Juventus’ late show break 10-man Milan’s heart
Gonzalo Higuain headed a dramatic late winner as Juventus pulled off a sensational turnaround to beat 10-man rivals Inter 3-2 in the Derby d’Italia, moving the Serie A leaders four points clear of Scudetto rivals Napoli.
Defending champions Juventus looked set to open the door for Napoli – who won 1-0 in Turin last weekend to breathe new life into the title battle – after Inter came from behind at San Siro on Saturday.
Matias Vecino’s 18th-minute red card, after Douglas Costa had rifled Juve in front, appeared likely to ensure Massimiliano Allegri’s men would comfortably claim three points.
However, Juve collapsed after the break, Mauro Icardi heading Inter level before an own goal from Andrea Barzagli put the hosts in front.
Much more drama was still to come, though, with Juan Cuadrado’s cross deflecting in off Milan Skiriniar in the 87th minute prior to remarkable scenes in the closing stages.
Higuain had been guilty of missing a fantastic chance with the score at 1-1, but the former Napoli striker significantly dented the Partenopei’s title hopes with an 89th-minute header to spark wild celebrations and ensure the Scudetto, somewhat improbably, remains in Juve’s hands.
When Juventus took a 13th-minute lead, a Cuadrado cross controlled and lashed in on the volley by Douglas Costa at the back post, there were few signs of the drama that was to come.
That goal survived a VAR review for a possible handball in the box by Blaise Matuidi and the technology was used again in Juve’s favour moments later to decide the fate of Vecino.
Referee Daniele Orsato originally decided an apparent stamp on Mandzukic was only worthy of a yellow card, but Vecino was dismissed after the official reviewed the video replay.
Allegri’s side have been troubled by set-pieces all season, Kalidou Koulibaly’s 90th-minute header winning the game for Napoli last weekend, and Icardi ensured 11 of the 22 league goals conceded by Juve this term have come from dead-ball situations.
Within two minutes Juve had scored the goal that could eventually secure a seventh straight Scudetto, Higuain stooping to nod in Dybala’s cross and spark delirious scenes of jubilation.
Allegri appeared to be dismissed in the aftermath after running on to the pitch to tell his side to calm their celebrations, but victory ensures Juventus remain in control of their destiny.
FT: Inter Milan 2-3 Juventus
Icardi 52′ | Barzagli 65′ (og) | Costa 13′ | Skriniar 87 (og) | Higuain 89′
Saif Ahmed Chowdhury
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