Italian Serie A, Week 7: AC Milan Rescued By Kevin-Prince Boateng Hat Trick

Lecce went up 3-0 on Milan in the first half, but Kevin-Prince Boateng and Mario Yepes rescued them, securing a stunning 4-3 victory.

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Lecce Vs. AC Milan, 2011 Serie A: Full Time, Rossoneri Rescued By Four Second Half Goals

Lecce looked to be well on their way to a famous victory, going 3-0 up over AC Milan in the first half of their match. Then, Kevin-Prince Boateng stepped on the gas for the Rossoneri, scoring a hat trick in 18 minutes to level the match in the 63rd minute. Lecce almost held out for a point, but Mario Yepes netted an 83rd minute winner, not only rescuing Milan from embarrassment, but securing three points from the jaws of defeat.

The home side took a lead just four minutes in, when a poorly marked Guillermo Giacomazzi hit a powerful header into the back of the net from five yards out in the fourth minute. They would double their lead in the 30th minute when Massimo Oddo converted a penalty against his former side, but the decision to give Lecce the spot kick was a controversial one. Christian Abbiati was the man called for the foul, but Daniele Corvia unquestionably took a dive to win it. 

There was nothing controversial about the third goal, though, as a brilliant passing move and some terrible defending by Luca Antonini led to a slow rolling finish by Carlos Grossmuller to put the hosts up 3-0 at halftime. Milan were extremely poor in the first half as the score suggests, and there didn't appear to be a road to a point for them.

Instead, they would grab three. It felt like something spectacular might be on the cards in the 49th minute, when Kevin-Prince Boateng scored his first goal. Following a corner kick, the ball fell to Boateng on the left side of the box, where he hit an absolutely fantastic half-volley into the roof of the net to make it 3-1.

The Prince's second was even better, another half-volley into the roof of the net. This one came from open play just six minutes later and took a little more skill. The Milan fans who traveled for the game went absolutely crazy in the stands, seemingly sensing what was going to come next. The equalizer came on a low, close-range shot in the 63rd minute. Lecce keeper Massimiliano Benassi almost kept the ball out of the net, but it rolled just barely over the line.

Milan's winner was a fantastic goal, and well deserved. Antonio Cassano was the architect, showing his skill with a brilliant control on the left side of the penalty area, then a lofted ball to the far post that looked like it arrived on a cloud. Mario Yepes made a late surging run to the far post and nodded it in, completing Milan's unbelievable comeback.

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Juventus Vs. Genoa, 2011 Serie A: Exciting Match Ends In 2-2 Draw

Well that was a pretty good advertisement for Serie A. In what was essentially a must-win for Juventus at home against Genoa, the Old Lady twice led through superb goals by Alessandro Matri and twice gave up silly goals to their visitors, the second coming in the 86th minute, condemning the hosts to a 2-2 draw and two points dropped in the Serie A title race.

The opening goal was a superb piece of finishing, with Matri redirecting a long-range effort by Claudio Marchisio, flicking past Sebastien Frey to give Juventus a 1-0 lead with barely five minutes gone. That score would through most of the first half, despite both teams getting more than their fair share of scoring opportunities, finally falling at the head of Marco Rossi, who took advantage of lackadaisical defending by the host to nip in and nod past Marco Storari.

The second half was similar to the first, with a lovely goal by Matri early - a dummy by the sublime Andrea Pirlo setting up the striker for a cool finish past Frey - and a Genoa goal late on when Andrea Caracciolo managed to get to a lose ball just before Storari and was able to flick the ball in for the equaliser. Six minutes of stoppage time didn't see any more goals (although Genoa did come close to winning it when Caracciolo skied his shot following a corner), and the match would finish 2-2. Juventus are top of the table, but there are five teams within striking distance of them now - and each has a game in hand.

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Juventus Vs. Genoa, 2011 Serie A: 1-1 At Halftime

Juventus looked as though they were going to crush poor Genoa underfoot when the hosts went up 1-0 not ten minutes into the match. Claudio Marchisio met a corner with a low drive from twenty yards out, and although Sebastien Frey had that shot covered, he could do nothing when Alessandro Matri's left foot redirected it into the top corner in mid flight.

Since then, the match has been far more open than you'd expect from one featuring one of Italy's top defences, and Genoa, instead of folding, have fought back pretty ferociously against their hosts. It took them a little while to score, but a goal was coming, and when poor defending by Stephan Lichtsteiner gave Marco Rossi a chance at the far post the veteran midfielder made no mistake in heading past Marco Storari for the equaliser. So it's a 1-1 draw in Turin at the break, and Juventus will be going for it in the second half - they can't afford to drop these points.

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Juventus Vs. Genoa, 2011 Italian Serie A Week 7 Matchup: Old Lady Tries To Stay Top Without Buffon, Vidal

Juventus will be without Gigi Buffon and Arturo Vidal when they host Genoa on Saturday

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