Football

Serie A: Juventus stretch winless start with a draw against Milan

Juventus’ winless start to the Serie A season continued to a fourth successive game after they were held down to a 1-1 draw with Milan at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening.

Alvaro Morata had opened the scoring inside four minutes to give Juventus the hope of bouncing back from the awful start with Juve’s quickest goal against AC Milan in Serie A since February 1996, but the Bianconeri could not hold on for a maiden victory.

After inviting pressure onto themselves, the hosts were eventually ripped 14 minutes from time when Sandro Tonali whipped a corner into the box and Ante Rebic guided it in off the far post to level the score.

Milan forward Ante Rebic celebrates after leveling things up for his side against Juventus on Sunday evening in a Serie A fixture. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Juventus have now gone four games without a win to start a Serie A season for just the fourth time in their history and are inside the relegation zone, while Milan move level on points with leaders and city rivals Inter Milan.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side had given their season a bouncing castle with a 3-0 win over Malmo in the Champions League in midweek and two of their goalscorers from that game combined early on against Milan.

Paulo Dybala played Alvaro Morata through with a smart flick after Juve had defended a corner and the forward rounded off the counter by dinking the ball over Milan shot-stopper Mike Maignan.

Minutes later, Maignan produced a fine save to keep out Morata’s next shot and Adrien Rabiot had an even better chance to add a second but could not outpace Milan center-half Fikayo Tomori when played in.

Rabiot could not quite connect with a Leonardo Bonucci pass over the top early in the second period as the half-chances continued to fall Juve’s way.

Juve had not kept a clean sheet in the league since March, however, and that poor run continued as Rebic climbed highest to meet Tonali’s corner and head in the equalizer from six yards.

Player Ratings: Juventus 1-1 AC Milan - Rebic decisive again; Tonali a warrior

Milan players joining Ante Rebic in celebrating the goal against Juventus that leveled the scoreline in a Serie A meeting on Sunday evening. | PHOTO: Courtesy |

Both sides pushed for a winner in a frantic conclusion to the match, with substitute Pierre Kalulu going closest to snatching victory for Milan with a powerful drive that Juve goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny did well to palm over the bar.

A slow start for Juventus has now become an awful one as they find themselves 18th in the 20-team division after four matches.

Juve were easily the better side in the first half and perhaps should have had a second or third goal, but they were made to pay for ceding for too much possession, with Milan seeing 63 percent of the ball in the second half.

The Bianconeri simply cannot hold on for clean sheets, having now conceded in each of their past 18 Serie A matches stretching into last season, and any hopes of fighting to reclaim their title are already looking very slim as they trail Inter and Milan by eight points.

Rebic had a couple of promising moments before finding a way through from one of the three shots he managed across the 90 minutes and he finally got his name on the scoresheet with a stunning header.

Both sides will be back to league action in midweek. Juventus travel to Spezia on Wednesday, while Milan will at home to Venezia on that same day.

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