Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan has alleged he was subject to racial abuse during Sunday's 1-1 draw away to Juventus and has called for change and "comprehensive action".

The 26-year-old French goalkeeper stood up to the abuse in a social media post but demanded action, with AFP reporting that Juventus have launched an investigation into the alleged incident.

Video on social media showed fans directing a torrent of abuse at Maignan as he warmed up prior to Sunday's game at Turin's Allianz Stadium.

The incident is the second in Serie A this season after grounds were re-opened to fans, with alleged racist chants from Lazio supporters towards Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko earlier this month.

Maignan posted on Twitter saying it was time for change and calling for comprehensive action.

"On Sunday evening at Allianz Stadium, Juventus supporters targeted me with racial slurs and cries," Maignan wrote on Twitter. "What do you want me to say? That racism is wrong and that these supporters are stupid? It’s not about that.

"I am neither the first nor the last player to have this happen. As long as these events are treated as ‘isolated incidents’ and no comprehensive action is taken, history is bound to repeat itself over and over and over again.

"What are we doing to combat racism in football stadiums? Do you really believe it’s effective? I am in a club that strives to lead the way by opposing all forms of discrimination. But we need to be more numerous and to be united in this battle for society which goes beyond football.

"In the proceedings, do the people who decide know what it feels like to hear insults and cries relegating us to the rank of animals? Do they know what it does for our families, for our loved ones who see it and who do not understand that it could still happen in 2021?

"I am not a ‘victim’ of racism. I am Mike, standing, black and proud. As long as we can give our voice to change things, we will."

Italian media reports have claimed that the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) are also considering their own investigation into the incident in Turin.

Simone Inzaghi insisted Inter can still improve after their 3-1 comeback victory over Fiorentina maintained their unbeaten start to the Serie A season.

The defending champions completed a remarkable second-half turnaround after going behind to Riccardo Sottil's opener to extend their top-flight undefeated run against Tuesday's opponents to nine.

It was also their 1,500th win in the competition as the Nerazzurri equalled a club-record 24-match scoring streak in league games, previously achieved way back in 1949-50.

Despite expectations already being on the previous term's champions, Inzaghi is enjoying the winning environment Inter are developing, while calling for improvements.

"I arrived in a winning group, I had also won something," Inzaghi told DAZN post-match.

"We are working and growing: we had a great start to the season, but we can still grow.

"In the first half-hour we suffered from their pace, but then we proved to be in a good position, we scored three goals and it could have been more. But it's an important victory, not an easy one, for a great team."

Inter lost Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea and Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain in the transfer window, while the absence of Christian Eriksen was also set to be a concern.

However, Inzaghi's side have made an emphatic start to the new campaign to sit a point ahead of Napoli, albeit having played a game more, and the head coach is delighted with his team's efforts so far.

"After what happened in the summer we have to continue," he added.

"I am fortunate to have a club that has lost three key players, such as [Romelu] Lukaku, [Achraf] Hakimi and [Christian] Eriksen, but has not broken down, we have brought important and functional players.

"We were convinced of our work, more than our strength. I chose the players together with the club, which was very good. We have to work day-by-day: five starts have passed, it's very early to make predictions.

"I started with great ambitions and desire, but we know that securing the club was the main thing. We did it, very strong and functional players were taken, we want to stay at the top."

Inter completed a remarkable second-half turnaround with two goals in three minutes to defeat Fiorentina 3-1 in Tuesday's Serie A clash.

Riccardo Sottil deservedly opened the scoring after wonderful play down the left flank by Nicolas Gonzalez to edge Fiorentina into a deserved lead at the Artemio Franchi.

However, Matteo Darmian's driven strike restored parity after the interval and equalled a club-record 24-match scoring run in league games, only previously achieved way back in 1949-50.

Edin Dzeko and Ivan Perisic then netted either side of Gonzalez's needless two yellow cards in the space of a minute as defending champions Inter consolidated their position at the summit.

Samir Handanovic produced two early stops in a frantic opening 10 minutes, first to deny Dusan Vlahovic's poked effort towards the top-right corner and then Cristiano Biraghi's low drive.

Joseph Alfred Duncan blasted a speculative long-range attempt, which sailed narrowly over, before Gonzalez created the opener by sliding across goal for Sottil to tap-in.

Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kick almost found the visitors an equaliser against the run of play but Bartlomiej Dragowski parried away before Inter thought they had levelled through a Marco Benassi own goal, only to be denied by an offside in the build-up.

After the break, Vlahovic wasted an opportunity to double Fiorentina's lead and was made to pay for blazing over when Darmian arrowed into the bottom-left corner after a smart offload from Nicolo Barella.

Inter inflicted another blow through Dzeko, who climbed above Biraghi to head home from Calhanoglu's outswinging corner, before Lautaro Martinez spurned a glorious chance as he dragged wide from Barella's cutback.

Substitute Alexis Sanchez should have sealed the game, but he could only curl over before Gonzalez received his marching orders for two bookable offences, both for dissent.

Perisic then completed the comeback as he tapped into an empty net after being set up by Roberto Gagliardini's pass across goal.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has demanded his team win at last in Serie A as they bid to avoid their worst five-game start to a season for 66 years.

Allegri takes Juve to Spezia on Wednesday, having snatched just two points from his first four league games in charge, a far cry from what he was looking for on his return to the top job.

Juventus have only once begun a Serie A season without winning any of their opening five fixtures, and that was in the 1955-56 season.

This is the fourth time they have strung together four without a victory at the start of a campaign, and Allegri called on his players to make sure the wait goes on no longer.

"Our technical qualities will have to come out in the long run," Allegri said. "We have to win, and then we will begin to see things differently.

"At this moment, talking about long-term goals makes no sense, the only thing to do is to beat Spezia. We have to take it one step at a time."

Juventus looked like winning game four of their domestic campaign as Alvaro Morata gave them an early lead against Milan on Sunday, but Ante Rebic equalised late on to secure a 1-1 draw.

Consequently, Juve sat third-bottom heading into the midweek games and will face a Spezia side buoyed by a first win of the campaign at the weekend, away at Venezia.

 

Allegri returned to begin a second spell as head coach in the close season, replacing the sacked Andrea Pirlo, but it has been far from smooth sailing so far.

"Compared to the match against Milan there will be some changes," Allegri told a news conference, ahead of the trip to Spezia. "We're playing every three days and some players will have played six to seven matches in a row between the national team and Juventus. Spezia won in Venice by creating a lot of chances, they are a carefree team that play without excessive worries. Playing in their stadium is not easy."

Allegri said his team are "still making too many technical mistakes" and pointed to them failing to win a string of loose balls midway through the Milan game.

The "feverish" Giorgio Chiellini misses out for Juve, but Allegri confirmed Matthijs de Ligt and Federico Chiesa, substitutes against Milan, would start.

He wants to see more from Chiesa, who shone for Italy at Euro 2020 but has had a shaky start for his club this term.

In the second year of his loan from Fiorentina, Chiesa has played just 100 minutes and started only one domestic league game so far in 2021-22, creating two chances for others and having three shots, each of which went on target.

He awaits a first goal or assist in Serie A this season, having managed nine in each column last term.

"He must understand how to manage himself for 90 minutes, when to accelerate and when to brake," Allegri said. "And we all have to grow. So do I.

"You don't need to hammer the players. You need to understand what to do to grow. We are working together to reach important goals, both at the level of team results and personal growth."

Bukayo Saka only turned 20 earlier this month but he is a player on the rise.

The Arsenal forward was part of England's side that reached the Euro 2020 final in July.

Saka has put in plenty of eye-catching displays for the Gunners too.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS AND ATLETICO KEEN ON SAKA

Calciomercato claims that Juventus and Atletico Madrid  are both monitoring Arsenal's England international forward Bukayo Saka .

The Gunners are believed to want £43million (€50m) to sell the 20-year-old, who signed a four-year deal in July last year.

Saka has become a key player at Arsenal, making 32 Premier League appearances last term.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton's Colombia international James Rodriguez has reached a verbal agreement to join Qatari club Al Rayyan according to Argentine journalist Cesar Luis Merlo. Rodriguez has not played yet this season and almost joined Porto in the off-season.

- Inter are homing in on a move to sign Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek reports Calciomercato. The 24-year-old Dutchman has had a tough time at Old Trafford since joining United for £35m from Ajax in 2020.

- Calciomercato also claims that Jose Mourinho wants to lure Manchester United right-back Diogo Dalot to Roma . The Argentine spent last season on loan with Milan.

- Andreas Christensen is set to sign a new deal with Chelsea worth £120,000-per-week claims The Sun.

Could a Premier League switch be on the cards for Kingsley Coman?

Coman is reportedly disgruntled at Bayern Munich amid talks over a new contract.

Liverpool and Chelsea are believed to be ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – COMAN WANTED IN ENGLAND

Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea are monitoring Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman, according to The Mirror.

Coman is contracted to Bundesliga champions Bayern until 2023 but the Frenchman has been previously linked with Manchester United.

The 25-year-old is tipped to leave Bayern as clubs reportedly queue up.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are dreaming of signing RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Haaland has been linked with United, Bayern, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. Pogba is also reportedly wanted by PSG, Madrid and Juve.

Paulo Dybala is close to signing a new contract at Serie A giants Juventus, reports TyC Sports.

- Tuttomercatoweb claims Roma are trying to prise Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.

- Jaime Ojeda claims Bayern are among the teams interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi.

Stefano Pioli believes Milan's 1-1 draw with Juventus shows how far his side have come as they no longer require a "miracle" to win a game they are second best in.

Milan battled back to claim a point in Sunday's Serie A clash at Allianz Stadium after Ante Rebic headed in 14 minutes from time to cancel out Alvaro Morata's early opener.

Without a number of key players through injury, including strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud, the Rossoneri struggled in the first half and could have been further behind.

But they took more control of the game in the second half, when seeing 62.7 per cent of the ball, and almost snatched the win late on through a well-saved Pierre Kalulu strike.

The draw ended Milan's perfect start to the league season, but they are level on points with champions and early pacesetters Inter after four matches.

Pioli, who guided the Rossoneri to second place last season – their best finish in nine years – is pleased with the way his side recovered to avoid defeat in Turin.

"We came here to win the game," he told DAZN. "We found a better opponent than us in the first 20 minutes especially, but we did much better in the second half.

"It was definitely a positive performance from us on the whole. Maybe last year to win these games we had to hope for a miracle; now we are aware that we can win these games.

"We tried until the end to claim the victory."

 

Rebic led the line in the absence of Giroud and Ibrahimovic and responded with his second goal in as many games, having also netted in the 3-2 Champions League loss to Liverpool in midweek.

The Croatian forward is the first Milan player to score against Juve in three successive Serie A games in the three-points-per-win era (since 1994-95) and Pioli heaped praise on Rebic.

"Ante has immense intensity and quality to his game," Pioli said. "He can play in more or less any role and he helped us today. He is a very important player to break games open.

"I've always seen my players ready to overcome any limitations. They have quality and work throughout the week with a sense of belonging. 

"The opposition might be better on the day, but we will always give it our best shot going for the victory."

Rebic's header from a Sandro Tonali corner ensured Milan avoided defeat at Juventus in a match they trailed for the first time since February 1996.

While Milan are well positioned at the top end of the table, opponents Juventus are winless after their first four games for just the fourth time in their history.

Despite boasting an eight-point gap on Massimiliano Allegri's men, who are inside the relegation zone, Pioli insisted it is too soon to look at the league standings.

"We are only four games in," he said at his post-match news conference. "There is time for every team to improve their position. But of course were are satisfied with what we've done."

Massimiliano Allegri accepted his share of the blame for Juventus' 1-1 draw with Milan, but also felt his players lacked focus as they slipped into the Serie A relegation zone.

Alvaro Morata put Juve ahead in Sunday's clash at the Allianz Arena inside four minutes with his side's earliest goal against Milan in Serie A since February 1996.

Juve were on top for the rest of the first half, but they dropped off after the interval and were punished by Ante Rebic's header 14 minutes from time.

The Bianconeri are winless in their opening four games to a league season for just the fourth time in their history and find themselves 18th in the 20-team division.

Allegri took off Morata, Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala in a 13-minute period prior to Milan's leveller, with Moise Kean, Federico Chiesa and Dejan Kulusevski brought on.

And the experienced coach, who has one win from five matches in all competitions since returning to Turin, is annoyed that his side could not see out a much-needed victory.

"Tonight I'm left angry," he told DAZN. "The team played well in the first half and only conceded one long-range shot, but in the end we could have even lost the match.

"That's despite being in control until the equaliser. Unfortunately we lost attention and determination. We have to improve. 

"The thing you have to quickly learn is that in these games, the final moment you have to be tough. You have to remain concentrated, determined and focused.

"We know we have to play better, and that is part of the growth of some players. But I also made a mistake with the changes today – I should have brought defensive players on.

"The likes of Dybala and Morata perhaps could have made themselves more available when on the field, but the last 15 minutes is what makes me angry."

 

Allegri's side have already dropped seven points from winning positions this season, compared to 10 such points in the whole of 2020-21 under Andrea Pirlo.

Juve have now conceded in 18 successive Serie A games and could easily have shipped a second goal late on as Pierre Kalulu forced Wojciech Szczesny into a big save.

"Luckily the referee whistled when he did because otherwise we may have lost," Allegri said. "Nobody remembers the good performances because we lost two points in the end."

The draw – just the second in the last 25 league meetings between the sides – leaves Juventus eight points adrift of early pacesetters Inter and Milan in the top two.

Asked if his side are already out of the title race, six-time Scudetto-winning boss Allegri said: "It was important to take a positive result against Milan today.

"If they'd have won they would have pushed us further back. The draw leaves their advantage unchanged.

"The problem is that winning a game is one thing; winning a league is another. It means not conceding goals due to errors like we saw today.

"There were positives, mainly in the first half, but we should have suffered more and been ready to defend tooth and nail. You have to take the win even if it's ugly."

Juventus' winless start to the Serie A season stretched to a fourth game after they were pegged back in a 1-1 draw with Milan at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

Alvaro Morata had opened the scoring inside four minutes with Juve's quickest goal against Milan in Serie A since February 1996, but the Bianconeri could not hold on for a maiden victory.

After inviting pressure onto themselves, the hosts were eventually undone 14 minutes from time when Sandro Tonali whipped a corner into the box and Ante Rebic guided it in off the far post.

Juve have now gone four games without a win to start a Serie A season for just the fourth time in their history and are inside the relegation zone, while Milan move level on points with leaders Inter.

Massimiliano Allegri's side had given their season lift-off with a 3-0 win over Malmo in the Champions League in midweek and two of their goalscorers from that game combined early on against Milan.

Paulo Dybala played Morata through with a smart flick after Juve had defended a corner and the forward rounded off the counter by dinking the ball over Mike Maignan.

Maignan produced a fine save to keep out Morata's next shot and Adrien Rabiot had an even better chance to add a second but could not outpace Fikayo Tomori when played in.

Rabiot could not quite connect with a Leonardo Bonucci pass over the top early in the second period as the half-chances continued to fall Juve's way.

Juve had not kept a clean sheet in the league since March, however, and that poor run continued as Rebic climbed highest to meet Tonali's corner and head in the equaliser from six yards.

Both sides pushed for a winner in a frantic conclusion to the match, with substitute Pierre Kalulu going closest to snatching victory for Milan with a powerful drive that Wojciech Szczesny did well to palm over the bar.

 

Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all pursued Erling Haaland in the recent transfer window.

The 21-year-old Norway forward opted to stay with Borussia Dortmund.

But the race will heat up again at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA INTERESTED IN STERLING

Manchester United still want to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and will make a move next European summer, reports the Express.

United made a major transfer splash when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo last month but remain in the Haaland race.

The Red Devils are looking to end their trophy drought and added Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho along with Ronaldo for this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are leading the way in the chase to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, according to The Sun. The 18-year-old is being pursued by Chelsea and Manchester City too.

- The Sun reports that United are planning a clear-out at the end of this season, including Donny van de Beek , Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial to free up funds.

- Calciomercato reports that Juventus have identified Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic as a transfer target in the January window on loan.

- Ligue 1 club Lens could make a bid for Liverpool's Belgium international forward Divock Origi , claims Fichajes.

- Crystal Palace are interested in signing US international forward Daryl Dike from Orlando City, reports The Sun. Dike is set to command a £18m fee.

- Transfer expert Ekrem Konur claims that Flamengo have tabled an offer to sign Brazilian veteran Dani Alves.

Simone Inzaghi expressed his relief after Inter crushed Bologna 6-1 on Saturday to move top of Serie A. 

The Nerazzurri have now won 18 home successive league games but they did suffer late heartbreak at San Siro in the Champions League in midweek, going down to a late goal against Real Madrid. 

Inzaghi admitted that result left him concerned ahead of the visit of Bologna, though any such worries quickly subsided when Lautaro Martinez opened the scoring in the sixth minute. 

Substitute Edin Dzeko scored a second-half double as the reigning champions cut loose to make it three wins in a row against their opponents, a feat they had not managed when facing Bologna since Jose Mourinho was in charge.

"I was afraid of this match after the night against Real Madrid but the guys approached the match in the best way," Inzaghi told DAZN after the resounding triumph. 

"It was important, we knew the importance of the match. We came from an excellent performance with Madrid, in which only the result was missing. We asked the boys to put the anger that would be needed to win. 

"Today at the first opportunity we were good at unlocking it [the Bologna defence], it immediately went downhill even though we were facing a good team. Then it happens that you shoot 18 times against Real Madrid and you don't score a goal." 

Marcelo Brozovic was central to the team's performance against Bologna, completing the second-most passes in the game (61), two less than Nicolo Barella. 

And Inzaghi claimed there is a reason why the Croatia midfielder remains an integral part of Inter's side whoever is in charge, as well as praising forward Martinez. 

"Brozovic is irreplaceable, there will be a reason if he has played with all the coaches who have passed from Inter," the former Lazio head coach said. 

"I only knew him [Lautaro Martinez] as an opponent, I knew he was a very important player and when I was lucky enough to coach him I understood the importance. I'm sorry he couldn't score another goal."

Edin Dzeko scored twice as impressive Inter crushed Bologna 6-1 to move top of Serie A on Saturday. 

Lautaro Martinez's fourth goal in four top-flight games put Simone Inzaghi's side ahead, making it 23 consecutive league games that Inter have scored in, only managing a longer run way back in 1950. 

Milan Skriniar and Nicolo Barella inflicted further damage in the first half, with Matias Vecino and Dzeko's double completing the rout after the interval. 

Arthur Theate headed a late consolation goal for the visitors but Inter made it four league games unbeaten to sit at the summit, albeit their nearest rivals in the table are still to play. 

Martinez had gone five Serie A games without a goal against Bologna but ended that barren run when he ghosted in to poke home Denzel Dumfries' low delivery. 

Samir Handanovic kept his side's slender lead intact with a magnificent save to deny Roberto Soriano's drive, after which Nicola Sansone volleyed wide. 

Instead it was Inter who fired in a second, Skriniar towering above goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski to nod in from inside the six-yard area following Federico Dimarco's inviting corner. 

Just four minutes later and Lorenzo De Silvestri's failed clearance fortuitously fell to Barella, who finished emphatically from close range. 

Martinez almost scored his second early in the second half but was denied by the crossbar, while he also wildly lashed over moments later. 

Vecino did manage to grab a fourth goal for his team with a simple tap-in at the back post after Dimarco's deflected cross had evaded the incoming Dumfries. 

Substitute Dzeko joined in on the act just after the hour-mark, prodding into the corner after Martinez's intelligent dummy before smashing his second into the roof of the net from a tight angle. 

Bologna did finally beat Handanovic when Theate nodded in at a corner, but that did not spoil what was a memorable victory for the hosts at San Siro. 

Massimiliano Allegri has reminded Matthijs de Ligt's critics that even Giorgio Chiellini had his struggles as a young player and is convinced the Dutchman has a long future ahead of him at Juventus despite Mino Raiola encouraging speculation.

De Ligt joined Juve on the back of Ajax's unlikely journey to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals, in which he played a vital role as he helped build moves from the back with his passing abilities but also proving a dominant physical presence despite his tender age.

His 0.45 headed shots on target every 90 minutes was the most of all defenders in the competition to play at least 270 minutes that season, while only four of them bettered his 4.2 aerial wins per game.

While De Ligt has not made quite the same use of his physicality at Juve, those strengths could lend themselves to a future in the Premier League, where he is thought to be admired by numerous clubs, with his agent Raiola suggesting on Saturday that the Dutchman may not see out the rest of his contract, which runs to 2024, at Juve.

Raiola's comments came after seeing De Ligt dropped for last week's 2-1 defeat at Napoli and playing in only one of the Netherlands' three recent World Cup qualifiers, with the centre-back yet to truly convince since signing two years ago.

 

The spotlight is very much on Juve's defence ahead of Sunday's clash with Milan, as they have conceded in each of their previous 17 league games, the third-longest run in club history and the worst currently across Europe's top five leagues.

But Allegri appears to retain belief in De Ligt, backing him for a long future at Juve.

"I've already said it before; De Ligt is 22 years old, he's very good, but when you arrive at Juve with an enthusiasm that overwhelms you, it's normal to lose some clarity," the Juventus head coach told reporters when asked about Raiola's comments.

"When he was signed, someone described him as a future Ballon d'Or winner, but it requires tranquillity. He was a 20-year-old boy who arrived at Juventus, a shirt that weighs heavy.

"Chiellini at 20 was like De Ligt, or maybe worse. Then at 28 he became a serious player.

"There is a path for everyone, players and coaches. De Ligt is still a young, good player, who can stay at Juve for many years, regardless of whether he plays one more or one less game."

Massimiliano Allegri claims Sunday's Serie A clash between Juventus and Milan is more important for the Rossoneri despite him overseeing a miserable start to 2021-22.

Allegri is three league matches into his second spell in Turin but there has been no sign of a honeymoon period, with Juve yet to win any of those matches.

They relieved a hint of pressure with a 3-0 Champions League win on Tuesday, though the good will from that victory will only last so long given it was against Malmo.

Failure to get off the mark on Sunday will leave Juve winless across their first four Serie A matches in a single season for only the fourth time, the most recent occasion being in 1961-62.

By contrast, Milan – who this season are in the Champions League for the first time since 2013-14 – have won all three of their Serie A games in 2021-22, with Stefano Pioli's men second only to Roma on goal difference.

Despite their differing starts to the season, Allegri insists Sunday's encounter is a bigger deal for Milan than Juve, and he also wanted to stress there is no reason to panic for their title hopes if Pioli's side do leave with a positive result.

"Tomorrow's game is more important for them than for us," Allegri told reporters, though he would not openly elaborate on why he felt this way. "That's what you have to say, otherwise I will help you too much."

On the title race, he added: "I believe there is no team that can crush the championship. Maybe I'm wrong.

"You can lose points, but you can also quickly recover them. We must not think that if we lose then we will be 11 points behind, we have to work thinking about making up for the ground that we lost at the beginning.

"I have always said that, the championships are won against the smaller teams. We don't know what tomorrow's result will be because the devil invented football: you can play well and still maybe you lose or draw.

 

"It's not that before Malmo we had become poor drunks and now we are phenomenal again. We need balance. You have to work and have the ambition to win.

"I have to be a coach, because the team goes out on the pitch, but I also have to hammer on the psychological aspect because Juve is a team that has to play not to win games, but to win championships.

"Everyone wins matches, all teams, but the championship will only be won by one. In the end, the team that was the best will win the championship."

Allegri's return after two years away understandably conjured up memories of Juventus' remarkable streak of nine successive Scudetti, with the 54-year-old in charge for five of them.

But he feels comparisons between the two distinctly different teams and eras are unhelpful.

"I have found a Juventus with different players," he continued. "We must not think of comparing Juve today with what it was in the past.

"This team has its own identity as well as individual characteristics of the players. You need to become a team by improving many things, in terms of personality, technique and patience in playing. But it's just a different Juve."

In a potential blow for Juve, Allegri confirmed Federico Chiesa is a doubt for Sunday's game.

The Italy international has been involved in six goals against Milan in Serie A, a haul he has bettered against no other team.

He also scored his only brace with Juventus in the Italian top-flight against the Rossoneri in January.

For so long, Juventus dominated Serie A and Milan. 

Juve won nine successive Scudetti before being dethroned by Inter last season. Gianluigi Buffon was involved in eight of them. 

But it's a period of change in Turin, where Wojciech Szczesny is well and truly under the microscope after an error-riddled start to the 2021-22 season. 

As Juve struggle defensively, form could hardly be more contrasting heading into Sunday's blockbuster showdown in the northwest of Italy. 

Milan have continued to be a solid defensive outfit, winning their opening three league fixtures, and the resurgent Rossoneri could strike an early dagger to the heart of the Old Lady.

 

Woeful Woj as Allegri tries to avoid unwanted record 

"I think Juventus will regret not signing Donnarumma for a long time." 

That was Mino Raiola – the agent of Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – speaking to Rai Sport on Friday. Based on what has transpired so far, he is right. 

The star Italy goalkeeper had been tipped to swap Milan for Juve in the off-season before moving to the French capital on a free transfer. Juve must be shaking their heads after watching Szczesny's torrid start to the season under Massimiliano Allegri. 

Allegri has had his hands full since returning to Allianz Stadium after two seasons away, replacing Andrea Pirlo. The title-winning boss is trying to navigate the exit of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. If the departure of the almost-irreplaceable Ronaldo was not hard enough, Szczesny has made life even more difficult. 

The former Arsenal keeper has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, his two howlers against Udinese and Napoli the catalyst for Juve's winless start to the campaign. 

The Bianconeri could go without a victory in their first four Serie A seasonal matches for the fourth time in their history, after 1961-62, 1955-56 and 1942-43. In those campaigns, Juve did not go on to win the title. They have never lost three of the first four Serie A games in a season. 

They have conceded five goals in three matches and are yet to keep a clean sheet domestically, shipping goals in each of their past 17 league games – only twice have Juve conceded in more consecutive Serie A fixtures (19 in 2010 and 21 in 1955). That 17-game run is the worst of its kind across the top-five European leagues since March. 

 

Szczesny's numbers do not make for pretty reading.

Since 2018-19, the Poland international has conceded 90 goals in 90 Serie A appearances with expected goals against (xGA) of 99.88, suggesting he should have let in nearly 10 goals more. For some comparison, Buffon's xGA-goals conceded difference – goals he prevented, in other words –was 2.62 from 17 matches, so Szczesny holds his own there.

The numbers do not get much better, though. A maligned figure from his days at Arsenal, Szczesny has shipped 99 goals in 107 Serie A games for Juve. Since 1994-95, his average of 0.93 goals conceded is worse than ex-Juve goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar (0.70 from 46 goals conceded in 66 games), Buffon (0.76 from 373 conceded in 489 matches), Michelangelo Rampulla (0.85 from 33 conceded in 39 fixtures) and Angelo Peruzzi (0.85 from 120 conceded in 141 appearances).

Szczesny – with a save percentage of 72 and an average of 2.49 stops per 90 minutes – has committed three errors leading to goals during his time with Juve in Serie A. Since 2004-05, only Buffon managed more (13), albeit in 391 games.

This season, Szczesny's expected goals against is 5.86 through three matches. Milan counterpart Mike Maignan's figure stands at 2.33.

When Milan refused to meet Donnarumma's demands, they wasted little time turning to Maignan, who had just led Lille to a shock Ligue 1 title after upstaging PSG.

Maignan has been a steady presence in Milan with a joint-league-high two clean sheets, while the France international tops the list in save percentage (90), well ahead of Szczesny (66.67).

 

Kjaer spearheading Milan back to summit

While Juve duo Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt lick their wounds, Simon Kjaer and Fikayo Tomori continue to flex their muscles at San Siro.

In the era of three points per win, Milan have won each of their first four Serie A seasonal games only twice: in 1995-96 under Fabio Capello and last season with Stefano Pioli at the helm. The Rossoneri won the title in 1996, while they finished second to Inter in 2020-21.

High-flying Milan are on the cusp of matching that feat thanks to the help of Kjaer and Tomori and perhaps even more than that as the resurgent powerhouse dream of a first Scudetto since 2011.

Kjaer and Tomori have formed an unlikely but rock-solid partnership at the heart of Milan's defence. Pioli's side have only conceded one goal to start the Serie A season. Since last May, Milan have the most clean sheets in the big five European leagues (seven in eight matches).

The pair's form has left captain Alessio Romagnoli sidelined and considering his future – not something you would have anticipated when Kjaer arrived following a brief spell at Atalanta, initially on loan in 2020.

Kjaer has come into his own in Milan, establishing himself as a key member on and off the pitch under Pioli, tallying 178 clearances in the league since January 2020 – a number only behind Torino's Bremer (219), Omar Colley of Sampdoria (214), Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic (205), ex-Viola centre-back German Pezzella (191) and Lazio's Francesco Acerbi (190) among defenders.

 

The 32-year-old Denmark international has also provided security in the air, with his 93 headed clearances the fourth most among defenders since January 2020, after Milenkovic (122), Bremer (119) and Colley (103).

"It happens a lot with defenders that they kind of find their own style later on. That has happened with Simon," former Denmark international Jesper Olsen told Stats Perform.

"You're playing at a top team and expected to do really well. We know your last game played doesn't count anymore, it's the next one. He just seems very settled."

Tomori, who completed a permanent switch from Champions League holders Chelsea in July after impressing on loan, scored the last time these two teams met – a 3-0 victory in Turin in May.

Milan have won two of their most recent three Serie A matches against Juventus, as many as in their previous 17 (D1 L14).

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