Serie A: AC Milan suffer their second successive loss of the season as Napoli extend their lead at the top with a win over Lazio

(Football news) AC Milan suffered their second consecutive loss in a row as they were defeated 1-3 by Sassuolo, now Milan are three points adrift from Napoli at the top of the table. In the first half AC Milan raced into an early lead after skipper Alessio Romangoli headed home from a corner in the 21st minute as they looked on course to get back to winning ways in the league following last weekend's loss to Fiorentina .However, Sassuolo turned the match on its head, with Gianluca Scamacca's stunning strike and Simon Kjaer unfortunate own goal giving them a 2-1 lead inside 33 minutes. Dominic Berardi made sure of a  deserved victory for Sassuolo with a superb solo goal in the 66th minute as Romagnoli's red card in the 77th minute ended Milan's hopes of getting anything from the match.

Sassuolo's first win in four league games helped them climb to 12th on 18 points. AC Milan on the other hand stayed on 32 points, three points behind Napoli and only a point ahead of Inter Milan. Milan coach Stefano Pioli said, "We lacked a cutting edge, we got too much wrong in key situations, especially in the opposing area.We missed the last pass or the attack on the goal. We had to manage the one-goal advantage better and instead we made a mistake that proved costly. It is clear that if we have now conceded seven goals in two [league] games, something did not work."

Napoli thrashed Lazio 4-0 as they opened up a three point lead at the top of the table. It was an emotional night at Naples as club great Maradona died on Nov. 25 last year and to honour him, Napoli unveiled a statue inside the Diego Maradona Stadium and wore shirts with his face on them for the Lazio clash. Their performance was also on point as the home side swamped Lazio with a stunning show of attacking football, racing to a 3-0 lead inside 29 minutes thanks to goals from Zielinski and a double from Dries Mertens. Napoli took their foot off the gas in the second half as Lazio still did not register a single shot on or off target in response late on Fabin Ruiz put the icing on the cake with a pinpoint fourth goal. With this result Napoli moved to 35 points as they opened a three point lead over AC Milan.

Luciano Spalletti after the match said "It is our best performance, especially as it comes after a couple of performances that were not up to our standards, so it means something that we beat a big club like Lazio this way, Mertens brings that quality to the finishing but it would be reductive just to praise him. The whole team was wonderful, it had been a long time since we had this possession football with short, quick passes."

Juventus suffered another setback this season as they lost 1-0 to Atalanta, this victory was Atalanta's first at Juventus since 1989 as Juventus suffered their fifth defeat of the season. Juve struggled to create any openings in the first half, with their defending not up to the required standard either as they left Zapata free to fire home in the 28th minute. Juve came closest to an equaliser when Paulo Dybala hit the crossbar with his curling freekick but other than that Atalanta looked comfortable in possession as they stretched their unbeaten run to eight games in all competitions to stay fourth on 28 points, four points behind leaders Napoli and seven points ahead of Juve who are 11 points off the pace.

Zapata said after the match, "So many times recently we conceded in the closing stages so this is a big step forward for us to win and keep a clean sheet in a fixture like this. It is a tough league. There are many different types of games. It was important we kept a clean sheet against a strong side like Juve and Atalanta hadn't won here in Serie A for many years."

Inter took a massive step in reingintinting their title challenge as they won 2-0 against Venezia. It was far from Inter at their fluid best but Hakan Calhanoglu’s  bullet shot  from 20 yards proved too hard to stop for Venezia keeper Sergio Romero and the scoreline stayed this way until Lautaro Martinez's spot kick in injury time. With this result Inter close up to their city rivals by one point as they are in third with 31 points and four points behind leaders Napoli. 

Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said, “The only negative thing was that we should have scored the second goal earlier,". People said this was meant to be a transitional season, one focused on just saving the club, but I found a club that supports me totally and has an extraordinary bunch of lads in the squad."

Also read: Vinicius Jr's late screamer takes Real Madrid 4 points clear; Barcelona and Atlético Madrid get back to winning ways

The other results were:

  • Roma 1 (Abraham) – 0 Torino
  • Sampdoria 3 (Candreva, Ekdal, Murru) – 1 Hellas Verona (Tameze)
  • Empoli 2 (Bandinelli, Pinamonti) – 1 Fiorentina (Vlahovic)
  • Udinese 0 – 0 Genoa
  • Spezia 0 – 1 Bologna (Arnautovic)(pen)


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