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They are two of the games great executioners. Their preferred methods of delivering the coup de grace could hardly be more different, but they share the same efficient outcome. Back in 1998 it was Fabio Capello’s Milan who were on the receiving end of a cold-blooded calcio killing.

If you want a masterclass in the respective abilities of Alessandro Del Piero and Filippo Inzaghi you need look no further. His Juve shirt billowing in the breeze, a fresh-faced Pinturicchio delivered two delicious dead ball strikes. While Super Pippo - like crafty Jerry mouse sneaking off with the cheese - plundered a pair of goals before the offside trap could snap shut.

By week 27 of the 1997/98 season Marcello Lippi’s men were locked in a three-way Scudetto tussle with Inter and Lazio. Nothing less than three points would do against a Rossoneri outfit struggling badly in mid-table. Few could have suspected, however, just how emphatic the outcome would be.

It was a hotchpotch Milan side which took to the Delle Alpi pitch that day. The remnants of the old guard stood side by side with young hopefuls and some never-would-amount-to-much professionals. The collective will of the Bianconeri would prove too much for them to stand.

Lippi’s Juve were a tough nut for anyone to crack. Defenders like Paolo Montero looked about as warm and welcoming as Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western. And if you got past him there was Angelo Peruzzi - the Orangutan - ready to swing into action to stop any shots with his chunky frame.

Not that they were without their problems on the eve of the match. Ciro Ferrara and Daniel Fonseca were ruled out with injury while present-day boss Antonio Conte was suspended. Zinedine Zidane was a doubt until the last minute and eventually ended up sitting on the sidelines.

With such a talent missing out, the Bianconeri opted to rack up the endeavour levels yet further with Alessio Tacchinardi in midfield alongside other footsoldiers like Angelo Di Livio and Edgar Davids. They produced a growling, grizzly display which had Milan cowering for cover.

Capello responded with a patchwork side that still had a spine of great names. Sebastiano Rossi in goal, Marcel Desailly and Paolo Maldini in defence, Roberto Donadoni and Zvoni Boban in midfield and George Weah up front were used to better things. Their supporting cast was the stuff of nightmares.

Patrick Kluivert would never produce the goals for Milan he did elsewhere. Christian Zeige and Ibrahim Ba proved poor Stranieri signings. And Daniele Daino and Giovanni Cardone might be the weakest full-back pair the club has put out in the last 20 years.

The disastrous results did not take long to come. Within 12 minutes Rossi had felled an onrushing Davids in the penalty box to concede a spot kick. ADP kept his nerve to slot the ball home with great aplomb, sending the ball to the goalkeeper’s left while he dived right.

That might have opened the floodgates there and then but referee Stefano Braschi returned the favour to the Rossoneri about 20 minutes later. He judged Gianluca Pessotto to have upended Weah and pointed to the spot once again. It was Zorro Boban’s turn to keep his cool and his angled shot beat Peruzzi despite the shotstopper diving the right way. There was a lot of pent-up rage in the Croatian’s goal celebrations.

The joy for the travelling Milanese support would prove to be short-lived, however, as Del Piero completed a double before half-time. He won a free-kick himself just outside the penalty area a little to the left of goal. And he made it seem like child’s play to curl the ball into the far corner away from the despairing gloves of Rossi. It was his 19th of the season.

“You can’t give him so many chances from free kicks,” said former Milan goalie Giovanni Galli in the commentary box. “He might miss once, he might even miss twice - but the third time he will punish you.”

If things looked bad for Milan at that point, they only got worse five minutes later. Boban took a kick at Davids and was given his marching orders just before the half-time whistle blew. The boys in red and black were falling to pieces and they still had 45 minutes to suffer. Capello tried some running repairs at the interval, bringing on Giampiero Maini and Steinar Nilson for Kluivert and Daino but it did little to stop the Juve forwards flooding towards goal.

The situation put the match in the perfect position for an Inzaghi show. With the Rossoneri under more and more pressure, the goal grabber par excellence was in his element. He happily pounced on a couple of defensive distractions.

On the hour mark he was put clear by Didier Deschamps and expertly rounded Rossi to roll the ball into the net. Then, with only seven minutes to play, he perfectly controlled a beautiful through ball from Fabio Pecchia to thump home his second. It was game, set and match to Juve and a decisive step towards the Scudetto.

“Irresistible Juve!” proclaimed La Gazzetta dello Sport. With 33 Serie A goals between them, Del Piero and Inzaghi were proving too hot for most defences to handle. Their manager was, understandably, delighted.

“Our forwards are playing incredibly well,” he admitted. “Del Piero and Inzaghi are confirming their characteristics. One, Inzaghi, is deadly at sticking it in the net, taking the slightest chance, always ready to pounce and always first to the ball.

“The other, Del Piero, has a complete array of qualities which you could sum up as - technique, class, cunning, smartness, speed of execution and a repertoire of extraordinary trajectories.

“The truth is, their teammates are setting up Del Piero and Inzaghi perfectly. They have understood they have to play to each one’s strengths.”

It proved to be a winning formula as the Milan victory was the first of a run of five wins which would guarantee the title. The last of the sequence was the infamous clash with Inter when a penalty was not given for a foul on Ronaldo for the Nerazzurri. That would forever cloud the title in some people’s eyes - but not those of a Bianconero persuasion. They were too busy savouring yet another Scudetto. And one in which their two goalscoring assassins had played a deadly part.

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