Daily Observer (Jamaica)

Napoli no-show lets Ata­lanta, AC Mi­lan pull clear; In­ter held in Serie A

- Sports · Soccer · Serie A (Italy) · S.S.C. Napoli · Naples · Atalanta B.C. · A.C. Milan · F.C. Internazionale Milano · Serie A · Milan · Italy · Juventus F.C. · S.S. Lazio · Lazio · Lazio · Gennaro Gattuso · Elmas · Campania · CD Leganés · Turin · Aurelio De Laurentiis · Andrea Agnelli · Andrea Pirlo · Juventus Stadium · Antonio Conte · Rome · Ciro Immobile · Arturo Vidal · Stefano Sensi · Stadio Olimpico · Unione Sportiva Sassuolo Calcio · Sassuolo · Cagliari Calcio · Cagliari · Bergamo · Luis Muriel · Diego Godín · Duván Zapata · La Spezia · Zlatan Ibrahimović · Hellas Verona F.C. · Greece · Parma Calcio 1913 · Parma · Italy National Football Team · Lega Serie A · Sergej Milinković

MI­LAN, Italy (AFP) — Napoli risk a 3-0 for­feit for fail­ing to turn up for their Serie A clash against Ju­ven­tus amid a row over novel coro­n­avirus pro­to­col in Italy yes­ter­day, al­low­ing ti­tle ri­vals Ata­lanta and AC Mi­lan to move top of Serie A ahead of In­ter Mi­lan who were held at Lazio.

Gen­naro Gat­tuso’s Napoli had been top of the league go­ing into week­end’s ac­tion with two wins in as many games as they tar­get a third Serie A ti­tle and first in 30 years.

But Eljif El­mas and Piotr Zielin­ski’s pos­i­tive coro­n­avirus tests forced the south­ern­ers into home iso­la­tion on the in­struc­tions of health au­thor­i­ties in the Cam­pa­nia re­gion.

The Lega Serie A in­sisted all the health pro­to­cols were in place for the match to safely go ahead as sched­uled for Turin at 1845 GMT.

“(Napoli pres­i­dent Aure­lio) De Lau­ren­tiis asked me to post­pone the match, I replied that there are reg­u­la­tions to be re­spected,” Juve pres­i­dent An­drea Agnelli told Sky Sport Italia.

“A 3-0 win? I al­ways pre­fer to win on the field,” added Agnelli whose side had four points af­ter two games as they chase a 10th ti­tle in a row.

Amid the tur­moil, An­drea Pirlo’s cham­pi­ons pre­pared their game as usual, nam­ing a start­ing list, de­spite solid in­di­ca­tions of a Napoli no-show for the third game of the sea­son.

The Ju­ven­tus bus pulled into the Al­lianz Sta­dium an hour be­fore­hand, with the play­ers re­main­ing in their track­suits on the pitch, along with ref­er­ees and a hand­ful of sup­port­ers un­der the rain.

The match was even­tu­ally aban­doned 45 minutes af­ter its sched­uled start time, with Napoli’s fate now de­pend­ing on a meet­ing of Ital­ian league of­fi­cials on Tues­day.

“Hon­estly, there are peo­ple who are com­pe­tent to deal with sit­u­a­tions and prob­lems of this type,” said In­ter Mi­lan Coach An­to­nio Conte.

Serie A run­ners-up In­ter were held 1-1 in a bad-tem­pered game against Lazio in Rome where both teams fin­ished a man down.

Lazio played the fi­nal 20 minutes with­out last sea­son’s top Serie A scorer Ciro Im­mo­bile, who was sent off for hit­ting out at Ar­turo Vi­dal, with In­ter’s Ste­fano Sensi also see­ing red with minutes to go.

But Conte was happy to take a point from the Sta­dio Olimpico be­fore the Mi­lan derby.

Lau­taro Martinez’s first-half goal was can­celled out by Sergej Milinkovic­savic’s header 10 minutes into the sec­ond half.

13 GOALS IN THREE GAMES

Ata­lanta are top of the ta­ble with a max­i­mum nine points along­side AC Mi­lan, two points ahead of Sas­suolo and In­ter.

Ata­lanta crushed Cagliari 5-2 in their first game in Berg­amo this sea­son, bring­ing their tally to 13 goals in three games played.

Luis Muriel opened the scor­ing af­ter seven minutes with Papu Gomez blast­ing in the sec­ond from a dis­tance just be­fore the half-hour mark, for his fourth goal in three games.

Uruguayan de­fender Diego Godin pulled a goal back for Cagliari on his de­but since mov­ing from In­ter.

But Mario Pasalic and Du­van Zapata also scored in a five-minute spell be­fore the break, with Sam Lam­mers com­plet­ing the rout af­ter Joao Pe­dro scored.

Joao Pe­dro re­duced the deficit for the Sar­dini­ans af­ter the break but Sam Lam­mers marked his first home game with an im­pres­sive solo ef­fort with nine minutes to go.

“The score could have been much big­ger,” said Gasperini.

“Now the (in­ter­na­tional) break in­ter­rupts this mo­men­tum. Hope­fully we’ll pick up where we left off.”

AC Mi­lan beat pro­moted Spezia 3-0 to ex­tend their un­beaten run to 15 games.

Por­tuguese Rafael Leao scored two sec­ond-half goals, the first off a Hakan Cal­hanoglu free kick just be­fore the hour.

He com­peted his brace 12 minutes from time, latch­ing onto a Franck Kessie header, two minutes af­ter Theo Her­nan­dez’s solo ef­fort was re­warded.

It caps an im­pres­sive week for Mi­lan who are with­out star striker Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic who is suf­fer­ing from coro­n­avirus.

They won an epic 24-kick penalty shoot-out in the Europa League pre­lim­i­nary round, and ex­tended their un­beaten tun in 15 games in Serie A for the first time since March 2007.

Hel­las Verona fell to their first de­feat of the sea­son af­ter Jas­min Kur­tic scored within the first minute to give Parma a first win this cam­paign.

 ??  ?? Lazio’s Ital­ian mid­fielder Marco Parolo (left) tack­les In­ter Mi­lan’s Chilean for­ward Alexis Sanchez dur­ing the Ital­ian Serie A foot­ball match, Lazio vs In­ter, yes­ter­day at Olympic sta­dium in Rome.
Lazio’s Ital­ian mid­fielder Marco Parolo (left) tack­les In­ter Mi­lan’s Chilean for­ward Alexis Sanchez dur­ing the Ital­ian Serie A foot­ball match, Lazio vs In­ter, yes­ter­day at Olympic sta­dium in Rome.
 ?? (Photo: AFP) ?? Ju­ven­tus’ Ital­ian goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon (third left) talks with staff mem­bers yes­ter­day at Ju­ven­tus sta­dium in Turin, prior to the Ital­ian Ju­ven­tus vs Napoli Serie A foot­ball match.
(Photo: AFP) Ju­ven­tus’ Ital­ian goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon (third left) talks with staff mem­bers yes­ter­day at Ju­ven­tus sta­dium in Turin, prior to the Ital­ian Ju­ven­tus vs Napoli Serie A foot­ball match.

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