Friendlies: Pippo shoots down Juve
Pippo Inzaghi’s brace handed Milan the prestigious Trofeo Berlusconi in a 2-0 victory over old rivals Juventus at San Siro.
The 17th edition of this friendly tournament at San Siro was without the injured Kaka, Ronaldo, Tiago Mendes and David Trezeguet, so Clarence Seedorf started in the Trequartista role for the Rossoneri. After three minutes Zdenek Grygera did well to tackle the Dutchman inside the area.
The Turin giants were immediately aggressive with Vincenzo Iaquinta brought down by Kakha Kaladze on the edge of the box and Sergio Almiron drilling just wide.
Milan also pushed forward, as Massimo Oddo set up Pippo Inzaghi’s diving header to bring a great save out of Gianluigi Buffon.
Alessandro Del Piero had a fantastic chance when he ran on to Pavel Nedved’s pass and put two defenders on the ground, but Kaladze bravely flung himself at the shot. Antonio Nocerino’s strike was also deflected off target.
An Andrea Pirlo free kick fell to Inzaghi, who was closed down by a desperate Domenico Criscito tackle, and Oddo hit a first-time finish over. The old Milan problems continued, as Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino often crossed paths and held each other up.
Nocerino has been impressive in pre-season, but his error sent Inzaghi clear and Buffon smothered the strike.
Buffon was not so prepared soon after, as Inzaghi’s splendid glancing header at the near post turned in Massimo Ambrosini’s cross from the left. The Juventus defence made a mess of this situation, as Jorge Andrade and Criscito lost sight of SuperPippo in his first start since the Champions League Final in Athens.
Del Piero’s confidence was at an all-time high, as he repeatedly dribbled past sets of Rossoneri defenders, including a nutmeg on Oddo.
Both Coaches made changes at the break. Claudio Ranieri appears to have abandoned the experiment of Tiago Mendes alongside Sergio Almiron, as it proved very disappointing, so he fielded the former Chelsea midfielder with Nocerino instead.
Within 58 seconds Milan had doubled their lead with Inzaghi yet again. A corner kick was flicked on by Gilardino to the back post for Inzaghi to come sliding in.
Nedved’s acrobatic volley went wide from a corner at the other end and an equally spectacular Seedorf attempt was held by Buffon, but Andrade was booked for trying to punch the ball into the net.
Nelson Dida parried Del Piero’s free kick and substitute Daniele Bonera slipped in a one-on-one with Raffaele Palladino, but Del Piero’s fantastic turn between two defenders was eventually closed down by a third.
Nedved’s volley at the back post whistled just wide when he only had the goalkeeper to beat and he turned another effort off target.
The San Siro field was slippery, as Buffon stumbled and, as Gilardino went round him, the Milan striker lost his footing as well in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle with Nocerino.
Juve’s best opportunity came in the final minutes, as Tiago unleashed a fierce strike that Dida fingertipped over the crossbar. The Brazilian goalkeeper also plucked a Nedved attempt out of the air.
Milan 2-0 Juventus
Scorers: Inzaghi 44, 46 (M)
Milan: Dida; Oddo (Cafu 46), Nesta (Bonera 66), Kaladze (Digao 87), Favalli (Serginho 46); Gattuso (Brocchi 46), Pirlo, Ambrosini; Seedorf; Inzaghi (Gourcuff 57), Gilardino
Juventus: Buffon; Grygera, Andrade, Criscito, Molinaro; Salihamidzic (Olivera 66), Nocerino, Almiron (Tiago 46), Nedved; Del Piero, Iaquinta (Palladino 46)
Ambro ambushes Juve
Milan finally found their form with a 4-1 Trofeo Berlusconi victory over Juventus thanks to Massimo Ambrosini's brace.
This traditional summer meeting came at a very different time for the two clubs, as Juve are on sparkling form following their 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Artmedia, while the Rossoneri have struggled badly in pre-season.
Pippo Inzaghi was only fit for the bench, so Alberto Paloschi remained the only available forward. Gianluigi Buffon was rested and both clubs decided to switch goalkeepers at the break. Zdenek Grygera and Marek Jankulovski fired angled drives across the face of goal, while Tiago Mendes' looping header skimmed the woodwork.
Amauri hit the back of the net on Alessandro Del Piero's through ball, but it was flagged offside. Instead, Milan took the lead with Jankulovski's sudden left-foot snapshot from the left channel that seemed to take goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti by surprise. The veteran should've saved it and indicated the floodlights had temporarily blinded him.
Amauri went on a strong run and fired on to the roof of the net, but the Rossoneri made it 2-0. Clarence Seedorf skipped past Grygera and chipped a cross to the back post for Ambrosini's header from point-blank range.
There was more bad news for Juve, as Chiellini sprained his knee and made way for Nicola Legrottaglie. The scene was worrying, as he was carried off in clear pain and almost in tears. It also means he won't be available for Wednesday's Italy friendly against Austria.
Cristian Molinaro's snapshot was deflected out for a corner, then Legrottaglie's header clipped the upright. Del Piero brought a tough save out of Abbiati with a curling free kick. As promised Milan introduced Inzaghi and Nelson Dida for the second half, while Ekdal and Alex Manninger came on for Juve.
It took Inzaghi just seven minutes to make his mark after a long injury lay-off, nodding in another Seedorf chipped cross in an almost identical goal to that of Ambrosini.
Juventus clearly had their minds elsewhere and Milan tore through the defence, Ambrosini's first touch a little too strong to beat Manninger, then the Austrian goalkeeper stood his ground to deny Inzaghi. Amauri got away on the counter, but blasted wide.
Ranieri introduced three youth team starlets and one of them, Christian Pasquato, grabbed a consolation goal for Juventus. He send Daniele Bonera the wrong way with a dummy and smashed a powerful finish past Dida at the near post.
Esposito also impressed with some splendid dribbling and pass through for Ekdal, but he was very harshly booked for simulation after what appeared to be a penalty foul from Bonera.
Juventus really should've been 3-2 down moments later, but a series of chaotic saves and goalline clearances kept out Amauri and Pasquato. However, Milan converted a classic counter-attack with Inzaghi cleverly rolling back for the on-rushing Ambrosini's cool left-foot strike into the far top corner. It was similar to Del Piero's goal in the 2006 World Cup semi-final against Germany.
Milan 4-1 Juventus
Scorers: Jankulovski 21 (M), Ambrosini 25, 79 (M), Inzaghi 52 (M), Pasquato 70 (J)
Milan: Abbiati (Dida 46); Zambrotta (Oddo 64), Bonera (Darmian 85), Favalli, Jankulovski (Antonini 81); Gattuso (Brocchi 64), Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini (Cardacio 84); Seedorf (Viudez 75); Paloschi (Inzaghi 46)
Juventus: Chimenti (Manninger 46); Grygera, Mellberg, Chiellini (Legrottaglie 35), Molinaro; Tiago (Esposito 62), Sissoko (Rossi 62), Poulsen, Nedved (Ekdal 46); Amauri, Del Piero (Pasquato 62)
Milan: Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Bonera, Taiwo; Gattuso, Ambrosini; Seedorf, Emanuelson, K-P Boateng; Cassano
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