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Serie A Review: Juventus Reclaim Lead After Decisive Derby d’Italia Win

The remaining matches in Serie A‘s Matchday 26 eventually pushed through behind closed doors despite calls for the games to be postponed amid the coronavirus scare in Italy.

The Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter, which was initially rescheduled for May, was one of the matches that took place. And Juve took advantage of their chance to go back to the top of the table as they grabbed a decisive 2-0 victory over their fierce rivals.

As with the Bundesliga, SBOTOP is here to catch you up on all the big results in Serie A this weekend.

 

Juventus score 2-0 win over Inter in Derby d’Italia

Lazio’s stay at the top of the Serie A table was short-lived as Juventus reclaimed top spot after defeating Inter Milan 2-0 in the Derby d’Italia.

The big Serie A 2020 news was that Juve manager Maurizio Sarri elected to give Aaron Ramsey just his sixth start in the league this season. Ramsey had started in Juve’s previous game against SPAL and scored what would turn out to be the winning goal.

The Welsh midfielder repaid the faith once again as he scored the opener against Inter. After Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t quite control a Blaise Matiudi cutback, Ramsey stepped in and smashed the ball past Inter captain Samir Handanovic.

Ramsey was also involved in Juve’s second. His return ball set up Paulo Dybala, who sneaked his way past the Inter defence and supplied a sublime finish with the outside of his left boot.

As usual, Cristiano Ronaldo also made his share of Serie A 2020 highlight as he came very close to getting himself on the scoresheet twice. However, both of his efforts whistled just wide. As a result, his record-tying 11 consecutive Serie A matches with a goal has come to an end.

With their defeat, Inter are now nine points adrift of leaders Juventus and eight behind Lazio, whom they lost to in their previous match. Although, they do still have a game in hand on both.

 

Zlatan scores but Milan fall to Genoa at San Siro

Serie A: AC Milan fell to their first home defeat since early November
Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks dejected following AC Milan’s 1-2 loss to Genoa

Inter weren’t the only Milan to go down over the weekend as AC Milan suffered a surprising 2-1 setback against relegation strugglers Genoa at the San Siro.

Genoa got off to a flying start as veteran Goran Pandev gave the visitors the lead after just seven minutes. Although, a lot of credit must go to strike partner Antonio Sanabria, who made a great run toward the byline and cut it back to Pandev. The 36-year-old finished off the move as he smashed the ball into the net.

Milan had a couple of great opportunities to equalise. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a header from point-blank range saved. He then set up Hakan Calhanoglu, who could not beat the keeper in a one-on-one.

Genoa would make Milan pay as they doubled their lead just before half-time as Francesco Cassata got on the end of a Davide Biraschi cross.

Milan would pull a goal back in the second half through Zlatan. The Swede smashed the ball home after a scramble following a corner. But despite 23 total shots in the match, Milan could not produce another goal.

Genoa’s win — their third in the last four matches — was huge as it lifted them out of the relegation zone.

On the bright side for Milan, that defeat did not have much of an effect on the table as the four clubs directly below them all lost as well.

 

Relegation strugglers Sampdoria, SPAL, earn rare wins

Fellow midtable sides Verona and Parma also suffered surprising defeats to a couple of relegations strugglers in Sampdoria and SPAL, respectively.

Verona were on top for most of the match as an Emil Aduero own goal gave them the lead just after the half-hour mark.

However, Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella struck twice in the last 13 minutes to give I Blucerchiati an important victory. The 37-year-old — who was last season’s top scorer with 26 goals — now has nine goals this season.

Meanwhile, Parma fell 1-0 at home to SPAL. A second-half Andrea Petagna penalty was enough to see the visitors earn the win, which snapped their five-match losing skid in the league. Two of SPAL’s five total wins this season have been against Parma.

It should be noted that the match very nearly didn’t take place. The players were sent back to the locker rooms after Italy’s sports minister requested the league to suspend the weekend’s matches due to the coronavirus outbreak. But after a 75-minute delay, the match still went on as scheduled.

 
 

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