Juventus win a seven-goal thriller


Juventus scored three goals in seven second-half minutes to complete an astonishing comeback and beat AS Roma 4-3 on Sunday after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved a late penalty to keep them in front at the Stadio Olimpico.

Tammy Abraham put Jose Mourinho’s side in front and Paulo Dybala made it 1-1 going into the break, but goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini put Roma in charge early in the second half.

Juve fought back as Manuel Locatelli and Dejan Kulusevski scored within two minutes of each other, and Mattia De Sciglio fired home a fourth in the 77th minute.

“We are happy for a very important win, especially for how it came about,” De Sciglio told DAZN.

“We started the second half very badly, but our character showed at a difficult moment. But we need to see that from the start.”

Roma were awarded a penalty after Matthijs de Ligt was shown a second yellow for handball with nine minutes remaining, but Szczesny guessed the right way to save Pellegrini’s penalty in front of a stunned home crowd.

Juventus moved up to 38 points in fifth place, six points ahead of eighth-placed Roma.

“We were in complete control for 70 minutes. The team played really well, controlling the game,” Mourinho told DAZN.

“We wanted to press high up and take control of the game. It was very good for 70 minutes, then there was a psychological collapse.”

Weston McKennie’s Juventus secured a stunning 4-3 win over Roma on Sunday. Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

A frantic start set the tempo for the 90 minutes ahead, as Abraham headed home his fourth goal in four games from a corner.

Dybala curled in an unstoppable strike to draw Juve level, but the visitors were dealt a blow when winger Federico Chiesa limped off.

Roma looked to have the game in the bag when Mkhitaryan’s deflected shot looped over Szczesny and Pellegrini curled an exquisite free-kick into the top corner within eight minutes of the second half starting.

Juventus have struggled for goals this season, mustering just 28 in 20 games ahead of their trip to Rome, but they turned on the style to mount an unlikely comeback in an extraordinary seven-minute period.

Locatelli was left unmarked to head in before Kulusevski fired home a rebound to equalise, although the Swede’s goal was only given following a VAR review after initially being disallowed for offside.

De Sciglio pounced on a careless Chris Smalling header to fire home Juve’s fourth, but their hard work was almost undone when a VAR review showed De Ligt had blocked an Abraham shot with his arm, resulting in a second booking for the Dutchman.

Roma captain Pellegrini was tasked with the spot-kick, but his low shot was saved.

AC Milan close the gap with Inter

AC Milan went top of Serie A with a 3-0 win over Venezia on Sunday, as defender Theo Hernandez struck twice in the second half to help his side clinch their third consecutive league victory.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic tapped in after two minutes, making the Venetians the 80th team the Swede has scored against in Europe’s top five leagues, a record only Cristiano Ronaldo has matched since 2000.

Hernandez blasted home early in the second half, before Venezia defender Michael Svoboda was sent off for blocking a goal-bound shot with his arm, giving Milan’s stand-in captain the chance to dispatch the resulting penalty.

Milan provisionally moved into first place on 48 points, two ahead of Inter Milan, but the champions have two games in hand including a clash with Lazio later on Sunday.

“This must be the year we prove ourselves. We need to show that we are competitive again,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli told Sky Italia.

“We will see if we can make the final step up, to be winners. This was not an easy game. We did well to make it look simple. It was a team victory.”

Venezia’s winless run in the league now stands at seven games, and they sit in 16th place on 17 points, four clear of the relegation zone.

Pioli, marking his 400th game as a Serie A coach, had an 11-man absentee list to contend with due to injuries and players on Africa Cup of Nations duty. But his side immediately took control when Rafael Leao picked out Ibrahimovic for the simplest of finishes.

The lively Portuguese winger bagged his second assist three minutes after the break by sending a pass down the left wing for Hernandez to chase and power home from a tight angle. Any chance of a Venezia fightback crumbled before the hour mark, when Hernandez’s close-range effort struck Svoboda’s arm. The Austrian was given a red card, and Hernandez calmly struck the resulting penalty into the top corner.

Inter beat Lazio

Internazionale defender Alessandro Bastoni scored one goal and set up another in a 2-1 win over Lazio at San Siro on Sunday, as the champions reclaimed first place in Serie A with their eighth consecutive league win.

The Italy international fired home a superb long-range opener after half an hour, but Lazio captain Ciro Immobile soon equalised.

Milan Skriniar headed home the winner in the 67th minute from an inviting Bastoni cross, giving Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi his first victory over the club he led for five-and-a-half years before joining Inter in the off-season.

Inter are top with 49 points, one ahead of AC Milan with a game in hand, while Lazio are eighth with 32 points.

“We have the league winners’ badge on our chest and we want to defend it at all costs,” Bastoni told DAZN.

“In the last two years we have created a winning mentality, we want to continue like this.”

Inter were out for revenge against the only team to have beaten them in Serie A so far this season, and came into the game in formidable form, after winning their last six without conceding.

Lautaro Martinez had an early strike disallowed for offside following a VAR review before Thomas Strakosha produced an excellent save to deny the Argentina striker.

But Inter took the lead in style when a corner was cleared to Bastoni, who guided a curling low shot around a line of Lazio defenders and into the bottom corner from long range.

Some quick thinking from Danilo Cataldi led to Lazio’s equaliser, as the midfielder played a ball over the top that caused confusion in the Inter defence, and Immobile profited.

It was the Italy striker’s 15th league goal of the season, making him the third player in Europe’s top-five leagues to reach that tally in six consecutive seasons after Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

Inter are the top-scoring team in Serie A and rarely have trouble finding the net, but they again had a defender to thank for giving them the lead when Skriniar thumped a header off the bar and in to seal an important victory.

Napoli win

An acrobatic Andrea Petagna effort earned Napoli a 1-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday to keep Luciano Spalletti’s side in the hunt for the Serie A title and end their three-match losing run at home.

The Italian striker guided a volley into the top corner after 43 minutes as the hosts finally made their pressure count.

It was a welcome victory for the Neapolitans after a run of one win in their last six league outings and three straight league defeats at home.

The result left Napoli third with 43 points, five behind leaders AC Milan, while Samp are 15th with 20 points.

Juan Jesus had a headed goal disallowed for offside following a VAR review, while Emil Audero was called into action to deny an Amir Rrahmani strike and Faouzi Ghoulam free kick before Petagna’s opener.

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne, who agreed a deal to join Toronto FC at the end of the season on Friday, limped off after half an hour after pulling up from a sprint with an apparent groin problem.

Elsewhere, Luis Muriel struck twice as Atalanta won 6-2 against a Udinese side missing 12 players through COVID-19, keeping the Bergamo side in fourth, two points behind Napoli.

Giacomo Raspadori and substitute Gianluca Scamacca both scored braces as Sassuolo hammered Empoli 5-1 to draw level with the Tuscans on 28 points, but move ahead of them into ninth place on head-to-head record.


Courtesy: Reuters

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