Friday, April 03, 2020
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It was billed as the battle of the ‘anti-Inter,’ as Juventus and Milan went head-to-head at the Stadio Deli Alpi on Sunday evening. This was reaffirmed as the league leaders extended their lead at the top earlier in the afternoon thanks to Inter’s, Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired, demolition of Chievo. The question was which one of Italy’s two most decorated clubs would emerge as the frontrunner to take the fight to Jose Mourinho’s team? 

 

Whilst Milan are the only side to have beaten their city rivals domestically, and have also beaten early pace-setters Lazio and Napoli, they have failed to raise their game against the lesser lights.  

 

Conversely, Juventus have struggled against stronger opposition – domestically, at least – but have tended to pick up points where expected to do so. 

 

In the end, though, none of that mattered as Juventus romped to a resounding 4-2 victory – a scoreline that reflected their dominance.   

 

The chalk and cheese of Del Piero and Amauri up front proved too much for the Rossoneri to handle, and Juventus dominated proceedings from an early stage. Del Piero opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 13th minute, after a rash challenge from Marek Jankulovski, with burly Brazilian, Amauri, going on to bag himself a brace.  

 

With Gatusso and Kaka missing, Milan’s performance lacked fluidity; but, in fairness, Juventus could reel off an injury list that included David Trezeguet, Gianluigi Buffon and Mauro Camoranesi, in reply.   

 

The result sees Juventus close the gap at the top to six points, whilst Milan are still on thirty - nine behind their city rivals with one game to go before the winter break. 

 

Saturday’s fixture between Bologna and Torino went one better in terms of goals as the home side battered Torino 5-2. After firing coach Gianni De Biasi for the third time in three years earlier this week, Walter Novellino’s new regime got off to an awful start in the home of the Italy’s most famous pasta dish.  

 

Along with meat-based sauces, Bologna is also famous for being a Communist stronghold. Even now the city’s local leadership is staunchly leftist, initiating such community based initiatives as free public transport, but this seemed to be lost on Marco Di Vaio. The Bologna striker is clearly not in sync with such egalitarian principles, helping himself to a hat-trick at the expense of Torino’s altruistic defense.  

 

Elsewhere, Roma’s march continued with a 3-2 victory over Calgiari. Simone Perotta’s well executed overhead kick was the pick of the goals, but it took a more scrappy affair from Mirko Vucinic to snatch all three points in the 91st minute.  

 

Things are well and truly back on track for Luciano Spaletti’s side after a terrible start to the season. They have reversed their domestic fortunes and ended up finishing  top of their Champions League group.  

 

The sky blue side of the capital went one better but two worse, as Lazio’s trip to Udinese saw another six goals in a thrilling 3-3 draw. However, Lazio manager, Delio Rossi, is more likely to look at it as a point gained as his side came back from three goals down with thirty minutes left to eventually get something from the match.  

 

Results: Napoli 3-0 Lecce, Bologna 5-2 Torino, Udinese 3-3 Lazio, Roma 3-2 Cagliari, Reggina 0-2 Sampdoria, Palermo 2-0 Siena, Juventus 4-2 AC Milan, Inter Milan 4-2 Chievo, Genoa 1-1 Atalanta, Fiorentina 2-0 Catania

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