Serie A: Derby della Madonnina finishes all square as Juve move six points clear.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-18-09-54 by LIAM RICHNER

A late stoppage time equaliser from Ivan Perisic saved new Inter boss Stefano Pioli from a first defeat in charge of the Nerazzurri against fierce rivals AC Milan. 

Suso bagged a brace for the Rossoneri as they looked to climb up to second place, but an Antonio Candreva screamer and Perisic’s flick at the back post shared the spoils in the first Derby della Madonnina of the season.

Inter started on the front foot, with Perisic scuffing his shot straight at Gianluigi Donnarumma and Geoffrey Kondogbia nodding a corner over the bar.

Candreva drilled wide as Pioli’s side continued to threaten the Milan goal, until the Rossoneri took the lead two minutes before half-time against the run of play.

Suso managed to create some space in the Inter box before curling a shot passed Samir Handanovic and into the corner of the net.

Candreva equalised not long after the restart with a scorcher from 25 yards that left Donnarumma with no chance. His right-footed shot cannoned into the top right corner.

With the game end-to-end, it was Milan who would restore their lead just five minutes later as Suso found the net for the second time. The Spaniard edged past Joao Miranda before cooly slotting home under Handanovic for his fourth goal of the season.

Inter bombarded the Milan goal for the last 20 minutes but struggled to create genuine chances until the 92nd minute. An Ever Banega corner was knocked on by Kondogbia for Perisic to volley in at the back post.

That result meant that Roma would remain in second place, despite falling to a 2-1 defeat at Atalanta, who continue to be the league’s surprise package.

Atalanta have now managed to beat Napoli, Inter and Roma at the Atleti Azzurri, although they were second-best in the first half against Luciano Spalletti’s side.

Edin Dzeko saw an early header skim past the far post as the Giallorossi made a quick start to the match.

Mohamed Salah was denied by La Dea goalkeeper Etrit Berisha in a one-on-one situation, but eventually the visitors took the lead.

Salah’s shot was handled by ex-Roma defender Rafael Toloi in the box and Argentine forward Diego Perotti scored the penalty.

Salah wasted another clear scoring opportunity and the Giallorossi were to pay for their missed chances.

Atalanta came out a different side in the second half, but equalised bizarrely.

Wojciech Szczesny palmed a Franck Kessie cross onto Mattia Caldara’s face, and the ball bounced and spun into the net.

La Dea thought they had a penalty appeals when a clumsy Dzeko tangled with Roberto Gagliardini, however the referee waved away the protests.

Remo Freuler thought he’d won it for the home side on 76 minutes, but his strike thumped the near post and rebounded into Szczesny’s grateful hands.

Roma failed to hold on for the point though, as Leandro Paredes tripped the unstoppable Papu Gomez for a penalty, which was scored by impressive teenager Kessie.

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Franck Kessie is one of many teenage sensations in Serie A. (Image Credit: 90min.com)

Atalanta now extend their recent good run against Spalletti’s men to four games without defeat.

With teams dropping points below them, leaders Juventus had the chance to extend the gap at the top to six points with victory over out of form Pescara.

The Champions made light work of their assignment, dismantling their opposition with relative ease.

Gonzalo Higuain missed a hatful of chances for Maximiliano Allegri’s side, who rested key players ahead of their crucial Champions League match with Sevilla this evening.

Sami Khedira netted the game’s opener with an instinctive finish into the bottom left corner.

Mario Mandzukic sprung the offside trap to double the Champions’ lead before Hernanes ended the game as a contest with a bending effort from 20 yards.

This was Juventus’ 23rd consecutive Serie A home victory, just two shy of the all-time record set by the Turin giants from August 2013 to December 2014.

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Moise Kean was born in 2000, making him the youngest Serie A player in history to date. (Image Credit: juvefc.com)

It was a night to remember for 16-year-old Moise Kean, the first player born in this Millennium to feature in Serie A. He came on for the league leaders in the last 10 minutes of play.

OTHER RESULTS

Chievo 1-0 Cagliari

Udinese 1-2 Napoli

Sampdoria 3-2 Sassuolo

Crotone 0-2 Torino

Empoli 0-4 Fiorentina

Bologna 3-1 Palermo

Lazio 3-1 Genoa

LEAGUE TABLE

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Serie A preview: Possibly the biggest Derby della Madonnina of recent times.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-18-09-54 by LIAM RICHNER

In every country, every league, there are fierce and hostile derby days. Whether it’s El Clasico, Der Klassiker or the north London derby, there is a toxic feeling in the air. This weekend will see another one of those days, as AC and Inter meet in the first Milan derby of the season. 

The Rossoneri are favourites ahead of what is being built up as the biggest Derby della Madonnina for years.

It’s been a while since the red and black side of Milan have found themselves above their opponents in the league.

It truly has been a season to forget so far for Inter.

The Nerazzurri are ninth, and have already replaced their manager. Stefano Pioli was the man chosen to replace Frank de Boer. He needs to restore confidence and belief in a dressing room that seems to be lacking leadership.

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Can Stefano Pioli lift the spirits at Inter? (Image Credit: tuttosport.com)

The former Lazio coach knows a good result against their fierce rivals could spark some much needed reaction from the Inter fans. One positive is that he has a good record against Milan coach Vincenzo Montella: five wins and a draw in nine meetings.

Despite the torrid start to the campaign that Inter have endured, one positive is the form of club captain Mauro Icardi.

The Argentine forward has been involved in 81% of the Nerazzurri’s goals this season, netting ten himself.

Milan in contrast are third, five points off leaders Juventus.

Montella’s young team are learning after each game, and getting stronger for it. The likes of Manuel Locatelli and Gianluigi Donnarumma have taken to the Italian top flight by storm- both are still teenagers.

There are question marks about whether Colombian frontman Carlos Bacca will start up top. He hasn’t found the net in Serie A since October 2nd, and only returned from International duty on Thursday.

Milan have only won two of the last eleven derby matches, but if they play like they did against Juventus a few weeks back, the city of Milan will be red and black come Sunday night.

The other big match this weekend comes from the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, where red-hot Atalanta host title chasing Roma.

Gian Piero Gasperini has received a lot of praise for his work at Atalanta. The team are fifth in the league, having beaten Napoli and Inter already at the Atleti Azzurri this campaign.

Andrea Conti has played an important role in La Dea’s surprise run of form, but the defender is suspended for the visit of Luciano Spalletti’s Roma.

Diego Perotti, Edin Dzeko and Mohammed Salah have become the Messi/Neymar/Suarez of Italian football, with a scary balance of speed, power and skill to leave any defence in knots.

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Serie A’s deadly trio. (Image Credit: albawaba.com)

The Giallorossi are the leagues top scorers but they haven’t beaten Atalanta since 2014, and could struggle to break down a resilient defence containing Mattia Caldara, Andrea Masiello and Ervin Zukanovic.

Other Fixtures

Chievo v Cagliari

Juventus v Pescara

Udinese v Napoli

Sampdoria v Sassuolo

Lazio v Genoa

Crotone v Torino

Bologna v Palermo

Empoli v Fiorentina

 

 

 

 

 

Serie A Preview: Stuttering Napoli host in-form Lazio in key fixture.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-18-09-54 by LIAM RICHNER

It’s been a difficult last few weeks for Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli, having only won two of their last seven matches in all competitions.

The ACL injury picked up by main striker Arkadiusz Milik last month has taken its toll on the Partenopei, with goals becoming hard to come by.

A false nine has been put in place for recent matches, with either Dries Mertens or Napoli’s top goalscorer Jose Callejon playing in a more central position. However, this hasn’t solved their forward crisis.

Manolo Gabbiadini returns from his domestic two-match ban this weekend, but his performance in the Champions League in midweek was less than convincing.

The side’s dip in form has also coincided with Marek Hamsik’s poor performances.

Slovakia’s captain has not been as influential in the centre of the park as at the start of the campaign.

Napoli are now fifth in the table, and seven points behind leaders Juventus. But a win against fourth-placed Lazio could propel the team back into the Champions League places.

Although that could be easier said than done.

Lazio are in red-hot form, winning four of their last six matches. They are unbeaten in that time, and have Ciro Immobile finding the net for fun.

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Ciro Immobile hasn’t stopped scoring. (image credit: skysports.com)

We haven’t seen the 26-year old in such tantalising form since his Torino days, and many will punt on him adding to his nine goals already this season at the Stadio San Paolo.

The only downside for the visitors is the absence of centre back Stefan de Vrij. The Dutchman has been a rock in the heart of Simone Inzaghi’s defence this campaign.

Despite their good run of form, Lazio are yet to win a match against a top half side this season, and were spanked 5-0 in the corresponding fixture last season so the stats are not in their favour.

One things for certain, expect plenty of goals. The last six Serie A meetings between these sides has provided 26 of them!

Elsewhere, there is a potential thriller on the cards as Torino face Cagliari.

Andrea Belotti, Marco Benassi and Daniele Baselli have all made a huge claim to be named in the Italy squad following their impressive performances for Toro recently.

Adem Ljajic has also hit a purple patch. The 25-year old Serbian winger is creating and scoring vital goals for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side.

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It’s been all smiles for Adem Ljajic recently. (Image credit: liansports.com)

Cagliari have surprised many this season for their attacking mentality, and could continue to challenge for a possible European place towards the end of the season.

They are currently in ninth place, but two wins would see them rise as high as third is results went their way.

When you look at the head-to-head records, the Rossoblu haven’t beaten Torino in three years, and with Toro not winning any of their last three games, a draw could be the most likely result here.

Other Fixtures:

Chievo v Juventus

Fiorentina v Sampdoria

Genoa v Udinese

Inter v Crotone

Palermo v Milan

Pescara v Empoli

Roma v Bologna

Sassuolo v Atalanta

 

 

 

 

 

Serie A: Frank de Boer sacked following Inter defeat at Sampdoria.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-18-09-54 by LIAM RICHNER

Frank de Boer’s nightmare tenure at Inter Milan has come to abrupt end after a fourth Serie A defeat in five matches made his position untenable. 

The Dutchman leaves with the club sat 12th in the table with just four victories in the league this season. The club are now looking for their ninth manager since Mourinho left in the summer of 2010.

Following Atalanta and Cagliari’s shock victories over Inter, Sampdoria were the latest side to beat the Nerazzurri, ending their horrific run against the Italian giants.

Fabio Quagliarella’s 44th minute strike was enough for secure the three points for the Blucerchiati, who defeated their opponents for just the second time in the last seven years.

Inter enjoyed more of the possession but failed to create any clear-cut chances. Mauro Icardi often found himself isolated up top for de Boer’s side, with huge gaps forming across the back four.

Had Samir Handanovic not produced world class saves to deny Edgar Barreto and Ante Budimir, the scoreline could have looked even more bleak.

Marcelo Brozovic had the away side’s best chance when he shimmied past three defenders into the penalty area, only to smash his shot against the crossbar from 10 yards.

Following de Boer’s departure, Inter’s youth team coach Stefano Vecchi takes interim control of the senior side, and will be in charge for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Southampton.

Elsewhere, Lazio overcame an injury-hit Sassuolo side 2-1 at the Stadio Olympico.

The Neroverdi were without six first team players for their trip to the capital, including the influential Domenico Berardi and centre half Paolo Cannavaro.

The deadlock was broken in controversial circumstances in the 50th minute when  Senad Lulic scored from an offside position.

Five minutes later it was 2-0 to Lazio, as  a Felipe Anderson corner was flicked on towards the back post for Ciro Immobile’s to volley home.

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Ciro Immobile is loving life at Lazio. (image credit: eurosport.com)

Grégoire Defrel scored to get Sassuolo back into the game with half an hour to play but Simone Inzaghi’s team held on for the 3 points to keep pace with the Serie A frontrunners.

The leaders remain to be Juventus, who overcame rivals Napoli 2-1 in Turin.

Gonzalo Higuain haunted his former side as he scored the winner for the Old Lady.

It was the first time the Argentine striker faced his former club since his €90 million pound move to the Italian champions.

The 28-year old smashed a shot passed Napoli keeper Pepe Reina with twenty minutes to go and didn’t celebrate against his past employers.

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Gonzalo Higuain didn’t celebrate his goal against past club Napoli. (Image Credit: Yahoo Sports)

Finally, it’s worth a mention that basement club Crotone won their first ever Serie A match at home to Chievo 2-0 on Saturday.

Other Results

Atalanta 3-0 Genoa

Bologna 0-1 Fiorentina

Cagliari 1-2 Palermo

Empoli 0-0 Roma

Milan 1-0 Pescara

Udinese 2-2 Torino

League Table

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Serie A: Crotone denied first win by late Fiorentina equaliser.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

Heavy rain in Florence further dampened the gloomy start to Crotone’s season as they went 10 without a win after their 1-1 draw with Fiorentina. 

After a half-hour delay, the Pitagorici were in dreamland on 24 minutes when Diego Falcinelli capitalised on Romanian goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu’s error. 

Josip Ilicic’s free kick in the second half for the hosts caused panic in the Crotone defence, but the strugglers somehow managed to clear the danger.

Fiorentina forward Khouma Babacar forced a good save by Alex Cordaz but from the resulting corner the Viola finally broke through.

Davide Astori was the home sides unlikely hero, as he poked home from three yards.

But the result continues the inconsistent form that Fiorentina have showed all season. Paulo Sousa’s men had 24 attempts compared to Crotone’s four. Astori had the most shots on goal for the hosts, a worrying stat considering the 29-year old is a centre half.

The Viola also enjoyed 63% of the possession, so the draw was not a good result for a team aiming to finish in the Champions League places.

Crotone remain winless in the league and sit bottom of the pile with just two points.

Atalanta’s rise up the league continued as they won at Pescara 1-0. However, the match was suspended temporarily after an earthquake.

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Players wait as play is halted in Pescara. (Image Credit: sportingnews.com)

Mattia Caldara headed in Remo Freuler’s corner on 60 minutes to make it five league matches unbeaten. 

Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are now sixth the league, an outstanding achievement considering they were in the relegation zone at the start of the month. 

For Pescara, the poor start continues. Their only win of the campaign was handed to them by the Disciplinary Commission after Sassuolo fielded an irregular player.

They sit just a point clear of the relegation zone and travel to the San Siro to face AC Milan on Sunday.

Milan, who people are now tipping to seriously challenge Juventus following their win over the Champions last weekend, fell to a heavy 3-0 defeat to Genoa.

The Rossoblu took the lead after 11 minutes when Tomas Rincon’s cross was converted by Nikola Ninkovic, who scored on his first Serie A start for the club.

The game remained edgy until a moment of madness from Gabriel Paletta saw the Milan defender see red. The 30-year old hacked down Luca Rigoni down the left side of the pitch.

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Gabriel Paletta reacts to being sent off. (Image Credit: fresnobee.com)

With the extra man, Genoa killed the game off in the last ten minutes. Juraj Kucka scored past his own keeper before Leonardo Pavoletti lashed home for the hosts.

Other fixtures:

Sassuolo 1-3 Roma

Juventus 4-1 Sampdoria

Lazio 4-1 Cagliari

Napoli 2-0 Empoli

Inter Milan 2-1 Torino

Palermo 1-3 Udinese

Chievo 1-1 Bologna

League Table

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Serie A: Milan resurgence continues after Juventus scalp.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

AC Milan are now just two points off the top of Serie A after beating Juventus for the first time since November 2012. 

Teenage sensation Manuel Locatelli’s screamer in the early parts of the second half proved the difference, with Gianluigi Donnarumma providing the fans with a goalkeeping masterclass in front of the legendary Gianluigi Buffon in the opposing goal.

Juventus will feel hard done by, after Miralem Pjanic’s free kick was disallowed in the 36th minute.

The Bosnian saw his set piece evade everyone in the penalty box and fly into the bottom corner only for it to be ruled offside by officials.

Replays show that the man they flagged off, Leonardo Bonucci, was in fact onside when he attempted to play the ball, meaning the goal was valid.

Had that goal stood, we may have seen a different scoreline altogether, with Juventus controlling the game up to that point.

Instead, Locatelli burst into the box and smashed a shot across Buffon into the top left corner. It was a strike not even the Italian stopper could get near.

The Italian champions pushed for an equaliser, throwing on Mario Mandzukic, but neither he or any of the la Vecchia Signora players could beat in-form Donnarumma.

Elsewhere, Cagliari’s good run of form was brought to an abrupt end as lost 5-3 at home to Fiorentina.

The Sardinians were unbeaten at home this season, and took the lead when Davide Di Gennaro headed home inside two minutes.

But all of a sudden the Cagliari defence went to sleep and la Viola punished them immensely.

Nikola Kalinic equalised for the visitors with powerful header, before he provided the assist for Federico Bernardeschi.

The 22-year old then scored again as he volleyed home a scorcher from outside the box t0 give Paulo Sousa’s men a deserved lead.

Kalinic netted his second Serie A hattrick before the hour mark with two well taken goals to make it 1-5.

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Fiorentina players surround Federico Bernardeschi. (Image Credit: lareppublica.it)

Cagliari scored twice more to reduce the deficit to just two goals but they knew their unbeaten home record was over.

Inter Milan continue to struggle in Serie A this season, with Frank de Boer’s side losing once again.

This time it was Atalanta who celebrated an unlikely victory, as they ran out 2-1 winners at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

Napoli had already suffered defeat away at Atalanta a couple of weeks back, and with just one win in seven trips to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, things looked bleak for the Nerazzurri.

Andrea Masiello scored inside 9 minutes to give the home side the lead, before Eder levelled with a goal of the season contender.  The Italian international struck a thunderous free-kick from 35 yards into the top corner.

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Eder fires home a monstrous free kick. (Image Credit: goal.com)

But with two minutes to go, Davide Santon gave away a penalty, which was converted by Mauricio Pinilla.

Other Results

Bologna 1-1 Sassuolo

Crotone 1-2 Napoli

Empoli 0-0 Chievo

Roma 4-1 Palermo

Sampdoria 2-1 Genoa

Torino 2-2 Lazio

Udinese 3-1 Pescara

League Table

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Serie A Preview: Juventus travel to Milan full of optimism.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

Milan host Champions Juventus at the San Siro as the top two in the league clash on Saturday night. 

It’s a return to the Rossoneri for Juve coach Maximiliano Allegri, but the league leaders are missing a long list of first team players through injury.

Mario Mandzukic, Giorgio Chiellini, Kwadwo Asamoah, Daniele Rugani and Marko Pjaca are the players all set to miss out; with just Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain the only fit strikers.

16-year old prodigy Moise Kean could be a shock contender to make an appearance for the Champions.

The centre forward is growing a rather big reputation over in Turin and could be the first player born in the year 2000 to feature in a Serie A fixture.

Carlos Bacca is set to return to the Milan starting lineup after being rested last weekend.

The 30-year old Colombian has been crucial in Milan’s rise up the league in recent weeks, and after a little refresh, could be set to add to his six goals so far this season.

However, the record books are not in the Rossoneri’s favour. The Milan outfit haven’t beaten Juventus in their last 9 meetings in all competitions.

If one team was in need of goals, then it’s Empoli.

The Tuscans have found the net just twice in their opening eight matches- a record only matched in the top five leagues in Europe by Hamburg.

With both of those goals coming against Crotone, it means at confidence in the final third has been eradicated.

The summer signing of veteran striker Alberto Gilardino has done nothing to rectify Empoli’s attacking problems.

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Alberto Gilardino joined in the summer but has found life difficult at Empoli. (Image Credit: tuttosport.com)

Their opponents this weekend are Chievo, who themselves have struggled to fire on all cylinders in front of goal.

But Rolando Maran’s men have already shocked Inter this season, and have a good enough side to win this one also.

Cagliari are one of the league’s form sides, having won four of their last five.

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Cagliari players celebrate last weekend’s win over Inter. (Image Credit: miamiherald.com)

The newly promoted outfit beat Inter at the San Siro last weekend and will be full of confidence ahead of their match against Fiorentina.

La Viola have only two victories to their name so far in Serie A and need to find some sort of consistency if they are to fight for one of the ever precious Champions League spots.

Cagliari have won three of the past five meetings between these teams, so for Paulo Sousa the frustration might go on a little longer.

OTHER FIXTURES

Atalanta v Inter Milan

Bologna v Sassuolo

Crotone v Napoli

Roma v Palermo

Sampdoria v Genoa

Torino v Lazio

Udinese v Pescara

 

Serie A: Roma finally win on the road as Giallorossi rise to second.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

Napoli lost at home for the first time since May 2015 as they were shocked 3-1 by a lethal AS Roma. 

Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko became the leagues top scorer after he netted a brace to give Luciano Spalletti’s side a two goal cushion.

The Bosnian converted Mohamed Salah’s cross after the winger dispossessed Kalidou Koulibaly.

The 30-year-old striker then doubled his and Roma’s lead with a header at the far post for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Koulibaly redeemed himself slightly with a powerful header to half the deficit.

With the home side pushing for an equaliser, the Giallorossi hit the Partenopei on the break, and Salah sealed the points with five minutes to go as he cooly slotted the ball past Pepe Reina into the net.

The result was Roma’s first away win of the season and it also ended Napoli’s 100% record at the Stadio San Paulo.

Maurizio Sarri’s woeful record as a manager against Roma extended to six games as his side dropped to third and fell further behind leaders Juventus.

That is because Massimiliano Allegri’s champions beat Udinese 2-1 at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday evening.

Luigi Delneri’s debut as Udinese manager got off to the perfect start after Jakub Jankto put the visitors ahead after half an hour.

Paulo Dybala equalised when he whipped a 25-yard free kick into the top right corner of the net.

The Argentine striker then scored his second, converting a penalty six minutes into the second half.

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Dybala now has 22 goals for Juventus since joining from Palermo last season. (Image Credit: brunchnews.com)

That’s now three consecutive games that the 22-year old has found the net in in all competitions, but the league leaders still have plenty of room to improve.

The Zebrette remain a point off the relegation zone after the defeat, but there was significant improvement on show, especially in defence.

One of the major talking points from the weekend came at the San Siro, where Mauro Icardi came under fire from the Inter Milan fans.

The Nerazzurri striker scrutinised the ultras in his autobiography, leading to protest from the stands for him to be stripped of the captaincy.

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Mauro Icardi has enjoyed better weeks. (Image Credit: theguardian.com)

To make things worse, Icardi missed a penalty as Inter fell 2-1 to Cagliari, and drop down to 11th in the table.

Joao Mario gave the Nerazzurri the lead when he latched onto the loose ball from five yards.

Some lacklustre defending from Miranda led to the visitors equaliser as Federico Melchiorri converted the gifted chance. 

Samir Handanovic then pushed an innocent cross into his own net to extend Cagliari’s unbeaten Serie A record at Inter to five years.

With pressure growing on Frank De Boer, this comes a unwanted distraction.

The Ultras left a banner outside the Argentine’s house, as well as in the stadium, which read: “You’re just a piece of S***.”

If things continue the way they do, De Boer’s challenge of getting Inter back up the league and challenging Juventus will be undoubtedly impossible.

Other Results

Pescara 1-1 Sampdoria

Fiorentina 0-0 Atalanta

Sassuolo 2-1 Crotone

Lazio 1-1 Bologna

Genoa 0-0 Empoli

Chievo 1-3 Milan

Palermo 1-4 Torino

League Table

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Serie A Preview: It’s 2nd vs 3rd as Napoli host Roma in Naples.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

With Napoli and Roma already playing catch up, neither side can afford to lose this weekend when the two square off at the Stadio San Paulo. 

The Partenopei suffered their first defeat of the season away at Atalanta before the international break, but have an 100% record at home.

In contrast Roma have failed to win a single game on the road, scoring just three goals away from the capital.

 

Despite the form books, Napoli have already been handed a hefty blow, with star striker Arkadiusz Milik injured for the next six months.

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Milik has had surgery but will be sidelined until the back end of the season. (Image Credit: thescore.com)

The 22-year old raptured his ACL and will be more than likely replaced in the side by Manolo Gabbiadini.

Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri could also be without main central defender Raul Albiol, but other than that will have a full squad to choose from as he looks to defeat Roma as a manager for the first time in his career (drawn 2, Lost 3).

Luciano Spalletti’s Giallorossi will be looking to win back to back home games for the first time this campaign, with the travelling side looking for some sort of consistency.

Despite a well-earned and hard fought victory over an ever-improving Inter Milan side last time out, fans are still unsure about the 4-3-3 formation used by Spalletti.

Mohammed Salah and Diego Perotti are already being targeted for not being clinical enough in front of goal, despite Roma being the league’s top scorers.

A fully-fit Kevin Strootman alongside Daniele de Rossi could prove pivotal as they look to stop the in-form Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne.

Roma fans based in the capital city have been barred from attending due to recent violence between the two sets of supporters, so the atmosphere at the stadium could have a huge impact on the outcome.

Elsewhere, Luigi Delneri faces a tough start as Udinese manager away at Champions Juventus.

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Luigi Delneri was in charge of Juventus for the 2010-2011 season. (Image Credit: udinetoday.it)

Delneri replaces Beppe Iachini at the Zebrette, with the team dangerously close to the bottom three.

The retirement of Antonio Di Natale has been a massive factor in Udinese’s struggles to score goals, with the Italian legend not being replaced in the summer.

Their current main striker, Duvan Zapata, could be recalled by parent club Napoli following the injury to Milik, furthering the goalscoring problem even further.

Juventus have won three on the bounce and will welcome the pleasant news that Claudio Marchisio has now returned from a six-month lay off.

The Italian midfielder played in a friendly on Wednesday will hope to be considered by Maximiliano Allegri this weekend.

OTHER FIXTURES

Chievo v Milan

Fiorentina v Atalanta

Genoa v Empoli

Inter v Cagliari

Lazio v Bologna

Palermo v Torino

Pescara v Sampdoria

Sassuolo v Crotone

 

 

 

Serie A: Seven goal thriller at the San Siro as Milan edge past Sassuolo.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.47.27 by LIAM RICHNER

AC Milan fans left the San Siro struggling to breathe after watching their side come back from 3-1 down to sensationally win 4-3 against a spirited Sassuolo on Sunday. 

Vincenzo Montella’s men initially took the lead through Giacomo Bonaventura, before an immediate equaliser from Matteo Politano for the visitors.

The goal left the Milan defence numb, and they were punished for some terrible defending early into the second half when Francesco Acerbi and Lorenzo Pellegrini both found the net to stun the home crowd.

With the home fans on the players backs, the Milan forwards went all ‘Hail Mary’, and the tactic seemingly paid off.

Carlos Bacca’s penalty halved the deficit before a Manuel Locatelli thunderbolt from 20 yards levelled the game up once more.

Gabriel Paletta completed the stunning comeback for Milan with a powerful header, sparking wild celebrations at full time.

The win moves Milan up to sixth place, but level on 13 points with four teams.

One of which is AS Roma, who move up to third after they defeated Inter 2-1 at the Stadio Olympico.

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Edin Dzeko found the net again for Roma in their win over Inter. (Image Credit: goal.com)

That’s now four wins in a row at home for Luciano Spalletti’s side, who have gathered some much needed momentum after a lacklustre start to the campaign.

Edin Dzeko opened the scoring after five minutes for his fifth goal of the season, converting a Bruno Peres cross.

Argentine midfielder Ever Banega rattled the post from long range for Inter in what was an entertaining first half.

The second half started very much like the first and somehow the score remained 1-0 going into the final 20 minutes.

With 18 minutes to go, Banega levelled for the visitors with a low shot past Samir Handanovic.

The Giallorossi won all three points four minutes later, when Kostas Manolas headed in Alessandro Florenzi’s free-kick ensured all three points for the hosts.

Inter go into the international break in ninth after losing for the first time in the league since the Opening day.

An unfortunate mistake from right back Faouzi Ghoulam gifted Atalanta a shock 1-0 win over second placed Napoli, who now drop four points behind leaders Juventus.

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This was a big win for Atalanta and a huge setback for Napoli. (Image Credit: it.eurosport.com)

Ghoulam’s attemped clearance of an Atalanta cross fell straight to the feet of Andrea Petagna and the 21 cooly slotted the ball home after nine minutes.

The french defender almost made amends when he struck a fine free kick towards goal from 30 yards, but the shot was turned over the bar by Etrit Berisha.

Alberto Grassi could have wrapped the points up for the home side in the second half when he broke clear of the defence, but his shot was straight at Pepe Reina.

La Dea held on to their precious lead though, and move up to 12th place following their unlikely victory.

Other Results

Pescara 0-2 Chievo

Udinese 0-3 Lazio

Empoli 0-3 Juventus

Bologna 0-1 Genoa

Sampdoria 1-1 Palermo

Cagliari 2-1 Crotone

Torino 2-1 Fiorentina

League Table

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