This was certainly one of the most exciting matches of the Serie A season so far, living up to all the hype that was surrounding Sunday night's clash of Italian titans. Some were calling it "The Real Derby d'Italia" but those who favor the Juventus-Inter Milan showdown would have to argue their case after Sunday's match.
Three first half goals from Alessandro Del Piero, Giorgio Chiellini, and Amauri proved to be enough as Juventus defeated AC Milan 4-2 on a soaked field at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin.
Juve now have sole possession of second place and remain six points behind leaders Inter Milan. AC Milan now falls nine points behind its city rivals and into a tie for third with Napoli.
A. Manninger: 6.5- Steady as usual and made a few key saves in each half to keep Juve ahead. His performance in the first half was quite important and did a fine job coming off of his line when called upon to do so.
Z. Grygera: 6.5 - Did his usual work on the right flank and prevented countryman Jankulovski from making any kind of impact on the game.
G. Chiellini: 8.0 - His presence was felt on both ends of the pitch. Scored Juve's second goal on a fantastic header and shut down Milan's attack. He has become one of the Old Lady's most important players and the bigger the game, the more his presence is felt.
O. Mellberg 6.5 - Did a fine job filling in for Chiellini's usual central partner Nicola Legrottaglie. Almost headed home a goal in the first and was never really challenged defensively.
C. Molinaro: 6.0 - He's really just so up-and-down it's hard to get a read on him. He looked fantastic at times shutting down Milan's attack but then minutes later he would give a pass or an attempted clearance right back to them. He didn't have his usual forward movement that he does on the left wing.
M. Marchionni: 7.0 -Missing Mauro Camoranesi on the right flank was barely noticed as Marchionni was fantastic on the night. He sent in one dangerous cross after another and his set pieces were also quite effective.
M. Sissoko: 8.0 -As he usually does, he did all the dirty work in the midfield for Juventus. He stopped numerous attacks before they got started and was all over the place. Has formed a solid partnership with Marchisio in a pretty short amount of time.
C. Marchisio: 8.5 - Marchisio was Juve's offensive engine tonight. He was involved in everything it seemed like and not only had the second assist on Amauri's first goal, but also had some of the best scoring opportunities on the night. This was certainly Marchisio's coming out party and his creativity is the perfect compliment to Sissoko's muscle.
P. Nedved: 6.0- The fans in Turin have been wondering when Nedved playing every minute of every game this season would catch up to him, and this might have been the signal to manager Claudio Ranieri that the 36-year-old Czech might need a rest. Picked up a knock halfway through the first and had to make way for youngster Paolo De Ceglie.
A. Del Piero: 7.0 - The Juve captain opened the scoring tonight from the penalty spot and he almost bagged a brace, only to be denied by the woodwark. His trademark free kicks never made an appearance but he was still the usual force.
Amauri: 8.0 - Milan have to be regretting missing out on his signature this summer. Both of his goals tonight were fantastic, showing his best qualities. Took advantage of poor marking on the first, heading home a great De Ceglie cross and then muscled through the center of Milan's defense to claim his brace and became the first Juve player to get to double figures in goals.
P. De Ceglie: 8.0: - Replaced Nedved 30 minutes in and changed the game without a doubt. He was a terror on the left flank and Milan couldn't control him. Had to cross that set up Amauri for the game-winner
C. Zanetti: N/A
V. Iaquinta: N/A
C. Abbiati: 5.0 - Really had no chance on any of the goals that were scored against him. The goals were due to terrible defending by his defense and he will certainly not have kind words to say after their performance tonight.
G. Zambrotta: 4.5 - Being sent off in the 65th minute really summed up a frustrating night for Zambrotta. The former Juve man heard the whistles from the fans every time he touched the ball and really never got into the match. Not the return to Turin that he wanted.
P. Maldini: 5.0 - Really showed his age tonight. Juve's attack was relentless and it seemed as though they were just running rings around him. Improved in the second half but, other than that, it was a night to forget for the Italian legend.
K. Kaladze: 5.5 - Did a fantastic job setting up Milan's first goal first his suspect defending cost Milan. Inconsistent marking cost Milan all night.
M. Jankulovski: 4.5 - Conceded the penalty that Del Piero successfully converted and it went all downhill from there. Almost cost Milan again with a sloppy tackle in the box against Grygera but the ref let it go.
M. Ambrosini: 6.0 - An up-and-down evening for Ambrosini. Should've put away a header just minutes after Del Piero put Juve ahead. His first half woes continued when he failed to mark Chiellini on Juve's second goal. He did claim Milan's second goal in the 56th minute after taking a deflection that sent Manninger the wrong way.
Emerson: 5.0 - Another former Juve player who failed to make any sort of impact on tonight's match. Only lasted 45 minutes when manager Carlo Ancelotti threw on another attacker, Andriy Shevchenko.
A. Pirlo: 5.5 - His return from injury didn't go as expected. Never really seemed to get going and Ancelotti surely would've needed the old Pirlo to make an appearance tonight.
C. Seedorf: 6.0 - His impact was felt early on, but then faded on as the match went on. Like it can be said about most of Milan's midfield, when offense was needed, nothing was really created.
Ronaldinho: 6.0 - Set up Pato perfectly to level the score, but his first game in a Milan uniform against Juventus wasn't anything to write home about.
Pato: 6.5 - Leveled the game at one in the 31st minute, but after that didn't really do anything of note. If Milan want to challenge for the Scudetto this season, he will have to raise his game in the contest's that matter the most.
A. Shevchenko: 6.0 - Trouble Molinaro a few times on the right flank, but didn't create any spark that Milan fans were hoping for. This isn't the same Sheva that left for Chelsea in 2006.
L. Antonini: 5.0 - A confusing sub. When Milan needed goals, a defender was brought on. Didn't really do much of anything.
F. Inzaghi: N/A