AC Milan finally loses as Chiesa fires Juventus to thrilling win

Federico Chiesa's brace and a late strike from Weston McKennie, helped Juventus to beat AC Milan in its first loss in 27 matches at San Siro on Wednesday

Juventus rises to fourth place on 30 points, but has a game in hand over the three teams above them.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Stefano Pioli told his AC Milan players to have no regrets about their performance despite suffering their first Serie A defeat in 304 days against Juventus on Wednesday.

The Italian champion ran out 3-1 winner at San Siro, ending a 27-match unbeaten league run from Pioli’s side that stretched back to March 2020.

Milan retained top spot thanks to its rival Inter Milan slipping up by losing 2-1 to Sampdoria earlier in the day, and Pioli insisted that he was proud of his team regardless of the result.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve lived through the ugly sensation of a defeat,” he told Sky Italia.

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“I patted the players on the back, they deserved it. They shouldn’t have regrets after a game like this, they should keep their heads up."

Milan’s chances against the Italian champion were dealt a blow earlier on Wednesday when Ante Rebic and Rade Krunic tested positive for COVID-19 to take its tally of unavailable players to seven.

“Seven is a lot, but we didn’t lose our identity,” Pioli said.

“The individual episodes and the quality of the opponent made the difference.

“The team could have been scared, they knew that another two players would be missing tonight. They had no fear.”

Victory for Juventus moved Andrea Pirlo’s side into the top four and seven points behind Milan, but it has a game in hand over the league leader.

Pirlo, who is looking to lead Juve to a 10th consecutive league title in his first season as a manager, was encouraged by what he saw from his players.

“We didn’t look at the results of the other teams above us, we were focused on what we had to do,” he said.

“It was important tonight above all to look for this spirit, the spirit of a team that wants to command, coming to a pitch this important against the team that is top of the league and playing our own game.”