AC Milan Vs. Juventus, 2012 Serie A: Old Lady Battle Back For Draw

AC Milan took a lead early and held it for the majority of the match, but Juventus were able to find a late equalizer to keep their unbeaten run alive. The Old Lady are still undefeated on the season following their 1-1 draw at the San Siro on Saturday, but they failed to make up ground on the Rossoneri, who remain in first place in the Serie A table.

Antonio Conte started the match with a defensive 3-5-2, leaving all of Alessandro Matri, Simone Pepe and Mirko Vucinic on his bench. He would eventually have to call on all of them. Milan took the lead in the 14th minute through a great strike by Antonio Nocerino, who scored his eighth goal of the season with the aid of a deflection to put Milan ahead 1-0.

They should have taken at least a two goal lead into the halftime break, but were hard done by in the 24th minute when Sully Muntari put a header over the goal line on a set piece. Gigi Buffon pushed the ball out of the goal well after it had crossed the line and the linesman did not see the ball go over. No goal was given and Milan would go into the halftime break up 1-0.

Conte switched to a 4-3-3 formation in the second half, but Juventus didn't look good in that setup until late in the half, once all of Pepe, Matri and Vucinic were on the pitch. Milan were able to stifle play early in the half, but things started to go in the favor of the Bianconeri once Matri entered the game in the 69th minute.

Matri appeared to score the winner in the 79th minute, but his goal was ruled out for offside. It was an incredibly close call, but it appeared on replay like Matri's shoulder was just barely past the last defender when Vucinic played him in on goal. Just four minutes later, Matri would found a goal that would not be disallowed.

Thanks partially to some poor defending and partially to a great cross by Pepe, Matri found himself with the ball at his feet and an open net in front of him. He hit the ball powerfully into the back of the net on the half volley, tying up the match at 1-1.

Arturo Vidal would be shown a red card in the 89th minute for a dangerous challenge, but Milan failed to make the most of their man advantage. The red was a borderline one, and incredibly, Pepe was shown only a yellow card for an identical challenge just one minute later. The refereeing did not favor either side by any stretch of the imagination, but was very inconsistent throughout and certainly altered the course of the match.

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