Chiesa stars as Juve inflict first league defeat on leaders Milan - GulfToday

Chiesa stars as Juve inflict first league defeat on leaders Milan


Juventus’ Federico Chiesa celebrates after scoring against AC Milan during their Italian League match at the San Siro in Milan on Wednesday. Reuters

Federico Chiesa scored a brace as Juventus ended AC Milan’s 27-match unbeaten run in Serie A with a 3-1 win on Wednesday.

Despite the loss, Stefano Pioli’s side maintained their one-point advantage over city rivals Inter Milan who themselves missed a chance to go top after a 2-1 loss at Sampdoria.

AC Milan had been unbeaten since before the coronavirus lockdown last March, with a run of 12 matches without defeat to complete last season where they finished sixth, and 15 games this campaign.

But Chiesa, who joined from Fiorentina last October, bagged his first brace for the champions, scoring on 18 and 62 minutes in the San Siro with Weston McKennie getting a third with quarter of an hour to go.

“This defeat hurts,” said Pioli.

“If there is an opponent against whom we have suffered it is Juventus, who have won the Scudetto for nine years in a row.

“But understanding how bad you feel after a defeat will also help us grow.”

The hosts, chasing their first ‘Scudetto’ since 2011, had been hit hours before kick-off with the news that forward Ante Rebic and midfielder Rade Krunic had tested positive for Covid-19.

The absence of the pair was a blow for the side already without key players including their injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic for an eighth league game. Juventus pair Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado were also out with coronavirus as the champions moved up to fourth, seven points behind Milan, but having played a game less.

“I saw the spirit of a team that wants to lead and win,” said Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo.

“This match was crucial for us.”

Chiesa has come into his own for Pirlo’s side who had been dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals this campaign. Paulo Dybala provided the assists for both Chiesa’s goals.

Chiesa rattled the woodwork minutes before picking up a clever Dybala back-heel flick to finish off after 18 minutes.

Rafael Leao send through for Davide Calabria to grab the equaliser four minutes before the break to keep Milan’s hopes alive.

But Dybala again teeded Chiesa to rifle in the second before the pair were replaced by McKennie and Dejan Kulusevski.

Kulusevski provided the pull back for McKennie to seal the victory after 76 minutes.

PARMA SACK COACH LIVERANI: Italian club Parma have sacked coach Fabio Liverani, the Serie A strugglers confirmed on Thursday.

Parma dropped to 18th position into the relegation zone after their fourth consecutive defeat 3-0 against Atalanta midweek.

“Parma Calcio 1913 can confirm that Fabio Liverani has been relieved of his duties as coach of the first team,” a club statement read. US businessman Kyle Krause, who purchased the majority stake in the club last September, confirmed the decision to “part ways” with 44-year-old Liverani.

“I understand our fans’ disappointment and I am the first one to think that there is an absolute need to change course,” said Krause.

According to Italian media, the club are set to reappoint Roberto D’Aversa, the former Lecce and Genoa coach who Liverani replaced last August.

Italian D’Aversa, 45, was sacked after falling out with the ‘s previous owners after winning just four of 13 games after the coronavirus lockdown.

D’Aversa had taken over Parma with the team in Serie C, overseeing promotion to Serie B in 2017 and Serie A a year later.

Parma were among Italy’s top clubs in the 1990s under the ownership of dairy company Parmalat, winning three major European titles.

Parmalat collapsed in 2003 following a huge financial fraud, and the club went bankrupt and were demoted to Serie D in 2015.

Three successive promotions put them back in the top flight in 2018, and they finished 11th in the league last season.

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