Juve wary of chasing pack
TWO consecutive wins and the great form of striker Mauro Icardi (pix) has placed Inter Milan among the challengers to Juventus as they chase a sixth straight Serie A title.
Inter’s Argentine captain scored in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat of Juve and netted a brace to beat Empoli 2-0 yesterday for a tally of six goals.
The Nerazzurri now sit on 10 points alongside Roma and Chievo before welcoming Bologna on Sunday. Juve, on 12 points from five games, travel to Palermo tomorrow after a 40 hammering of Cagliari, which allowed them to regain top spot as Napoli drew 0-0 at Genoa.
“Generally speaking, we’ve produced a good reaction to some excessive criticism after Sunday’s game,” Juve helmsman Massimiliano Allegri said.
“That doesn’t surprise me though – this group is full of great players and good men.
“When it’s time to take responsibility they never shy away. Now it’s important for us to keep this up until the international break (in midOctober), performing well in the matches we have left against Palermo, (Dynamo) Zagreb (in the Champions League) and Empoli.”
Frank de Boer, who took over Inter in August, praised the improvement of his squad after a stuttering start to the season.
“I’ve only been coach for a month and we understand each other better today than we did yesterday,” de Boer said.
“However, this is not a project that we can complete in the short term.
“We put a lot of energy into tonight as well, but we know that things will get better only through playing more matches.”
Napoli were bitter after their transient stay at the top and complained about a couple of penalties not awarded in Genoa.
“The team played well against opponents who are very intense and physical and who in certain moments of the season are very tough to meet,” Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said.
“But we created many chances and in two or three occasions were unlucky.”
The Neapolitans, along with Juve, have Champions League duty in midweek and play tomorrow at home to Chievo, while Genoa, on seven points with a game in hand, welcome promoted Pescara on Sunday.
The Sunday programme opens early with Roma’s visit to Torino and closes late in Florence with Fiorentina taking on AC Milan.
Lazio vs Empoli and Sassuolo vs Udinese complete the afternoon action, with Crotone vs Atalanta and Cagliari vs Sampdoria set for Monday. – dpa