Another matchday passes and Juventus continue to fall behind Italy’s best. This time, it was the turn of Igor Tudor’s Hellas Verona to add to Massimiliano Allegri’s misery.
The Bianconeri’s nine-game unbeaten run, one snapped only last Wednesday, already feels like a distant memory and Allegri said in the aftermath of the Verona defeat that Juventus must “accept the reality” of being a mid-table team.
That’s exactly what they are. After 11 games, Juventus sit ninth in Serie A and are already 16 points adrift of the league leaders. Those at the top won again at the weekend, with Milan’s victory over AS Roma the standout result.
Here’s a round-up of all the action from Matchday 11 in Serie A.
Exhibition at the Olimpico
Sure, a 2-1 away victory may not scream ‘thriller’ as such, but Sunday night’s clash at the Stadio Olimpico was an exhibition of calcio.
An intriguing tactical battle between Stefano Pioli and Jose Mourinho was won by the former, as both bosses persistently tinkered with their respective sides throughout the contest in a bid to create an advantage or gain some momentum.
AC Milan once again prevailed on the big night, as they handed Mourinho his first defeat at the Olimpico as Roma boss. Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring with a well-directed driven free-kick before Franck Kessie doubled the Rossoneri’s advantage after the break from the penalty spot.
Life was made more difficult for Pioli’s men as Theo Hernandez was dismissed midway through the second period, but Roma, despite their relentless pressure, weren’t able to halve the deficit until the 93rd minute. Stefan El Shaarawy’s strike proved a mere consolation as a dogged Milan held on.
De Roon strikes late
Maurizio Sarri came within seconds of claiming a rare away victory after his Lazio side impressed in Bergamo.
Facing up against an Atalanta outfit still without several key names in defence, Pedro continued his fine form as he opened the scoring. The similarly purring Duvan Zapata levelled things up just before the break but Lazio retook the lead with 15 minutes remaining. There was little Juan Musso could do to deny Ciro Immobile from rounding off a swift Biancocelesti transition.
As you’d expect, La Dea came roaring back but after Luis Muriel and Ruslan Malinovskiy had gone close, it appeared that they’d succumb to yet another home defeat. That was before an unlikely saviour manifested. Following a rare venture into the Lazio box, Marten De Roon’s instinctive finish at the death salvaged a point for Atalanta.
Inter, Fiorentina & Napoli roll
Joaquin Correa was the hero for Inter Milan at Sunday lunchtime as his brace helped the Nerazzurri to a 2-0 defeat over Luca Gotti’s plucky Udinese. Simone Inzaghi’s men have responded to their defeat at Lazio and deflating Derby d’Italia draw by winning back-to-back Serie A games to keep them in touching distance of the two leaders.
One of whom, Napoli, enjoyed yet another victory on Matchday 11. Although, their slender margin of victory over the lowly Salernitana was a bit of surprise. The visitors were utterly dominant, though, and Piotr Zielinski made the all-important breakthrough on the hour.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s sending off did make things a touch nervy late on, mind.
Dusan Vlahovic’s stocks continued to climb as the towering Serb bagged all three in Fiorentina’s 3-0 victory over Spezia. Vlahovic scored his customary penalty and rounded off a pair of flowing team moves to register his second Serie A hat-trick. The in-demand forward now has eight league goals this season and currently sits second in the scoring charts.
Best of the rest in Serie A
Roberto D’Aversa’s woes with Sampdoria continued as they were thumped 3-0 by a cohesive Torino on Saturday. Dennis Praet, Wilfried Singo and Andrea Belotti were on the scoresheet for Ivan Juric’s side as Adrien Silva was sent off for Samp.
On Sunday, Genoa and Venezia played out a thrilling stalemate, while Sassuolo followed up their historic victory against Juventus by falling to a 2-1 defeat at home to an unpredictable Empoli. The visitors scored twice late on to stun the Neroverdi, who had taken the lead through a Lorenzo Tonelli own goal.
Matchday 11 concluded on Monday night with Bologna claiming a home win over bottom-of-the-table Cagliari. Marko Arnautovic was the star of the show for the hosts as he scored Bologna’s late second having already played a major role in the opener. Martin Caceres saw red late on for the visitors, who have lost their last three in Serie A.