the woodwork kept the hosts ahead.

Milan head coach Pioli brought off Pulisic on the hour mark after his prolonged absence, with ex-Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek brought on after his own recent return from injury.

And the chance to clinch the points arrived for the home side with 15 minutes left when Hernandez sent Luka Jovic clear, but Terracciano was equal to his effort.

Pioli sent on Camarda for Jovic in the 83rd minute and in the process made the 15-year-old the league’s youngest ever player, but Milan were indebted to a fine late save from Maignan to keep out Rolando Mandragora’s close-range effort and help his team end their four-match winless run in Serie A.

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has urged his side to remain “consistent” ahead of their meeting with Fiorentina on Saturday.

Following the conclusion of the international break, Serie A action resumes with Milan hoping to return to winning ways at the San Siro.

Despite their good start to the season, Milan have not won a league game since the beginning of October and are now third in the table following two losses and two draws in their last four Serie A matches.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by AC Milan (@acmilan)


Those last four matches have seen Milan’s opponents rally in the second half to snatch wins or come from behind to earn a draw, but Pioli has called on his team to achieve consistency throughout games.

He told a press conference: “I have many responsibilities, I remain focused on trying to always do better together with the club. So far, we haven’t achieved what we should have, but we’ve taken responsibility.

“The team are working well and are united, but we can do better. We’re only thinking about tomorrow’s game. For four consecutive matches, our second-half performances have cost us.

“Our concentration levels mustn’t drop, and we need to be consistent throughout the game. We haven’t lost our spirit.

“Words are meaningless and facts do the talking. We’ve analysed our mistakes and mustn’t repeat them. We have to perform at a high level for 90 minutes. We need to show that we’re a competitive side.

“Fiorentina have always caused us problems, and we’ll need to be compact, determined and decisive. They play attacking football, get a lot of men forward and are certainly a difficult side to face.”

Milan have been handed a boost with Christian Pulisic, Davide Calabria and Ruben Loftus-Cheek available for Saturday’s clash, but they will still be without Simon Kjaer, Rafael Leao and Noah Okafor.

Pioli also confirmed that 15-year-old forward Francesco Camarda has been training with the squad and could be used in future games if needed.

“I think talent is ageless, Francesco is talented. Sometimes, destiny creates certain opportunities, and both we and him need to remain calm,” Piolo added.

“He’s a very young lad but also very mature character-wise, and he’s ready to give us a hand if needed.

“Whether he’s used will depend on many factors, but he’s trained well with us in the past few days. I’m sure he has a great future ahead of him.”

Under-fire AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has accepted responsibility for his team’s faltering form as the Rossoneri seek to revive their Champions League campaign against Paris St Germain.

Milan go in to the San Siro clash winless in four games and desperate to recover from the shock 1-0 Serie A home defeat to lowly Udinese.

Boos from disgruntled fans greeted the final whistle on Saturday with the setback coming after losing to Juventus and drawing with Napoli in the league, as well as being beaten 3-0 by PSG at the Parc des Princes two weeks ago.

“In times and situations such as these talk is cheap. It’s all about walking the walk,” Pioli said at his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s PSG return.

“The club is really doing everything in its power to make sure I can work in the best possible conditions to provide a competitive team.

“If we have produced under-par displays recently then that’s on me, but I will focus on working hard and do everything to best prepare for the match.

“We disappointed our fans and ourselves on Saturday, that’s fairly clear. If they booed us it means we were pretty poor and we’re aware of that.

“But we have the opportunity to put things right and start playing like Milan again.”

Milan have not scored in three Champions League games this term and are bottom of Group F with two points at the halfway stage.

PSG top the section with six points, with Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle – who meet in Germany on Tuesday – both on four.

Pioli said: “We can no longer hope for other results to be positive for us. We need to start getting points ourselves.

“We need to stay very focused and switched on in both phases of the game, as PSG can hit you at any moment because of the pace and quality of their forwards.

“They are also a team that can allow you some space and we need to be more clinical when some of those situations arise, as they did in the first game.”

Former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma returns to the San Siro for the first time since leaving for PSG in the summer of 2021.

Milan’s current number one Mike Maignan, the former PSG academy goalkeeper and France international, said: “We know he didn’t leave the club on good terms and our supporters are very passionate.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty tricky reception for Donnarumma, but he’s a world-class goalkeeper and he’s had a good start to the season.”

PSG have won five successive games since losing 4-1 in the Champions League to Newcastle on October 4, scoring three times on each occasion.

France forward Ousmane Dembele said: “It’s a great feeling. We’re getting to know each other better and better after playing three to four months together now.

“We’ve received a lot of instructions and tactical work from the coach (Luis Enrique), and we try to apply it in matches.

“We’ve prepared well for the big match in the Champions League.”

Christian Pulisic, Samuel Chukwueze and Theo Hernandez are all available after injury for Milan, while Marco Asensio again misses out for PSG.

Udinese heaped more pressure on AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli with a 1-0 win at the San Siro for their first Serie A victory this season.

Roberto Pereyra’s penalty just after the hour proved decisive as the Rossoneri slumped to a second successive home defeat and saw their winless run extend to four matches in all competitions.

AC Milan now find themselves in a fight to stay in the top four heading towards the international break – with Pioli facing more questions on his future.

Udinese created an early opening when Jordan Zemura cut the ball back and it was not cleared properly, but Pereyra could only fire his shot over the bar from 15 yards.

Zemura was involved again when he sent a pass across the face of the Milan goal following a free-kick, but no-one was able to get a telling touch.

The Rossoneri, missing Theo Hernandez through an ankle problem, finally showed some signs of life when Rade Krunic headed wide from a corner and then Davide Calabria had his shot beaten away by Udinese keeper Marco Silvestri.

American midfielder Yunus Musah again tested Silvestri with a fierce drive.

Alessandro Florenzi was unfortunate not to be rewarded for a fine piece of individual skill when he took a pass from Rafael Leao and spun around on to goal, but could not find a finish.

AC Milan made a couple of changes for the second half as Yacine Adli replaced Krunic and Swiss forward Noah Okafor came on for Luka Jovic, who looked to have picked up an injury.

Udinese wasted another chance to break the deadlock when a corner was flicked on to the back post, where defender Christian Kabasele lashed it over from close range.

The hosts then broke quickly as Okafor was sent clear, but his chipped effort over the on-rushing Silvestri dropped wide.

On the hour, Udinese were awarded a penalty when Festy Ebosele went down as he got in between Tijjani Reijnders and Yacine Adli, which was backed up by a VAR review.

Pereyra kept his cool to send Milan keeper Mike Maignan the wrong way as he rolled the ball into the bottom right corner.

Pioli made another change to try to spark his Milan side, with fit-again midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek coming on for a first appearance since the end of September.

It was Udinese, though, who then almost grabbed a second when Isaac Success’ downward header from a corner was palmed away by Maignan.

Milan pushed for an equaliser, with Rafael Leao threatening down the left before Florenzi lashed a shot high over the crossbar when a corner was cleared out to the edge of the box.

In the 89th minute, a deep cross from the left by Leao found Olivier Giroud, who diverted the ball towards the top corner off his shoulder, but Silvestri made a superb save at full stretch.

Silvestri tipped away a rising drive from Florenzi and Leao flashed a 20-yard drive just wide as Milan pressed in during seven minutes of stoppage time.

There was, though, to be no late reprieve as boos rang out from the disgruntled home fans at the final whistle while Udinese joyously celebrated a memorable first win under new manager Gabriele Cioffi.

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli is happy with the cohesion amongst his players but says performances still need to improve as they prepare to host Udinese on Saturday.

Milan threw away a two goal lead last weekend at Napoli as Olivier Giroud put them 2-0 up before the hosts scored two second-half goals to share the spoils.

Despite sitting third in Serie A, Milan are now without a win in their last two and Pioli would like his team to improve their performances.

He said in quotes reported on AC Milan’s official website: “I’m extremely satisfied with the group that’s been formed, as I am with our identity.

“I can safely say that I never have any doubts about the togetherness and cohesion; the lads are open and their attitude has always been top notch.

“Even in the Scudetto-winning year, we weren’t as together as this group are.

“But we do need to up our performances from a technical and concentration point of view.”

Milan will look to put things right when they play Udinese at San Siro, who have yet to pick up a win this season despite drawing seven of their opening 10 games.

Pioli expects Udinese to sit deep defensively and admits it could be tough to break them down.

He added: “I believe Udinese will play a waiting game and line up with a tight, low block.

“The main difficulties will be finding the right spaces to surprise them, but at the same time not be left open ourselves on the counter.

“We’ll need to remain composed, patient and compact. We’ll put our best possible side out there tomorrow; we want to win and then start to think about the Champions League.”

Striker Giroud has made a bright start to the season so far having scored six times and assisted three goals throughout the opening nine games, and is the league’s second top scorer behind Lautaro Martinez.

Pioli has hailed his front man and thinks he is among the best strikers he has managed throughout his career.

He said: “Giroud is a great person and player; I’ve always been lucky to coach many top centre-forwards, and he is certainly one of them.

“We all need to improve because that one per cent extra from everyone can make the difference.”

David Beckham joined AC Milan on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy on this day in 2008.

The then 33-year-old England midfielder agreed a two-month move to Italy to stay fit during the MLS close-season in the United States.

England manager Fabio Capello, who coached Beckham at Real Madrid, said: “Milan have made a good addition.

“At Madrid I left him out of the squad because he had signed a contract with Los Angeles but he continued to come on the field and train and I put him back in the team.

“He is a very serious lad, very sensible, a professional. People think he is a playboy off the field, it’s not true at all.”

The 108-times capped Beckham felt a move to Milan would boost his chances of England selection.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said: “His reasons are to stay fit and to make himself available for England, and the only way he can do that is to be training and playing in a good environment.

“This, on the part of David, was a purely technical rationale. He wants to continue to play for England and this is one of the ways to do that.”

Beckham began his glittering career at Manchester United, where he won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League.

He joined Real Madrid in 2003 and spent four years in Spain before moving to LA Galaxy. Beckham had two loan spells at Milan and ended his career at Paris St Germain in 2013.

Beckham went on to win 115 caps for England, a total only bettered by Peter Shilton and Wayne Rooney.

Napoli came alive in the second half of their 2-2 draw with AC Milan after Olivier Giroud twice headed home for the visitors before the break at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Milan looked to be in complete control after the Frenchman bagged his brace in the opening period, but the momentum swung completely in the opposite direction after the restart when Matteo Politano halved the deficit in the 50th minute.

Giacomo Raspadori’s stunning free-kick from 25 yards ensured it was all square after 63 minutes of a thoroughly entertaining contest in the Campania capital.

Napoli were forced to play the final few minutes with 10 men after Natan was sent off, but neither side could find a winner despite both teams having late chances.

The evening opened with an excellent piece of defending by Amir Rrahmani to block a close-range Giroud effort after the ball had deflected favourably in the Frenchman’s path.

There was bad news for the Rossoneri when centre-back Pierre Kalulu went down and was forced off with what appeared to be a thigh issue, with boss Stefano Pioli was short of options with Malick Thiaw serving a suspension and Simon Kjaer suffering a muscle problem.

On came 20-year-old Marco Pellegrino, making his Serie A debut and himself forced off late on, but it was a man 17 years the debutant’s senior who would provide the spark Pioli’s side needed.

Giroud’s opener came thanks to a superb delivery from Christian Pulisic to set up the 37-year-old for a glancing header that caught the fingertips of Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret before going in.

AC Milan soon extended their advantage, this time Davide Calabria providing the cross for Giroud to nod into the bottom left corner after winning an aerial battle with Rrahmani.

The visitors were cruising and had multiple chances to make it 3-0 before the break, while Napoli had not managed a shot on target.

Napoli boss Rudi Garcia made a triple change at half-time and the switch quickly seemed to pay dividends for the hosts when Politano thundered a left-footed strike under the crossbar from the edge of the area.

Milan, who had dominated the first half, were suddenly on the back foot, somehow surviving a relentless spell from Napoli that would have left them ruing their earlier missed chances when Raspadori curled home the equaliser from 25 yards.

Natan was sent off after his clumsy challenge on Giovanni Simeone resulted in a second booking, but the visitors could not capitalise on the man advantage through four minutes of added time, coming closest through captain Calabria’s header into the side-netting.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia nearly snatched victory for the home side, but Milan keeper Mike Maignan reacted quickly to keep out the Georgian’s sharp effort and ensure the points were shared.

Kylian Mbappe and 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery starred to help Paris St Germain get their Champions League campaign back on track with a 3-0 win over AC Milan.

The Ligue 1 champions had been humiliated by Newcastle with a 4-1 loss at St James’ Park before the international break, but a second victory in Group F sent them to first position with six points after dismantling last season’s semi-finalists.

Mbappe opened the scoring after collecting Zaire-Emery’s pass before Randal Kolo Muani made it 2-0 at the start of the second half.

There was still time for a flourish in Paris with Zaire-Emery again showing his class with a second assist to set up Lee Kang-in late on.

PSG’s success coupled with Newcastle’s loss at home to Borussia Dortmund has further changed the complexion of the group with Milan bottom on two points ahead of welcoming the French outfit to the San Siro in a fortnight.

Luis Enrique had rested Achraf Hakimi, Milan Skriniar, Ousmane Dembele and Kolo Muani for their weekend win over Strasbourg, but recalled his big guns in an effort to help PSG regain control of Group F.

It was visiting Milan who dominated possession in the opening exchanges and Rafael Leao fired wide from Christian Pulisic’s quick corner.

Yellow cards were also frequent with Malick Thiaw, who was sent off in Milan’s loss at home to Juventus on Sunday, booked for a foul on Kolo Muani after only four minutes.

Mbappe’s involvement during the first quarter of an hour had been minimal, but the PSG talisman signalled his intentions with a snapshot straight at Mike Maignan in the 22nd minute.

Soon after Mbappe sent another effort wide from range before the breakthrough did occur with the World Cup winner able to provide the opener after 32 minutes.

Zaire-Emery was at the heart of the goal with the 17-year-old able to impressively hold off Tijjani Reijnders before he passed into Mbappe, who squared up Fikayo Tomori and then curled into the bottom corner in a flash for his 10th goal of the campaign.

It was the moment of magic the anxious Parc des Princes crowd wanted but no further goals were forthcoming before the break after PSG had penalty appeals waved away following a tangle between Mbappe and the already-booked Thiaw in the area.

The hosts did have the ball in the net three minutes into the second half when Dembele appeared to open his account for the club, but VAR awarded a foul for Manuel Ugarte’s cynical tackle on Rade Krunic in the build-up.

Milan threatened moments later but Olivier Giroud could only fire into the side-netting from Pulisic’s centre and the second did arrive in the 53rd minute for PSG.

Mbappe’s quick thinking saw the French attacker take a quick corner into the path of Dembele, who had a low shot parried out by Maignan to Kolo Muani and he made no mistake from close range.

While Leao continued to carry Milan’s attacking threat, their race was run and only a stunning finger-tip stop from Maignan to deny Mbappe prevented PSG making it 3-0.

It would prove brief respite with Luis Enrique’s team adding a third after 89 minutes when teenager Zaire-Emery raced down the right and squared for substitute Lee to curl into the bottom corner to help PSG leapfrog Newcastle to move top of Group F.

Paris St Germain coach Luis Enrique is treating the upcoming home and away Champions League fixtures as a knock-out tie as they try to navigate their way out of a ‘group of death’.

The heavyweight Group F, which also includes Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle, remains tight after the opening two fixtures, and Enrique believes the next two games could determine PSG’s fate as Milan visit the French capital on Wednesday before the return fixture in two weeks’ time.

“This is a turning point for everyone,” Enrique said. “For us, this is a great opportunity. There are two matches against Milan, it’s almost a direct elimination. But it’s the same for them. You have to take it game by game. We will try to do things better than AC Milan.”

PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will face his boyhood club, having first broken into the Milan side at the tender age of just 16, making the switch to PSG in 2021.

The 24-year-old admitted it would be a special occasion, but promised it would not affect his game.

“There will be a lot of emotion, it will be special,” Donnarumma said. “We have to put that aside and just think about the match.

“I feel very good here, it’s like a big family, like I had in Milan. I will always be grateful to Milan. I found a wonderful atmosphere in Paris from the first day. I want to give everything for PSG now.

“The beginnings were not easy here because I had a lot of friends and family in Milan. But little by little, I was able to get my bearings here, and now I have friends, I speak a little of the language and I feel very good.”

PSG were on the wrong end of a 4-1 thrashing in their last Champions League match, away to Newcastle, another night that put the spotlight on Donnarumma, who has often been criticised for his game with the ball at his feet.

“I’m always trying to improve,” Donnarumma said. “I always said I had to improve on everything. Every day I want to learn and listen to my coaches. My goal every day is to grow. I am very happy with my growth. I have a little experience and I try to help young people too.

“(The Newcastle game) was one where we had to do better. We were very upset, but we have to look forward. We know that the group is very balanced, very difficult. It will be a great game, with a lot of emotions for me.”

Milan go into the game looking to extend a four-game unbeaten run against French opposition, but coming off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to Juventus in Serie A, and they are yet to win in the Champions League this season.

“We have to do better,” coach Stefano Pioli said. “Each game tells us where we need to improve. Becoming more concrete is an objective.”

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.

Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri will allow Nicolo Fagioli to spend the seven months of his suspension for betting breaches seeking treatment for his addiction while keeping himself fit for potential involvement in the run-in.

Bianconeri midfielder Fagioli, 22, had five months of a one-year ban suspended this week and was fined 12,500 euros (£10,848), while he agreed to a therapy plan of at least six months to tackle his gambling problem.

The ban means Fagioli – who has the Turin club’s official support – will miss almost the entirety of the Serie A campaign that remains but he will be eligible for the final two games, against Bologna and Monza, in May.

Allegri hopes Juve will then be in a position to challenge for the Scudetto, if they have not already claimed their first championship since 2020, and Fagioli will be enthusiastically welcomed back into the fold to get the Old Lady over the line.

Before Sunday evening’s trip to title rivals AC Milan, the boss told a press conference: “We have said everything regarding Fagioli, the club have expressed their opinion and I agree.

“Now a journey begins for Nicolo that will bring him back to the field in May – these seven months will help him maintain his athletic condition while he engages in social work.”

Going into the weekend Juve were four points behind leaders Milan, with Inter wedged in between the pair, and Allegri plans to extend their three-match unbeaten run with a positive result that would certainly turn up the heat in the title race.

“We’re expecting a good and challenging match tomorrow, with first against third in the standings,” he said. “We know the difficulties this match brings, playing at San Siro is both beautiful and difficult.”

On their hopes of reclaiming their status as top dogs in Italy, he added: “Are we favourites? Our goal is to earn as many points as possible to reach the end of May in the top four.

“In the meantime, let’s enjoy tomorrow’s match against Milan and then we’ll see what we’ve been able to do.”

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is suspended alongside Fagioli, with the defensive trio of Mattia De Sciglio, Alex Sandro and Danilo out injured.

Milan, who have won four straight league games, are without the banned duo of goalkeeper Mike Maignan and defender Theo Hernandez, while English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek is among the high-profile names still on the treatment table.

With Maignan unavailable, Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli is planning to throw veteran stopper Antonio Mirante, 40, into action for the first time this campaign and has no concerns whatsoever about his ability to cope with the Juve attack.

He told reporters: “Will we change the way we play with Mirante in goal? No.

“Antonio knows how to read plays and watch the gaps, so it will be down to the outfield guys to better understand how Juve move and therefore how to deal with them.”

AC Milan moved to the top of Serie A with a 1-0 win at Genoa that saw Christian Pulisic score late on before both sides had their goalkeepers sent off in stoppage time.

After substitute Pulisic broke the deadlock by firing home in the 87th minute, the Rossoneri were then reduced to 10 men in the eighth minute of time added on when Mike Maignan was dismissed.

Pulisic’s fellow substitute Olivier Giroud took over from Maignan in goal, and saw the Milan bar rattled moments later – before the drama continued with Genoa keeper Josep Martinez being shown a second yellow card.

With Giroud then making a save in the final few moments, Milan saw out the victory as they managed to take maximum advantage of Inter Milan being held 2-2 at home by Bologna earlier in the day.

Securing a fourth successive league victory and eighth in nine Serie A games, Stefano Pioli’s went two points clear as they replaced Inter at the summit.

Pioli made five changes to his starting line-up from the 0-0 Champions League draw at Borussia Dortmund, including replacing the front three of Giroud, Pulisic and Rafael Leao with Luka Jovic, Samuel Chukwueze and Noah Okafor.

Two of that trio brought in almost combined for an early goal, with Chukwueze lofting the ball forward and Okafor just unable to finish as Martinez grabbed it.

The hosts then appealed for a penalty when Johan Vasquez went down in a tangle with Alessandro Florenzi but nothing was given.

A spell of Milan pressure around the quarter-hour mark saw Martinez deal with a shot from Florenzi and then block Tijjani Reijnders’ strike.

Florenzi subsequently got himself in the way of a Vasquez shot, before Theo Fernandez and Florenzi hit drives off-target.

After Pioli opted to bring on Pulisic and Leao for Chukwueze and Okafor at the interval, Milan continued to be frustrated in their search for a breakthrough early in the second half, struggling to fashion much in attack.

Leao then saw Martinez make a fine save to tip his bouncing header over the bar in the 65th minute, shortly before Giroud was introduced to the fray.

Genoa then threatened to grab the lead as Radu Dragusin’s shot deflected off Reijnders, with Maignan doing well to turn it around the post, and substitute Caleb Ekuban headed over.

It looked as if Milan would miss their opportunity to replace Inter at the top, but Pulisic then controlled a Yunus Musah delivery, turned and fired in, the effort standing after a VAR check for handball.

That proved only the start of a dramatic finale as stoppage time saw Maignan given a red card, via VAR, for clattering Ekuban, Giroud don the gloves, and the resulting free-kick by Albert Gudmundsson diverting off Fikayo Tomori and onto the Milan bar.

Martinez then fouled Musah and was sent off himself, before Giroud came out to bat the ball away from George Puscas as Milan emerged with all three points.

AC Milan head for promoted Genoa on Saturday desperate to make up for drawing another Champions League blank in midweek.

The Rossoneri make the trip to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium having won their last three Serie A fixtures against Verona, Cagliari and Lazio to remain level on points with leaders and derby rivals Inter at the top of the table.

However, they do so still reflecting on the disappointment of Wednesday night’s 0-0 draw at Borussia Dortmund in their second Group F fixture, with the first against Newcastle at San Siro having similarly ended in stalemate.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by AC Milan (@acmilan)


Manager Stefano Pioli said after the Dortmund game: “Many things we do are positive, but we have not been concrete and ruthless. I want to start again from the many positive things we are doing.”

Pioli and his players were unable to travel back to Italy from Germany on Thursday and so have effectively had just one day to prepare for the clash with Genoa.

They will still be without midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who suffered an adductor muscle injury during the 2-0 victory over Lazio.

Ismael Bennacer and Rade Krunic are also out and the forthcoming international break could hardly be better timed for Pioli’s walking wounded, with Juventus, Paris St Germain and Napoli waiting in the wings in back-to-back games.

Opposite number Alberto Gilardino will hope his side can take advantage of any fatigue to build upon a 4-1 home victory over Roma and a 2-2 draw at Udinese.

However, Gilardino is sweating on the fitness of star striker Mateo Retegui, who suffered a knee injury in Udine.

The manager told a press conference: “Retegui still has pain in his knee, but we’ll wait 24 hours to see if there is a possibility of recovery without risking the rest of his season.

“Everyone’s desire is to see him on the pitch, but we need to be clear in our assessments.”

Whatever team he is able to field, Gilardino knows the task they face will be a tough one.

He added: “We will have to limit the percentage of errors on our part as much as possible. We are facing a strong team, both the starting XI and those who will take over, all players with important characteristics both in terms of technical qualities and physicality.

“I will ask the boys for a huge effort. The important thing will be to be united.”

Page 1 of 58
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.