Juventus lets 2-goal lead slip in 4-2 loss at Milan | Chronicleplanet.com

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Juventus lets 2-goal lead slip in 4-2 loss at Milan

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Juventus missed the chance to take a big step toward a ninth successive Serie A title as it let a two-goal lead slip away in a surprising 4-2 loss at AC Milan.

After second-place Lazio lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Lecce earlier, Juventus could have extended its lead at the top of the table to 10 points with a win on Tuesday.

A tight first half finished scoreless after Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a goal ruled out for offside shortly before the break.

AC Milan scored three times in five astonishing second-half minutes as they hit back from two goals down to beat visiting Serie A leaders Juventus 4-2 on Tuesday, the first points dropped by the Turin side since the season restarted last month.

Juve appeared to be cruising to another win when Adrien Rabiot put them ahead with a solo goal two minutes after the break and Cristiano Ronaldo added a second with a typical effort, his 26th league goal of the season.

Yet Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled one back from a penalty in the 62nd minute, Franck Kessie equalised four minutes later and Rafael Leao put them ahead one minute after that as Juve astonishingly collapsed. Ante Rebic completed the scoring.

Despite the defeat, Juve, on 75 points, stayed seven clear with seven matches to play after second-placed Lazio earlier lost 2-1 at lowly Lecce. Milan climbed to fifth with 49 points although they are still 14 points adrift of the top four.

It completed a remarkable four days for Milan who beat second-placed Lazio 3-0 away on Saturday and were widely reported on Monday to have agreed terms for German coach Ralf Rangnick to replace Stefano Pioli next season.

After second-place Lazio lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Lecce earlier, Juventus could have extended its lead at the top of the table to 10 points with a win.

“We had 60 good minutes. We were in control of the game, then there was a blackout. No need to dwell on that as we have another match in a few days,” Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said.

“It has happened to other teams, because this is a difficult time for everyone, physically and mentally. We must remain calm, also because the reasons for certain situations are difficult to find.”

Milan moved up to fifth, boosting its chances of securing a Europa League spot.

“If I had been here from the first day, we would have won the title,” said Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimović, who arrived in January.

“I’m not thinking about August, I’m thinking about the next game against Napoli,” said Pioli. “I like being with my team and whatever will be, will be. I’m not worried about my future, I just want to finish the season well.”

After a relatively uneventful first half, Juve broke through in style as Rabiot collected the ball just inside his own half, powered through the Milan midfield and fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

In the next attack, Juan Cuadrado launched a long ball upfield and it flew over two Milan defenders who collided to leave Ronaldo with a free run on goal, and the Portuguese duly placed his shot past Donnarumma.

Yet it all changed after Milan were awarded a penalty with the help of a VAR review after the ball hit Leonardo Bonucci’s elbow and 38-year-old Ibrahimovic converted.

A quick exchange of passes on the edge of the Juve area finished with Kessie sidestepping Bonucci to slot the ball past Wojciech Szczesny, then Leao collected a loose ball and found a gap between the Polish goalkeeper and the near post for Milan’s third.

Juve were denied an equaliser when Donnarumma made a one-handed save from Daniele Rugani’s header before Rebic fired Milan’s fourth to complete a remarkable win.