Disaster struck for USMNT fans, as Weston McKennie’s latest injury cast a shadow on his World Cup hopes while Sergiño Dest saw a half of unremarkable action AC Milan’s loss.
Lecce 0 – 1 Juventus
Weston McKennie only lasted a half for Juventus before exiting with a thigh injury, as they squeaked by Lecce by a single goal on Saturday.
The so-far disastrous season by the Bianconeri was nearly compounded by another disappointing result against a team that should normally be no competition, however they were spared embarrassment – albeit not without cost – thanks to a late goal by Nicolo Fagioli.
The American star as deployed in the central midfield by Juve head coach Massimiliano Allegri, and had pedestrian outing for the first 45 before leaving the game with a thigh problem.
He had 32 touches over 45 minutes, completed 88% of his 26 passting attempts, committed a pair of fouls, won half of his six duels, and was hardly involved in the team’s final product with no shots or chances created.
Juan Cuadrado was wasteful with a chance in the 27th minute, having a clear shot from the right side of the area a the far post, but sending his shot well wide of the mark.
Adrien Rabiot’s header in the 43rd minute forced Wladimiro Falcone into a lunging save, enduring that the game would enter its halfway point scoreless.
McKennie left the field of play after the half in favor of Fagioli with what was later revealed to be a quad injury, and the substitute earned the visitors the nervy three points in the 73rd minute with a no-look, looping shot from the upper left corner of the 18-yard box to the far upper corner.
Juve, who occupy seventh in the Serie A standings, will be without McKennie on Wednesday as they try to secure a spot in the Europa League knockout round when PSG visit in Champions League action.
Torino 2 – 1 AC Milan
Sergiño Dest played a half of action for AC Milan on Sunday evening, as a surprising loss Torino saw them lose ground on the top of the Serie A table.
Dest began the game on the bench, and watched as Torino built a two-goal lead before the break thanks to a 35th-minute header by Koffi Djidji and a crafty low shot from on-loan attacker Aleksey Miranchuk two minutes later.
Dest entered at the half for right back Pierre Kalulu as a part of a triple-switch by head coach Stefano Pioli. The visitors did manage to pull one back in the 67th minute with Junior Messias taking advantage of a poor decision by Torino keeper Vanja-Milinkovic-Savid to come off his line.
Three minutes later, the Rossoneri were given a golden opportunity after Ivan Juric was shown his second yellow, to leave Torino forced to battle the final 20 minutes with only ten on the field.
Nevertheless, the score stood until the end, seeing Milan fall to third place in the Serie A standings.
Venezia 0 – 2 Ascoli Calcio
A potential Yank-off on Saturday ended up being a duo effort, as Tanner Tessmann and Andrija Novakovich were the only Americans amongst a grand total of six on the combined rosters to take the field for Ascoli’s surprising 2-0 road win over Venezia.
Gianluca Busio and Patrick Leal were not in uniform for the hosts and Jack De Vries was an unused substitute, while Anthony Fontana was also forced to pick splinters out of his backside while watching the 90 minutes from the Ascoli bench.
Tessmann started his first game since late-August and was proficient in the central midfield before departing just before the hour, managing one shot and setting up one further chance.
Novakovich also left at the hour as a part of a double-switch, and was largely neutralized at the top of the attack, with only 11 touches and one attempted shot.
Venezia’s Maximilian Ullmann had an early goal called back for an illegal touch with his should in the build-up. Federico Dionisi gave the visitors an unexpected lead after 67 minutes with a low shot from the right to the lower left corner.
Venezia keeper Jesse Joronen earned a straight red after 80 minutes for a hard tackle just outside of the area, and the visitors sealed the win six minutes later thanks to Michele Collocolo’s lucky distance shot that hit the inside edge of the right upright and rolled over the line for the final 2-0 score.
Venezia continue their tough return to Serie B, where they are now in 18th place – amongst the relegation spots – while Ascoli rise to seventh with their third straight win.