Despite conceding a goal inside the first 20 seconds, Juventus had too much class for a limited Milan, who badly missed the suspended Mario Balotelli and injured Stephan El Shaarawy
Another breathless, riveting and odd Serie A game. Milan are clearly not in the same class as Juve, but by competing physically, were able to limit their chances, looking good for a draw until Giovinco's moment of inspiration. Juve are third, on 19 points - the same as Napoli in second - with leaders Roma on 21. Milan are twelfth, with eight.
Thanks for reading and all that - night-night.
90+2 Suddenly Juve look nervous, dropping deep and inviting Milan onto them. Muntari wins a corner after ratting out the ball on the left by-line, and the kick picked out Zapata , past the penalty spot. Leaping early and ahead of Barzagli, he powered a header at goal - and just over the top. As chances in the last minute go, that was pretty handy one.
So Milan have four minutes. Pogba, forever desperate to remind of how good he is, dances on the ball maybe 40 yards from goal and right of centre, only to be ambushed by Constant and Nocerino, posession skidding to Muntari, who advanced and larruped a low left-footer that clipped Bonucci and outswung past Buffon, already moving the other way.
88 min Milan, though they've injuries, really ought not to be in the bottom half, which they now are - and they're almost dealt another heel to the solar plexus as Giovinco weaves into the box, but he dithers, allowing Abate to draw alongside and nick the ball away.
86 min Zlatan has scored a penalty for PSG, who now lead Marseille 2-1 - despite only having ten men. Amazing show of oil money.
86 min A change apiece: Llorente replaces Tevez, and Poli, De Jong.
85 min Chiellini, again on the edge of the Milan box, rummages for possession, and the ball bounces square to Vidal, who leaps into a shot that clears the bar.
84 min Constant burrows forward, and Pogba robs him with louche ease, swaying and sashaying clear to clear.
83 min More stroking, as Milan look bedraggled.
81 min Fernando Llorente is warming up. This is his big chance.
80 min Juve stroke the ball around as Milan chase. Mexes is in the dressing room, on a tiramisu drip.
78 min Robinho has departed - for all the difference it'll make - for a different Milan player. Pirlo, Pirlo, Pirlo, bellow the crowd, once that awful Fratellis song has shut the intercourse up.
78 min Things just happened.
Another lovely goal. Pirlo took three cursory steps before roasting the free-kick over the wall and against the bar as Abiatti flew across to get nowhere near it.But so well was it hit that the rebound reached the edge of the box where Chiellini slid into a hitch-kick, controlling a low volley into the empty net.
Mexes fouls Chiellini, 30 yards from goal and just left of centre, the referee bounding over to issue a yellow card - and then, seconds later, produces another - presumably for something he said, or ate.
72 min The crowd is bouncing as Juve seek a third and Milan bring on Niang - though I'm not sure who for.
This is a jazzer, and Antonio Conte is a happy man. The ball squirts to Giovinco around the edge of the box, left of centre and he pounces, gently and adroitly feinting outside and zipping inside Zapata using the outside of his right foot, to flummox his man to the floor, before falling and steering a definitive shot past Abbiati and into the far corner.
68 min Juve bring on Giovinco for Quagliarella. Thanks for coming, Fernando.
66 min Juve sweep forwards, Tevez finding Pogba cutting in off the right, and he drills a shot at Abiatti's midriff that's fumbled away. But Pogba hustles the loose ball back and slides into a low cross, cut back to the opposite side of the box, where Asamoah has plenty of time to line up a drive - only to hoik it across the face of goal.
64 min Quagliarella slides into rap and wrap boot across and around Mexes' shins, causing minor upset.Juve are becoming frustrated - Pirlo as hardly mustered a kick this half, and Pogba has yet to find a route into the game.
63 min Everyone gives the ball away.
61 min It's been a while since Milan managed anything, and Chiellini, who really is a brute of a fearsome brute, slides a ball down the inside-left channel for Quagliarella. It's only just too strong.
59 min Juve are asserting themselves now - or have for the last few minutes - and Asamoah nips in off the left to shoot, his first effort blocked by Zapata. But he seizes the loose ball and immediately springs into another that rips only just over the top.
58 min Maybe it's hard to avoid living first in France and then Italy, but it appears that Mexes has been guzzling to excess.
56 min This half hasn't quite gained the ferocious pace of its predecessor. There's still plenty of charging about, but its relationship to the ball is more sketchy.
55 min Padoin departs and Pogba arrives, Vidal moving to right-wing-back and Pogba slotting into central-midfield.
52 min Matri, who has done little, accepts possession at inside-left and slides a ball between Chiellini and Barzagli for Robinho to run onto - but Buffon advances well to narrow the angle and smother his clipped finish.
49 min Vidal, who had a quiet first half, thus incurring the displeasure of Stew-art Robson - skips into a loose, bouncing ball, Abbiati pushing his shot wide. The corner, from the right, is swung in towards Chiellini, suddenly ahead of Mexes. So, obviously, Mexes nailed him from behind with a rabbit punch to the cheekbone, causing him first to crumple and then jog off, regaining his macho in less than ten seconds. More more more.
47 min In Ligueun, PSG - down to ten men - have just equalised against Marseille.
47 min Again Milan begin with bad intentions, Constant and Robinho combining left of centre and preparing Montolivio for a shot from distance, hit well enough but straight at Buffon.
46 min Paul Pogba performed a strenuous warm-up during the interval, an I'm coming on soon you wastrels kind of warm-up.
46 min Juve prepare to kick-off...and they do!
I hate Robinho.
A Milan Fan"
Says William Heffernan. He's a funny one, Robinho - his hatefulness is also his redeeming feature.
Half-time ad break.
Good. That was really, really good. It's caning it down with rain, the players are caning around with extreme prejudice, and they can kick the ball really well. If Juve can regain the intensity of the first half-hour or so, it's hard to see Milan living with them in the second half, but then they might just be able to prevent them from the same - they grew in confidence as the game progressed, and limited Juve to little in the way of chances.
45+2 min De Jong attempts a searching 40 yard pass to feet. You can guess the rest.
45 min There shall be two added minutes.
44 min Zapata and Asamoah pogo for a high ball, and Zapata falls on side and coccyx, which eventuates a short stoppage while he recovers. He recovers.
42 min Juve break down their right, and Tevez - who appears to have had a leg transplant since leaving Manchester United, where he gave the impression of running in an invisible, portable wind tunnel - pastes Constant down the outside and cuts in front of him. So Constant shoves him to the ground, and the ref somehow avoids awarding a penalty.
40 min Milan win a corner on the left, swung in seeking Zapata, who rises first - but can't direct his header.
37 min Nocerino takes a medley of hacks at Asamoah as he shepherds the ball over the touchline, and the two then exchange glares and nuzzle foreheads, lest they not.
36 min The speed of this half has been quite something, though, of course, nothing to compare to that of The Best League In The World - just ask Martin Tyler.
33 min After flying at Milan until they achieved their equaliser, Juve have quietened, and are giving the ball away in midfield. But then Chiellini brings the ball forward, on the left, before drilling crossfield at Vidal to controls on his chest and cross, seeking Quagliarella - but Zapata is up, and clears well.
31 min More decency from Milan, Nocerino and Robinho exchanging passes - to no material effect, but keeping their team moving as it seeks to play its way back into form.
30 min Derek Rae just used the word "magnanimous" to describe the words "Carlos Tevez". That jolt you felt was the consequent earth tremor.
28 min These last few minutes have been good for Milan, who've steadied following a period of iron-footed panic. Constant slithers down the left and lamps over a long cross that misses everyone - but there were men in the box, which is more than has been managed for a while.
25 min Juve are charging around like zebras on Sunny D, and Milan just can't cope, trying to slow the game down when they can, but without the composure or confidence to do so effectively. But then, from nowhere, Zapata mooches forward along the right, and with no one mithered to stop him, coils his body into a low, hard swerver that forces Buffon to hurl himself at his far post and push it wide. The ensuing corner yields wastefulness.
25 min Pirlo gives the ball away. Pathetic.
23 min Bonucci pulls back Robinho and then, in the ensuing tantrum, flexes and pushes a brow in his direction to earn a booking - and is arguably lucky to thusly escape. Robinho, of course, collapsed, as is his wont.
22 min Milan tap the ball to each other until they lose it, Zapata passing to no one, and Juve charge forward, Marchisio looking for Quagliarella but hitting it just too long.
21 min Qui no salter de la Juve, hey he - or some approximation of the same - chant the crowd, bouncing.
20 min Milan do some passes.
17 min Pirlo curls in a free-kick from the right and Chiellini imparts furrows to sphere, forcing Abbiati tio turn over the top. Milan havenae had a kick in quite sometime.
17 min Juve are pouring it on now, and Robinho is booked for a foul on someone or other.
The temptation is to rhapsodise, but this isn't really all that much of a free-kick. It's on target, and goes over the wall, but it's very close to Abbiati's right hand and nowhere near the corner. He pushes it in anyway.
14 min Juve break through the middle, Tevez scooting along, until he saw, heard, or just knew that old pal De Jong would be sliding in and collapsed in stages. The result was a free-kick and a booking, just outside the D, just to the left, and the result of that was consternation, indignance, and in-face finger-wagging.
13 min Language lesson: Asamoah is pronounced Asamwah, not Assamower. You're welcome (to the real football factories).
11 min Tevez chugs down the right, only to overrun the ball - but Juve maintain the pressure as Milan drop. This allows Chiellini to advance without molestation, and as he nears the left edge box, wipes his foot across a drive that Abbiati turns over the top. The corner comes to de nada.
9 min But what's this! Mexes waddles up looking for offside as Vidal, at inside-right, slides a straight pass through for Quagliarella. He watches it onto his laces and eyes up the goal, just in front of him, before slicing pitch and ball, the latter soaring over the bar close to the near post. Great chance, well missed.
7 min There's not been much in the way of Association Football since that goal, which is exactly as Milan would like. The ball goes backwards, forwards and across like one of those word puzzles, and that's about it.
6 min Stewart Robson (born Billericay, for Panini aficionados) can do an Italian accent. Bet Arsene Wenger can't.
4 min It's raining lots, particularly in Juventine hearts. The ground, exceptionally noisy at the start, is now less so, as the home side attempt to impose themselves. But Milan look composed, knocking the ball around with purposeful aimlessness.
3 min Gosh.
Mama mia! Other exclamations and cliches! Robinho, inside the box on its right, lays the ball back to the advancing Nocerino, who pulls a shot that's skidding so wide it's not even wide, and ends up on the other side of the pitch, at the feet of Muntari, maybe ten yards out. He coolly turns into and onto it as it arrives, tucking a low drive past Buffon at his near post.
1 min Milan begin.
BT's "Sunday Night Football" does not appear to take the "SNF" acronym - one can only assume that Sky have trademarked it, and who wouldn't? Worthy of Don Draper at his very best.
New grounds that are better than their predecessors: Juventus Stadium, and possibly no others. Well, Old Trafford is probably superior to North Road and Bank Street, but in the modern era.
Maldini news: Christian, Paolo's son, has trained with the first team for the first time. Here's his brother Daniel tackling Clarence Seedorf - apparently, he's better.
On the tellybox they've just had Joe Calzaghe telling us what he reckons about this game. Who wasn't wondering what he was thinking?
This could be a thorough, complete, entire, utter, total, uniform, concentrated, irredeemable beating.
Juventus (4-4-2, probably, possibly): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Padoin; Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Tevez, Quagliarella.
Subs: Storari, Rubinho, Ogbonna, Peluso, Motta, Isla, Pogba, De Ceglie, Giovinco, Llorente
Milan (4-3-1-2, according to them, but maybe it's a lie): Abbiati: Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant; Nocerino, De Jong, Muntari; Montolivo; Matri, Robinho.
Subs: Amelia, Gabriel, Zaccardo, Emanuelson, Poli, Mastalli and Niang.
Preamble Most of us are average. Average people, living average lives,writing average preambles; fairly hard to take, isn't it? But it requires something special to reinvent the depths and re-imagine the heights, which most of us are not.
Serie A, on the other hand; Serie A is special. Filthy, snide and dishonest - the depths, for avoidance of doubt - and thrilling, fascinating and cinematic - the heights, for avoidance of doubt. And, right about now, it's on an upward curve, arguably the world's most exciting league and getting closer to being the best.
So, Juventus-Milan, a game that always means something, now has renewed resonance. Juve are pretty good - Bonucci and Chiellini is a centre-back pairing in the miserly, murderous tradition, Pirlo the apotheosis of humanity and Pogba a potential world-beater, while, up front, they can chose from Vucinic - injured for this one - Tevez, Llorente, Giovinco, and Quagliarella.
Milan, on the other hand, are a mess - but, as many messes are, thoroughly compelling. They have Balotelli - suspended for this one - along with Kaka and El Shaarawy - injured for this one - and Robinho. It's unlikely they'll win anything, but not many teams have comparable capacity for brilliance and the generally, genuinely unexpected.
Or, put another way, there is no reason to assume that this is not going to be good, and far, far better than us.