history17 September 2021

JUVENTUS V AC MILAN: A PREVIOUS MEETING

5 March 2011: Gattuso's goal sent the Rossoneri on their way to their 18th Scudetto

The magical evening of 9 May 2021 - that 3-0 victory sealed by Díaz, Rebić, and Tomori – didn’t just serve to launch AC Milan towards their Champions League return. The Rossoneri's last meeting with Juventus in Turin also represented the first away win in the league against our historic rivals for more than ten years, after another important clash in the history of the Diavolo.
It was 5 March 2011, when an away victory for AC Milan in Turin against Juventus would help to build the foundations of what would later become the 18th Scudetto in Rossoneri history.

THE SCENARIO
It was Matchday 28, and the dawn of the final phase of the 2010/11 season, which for the first time in several years was an all-Milanese title race. AC Milan were battling it out with Inter for the Scudetto as they sought out their first tricolour since 2004, with Inter having won the previous five in a row, and all the while with Mazzarri's Napoli constantly in pursuit of the leading pair. The Rossoneri came into that weekend with a five-point advantage, the result of three wins in a row against Parma, Chievo and Napoli: The objective was simple: Win and consolidate their advantage in the table ahead of the second seasonal Derby that awaited the teams after the last international break of the season. Juventus, on the other hand, were much further back in 7th place, with seven points separating them from fourth place which was occupied by a Lazio side in another season plagued with difficulties.

IBRA AND CASSANO COME CLOSE TO SCORING
Aware of the importance of the fixture, Massimiliano Allegri fielded a highly attacking AC Milan team with Boateng lying in behind the attacking duo of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Antonio Cassano. And it was the Swede and the man from Bari who had the best chances in a tense and hard-fought first half: After just three minutes Ibra blazed over a good chance after being set up well by a cross from Flamini; On 22 minutes, great reading of the game by Boateng set up the former Sampdoria man who left Traorè for dead by dribbling past him but he was unable to trouble Buffon in goal. At the end of the first half, the Rossoneri upped their offensive potential by bringing on Robinho in place of Boateng, but the game remained in the balance.

CAPITAN RINO'S "RUBBISH" GOAL
The moment that changed the evening - and to a certain extent the Rossoneri’s season - came halfway through the second half, in the 67th minute. Thiago Silva, a protagonist of a great match in the centre of defence, played a long ball forward towards Ibrahimović. Zlatan chested it down for the onrushing Robinho who left it for Gattuso: An insidious left-footed effort left Buffon scrambling and the ball trickled into the net. It was the first goal of the season for the Rossoneri number 8, who hadn't scored in Serie A since January 23 2008, over 1,100 days prior. A goal that Gattuso himself, in his interview at the end of the game, would describe as “rubbish” for the less than graceful nature of how it went in, but which carried immense and specific importance, given that it helped AC Milan maintain their five-point advantage over the Nerazzurri and allowed them to take another crucial step towards what is, to date, the last Scudetto in Rossoneri history.


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