Juventus:Claudio Marchisio 13,Arturo Erasmo Vidal 42,Alessandro Matri 64
Three-goal Juve sink Milan at the San Siro(Juventus Official Website)
Juventus rounded off a fine pre-season by striking three past Milan to lift the club’s tenth Berlusconi Trophy at the San Siro.
Goals from Marchisio, Vidal and Matri provided the perfect response to Robinho’s double, meaning the champions will go into next Saturday’s encounter with Parma fully confident of getting their title defence off to a winning start.
After impressing club staff with an eye-catching display in Thursday’s friendly against the Primavera, Pogba was selected to perform the holding midfield role, while Marrone was again chosen to operate at the heart of the three-man defence. Vucinic, who produced a game changing display following his half-time introduction in the 4-2 Super Cup win over Napoli, was given the nod to partner Giovinco in attack.
The hosts started with plenty of purpose and intent, and could have gone in front as early as the seventh minute. Boateng rose highest in the area but was unable to make a clean connection with Montolivo’s cross, seeing his header flash wide of Storari’s left-hand post.
Two minutes later, they were ahead. Clever movement by Flamini eluded the visitors’ midfield and, following a neat exchange of passes on the edge of the area, Robinho was quickest to react to the Frenchman’s initial effort that bounced back off the upright, sweeping home from close range.
One of the memorable turning points from the 2011/12 campaign was Matri’s late equaliser at the San Siro to salvage a 1-1 draw and keep up the heat on the Rossoneri. And while the pre-season curtain-raiser has a different significance altogether, Juventus once again showed their character in difficult circumstances by fashioning an instant response.
This time it was Marchisio who found the target, again a thorn in the Milan side following his double in last season’s 2-0 win at Juventus Stadium. With one of his trademark bursts into the box, the midfielder read De Ceglie’s low centre to perfection and prodded the ball past Abbiati on 13 minutes.
The explosive opening paved the way for a frantic, fast paced affair with both teams aiming to set about each other at every available opportunity. Emanuelson’s rasping 25-yard free-kick, which whistled just past the post, was bettered by Vucinic’s measured long-range attempt that rattled the woodwork.
With the minutes ticking down towards half time, Juventus edged their noses in front. Vidal’s clever forward movement was spotted by Marrone, whose delightful through ball was inch perfect for the Chilean. After evading Yepes’ desperate lunge, he kept his cool to steer a precise finish into the bottom corner.
The second half brought a host of changes for the visitors, with Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Ziegler Giaccherini, Pazienza, Matri and Quagliarella entering the fray in place of Padoin, Lucio, De Ceglie, Marchisio, Vidal, Giovinco and Vucinic.
And Matri, who celebrates his 28th birthday today, almost handed himself the best possible present when Pogba’s low pass found him peeling off the Rossoneri rearguard. Cutting back inside, the striker did well to work himself a route to goal, but found Abbiati on hand to turn his low drive behind for a corner.
However, last season’s top scorer soon made amends by heading Giaccherini’s teasing cross back across Abbiati and into the far corner on 64 minutes.
Despite the Bianconeri looking comfortable in possession, the hosts continued to press for a way back into the game and gained a lifeline when Masi – on in place of Barzagli - sent Robinho tumbling in the box. The Brazilian striker picked himself up to stroke a confident penalty past Storari and set up an interesting last quarter of the game.
But the champions held firm to keep the Rossoneri's tentative probing at bay and clinch their first Berlusconi Trophy success since 2010.
MILAN 2-3 JUVENTUS
GOALS: Robinho 9, Marchisio 13, Vidal 42, Matri 64, Robinho (pen) 77
Storari; Lucio (Bonucci 46), Marrone (Rugani 89), Barzagli (Masi 69); Padoin (Lichtsteiner 46, Asamoah 87), Vidal (Pazienza 46), Pogba, Marchisio (Giaccherini 46), De Ceglie (Ziegler 46); Giovinco (Quagliarella 46), Vucinic (Matri 46).
Substitutes not used: Leali
Abbiati; Abate (Nocerino 52), Yepes, Zapata, Antonini (Di Sciglio 46); Flamini (Traorè 63), Montolivo, Constant; Boateng (Valoti 80), Emanuelson (Pato 46); Robinho.
Substitutes not used: Amelia, Acerbi, Mesbah, Bonera
ASSISTANTS: Preti, Giallatini
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Orsato
BOOKINGS: Vidal 12, Yepes 65, Masi 77