Inter Milan finally could silence their critics for a moment after winning the Italian derby against Juventus while AC Milan stumbled. Their vital win on the road was enough to lift up their confidence a bit in a title race as they can close the gap with still one game in hand.
Inter started off the game unconvincingly as they were under pressure most of the time. The host had their first decent chance by Giorgio Chiellini’s strike in the face of the goal but his deflected attempt only rattled the bar. Next, the Colombian international Juan Cuadrado had an attempt to open the scoring through a long-range shot but denied by Handanovic. Nerrazurri eventually found their opportunity to score. Hakan Calhanoglu netted from the second penalty after his first failed one was repeated. At the second half, Juventus kept on knocking on the door through Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria but only the latter’s shot hit the post. It was a sufficient win to put Simone Inzaghi’s men back in the three-horse race.
Juventus vs Inter Milan 0-1
Goals: Hakan Calhanoglu (45+4)
Juventus: Wocjiech Szczesny – Danilo, Alex Sandro (Mattia de Scoglio 73), Giorgio Chiellini, Mathhijs de Ligt – Manuel Locatelli (Denis Zakaria 34), Adrien Rabiot (Arthur Melo 85), Juan Cuardrado (Fede Bernadeschi 84), Alvaro Morata (Moise Kean 73), Paulo Dybala – Dusan Vlahovic
Inter Milan: Samir Handanovic – Martin Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni, Danile D’Ambrosio – Ivan Perisic, Denzel Dumfries (Matteo Darmian 59), Nico Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu (Arturo Vidal 78), Marcelo Brozovic (Roberto Gagliardini 78) – Lautaro Martinez (Joaquin Correa 59), Edin Dzeko (Robin Gosens 91)
Their victory in Turin would not have mattered if their local contender, AC Milan had managed to secure three points at home. Unfortunately, they blew it. Stefano Pioli’s side seems to be haunted by last season’s spectre, inconsistency and degrading form towards the end of the season. Theo Hernandez and Co could only muster a goalless draw while playing host to Bologna. A number of shots on target and goal were created by Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao and Davide Calabria but Bologna’s goalie Skorupski was in-form between the sticks in San Siro. They are still leading the table but with only one point advantage over Napoli which crushed Atalanta 3-1 in Bergamo and four points clear from Inter. Yet, they have one extra game which potentially can lead them to take over the top if Rossonerri does not win all the remaining fixtures.
Meanwhile, in the red zone, at least four teams are battling to avoid the relegation. Venezia, Genoa, Cagliari and Sampdoria will be fighting for their safety in the next seven games with seven-point difference from the one sitting on the 19th (Venezia) and Il Samp on 16th. The promoted side, Salernitana is stuck with 16 point at the bottom of the table, which might be tough for them to stay on the top flight despite having two games in hand.
Atalanta vs Napoli 1-3
Lazio vs Fiorentina 1-0
Udinese vs Cagliari 5-1
Spezia vs Venezia 1-0
Salernitana vs Torino 0-1
Verona vs Genoa 1-0
Sampdoria vs Roma 0-1
Lazio vs Sassuolo 2-1
Fiorentina vs Empoli 1-0