Juventus stutter in lead up to Milan clash
ROME – Having won their previous 16 domestic matches, Juventus’ title charge suffered a choke with a draw to relegation candidates, SPAL. They prepare to welcome an AC Milan side coming off the back of five straight Serie A wins as title rivals, Napoli, return to winning ways.
Recently misfiring Mauro Icardi stole the show at Sampdoria, scoring four goals as Inter leapfrogged Lazio into the fourth Champions League qualifying spot with a 5-0 win. Icardi’s dazzling performance marked his first hat-trick for the Nerazzuri, as well as his 100 Serie A goal, but the forward will no doubt be relieved to have appeared on the scoresheet for the first time since 5th Jan.
AC Milan wrestled their way past Chievo to dish out a third straight defeat to Rolando Maran’s struggling side. However, a late goal from André Silva was needed to complete Milan’s comeback, following Inglese’s thundering strike to take a first-half lead. The victory continues their excellent league form in preparation for their travels to Juventus.
Atlanta sailed past Verona to maintain their push for a Europa League spot as they look forward to facing Udinese, whose recent dilemma remains ongoing. A Josip Iličić hat-trick sent Altanta on their way to a comfortable 5-0 away victory.
Cagliari and Sassuolo both took big strides towards securing their top-tier safety. Cagliari heaped more misery on lowly Benevento, cruelly defeating the hosts with injury-time goals from Pavoletti and Barella to move five point above the drop. Sassuolo follow close behind after an extraordinary Ali Adnan own-goal proved extremely costly, despite a stunning Fofana drive before half-time.
Roma keep a firm grip on third place with victory over Crotone. Goals from El Shaarawy and Nainggolan either side of the half-time were enough to earn the visitors three points.
Juventus were left to regret missed chances on a frustrating night away to SPAL. Whilst they will be hoping to quickly regain momentum on the 31st March against AC Milan, they have a nervous wait on the fitness of Chiellini who came off with a muscle injury.
Meanwhile, Napoli closed the gap at the top, sneaking past Genoa courtesy of an Albiol header, having hit the woodwork twice earlier in the game. Napoli now await the trip to Sassoulo, whilst keeping a close eye on events in Turin.
Sampdoria 0-5 Inter Milan
AC Milan 3-2 Chievo
Benevento 1-2 Cagliari
Crotone 0-2 Roma
Torino 1-2 Fiorentina
Verona 0-5 Atalanta
Lazio 1-1 Bologna
Napoli 1-0 Genoa
Udinese 1-2 Sassuolo
SPAL 0-0 Juventus