Injury-time penalty gives Juventus victory over AC Milan

Medhi Benatia and Paulo Dybala scored for Juventus in its 2-1 win over AC Milan.

Paulo Dybala scored the winner, off a penalty, for Juventus.   -  REUTERS

Juventus went 11 points clear in Italy on Friday when a contentious injury time penalty gave it a 2-1 win over 10-man AC Milan and a 31st successive home triumph.

The defending champion looked set to be held by its old rival, which had stunned the 32-time Serie A winner 1-0 at the San Siro earlier in the season, after Carlos Bacca had cancelled out Medhi Benatia's opener for the league leader.

But in the closing minutes, Milan lost Jose Sousa to a red card for lashing out at Kwadwo Asamoah before Mattia De Sciglio was penalised for hand ball.

Argentine striker Paulo Dybala kept his nerve to slot the penalty past teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma who had pulled off a series of stunning saves to keep Milan in the game.

The three points also allowed Juventus to look ahead to its Champions League last 16 return against Porto, who it leads 2-0, next week.

Juventus suffered a setback in the warm-up when Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic was struck down with illness.

But the champion was soon into its stride and deservedly took the lead on the half-hour mark when Moroccan centre-back Benatia was picked out by a Dani Alves cross over the top of the defence.

Benatia chested down the pass and drove the ball beyond the despairing dive of 18-year-old 'keeper Donnarumma.

But Juve was put on the back foot just before the break when Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu danced down the flanks to set up Colombian international Bacca for the equaliser.

It was Bacca's fourth goal in his last three Serie A games.

Donnarumma then kept Milan in touch with saves from Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Gonzalo Higuain but he was left shattered by the last-minute drama.

Milan stay in seventh place, 20 points behind Juventus and seven off the final Champions League qualifying place.