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Controversy as Juve snatch Milan draw

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon claws back a goalbound header from  AC Milan midfielder Sulley Ali Muntari.

Story highlights

  • Juventus remain the only unbeaten team in Italy after 1-1 draw at AC Milan on Saturday
  • Champions Milan led 1-0 before having a Sulley Muntari goal controversially disallowed
  • Result left 10-man Juve one point behind leaders Milan with a game in hand

It could prove to be a pivotal moment in the Italian Serie A title race -- Juventus escaped with a 1-1 draw at AC Milan on Saturday after Sulley Muntari's first-half goal was controversially disallowed despite clearly crossing the line.

With champions and league leaders Milan leading 1-0 at the time, Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon desperately clawed back the Ghana midfielder's header from a corner -- and the referee waved play on to the dismay of the home players and their fans.

"That incident that certainly falsified the result. Either the line was drawn wrong and was a bit too big," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri told reporters.

"There is no need to see the replays. It was pretty obvious from all around the stadium."

The visitors also had a goal disallowed in the second half as Alessandro Matri was deemed to be offside in a very marginal decision, but the substitute leveled in the 83rd minute with his 10th goal this season to maintain Juve's unbeaten record after 24 matches.

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Antonio Conte's team were reduced to 10 men five minutes later when Arturo Vidal was sent off for a cynical foul on Mark van Bommel, but held on to stay one point behind Milan with a game in hand.

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The Rossoneri had taken the lead after 14 minutes when Antonio Nocerino fired in a deflected shot against his former club, whose defender Leonardo Bonucci gave the ball away to Robinho with a careless pass.

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January loan signing Muntari thought he had added to midfielder Nocerino's eighth league goal this season, but the linesman did not flag for the goal despite replays showing the ball went well over the Juve line before Buffon intervened.

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Third-placed Udinese and Lazio both trail Juve by eight points, but can cut the deficit on Sunday with victories against Bologna and Fiorentina respectively.

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In Saturday's other match, mid-table Genoa snatched a 2-2 draw against Parma thanks to two late goals from striker Rodrigo Palacio.

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The Argentine striker followed up his saved penalty to pull one back in the 78th minute, then took his tally to 14 for this season deep into time added on.

Parma led in the sixth minute through defender Massimo Gobbi, then striker Sergio Floccari made it 2-0 eight minutes after the break against his former team.

In Spain, Levante moved up into the fourth and last Champions League qualification place after snatching a 2-1 win at European rivals Espanyol in Saturday's late match.

Substitute Ruben Suarez smashed in a freekick off the defensive wall in the 89th minute to seal the points after it had looked like the Barcelona-based hosts had earned a draw thanks to a 75th-minute header from Nigeria striker Kala Uche, who came on as a substitute.

It was Valencia-based Levante's first win in nine La Liga matches.

Malaga had temporaily taken fourth after thrashing bottom club Real Zaragoza 5-1, but ended the day in fifth -- one point above Espanyol.

Racing Santander and Sporting Gijon remained in the bottom three after sharing the points in a 1-1 draw, while Real Betis and Getafe had the same result in a mid-table clash.

Spain's top three teams -- leaders Real Madrid, champions Barcelona and third-placed Valencia -- will play on Sunday.

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