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AC Milan extended their lead at the top of Serie A to eight points with an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Juventus.
Gennaro Gattuso scored the only goal after 68 minutes to give Massimiliano Allegri’s men a vital three points in their pursuit of the Serie A title. For Luigi Del Neri, pressure continues to mount on the Juventus manager as his side fail to maintain a challenge on the European places.

The visitors had the first chance inside five minutes when Mathieu Flamini sent in a cross toward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede, who had been lurking at the back-post, could only fire his volley over from just four yards out.

Juventus began to dominate the early passages of play, with Milos Krasic seeing a lot of the ball. The Serbian playmaker created from some promising positions, but Del Neri’s never truly troubled Christian Abbiati.

AC Milan fashioned an opening in the 21st minute when Antonio Cassano found room inside the area. The striker managed to get the ball onto his left foot before he skied his shot over the bar.

Krasic lead the charge soon after bringing the ball away from deep in Juve’s half. He skipped past three players before laying off to Alessandro Matri, but the striker was indecisive, which allowed AC Milan to clear the danger.

The visitors began to control the game and Ibrahimovic was a whisker away of finding himself clean through. The Swede moved towards goal but a fine challenge from Giorgio Chiellini took the ball away from the striker.

Allegri introduced Robinho at half-time in the hope of breaking through Juventus’ defence and the Brazilian added early urgency into AC Milan’s play.

Gianluigi Buffon was called into action early in the second half when he had to scramble across to palm Ibrahimovic’s devilish free-kick away to safety.

The Italian stopper failed to keep out the visitors for much longer, however. Gattuso controlled Robinho’s flicked pass and fired a weak shot which Buffon calamitously let slip.

The game lacked any substantial chances after the goal and Juventus failed to improve after Del Neri brought on Vicenzo Iaquinta for the ineffective Luca Toni.

AC Milan will take encouragement from their resolute defensive display as they now prepare for their Champions League second-leg clash against Tottenham next Wednesday. Allegri’s men have to overhaul a one-goal defecit but with Ibrahimovic and Robinho looking bright, the Italian outfit will be confident ahead of the game at White Hart Lane.

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