Milan 0-2 Juventus: Ronaldo on Target, Higuain Has a Howler
Seven-time defending champions Juventus restored a six-point lead atop Serie A, as Ronaldo broke his San Siro duck.
Through his time at Manchester United and Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo had turned up at the iconic San Siro in Milan on five occasions without managing to find the net. That run came to an end at the sixth time of asking, as the five-time world player of the year scored in a 2-0 win for Juventus on a night to forget for AC Milan’s Gonzalo Higuain.
The Argentine striker – who left Juve in the off-season following Ronaldo’s move to Turin – missed a penalty before half-time with Milan trailing 1-0, before being sent off for dissent in the second half.
Mario Mandzukic scored early on and Ronaldo sealed the result nine minutes from time as Serie A leaders Juventus restored a six-point advantage over second-placed Napoli, who were 2-1 winners against Genoa earlier on Saturday, 10 November.
There are few stadiums across Europe which haven’t been lit up by Ronaldo’s goal-scoring, and the relief was visible on the Portuguese forward’s face after his 81st-minute finish. Ronaldo raced to the corner flag, beckoning all his teammates over to celebrate with him.
"I'm very happy, especially for the team," said Ronaldo, who has been playing and scoring regularly despite facing a rape allegation in the United States. "We played good football, it's never easy to play at San Siro against Milan.
“We showed we’re superior, I’m really happy. It’s an important win, we’re back six points ahead of Napoli. I also scored a goal, I’m satisfied.”Cristiano Ronaldo
Milan slipped to fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Lazio, after seeing a three-match winning run in the league brought to an end.
"We played against a team which have been winning for many years and which every year signs a top player," Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said. "Juventus isn't just the strongest team in Italy, it's the most well-built in Europe along with Manchester City and Barcelona. We could have stayed in the match right until the end ... but I never had the feeling we were going to hurt them."
Juventus were looking to bounce back from Wednesday's shock 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United, and welcomed back Mandzukic from injury.
It took the Croatia forward less than eight minutes to break the deadlock, running in at the back post to head in Alex Sandro's cross from the left.
There were few clear-cut opportunities in a cagey match, but Milan were awarded a penalty shortly before half-time when Benatia blocked Higuain's effort with his hand.
Higuain stepped up but his spot kick was weak and Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny managed to tip it onto his right post.
Juventus clinched three points when Joao Cancelo’s shot was beaten away by Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma but only into the path of Ronaldo, who blasted into the roof of the net from close range.
Inter Outclassed at Atalanta
Inter Milan were thoroughly outclassed in a 4-1 loss at regional rival Atalanta for their first Serie A defeat in nearly two months. Inter had won six straight and hadn't lost since falling 1-0 at home to Parma on 15 September.
The loss left Inter third, nine points behind Juventus.
"We weren't ready for this match," Inter coach Luciano Spalletti said. "Our standards dropped. After a series of victories it doesn't mean things run automatically. We need to work on that."
Hans Hateboer gave Atalanta an early advantage with a tap-in and the hosts wasted numerous other chances — including an attempt off the post — to add to the lead before the break, as Inter appeared worn out following a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League.
Mauro Icardi equalized with a penalty two minutes into the second half following an Atalanta hand ball but Gianluca Mancini restored Atalanta's lead after the hour mark with a header from Josip Ilicic's free kick.
Berat Djimsiti and Papu Gomez completed the scoring, either side of Inter midfielder Marcelo Brozovic's dismissal following a second booking.
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