Serie A: Unstoppable Juventus on the brink of history
ROME—Serie A leaders Juventus crushed Genoa 4-0 in Turin to move 11 points clear of Roma in second place and on the brink of securing a historic sixth successive Scudetto Serie A title.
In a goal-packed weekend of Serie A football, Juventus tightened their grip on the league by humbling a hapless Genoa side 4-0 at the J Stadium. A bizarre own-goal from Ezequiel Munoz gave the hosts the lead, galvanising a rampant performance from the Bianconeri. In-form striker, Paolo Dybala doubled the lead seconds later, before Mario Mandzukic curled a half-volley past Genoa keeper Eugenio Lamanna to make it 3-0 before half time. Leonardo Bonucci scored a spectacular long-range effort after the break, allowing the home side to cruise control it to the final whistle for a comfortable 4-0 victory.
Roma will travel to bottom of the table Pescara on Monday to see if they can close the 11-point gap now opened up by the seemingly unstoppable league leaders.
Lazio made history of their own by becoming the first side to score five goals in the first 25 minutes of Serie A game since 1938 as they decimated Palermo 6-2 at the Stadio Olimpico. Senegalese striker Keita Baldé Diao scored a first half hat-trick in just five minutes from the 21st to 26th minute, after Ciro Immobile’s quickfire double had already given Lazio a 2-0 lead after ten minutes. The madness died down after the break and Andrea Rispoli scored twice for Palermo to add some respectability to the scoreline. It was Lazio who had the last laugh when Luca Crecco added a sixth in the last-minute to compound relegation threatened Palermo to a 6-2 rout. The result leapfrogged Lazio back into 4th place after Atalanta temporarily occupied the spot thanks to their earlier 3-2 victory against Bologna.
Fans at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence were treated to a thriller as Fiorentina held off a late Inter revival to win 5-4 in the weekend’s highest scoring affair. The visitors were leading 2-1 going into half-time but the Viola emerged from the tunnel a different side and two goals each from Kouma Babacar and Matías Vecino turned the fixture on its head. However, Inter were not finished, late strikes from Mauro Icardi, who completed his hat-trick, set up a fascinating climax. The hosts held on to win 5-4 as Inter missed the chance to overtake their rivals AC Milan after they were shocked 2-1 by struggling Empoli at the San Siro.
Elsewhere, Crotone scored late to seal a crucial 2-1 win against Sampdoria, keeping their chances of starving off relegation alive. However, Crotone will have to continue their recent run of good form if they are to catch Empoli, who lie five points ahead of them in 17th position.
Torino beat Chievo 3-1 and Udinese sneaked past Cagliari 2-1 in two fairly inconsequential mid-table clashes.
Meanwhile, Napoli were left frustrated on the road to Sassuolo as they could only muster a 2-2 draw against resilient opposition. After a goalless first half, the game sprung into life when Dries Mertens gave the visitors the lead on 52 minutes. However, Sassuolo responded with two goals of their own and Napoli required a late equaliser from Arkadiusz Milik in order to avoid leaving the Città del Colore empty handed. The result means Napoli missed the chance to overtake Roma into second place and remain in third, the last Champions League spot in Serie A.