MILAN, Italy (AFP) — Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury-time penalty grabbed Juventus a 1-1 draw at AC Milan in its Italian Cup semifinal first leg on Thursday as his incredible scoring run continued.
The 35-year-old has now scored 12 goals in his last eight games in all competitions after the Portuguese ultimately got the better of old rival Zlatan Ibrahimovic despite being largely anonymous for much of the match.
Milan paid for Theo Hernandez’s 71st-minute red card as they failed to close out a game they had dominated for long periods and led through Ante Rebic.
Juve will now be favored to finish the job in the second leg at the Allianz Stadium next month with a final against either Inter Milan or Napoli up for grabs.
The host started strongly with Ibrahimovic heading over the crossbar inside the first minute.
He continued to be a threat to his former club early on, but could only direct an ambitious backheel flick beyond the far post, before picking up a booking, which will see him miss the second leg through suspension.
Juventus finally produced its first shot in anger nine minutes before halftime as Juan Cuadrado saw his low strike well saved by Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Milan started the second half as they did the first, on the front foot, but Rebic was denied an opening goal by Gianluigi Buffon.
Samu Castillejo also called Buffon into action seven minutes after the break with the 42-year-old goalkeeper able to make a comfortable save.
Stefano Pioli’s side finally made the breakthrough in the 61st minute, though as Castillejo’s clipped cross was volleyed home at the back post by Rebic.