Juve, Inter return to Serie A fray after Euro successes

Saturday, October 26th, 2019 00:00 |
Inter Milan’s Italian forward Sebastiano Esposito (R) vies for the ball against Dortmund’s Swiss defender Manuel Akanji during their UEFA Champions League Group F match at the San Siro stadium in Milan on Wednesday. Photo/PD/AFP

Champions Juventus turn their focus back to maintaining their Serie A supremacy ahead of nearest challengers Inter Milan with both Italian teams riding high after their European successes this week.

Juventus are just one point ahead of Inter Milan in the Italian league after eight games. 

Maurizio Sarri’s side head to promoted Lecce, while  Antonio Conte’s Inter is at home against Parma.

Juve extended their unbeaten run in all competitions with Paulo Dybala’s quick-fire double earning a 2-1 over Lokomotiv Moscow in Turin on Tuesday in Europe.

Inter Milan beat Dortmund 2-0 in the San Siro the following night to boost their last 16 hopes, with Napoli also coming through with a thrilling 3-2 win in Salzburg.

“We’re very much alive,” said Conte. “Unfortunately, we can’t enjoy this result too much. We now have less than three days to recuperate ahead of our match against Parma, who are on an excellent run.”

Third-placed Atalanta returns to the comforts of a home against Udinese licking their wounds after a bruising 5-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli, one point behind the Bergamo side in fourth and six adrift of Juventus, need a result at relegation-threatened SPAL to keep pace with the leaders.

In a match between fallen giants, sixth-placed Roma host an AC Milan side who are struggling in 12th and desperate for a first win under new coach Stefano Pioli.

The injury-hit Romans were bitter after being held 1-1 by Borussia Monchengladbach’s last-gasp penalty in Europa League action on Thursday.

“It’s not a great spell for us,” said Roma forward Edin Dzeko, wearing a mask to protect a broken cheekbone. 

“This was our fourth draw in a row and a win would have been a morale boost. 

“There’s no point looking back though, only forward. We have a match against AC Milan and we must do everything possible to win it.”

City rivals Lazio are also in need of a boost as they travel to Fiorentina, after falling 2-1 to Celtic in their Europa League clash.

New Genoa coach Thiago Motta’s first game in charge of the club where his playing career took off a decade ago will be against Brescia.     -AFP

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