Arkadiusz Milik was on the end of an Adrien Rabiot knock-down to give Juventus a slender victory over Lecce, leapfrogging them into third place.
This was a surprise showdown for third place, currently held by the Salentini who were along with Inter the only unbeaten side still in Serie A. That’s because Juve lost 4-2 to Sassuolo at the weekend after a pair of Wojciech Szczesny howlers and Federico Gatti own goal. Paul Pogba was suspended for failing a doping test, with Alex Sandro and Mattia De Sciglio injured, while Moise Kean was left out. Lameck Banda was on the treatment table for the visitors.
Federico Chiesa and Arek Milik both tested Wladimiro Falcone from tricky angles, then the Italian sprung the offside trap on Danilo’s through ball for a strike that flashed across the face of goal to skim the far post.
Marin Pongracic nodded off target from a free kick, but Juventus finally broke through when a corner was not cleared properly, Weston McKennie stood up the cross for Adrien Rabiot’s header to the back post, where Milik came sliding in from a yard.
Rabiot flashed a cross-shot across the face of goal, while Chiesa twisted and turned to see his pull-back from the by-line crucially intercepted.
It was far from a thrilling performance and they were jeered off the pitch at half-time, but Juve got the result they needed and ended Lecce’s unbeaten streak.
Lecce were stunned in stoppages when Mohamed Kaba burst down the by-line wrestling with Chiesa and lost his balance. It was not a penalty, but the referee very harshly considered it to be a dive and showed him his second yellow card.
Juventus 1-0 Lecce
Milik 57 (J)
Sent off: Kaba 93 (L)
(Assist: Adrien Rabiot)