AC Milan welcome Juventus to San Siro on Saturday as Serie A’s two most successful clubs prepare to write the latest chapter in their storied rivalry.
Juve are three points behind leaders Napoli in their chase for a seventh straight Scudetto, while Milan, despite a spending spree in the off-season following a Chinese takeover, are struggling for consistency under Vincenzo Montella.
The Rossoneri were the last side before Juve to lift the Serie A crown, but the seven-time European champions have failed to scale those heady heights in the intervening years.
Nine points adrift of the top four, a return to the Champions League already looks a faint prospect but perhaps a win over the Old Lady in front of a partisan crowd can kick-start their season.
Here, we take a look at some memorable meetings between two behemoths of the Italian game.
April 1997 – AC Milan 1-6 Juventus, Serie A
Milan had won four of the five previous Scudetti, but it was Juve’s turn to celebrate in 1997 while their foes were left languishing in mid-table. The gulf between the sides that season was ruthlessly demonstrated by the Bianconeri in this encounter as they edged closer to the title. Vladimir Jugovic scored either side of Zinedine Zidane’s penalty to give the visitors a commanding lead, which turned into a humiliation thanks to further strikes from Christian Vieri and Nicola Amoruso. Milan did score the goal of the game through Marco Simone – a fine volley from a corner – but the last word went to Vieri and Juve, who went on to pip Parma to top spot.
December 2001 – AC Milan 1-1 Juventus, Serie A
Andriy Shevchenko (more of him later) lit up this clash with arguably his most stunning goal in a Rossoneri shirt. After receiving the ball from a flick-on, Shevchenko beat two challenges – the second of which forced him out wide. With minimal support, there looked to be little on for the Ukraine international but that mattered not as he looked up and, from the right-hand corner of the box, arrowed a shot over Gianluigi Buffon into the top-left corner. Alessandro Del Piero ensured a share of the spoils for Juve, but the abiding memory was Shevchenko’s landmark strike.
May 2003 – Juventus 0-0 AC Milan (2-3 pens), Champions League final
This match was memorable for entirely different reasons – a dour, turgid affair, with extra-time and a subsequent penalty shoot-out seemingly inevitable from an early stage. Shevchenko had a goal controversially ruled out for offside while the two sides hit the woodwork through Antonio Conte and Andrea Pirlo. With the clock ticking down, both teams seemed content to allow spot-kicks to decide their fate. Locked at 1-1 after three efforts each, Dida saved from Paolo Montero before Alessandro Nesta and Shevchenko kept their cool to seal Milan’s sixth European Cup triumph.
May 2005 – AC Milan 0-1 Juventus, Serie A
A crucial win for Juve in their quest for the Scudetto, sealed thanks largely to Del Piero’s piece of genius. After his first cross was blocked, the Bianconeri icon reacted brilliantly to produce an overhead kick into the box, where David Trezeguet caught the Milan defence napping, getting between Jaap Stam and Paolo Maldini to nod past Dida for the only goal. The victory saw the Old Lady move three points clear of their rivals in the race for the title, which they would eventually go on to win – though they were later stripped of it following an investigation into match fixing. Milan, meanwhile, were perhaps distracted by a looming Champions League final with Liverpool in Istanbul…
February 2012 – AC Milan 1-1 Juventus, Serie A
While two of the previous entries were notable for spectacular efforts, this clash has become notorious for a goal that never was. Milan led their rivals by a point entering the final third of the season and were 1-0 up through Antonio Nocerino when the controversial moment arrived. Sulley Muntari’s header clearly crossed the line before being clawed out by Buffon and the officials waved away Milan’s protests. To rub salt in the wounds, Alessandro Matri netted a late equaliser, with Arturo Vidal sent off in the 89th minute to further add to the drama. Juve went on to claim the first of their six successive Scudetti, while Milan – then managed by Massimiliano Allegri – have been trailing in their wake ever since.