AC Milan crushed Juventus 3-0 in Turin to move back into 3rd place in the Italian Serie A, pushing the Bianconeri out of next season’s UEFA Champions League places with just 3 games to go.
AC Milan pushed Juventus out of the top 4 in the Serie A with a 3-0 win away from home on Sunday, which increases their hopes of Champions League football for the first time since 2014 and put Juventus in deep trouble of missing out on qualification for next season’s premier European football competition.
Brahim Diaz put Milan ahead just before the break with Anton Rebic and Fikayo Tomori adding two more in the second half after Franck Kessie had missed a penalty in what would have otherwise have been an even bigger drubbing of the former Italian champions who were displaced by Inter Milan just last week.
Milan move up to third, equal on 72 points with second-placed Atalanta, with Napoli a further two points behind in fourth and occupying the final Champions League spot.
Juventus are now fifth, one point behind the top four with just three games left to play, including next weekend’s clash with newly-crowned champions Inter Milan.
“We had a great game, a victory over a direct rival at this moment in the championship is very important,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli.
“We still have to fight. But I have a very young team, that is maturing as this evening proved.”
The breakthrough came just before half time with Diaz scoring on the rebound after Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny parried a Hakan Calhanoglu freekick.
Milan should have gone two up just before the hour mark when Giorgio Chiellini was judged to have handled the ball, but Kessie’s weak penalty failed to beat Polish shot-stopper Szczesny.
Rossoneri star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off with a left knee injury and that may be slightly worrying for Pioli’s side.
“He wasn’t at his best, but he didn’t want to miss the match,” said Pioli of the 39-year-old Swede.
“He has a sore knee, but I don’t think it’s something serious.”
Rebic doubled Milan’s lead with a fantastic strike after 78 minutes and Tomori killed the game off when he headed home the third just minutes later to boost their chances of Champions League football next season.
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo was at a loss for words to explain what went wrong with star player Cristiano Ronaldo failing to have an impact and unable to add to his handsome Serie A-leading 27 goals for the season.
“We got into the game pretty well and then little by little we fell apart… It’s hard to explain,” said Pirlo.
“When you lose 3-0 in such an important game, it means that there are a lot of things that did not work.”
Pirlo ruled out stepping down as Juve manager, insisting: “No, I won’t step aside. I undertook this work with a lot of enthusiasm, with difficulties, but my work continues.
“I think I can do better. There are three games left and I will continue to do my job as long as I can.”
Juventus are under threat of being suspended from next season’s Serie A if they do not withdraw their name from the breakaway European Super League that saw 9 of the 12 founding members withdrawing their names including the Milan clubs.