HomeSportSoccerJuve sink Napoli, Milan lose to Lazio

Juve sink Napoli, Milan lose to Lazio

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TURIN – Juventus moved three points clear at the top of Serie A after beating title rivals Napoli 2-0 with two late goals while AC Milan continued their worst start in top-flight Italian football in seven decades with a 3-2 defeat at high-flying Lazio.

Champions Juve scored twice in as many minutes late in the second half through Jose Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba to win a hotly-contested match in Turin that saw Antonio Conte’s side stretch their unbeaten league run to 46 games.

Caceres netted a powerful header after 80 minutes and Pogba wrapped up the victory over second-placed Napoli with a stunning volley two minutes later to score his first goal for the club.

“It was a difficult match for us. We deserved to win,” Caceres told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s fundamental for us that we can look at the bench and ask for them to change a match.

“This doesn’t change anything, however. This is only three points. There are still 30 matches to go.”
In the late game, Lazio stayed within four points of Juventus, who have 22 from eight games, after a nervy finish against Milan, who they led by three goals after only 49 minutes.

Lazio took the lead in the 24th when Hernanes’ smart dribbling ended with his shot being deflected by Daniele Bonera over the stranded Marco Amelia for his fifth goal this season.

Milan almost equalised straight away when Stephan El Shaarawy fired the ball between the legs of onrushing Lazio keeper Albano Bizzarri, only to see Andre Dias’s last-ditch slide block his goalbound shot.

Lazio were clearly the better side, however, and doubled their lead after 41 minutes through Italy international Antonio Candreva, whose swerving long-range rocket shot whizzed past the suprised Amelia into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Miroslav Klose piled on the misery for Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri four minutes into the second half, finding a yawning gap in their defence and beautifully volleying Candreva’s pinpoint long pass home.

The goal left the Germany striker as Serie A joint-top scorer so far this season on six with Napoli’s Cavani.
Milan gave themselves a lifeline against the run of play just past the hour when Nigel De Jong touched home Urby Emanuelson’s teasing free-kick.

El Shaarawy further closed the gap with his fifth goal of the season 11 minutes from time, working space for himself on the corner of the area and hitting a low, fizzing shot that the outstretched Bizzarri could only palm into the bottom corner.

But despite Brazil forward Alexandre Pato making his first Milan appearance since February and a huge improvement from the visitors in the second half they could not find an equaliser.

“We created chances, and we got into their area, but we obviously need to improve,” said under-fire Allegri. “We were punished by the only two shots that Lazio had in the first half.

“It’s useless to talk about my position, because it depends entirely on the club. It’s normal that if the team doesn’t get results that the coach’s position is put under discussion. Now we have to start getting points because if we don’t we risk sliding towards the bottom of the table,” he added.

The defeat was Milan’s fifth in the league this season, their worst start in 71 years, and leaves them on only seven points with Allegri’s position looking more in danger.

Lazio stay third with 18 points, three clear of Inter Milan who host Catania next Sunday. -Reuters

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