Pulisic shoots Milan second as Juve held by Atalanta

AFP , Sunday 10 Mar 2024

Christian Pulisic fired AC Milan up to second in Serie A with the only goal in Sunday's 1-0 win over lowly Empoli while Juve were held to an entertaining 2-2 home draw by Atalanta.

Pulisic
AC Milan s Christian Pulisic, left, celebrates with his teammate Davide Calabria after scoring his side s opening goal during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Empoli at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy. AP

 

USA star Pulisic gave Milan a scrappy win with his eighth league goal of an encouraging debut season in Italy, a deflected strike off unfortunate Empoli defender Sebastiano Luperto.

The 25-year-old had a difficult time at Chelsea but since moving to Milan from London last summer he has scored 10 times in all competitions and set up six more.

"It's a good feeling, it was good for us to get the three points. It wasn't a nice goal, it was a bit lucky but at the end of the day we take it," said Pulisic to DAZN.

"I feel like I'm in some of my best form, I've been given a lot of confidence and trust here from the staff, from my teammates, the city and the fans. So I'm feeling really, really good here."

Stefano Pioli's side are 16 points behind their local rivals and champions-elect Inter Milan who beat fourth-placed Bologna on Saturday.

Milan now turn their attentions to Thursday's second leg of their Europa league last-16 tie with Slavia Prague, with a 4-2 lead from the home leg.

Empoli are one point above the relegation zone but performed in a manner which suggested they should be good enough to avoid the drop with survival specialist Davide Nicola.

Milan took second spot off Juventus whose poor run of form continued against sixth-placed Atalanta in Turin.

Juve stall again

Teun Koopmeiners both opened and completed the scoring as Atalanta snatched a draw which left them four points behind Bologna who are in the final Champions League spot.

Juve looked set to retake second from Milan when goals from Andrea Cambiaso and Arkadiusz Milik put the hosts ahead in the 70th minute.

Instead Juve are a point behind Milan after picking up just six from their last seven matches and going from title challengers to also-rans in the space of weeks.

Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta are level on 47 points with in-form Roma who sit fifth and are at Fiorentina in Sunday's late match.

Lecce are level on 25 points with Empoli in 15th after being beaten 1-0 at home by Verona following an early strike from Michael Folorunsho.

However that wasn't the biggest story from that match as coach Roberto D'Aversa headbutted Verona striker Thomas Henry after a stormy encounter in southern Italy.

A shoving match broke out between players and staff at the final whistle and D'Aversa, 48, headbutted Henry as the French attacker was heading towards the dressing room before the pair were both sent off.

D'Aversa later admitted to Sky Sport that his behaviour was "inexcusable" but that he only went on the pitch "to try and stop my players being sent off as Verona were provoking us a lot".

Verona lept up to 13th after winning two matches in a row for the first time since August.

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