Monday, 7 October 2013

Milan undone by majestic Pirlo free kicks

Milan undone by majestic Pirlo free kicks

Milan undone by majestic Pirlo free kicks
Rome: Andrea Pirlo`s majestic free kicks and a stunning entrance from Sebastian Giovinco undid AC Milan as Juventus recovered from conceding a goal after only 20 seconds to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 in Serie A on Sunday.

Pirlo, who spent ten seasons at Milan, cancelled out Sulley Muntari`s lightning strike by scoring direct from a free kick and saw another effort hit the bar and fall for Giorgio Chiellini to fire home for Juve`s third.

In between, substitute Giovinco put Juventus 2-1 ahead two minutes after coming on as the titleholders kept up the pressure on AS Roma, who made it seven wins out of seven on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at previously unbeaten Inter Milan.

Napoli also stayed in touch with the leaders by brushing aside Livorno 4-0 earlier on Sunday while there was plenty of drama elsewhere.

There were shades of the 1978 World Cup when Sampdoria had a goal cancelled out at home to Torino because the referee had blown for halftime seconds before the ball entered the net.

Genoa snatched a late 1-1 draw at Catania as coach Gian Piero Gasperini returned for a second stint at the club after some atrocious defending by both teams while Parma played the entire second half with 10 men and still beat Sassuolo 3-1.

There were ugly scenes at Bologna where visiting Hellas Verona fans chanted throughout the minute`s silence for victims of the Lampedusa migrant boat disaster before seeing their team win 4-1.

Other games were also preceded by a minute`s silence, impeccably observed elsewhere, after a boat carrying around 500 migrants sank off the island of Lampedusa on Thursday. The Italian authorities say 181 bodies have been recovered and more than a hundred are still missing.

Roma top the table with 21 points, followed by Napoli and Juventus on 19. There is then five-point gap to Inter while Milan are down in 12th place on eight points.


Milan kicked off and were immediately in front when Ghana midfielder Muntari turned in Antonio Nocerino`s deflected shot.

But Juve were level after 15 minutes when playmaker Pirlo curled in a typically exquisite free kick.

The game was evenly-balanced, tense and niggly until a disastrous six-minute spell for the visitors.

Giovinco replaced Fabio Quagliarella in the 67th minute and put Juventus in front two minutes later, brilliantly twisting past Cristian Zapata and slotting in from close range.

Milan defender Philippe Mexes was sent off for a second booking, Pirlo crashed the resulting free kick against the crossbar and Chiellini volleyed home the rebound from the edge of the area.

Muntari gave Milan hope when he dispossessed Paul Pogba and blasted a deflected shot past Gianluigi Buffon but it was too late.

Napoli made light of injured striker Gonzalo Higuain`s absence due to a calf muscle injury against Livorno.

After suffering their first defeat of the season in the Champions League at Arsenal on Tuesday, Napoli were quickly back on track when Goran Pandev fired them ahead after three minutes.

Switzerland midfielder Gokhan Inler added the second when his curling 30-metre shot slipped through Francesco Bardi`s hands in the 26th minute before Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik completed the rout in the second half.

Winless Sampdoria took a first-half lead against Torino through Gianluca Sansone and thought they had added a second when Nicola Pozzi tapped the ball in after Angelo Palombo`s free kick was spilled by goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.

But referee Andrea Gervasoni had already blown for halftime and ruled out the goal amid furious protests.

The incident was reminiscent of a match at the 1978 World Cup when Brazil had a last-minute winner ruled out against Sweden because the referee blew for time while the ball was in the air after a corner had been taken.

Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci, from a penalty, put Torino 2-1 ahead after the break, only for Sampdoria to be on the right end of a controversial decision when Eder won and converted a stoppage-time penalty.

Genoa, who fired Fabio Liverani after three games and brought back Gasperini last week, grabbed a point when Catania defender Nicola Legrottaglie got in front of his goalkeeper and a forward at the near post to head a cross into his own net.

Pablo Barrientos had put Catania ahead after Luca Antonini made a complete hash of a clearance.

Parma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante was dismissed in first-half stoppage time for a foul which led Domenico Berardi converting a penalty for Sassuolo`s goal.

Parma, who had gone ahead through Raffaele Palladino, still took the points when Aleandro Rosi and Antonio Cassano scored in a five-minute spell midway through the second half.

Reuters -------------------

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