Troubled Juventus lose at home to Monza as Milan thrashed at San Siro fortress

Serie A giants' struggles go from bad to worse

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Juventus suffered another body blow to their pursuit of a Champions League place as they were beaten 2-0 at home to Monza in Serie A on Sunday.

The shock result leaves Juve, who were docked 15 points after a probe into their transfer dealings this month, with just 23 points.

They now languish 15 points behind AC Milan, who were in fourth place – the last Champions League qualification spot – before yesterday’s late games.

Sunday's win at the Juventus Stadium means that Monza now sit above Massimiliano Allegri's side on 25 points.

Patrick Cuirria opened the scoring for the visitors after 18 minutes, latching on to a clever pass from Jose Machin to blast the ball high into the net.

Six minutes before half time, Dany Mota doubled their lead when he received the ball in the penalty area and went round Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny to tap the ball into an empty net.

Juventus dominated possession in the second half but were kept out by Monza keeper Michele Di Gregoria, who made several sharp saves.

Paul Pogba returned to the Juve bench as he continues his recovery from a knee injury but wasn't used by Allegri.

Meanwhile fellow giants Milan also suffered a shock home defeat on Sunday as they were thrashed 5-2 by Sassuolo at the San Siro.

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli during the 5-2 Serie A defeat by Sassuolo at the San Siro stadium on Sunday, January 29, 2023. AP

The defeat meant that Stefano Pioli’s side dropped down to fourth in the table before the late kick-offs.

Everything that could go wrong for Milan did as they had two goals ruled out for offside and produced a shocking defensive display condemning the champions to another heavy loss after also being hammered by Lazio and Inter Milan in the last 10 days.

Domenico Berardi was the star man for Sassuolo, who are 16th after winning for the first time since late October, the Italian having a hand in Gregoire Defrel and Davide Frattesi's goals which put his team two ahead after just 20 minutes.

Olivier Giroud, who had a fine early finish disallowed, then headed Milan back into the game but Berardi re-established Sassuolo's two-goal lead with a header of his own from a 30th-minute corner.

Pioli brought on Rafael Leao at half-time after leaving his star attacker out of the starting line-up but Milan were three goals down seconds after the restart, Armand Lauriente smashing home a penalty after being brought down by Davide Calabria.

And an awful afternoon turned into a nightmare when, after Ante Rebic had a goal chalked off for a razor-thin offside, Matheus Henrique drilled in the fifth with 11 minutes remaining from a Berardi pass.

That left Divock Origi to curl home a beautiful but entirely irrelevant consolation goal for the hosts.

“We have to react, we're probably not going to win the title again but we have to fight to qualify for the Champions League,” said Pioli.

“Ever since we drew with Roma we've not been able to do things right tactically or mentally.”

Updated: January 29, 2023, 6:28 PM