Goals in either half from Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez enabled Juventus to silence the San Siro and go 11 points clear at the top of Serie A following this evening’s 2-0 win over a rejuvenated Milan side.
Having weathered heavy Rossoneri pressure during a testing opening 44 minutes, the Bianconeri shot themselves into the lead just shy of the midway point, Fernando Llorente tapping home at the back post following a lightning exchange of passes in the area.
Increased resilience was required in the second period as the hosts upped the ante in the opening stages, but Tevez’s wonder strike from outside the area ultimately proved the final nail in the coffin for Clarence Seedorf’s men on 68 minutes.
Eager to increase their lead at the top following Roma’s goalless stalemate against Inter on Saturday night, Juventus made an enterprising start to their 158th Serie A encounter against Milan, immediately forcing the hosts on the back foot inside a fast-paced introduction.
But Milan, who approached the game with four wins from six under Clarence Seedorf, swiftly managed to stem the initial tide and tip the balance back into their favour. Adel Taarabt, Kaka and Giampaolo Pazzini all had opportunities to establish an early advantage, but failed to trouble Gigi Buffon in the Bianconeri goal.
An increasingly end-to-end affair gathered pace when Tevez drew a routine save from Christian Abbiati on 16 minutes, while the goalkeeper was again at the heart of the action moments later when he denied Stephan Lichtsteiner a golden opportunity to open the scoring from point-blank range.
Not to be outdone in the duel between the two Italian shotstoppers, Buffon then earned his spurs with a magnificent stop from Kaka as the Brazilian looked odds-on to put the hosts in front, while Leonardo Bonucci completed the job with a last-gasp goalline learance from the follow-up.
Flowing with confidence following a sustained spell of pressure, Milan continued to look the more threatening of the two sides as the Bianconeri grappled to regain control of the midfield battle.
On 43 minutes, Kaka renewed his personal battle with Buffon via a curling shot from the edge of the area, but the goalkeeper remained equal to it by beating his menacing drive away from danger.
All roads appeared to lead to a Milan opener, but just as Juventus appeared to be rattled by heavy pressure, they conjured up an exquisite goal to silence the San Siro against the run of play.
It appeared little danger was on when Leonardo Bonucci’s raking pass drifted towards the Milan area, but the ever-alert Claudio Marchisio profited from defensive hesitation to feed Tevez, who in turn sent Lichtsteiner galloping through to cut back for the lurking Llorente to tuck home on the stroke of half-time.
Milan started the second half by seeing plenty of the ball, but it was Juventus who fashioned the first genuine threat with a lightning break through the talismanic Tevez. Heading towards the penalty area with intent the Argentine worked it onto his right foot, forcing Abbiati to get down low to his right and make the save.
There was however precious little the Rossoneri shotstopper could do when he next went head-to-head with Tevez, who crashed a stunning 25-yard rocket beyond the goalkeeper and off the underside of the crossbar to put the Bianconeri in full control on 68 minutes.
The goal took the wind out the sails of a Milan side who, for all their discipline and application across the 90 minutes, could only muster a long-range Urby Emanuelson effort in response, which was comfortably dealt with by Buffon.
The scoreline could even have been more emphatic when Pogba drove forward and struck the outside of the post with four minutes of normal time remaining, but Juventus survived a late Milan stoppage time surge to seal another important win.