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Milan top after Ibra brace, Juve held

  • Published at 09:39 am October 18th, 2020
Ibrahimovic
Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic in action against Inter’s Christian Eriksen during their Serie A match in Milan Saturday AFP

Milan won their opening four matches for the first time since 1995-96 when they won the title under Capello

Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck twice in his first match back from coronavirus Saturday as AC Milan beat city rival Inter Milan 2-1 to take top spot in Serie A.

But champion Juventus, playing without quarantined Cristiano Ronaldo, were held 1-1 at promoted Crotone whose first top-flight point this season moved the southerners off the bottom of the table.

The 39-year old stamped his mark on the game early, having also scored back in February only for Inter to win 4-2. 

He missed a 13th-minute penalty but turned in the rebound, with a perfect Rafael Leao cross setting up the Swede for the second three minutes later.

Romelu Lukaku pulled a goal back after half an hour but Antonio Conte's Inter were struggling with six players out to Covid-19.

Milan won their opening four matches for the first time since the 1995-1996 season when they won the title under Fabio Capello.

And Stefano Pioli's side are top of the table with maximum 12 points.

Juve coach Andrea Pirlo blamed his new-look team's inexperience as they finished a second game with 10 men.

The champion were without Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala with new signing Federico Chiesa sent off on his debut.

It was a second stalemate in four games for the nine-time reigning champion despite being awarded a 3-0 win after Napoli's no-show in Turin.

Crotone took the lead after 12 minutes when Nigerian Simy got a penalty past Gianluigi Buffon, making his 650th Serie A appearance between the posts.

Chiesa, 22, set up Alvaro Morata for the equalizer nine minutes later, but the 22-year old was harshly sent off for a late tackle on Luca Cigarin.

Morato missed two chances for the winner as a header rattled the post with the Spaniard having a goal ruled offside after a VAR review.

Lazio, without suspended striker Ciro Immobile, fell to a 3-0 defeat at Sampdoria.