Defensive disasters cost Juve

Posted on 11/01/2010


AC Milan kept up the pressure on table-toppers and city rivals Inter Milan with a 3-0 win away to Juventus, a result which turns the heat firmly on home coach Ciro Ferrara. Alessandro Nesta put Milan ahead in the 29th minute, with Ronaldinho adding a second in the 72nd minute, as Juve struggled to produce a performance that would ease the calls for Ferrara’s head.

Another goal from Ronaldinho two minutes from time came amid protests from the home fans and sealed the win for Milan, who move within eight points of Inter with a game in hand.
Juve started well with Diego looking lively and taking the game to Milan. He had the first opportunity in the 13th minute when he cut in from the left and curled a shot just wide of the far post. Milan, who played with the same players and formation that had defeated Genoa 5-2 in midweek, were struggling to find the same rhythm with on-loan David Beckham struggling to make an impact.

But the Rossoneri still went ahead with their first chance of the game in the 29th minute, Nesta taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to pounce onto an Alessandro Pirlo corner. Christian Poulsen and Felipe Melo both failed to clear the corner at the near post and the ball filtered through to the former Italy defender, who had the simplest of tap-ins to open the scoring.

A lucky break at the other end gave Giorgio Chiellini the chance to level for the Bianconeri, but his shot at full stretch was collected at the second attempt by Milan goalkeeper Dida, who was in for a quiet night at the Stadio Olimpico.

Under pressure
Alexander Manninger was the busier of the two goalkeepers at the other end and he was forced into a full-stretch save to turn Thiago Silva’s rasping 35-yard effort wide. From the resulting corner from Beckham, Ronaldinho’s header deflected off his compatriot Amauri to go over the crossbar.

Juve’s greatest threat came from their central defender Chiellini, who again came close at full stretch just a minute into the second half. There seemed to be a bit more urgency about Juve at the start of the second half, but just like in the first 45 minutes, they conceded when they were looking their strongest.

Another Pirlo set-piece was the source of the danger and the slightest of flicks from Ronaldinho, which took a greater, unintended deflection of Zdenek Grygera, diverted the ball past Manninger and into the back of the Juve goal. The goal prompted protests from the already irate Juve fans, whose patience with their team – and in particular their coach – reached boiling point.

Playing in a fog of smoke from fireworks, Ronaldinho’s second and Milan’s third goal almost went unnoticed. It was Beckham who provided the cross to the Brazilian, who was given all the time in the world at the far post to stroke the ball home and complete another resounding win for theRossoneri.

Posted in: News, Serie A