17 Dec Juve sweep past Bologna as Milan’s misery deepens
Reigning champions Juventus stormed back into second place in the Serie A table, while AC Milan’s imploding season took another turn for the worse.
A day after Napoli removed Inter Milan from first place with their confident victory at Torino, Massimiliano Allegri’s Bianconeri went to Bologna and won 3-0 to also leapfrog the Nerazzurri.
Miralem Pjanic fired Juve ahead with a sumptuous free-kick before the half-hour mark. The Bosnian then turned provider for Mario Mandzukic, who hooked home at the far post.
After the break, Blaise Matuidi confirmed the outcome with a screamer into the bottom corner, bringing Juve to within a point of Napoli heading into the last round of fixtures before Christmas.
Earlier on Sunday Gennaro Gattuso’s 10-man Milan, already languishing down in seventh, were thrashed 3-0 at lowly Hellas Verona.
The team stacked with 230 million euros worth of new players could only draw with previously pointless Benevento at the beginning of December and this week UEFA said it was monitoring the club’s activities ahead of a potential Financial Fair Play investigation.
One bright point had been Milan’s progression past Verona in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday, but in a twist of fate Hellas subjected the Rossoneri to defeat by the same scoreline.
Antonio Caracciolo’s header from a Romulo corner gave the Gialloblu the upper hand and on-loan Juve teenager Moise Kean gave them further food for thought with his precise finish.
Daniel Bessa took the comeback off the table and Suso’s late dismissal added insult to injury.
Verona briefly left the relegation zone thanks to that result, but Crotone dumped them back into 18th place when they beat Chievo 1-0 with a solitary first-half strike from Ante Budimir.
Matteo Politano hit a post and saw his penalty attempt saved before substitute Alessandro Matri came through at the death for Sassuolo in a 1-0 triumph at Sampdoria.
Elsewhere, Fiorentina’s battle to escape mid-table obscurity continues after they were held to a goalless draw in Tuscany by Genoa.