Andrea Pirlo’s majestic free kicks and a stunning entrance from Sebastian Giovinco undid AC Milan as Juventus recovered from conceding a goal after only 20 seconds to beat their bitter rivals 3-2 in Series A on Sunday.
Pirlo, who spent ten seasons at Milan, cancelled out Sulley Muntari’s lightning strike by scoring direct from a free kick and saw another effort hit the bar and fall for Giorgio Chiellini to fire home for Juve’s third.
In between, substitute Giovinco put Juventus 2-1 ahead two minutes after coming on as the titleholders kept up the pressure on AS Roma, who made it seven wins out of seven on Saturday with a 3-0 victory at previously unbeaten Inter Milan.
Napoli also stayed in touch with the leaders by brushing aside Livorno 4-0 earlier on Sunday while there was plenty of drama elsewhere.
There were shades of the 1978 World Cup when Sampdoria had a goal cancelled out at home to Torino because the referee had blown for halftime seconds before the ball entered the net.
There were ugly scenes at Bologna where visiting Hellas Verona fans chanted throughout the minute’s silence for victims of the Lampedusa migrant boat disaster before seeing their team win 4-1.
Other games were also preceded by a minute’s silence, impeccably observed elsewhere, after a boat carrying around 500 migrants sank off the island of Lampedusa on Thursday. The Italian authorities say 181 bodies have been recovered and more than a hundred are still missing.
Roma top the table with 21 points, followed by Napoli and Juventus on 19. There is then five-point gap to Inter while Milan are down in 12th place on eight points. Milan kicked off and were immediately in front when Ghana midfielder Muntari turned in Antonio Nocerino’s deflected shot.
But Juve were level after 15 minutes when playmaker Pirlo curled in a typically exquisite free kick. The game was evenly-balanced, tense and niggly until a disastrous six-minute spell for the visitors. Giovinco replaced Fabio Quagliarella in the 67th minute and put Juventus in front two minutes later, brilliantly twisting past Cristian Zapata and slotting in from close range.
Milan defender Philippe Mexes was sent off for a second booking, Pirlo crashed the resulting free kick against the crossbar and Chiellini volleyed home the rebound from the edge of the area.