Juventus were unstoppable against hosts AC Milan in a match which saw on-loan striker Gonzalo Higuain miss a penalty and sent off against his parent club in a 2-0 defeat at the San Siro and Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his eighth Serie A goal of the season for the Bianconeri.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri took the surprise decision to drop Leonardo Bonucci, who had left the club for Milan in the summer of 2017 before returning 12 months later, and started Medhi Benatia in the Italy international’s place.
The visitors were the better of both sides in the opening exchanges and were ahead on eight minutes when Alex Sandro’s deep cross was headed in at the back post by Mario Mandzukic.
And the goal only enhanced Juventus’ dominance, who looked far more likely than Milan to get the second goal as Ronaldo set Mandzukic up with another cross, only for the Croatian to head wide.
But, with their first real attack of the game, Milan were handed a lifeline on 40 minutes. Higuain’s control struck Benatia on the arm and, having initially waved play on, the referee was advised to check with the VAR system and decided to award the hosts a spot kick.
As Higuain prepared to take it, Ronaldo, his former Real Madrid teammate, had a word in Wojciech Szczesny’s ear, and the Polish goalkeeper guessed correctly as he dived low to his right to knock the ball onto the post and away from goal.
Paulo Dybala came close to doubling Juventus’ lead when his free-kick hit the post in the 56 minute but Milan improved in the early stage of the second half with Benatia impressive for Allegri’s side at the back.
However, Juventus made the points safe with nine minutes remaining when Ronaldo forced the ball home after Gianluigi Donnarumma had parried Joao Cancelo’s effort into the ex-Manchester United man’s path.
And the night got even worse for Milan and Higuain as the Argentine was booked for a foul on Benatia before screaming in the referee’s face to earn an immediate second booking, a straight red card.