Piatek scores again but Milan draws 1-1 against Udinese

<p>
              AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso leaves the pitch at the end of the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Udinese, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            </p>

MILAN (AP) — Racist chants aimed at teenager Moise Kean marred Juventus‘ 2-0 win at Cagliari on Tuesday in Serie A.

The chants directed at Kean, after the 19-year-old scored in the 85th minute, were so bad that Cagliari captain Luca Ceppitelli rushed in to protect the youngster and ask the fans to stop. Instead he appeared to almost be hit on the head by a bottle thrown from the stands.

An announcement was made over the stadium speaker instructing the fans to stop or the match would be suspended.

“I won’t justify what happened, as usual there were idiots and there were normal people,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “We need to find them and kick them out of the stadium … there are ways to do that, if they want to they can do it.”

Kean had celebrated in front of the Cagliari fans, standing in front of them with his arms outstretched, having been insulted by them for most of the match after being booked for simulation in the 20th minute.

“Kean knows himself too that he could have done something else,” Juventus teammate Leonardo Bonucci said. “There were racist boos after Kean’s celebration and (Blaise) Matuidi got angry but I think the blame is 50 and 50. Kean made a mistake and the fans made a mistake.

“Saying that, we know that we have to be an example and we’ll look forwards, because we all have to grow, us players too, also in these things.”

Bonucci was one of the first to pull Kean away, while Matuidi was visibly furious and posted on facebook immediately after the match.

“Today I experienced racism during the match,” the Juventus midfielder wrote. “Weak people try to intimidate with hate. I am not a hater and can only be sorry for those who set bad examples. Football is a way to spread equality, passion and inspiration and this is what I am here for. Peace.”

Matuidi also posted a photo of Kean’s celebration on twitter with the caption in Italian: “White and black,” referencing the Juventus colors, and the hashtag “NoToRacism.”

Kean’s goal, from a cross by Rodrigo Bentancur, was the Italy forward’s fourth goal in as many matches for club and country.

Juventus had taken the lead in the 23rd when Bonucci rose highest in the penalty area to head in a corner.

Juventus continued its march toward a record-extending eighth successive Serie A title as it moved 18 points clear of second-place Napoli, which visits Empoli on Wednesday.

Juventus, which visits Ajax in the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinals next week, was without a number of players through injury, including Cristiano Ronaldo.

HOPES DENTED

Krzysztof Piatek also grabbed another goal for AC Milan but his team had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Udinese, denting its hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Piatek, who joined from Genoa in January, netted his 20th goal of the season shortly before halftime but Kevin Lasagna leveled in the second half. Only Fabio Quagliarella, with 21 goals for Sampdoria, has scored more in Serie A than the Milan forward.

Milan remained fourth in Serie A but is only four points above Lazio and Atalanta, which both play later in the week.

The top four from Serie A qualify for the Champions League.

Udinese moved four points above the relegation zone.

Milan’s recent good run had been halted by defeats against city rival Inter Milan and Sampdoria.

Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso was forced into two changes in the first half as goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Lucas Paqueta went off with injuries. They will both be doubtful for Saturday’s match against Serie A leader Juventus.

However, the home side took the lead a minute before halftime when Patrick Cutrone controlled a long ball over the top and crossed for Piatek. His volley was saved by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso but the Poland international headed in the rebound.

Milan pressed for a second after the break but Udinese leveled in the 65th following a swift counterattack as Seko Fofana rolled the ball across the box for Lasagna to fire into the roof of the net.