Juventus beats AC Milan 1-0 amid heightened security
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 22, 2015 07:25 AM
Juventus' Patrice Evra, right, jumps for the ball with AC Milan' Alessio Cerci during a Serie A soccer match between Juventus and AC Milan at the Juventus stadium, in Turin, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Massimo Pinca)
DANIELLA MATAR, Associated Press
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus continued to climb up the Serie A table as it beat AC Milan 1-0 to string together three consecutive Serie A wins for the first time this season.
Paulo Dybala scored the only goal in a sellout at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday, where there was increased security a week after the deadly attacks in Paris that took 130 lives and left hundreds more injured.
Earlier, Mattia Destro came back to haunt his old side as he scored a late penalty to help Bologna draw 2-2 against title-chasing Roma in Serie A.
Roma moved provisionally level on points with table-topping Fiorentina and Inter Milan, while Bologna inched two points clear of the relegation zone.
Juventus leapfrogged Milan, moving a point above the Rossoneri and six below the top three.
Fans and players alike applauded during the French national anthem in Turin and Bologna.
There was heightened security in Turin, which is located little more than an hour's drive from the French border. Madonna was also playing in Turin this weekend and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi was scheduled to be in the city.
As well as extra police, with sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal car nearby, there were also 650 stewards — more than for a derby match. However, neither the stewards nor the police seemed worried, with one policeman telling The Associated Press "it's the ordinary in the non ordinary."
Fans appeared unperturbed too.
"I'm not scared at all," Juventus season ticket holder Luca Marchesi said. "I think it would be excessive if they hit a football match. I mean anything is excessive, but especially sport. I know they attacked the Stade de France but the French Prime Minister was there. Renzi isn't here (at the stadium).
"I really don't think anything will happen. I hope not! And I hope that's not famous last words! But in any case you can't just stay at home. That would be giving in."
Most fans told The Associated Press they weren't worried at all and "if it happens then that's destiny" but it was not going to stop them from following their passion and continuing with normal life.
"We thought for about five seconds about not coming!" Milan supporter Francesco Artioli said. "In seriousness, my friend called me on Thursday and we talked about it a bit but then decided to come.
"There are so many checks so I don't think anything will happen. They would try somewhere with less checks, to catch people by surprise. I would be more worried about going to the supermarket. Let me put it this way, my sister is here too and my mum is not worried about us at all."
Nothing was left to chance, however, and even journalists were screened with metal detectors, had to give up plastic bottles and even lighters, rather than walking straight in after showing their accreditation.
There was no incident off the pitch, and little on it in a drab first half.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made his Serie A debut 20 years ago this week, four years before Milan counterpart Gianluigi Donnarumma was born.
Donnarumma has been likened to Buffon and the Milan teen proved he could live up to that comparison with a fantastic flying save to prevent Hernanes's deflected free kick from going into the top corner four minutes from halftime.
Patrice Evra went off injured in the first half while Hernanes did not return after the interval, and both will be doubtful for Juve's Champions League match against Manchester City on Wednesday.
Paul Pogba almost broke the deadlock on the hour mark but Donnarumma parried his long-range effort.
Juventus did take the lead five minutes later when Dybala chested down Alex Sandro's cross from the left and smashed it in on the half volley from close range.
There were three penalties in the early match, on a waterlogged pitch in Bologna.
Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko both scored from the spot for Roma in the second half to leave the capital side seemingly heading for all three points before Destro also converted three minutes from full time after a Vasilis Torosidis foul on Emanuele Giaccherini.
Destro — who spent two and a half seasons at Roma — was booked for taking his shirt off as he celebrated wildly.
Adam Masina had given Bologna the lead in the 14th minute, firing in from close range after Roma failed to clear a corner.