MILAN: Manuel Locatelli secured a 1-0 win for Juventus at AC Milan in Serie A with a second-half strike, after the hosts were reduced to 10 men when defender Malick Thiaw received a direct red card.

A relatively slow-paced match took a surprising turn five minutes before the break when Thiaw received his marching orders for a last-man foul on Moise Kean.

With the numerical advantage, Juve took charge and Locatelli scored in the 63rd minute with a deflected long-range shot off Rade Krunic, catching Milan keeper Antonio Mirante off guard.

Juve are now third in the table with 20 points, with Milan second on 21, one point behind leaders Inter Milan after the ninth round.

Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri said his team could have handled the numerical advantage better.

“Once we were against 10 men, we did not start the second half well. In the final minutes, we lacked patience and kept allowing Milan counter-attacks,” he told DAZN.

“If we are just content with the victory, then we will get nowhere. We need to build on this and improve where we are getting these things wrong.”

Milan needed to win to reclaim the Serie A summit after Inter’s 3-0 victory against Torino on Saturday. However, they were without several key players, including their first-choice keeper, Mike Maignan, and defender Theo Hernandez, both of whom were suspended for the match.

The first opportunity went to Milan and Olivier Giroud, but he was denied by a reaction save from Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny after firing a low shot towards the post from a short distance.

Shortly after Thiaw’s red card, Kean had an opportunity to give Juve the lead with a tap-in at the post, but he pushed it wide.

Thiaw’s red card was the first such incident during the first half of a Serie A match between Juve and Milan in more than 25 years, dating back to Milan midfielder Zvonimir Boban.

Despite letting in the goal, Mirante showed his class in the final moments of the match, first denying Dusan Vlahovic and then making a remarkable double save during stoppage time.

Allegri was visibly frustrated towards the end of the match, appearing unhappy with his players. The 56-year-old removed his jacket and tie and stormed off the pitch, which resulted in him receiving a yellow card.

“It is just about the way you pass it around. Playing against 10 men, you have to use the pitch like an airport and not let them get anywhere near the ball; you do not allow them to counter like that,” Allegri said.