Martinez dou­ble puts In­ter on top as Ju­ven­tus slips at home

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Mi­lan, Italy - Lau­taro Martinez’s first-half brace put In­ter Mi­lan top of Serie A on Sun­day with a 2-1 win over SPAL af­ter cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus were held 2-2 at home by Sas­suolo.

“We didn’t use our heads,” lamented Ju­ven­tus boss Mau­r­izio Sarri af­ter his side lost their first points at home this season.

Cris­tiano Ron­aldo scored from the spot to res­cue a point but Ju­ven­tus slipped one point be­hind An­to­nio Conte’s In­ter Mi­lan.

Ar­gen­tinian Martinez put In­ter ahead af­ter 16 min­utes at the San Siro, and then con­nected with An­to­nio Can­dreva's cross be­fore the break to head in his eighth league goal this season.

Mat­tia Valoti pulled a goal back, but se­cond-from-bot­tom SPAL fell to their ninth de­feat.

Conte has guided Chi­ne­se­owned In­ter to 12 vic­to­ries in 14 league games, and they re­claimed the top spot which they had held un­til their 2-1 de­feat to Ju­ven­tus on Oc­to­ber 6.

In Turin, Leonardo Bonucci struck early for the eight-time reign­ing Serie A cham­pi­ons but Jeremie Boga and Francesco Ca­puto hit back for Sas­suolo be­fore Ron­aldo’s point-sav­ing in­ter­ven­tion. Sas­suolo, in 12th, claimed their first ever point at Ju­ven­tus, and held Sarri’s un­beaten cham­pi­ons to their third draw of the season.

“We got into trou­ble on our own, we didn’t use our heads in the first half, as the goals con­ceded show,” said Sarri.

“Ev­ery time we lost the ball we left our­selves open. We had a first half with­out ap­pli­ca­tion and lit­tle en­ergy from the char­ac­ter point of view.”

Ron­aldo started up front, having missed last week­end’s league game with a slight knee problem, as Paulo Dy­bala, who scored in their Cham­pi­ons League win over Atletico Madrid, started on the bench.

Eigh­teen year old Ste­fano Tu­rati made an im­pres­sive de­but in the Sas­suolo goal, and pulled off a string of fine saves, deny­ing Ron­aldo, Gon­zalo Higuain and Dy­bala late.

But Ju­ven­tus coun­ter­part Gian­luigi Buf­fon had a night­mare. The 41-year-old, mak­ing just his fifth start this season, was at fault in Ca­puto's goal just af­ter the break.

Bonucci got Ju­ven­tus off the mark with a long-range ef­fort on 20 min­utes.

Three min­utes later Boga pounced on a Ca­puto cross and sent it past an out-rush­ing Buf­fon from an an­gle.

Ca­puto added a se­cond fol­low­ing a mix-up be­tween Juan Cuadrado and Matthijs De Ligt in the Ju­ven­tus de­fence, with Buf­fon then fum­bling the ef­fort into the back of the net.

Tu­rati got down low to deny Higuain af­ter get­ting his hand to send a Ron­aldo free kick over the bar. Ron­aldo's penalty pulled the hosts level on 68 min­utes af­ter Filippo Ro­magna fouled sub­sti­tute Dy­bala.

It was the Por­tuguese star’s fifth Serie A goal this season.

Lau­taro Martinez

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