Serie A Weekly Round-Up: Juventus triumph against AC Milan in a historic clash of footballing giants, Napoli defeat Udinese to retain third place.
Juventus 3-1 Milan:
Juventus secured an important home victory over struggling Serie A rivals AC Milan to hold their seven-point lead over second place AS Roma. Led by Argentine forward Carlos Tevez, Juve capitalized on their opportunities to give the home fans a treat with a victory in this classic matchup. Meanwhile, AC Milan continue to languish in mid-table after an inconsistent season.
In one of the biggest rivalries in Italy, both teams didn’t fail to deliver action. Carlos Tevez opened up the scoring early in the first half through a possibly controversial offside goal to grant I Bianconeri first blood. A through pass from ex-Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata set up Tevez for a calm finish against goalkeeper Diego Lopez.
Milan managed to respond right away and equalize the match through new signing Luca Antonelli, who headed home a goal off of a corner. The cross from recent addition Alessio Cerci found Antonelli in the box and he nodded it past Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon. Juventus responded immediately through Leonardo Bonucci, who finished a close range shot off a corner to give the hosts the advantage again.
In the second half, Morata extended Juventus’ led when he tapped in a rebound off of a deflected shot. Claudio Marchisio rifled a shot from outside the box, which was initially saved by Diego Lopez, but Morata capitalized and tucked the ball into the back of an empty net. Juve also had another great chance late in the match, as Morata scored again, but the goal was correctly ruled offside. The match finished 3-1, giving Juventus an important victory in the Scudetto title race while Milan stay in 9th place and are on the outside looking in for a European tournament spot.
Napoli 3-1 Udinese:
Napoli picked up an important home victory at the Stadio San Paolo to hold their grasp of third place in the league and a Champions League spot for next season. Goals from winger Dries Mertens and new signing Manolo Gabbiadini along with an own goal from Udinese all but secured the win over the mid-table side.
Napoli took the lead in the eight minute after spectacular team play from Dries Mertens and ex-Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain. Mertens, after an exchange of passes with Higuain, split the defense inside the box and finished close range, leaving Udinese keeper Karnezis helpless. Later in the first half, Napoli doubled their lead through forward Gabbiadini. The ex-Sampdoria forward received a long ball from Hamsik who set up the Italian forward in a close range position where he finished it on a one time hit.
Udinese responded right away through forward Cyril Thereau, who received a long ball over the top and finished it with a one time hit over the goalkeeper to bring them within one. Thereau managed to chip it over the keeper coming at him and put the ball in the back of the net. However, Thereau would go on the scoresheet again, this time for the other team. The French forward accidentally put the ball into to his own net after trying to clear a corner kick, giving the Partenopei the victory.