Serie A: Juventus stretch unbeaten record to 33 games against Roma
Kieran Beckles takes a look at a controversial weekend in Serie A as leaders Juventus extended their unbeaten run to 33 games
Juventus eye Milan’s unbeaten season feat
Juventus extended their unbeaten run to 33 games with a resounding 4-0 victory over Champions League hopefuls Roma in Turin on Sunday night. Buoyed by AC Milan’s inability to secure three points against Bologna – Zlatan Ibrahimović scored a late equaliser for the defending champions at the San Siro – Antonio Conte’s side moved three points clear at the top of Serie A. Arturo Vidal settled any early nerves with a quick-fire brace, and Andrea Pirlo gave the home side a three-goal cushion, before Claudio Marchisio wrapped up an emphatic victory. If Juventus can avoid defeat in their next game against Cesena, the Old Lady will equal Fabio Capello’s record at Milan which saw I Rossoneri go an entire season unbeaten in 1992 – at that time there were only 18 teams in Serie A. Conte’s side face four of the bottom seven in their remaining fixtures, plus a difficult game against Napoli, making an unbeaten season feasible. However, Juventus have some way to go before equalling the 58 games without defeat completed by Capello’s Milan.
Inter’s woes in front of goal continue
Internazionale’s hopes of rescuing a woeful season with a top-three finish all but ended after a disappointing 0-0 draw at Fiorentina in Sunday’s early kick-off. Despite boasting the attacking talent of South American duo Diego Forlan and Diego Milito, and Italy international Gianpaolo Pazzini, the San Siro outfit have failed to score in 11 games in Serie A this season. Former Real Zaragoza striker Milito has chipped in with 20 goals but Inter’s next highest scorer is Pazzini with five strikes, while defensive midfielder Esteban Cambiasso is just behind on four goals. Regardless of whether Andrea Stramaccioni is at the helm next season, an overhaul of the squad is needed and owner Massimo Moratti will be forced to raise the cash to splurge on more creative players for his beleaguered squad.
Genoa Ultras halt play
Genoa will have to play their next two games behind closed doors after the players bowed to the demands of rioting Ultras, stopping the game and taking off their shirts during a 4-1 defeat by Siena on Sunday. The referee, Paolo Tagliavento, was forced to halt play, leading to a 45-minute delay, as smoke bombs and firecrackers were hurled onto the pitch before Genoa supporters climbed over fencing pitch-side and confronted their side. “This violence is unacceptable,” said Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete on Italian television. “Those are not fans. Sculli did the right thing by not taking his shirt off. I hope these people are identified and condemned. They should not be allowed into the stadium ever again.”
Goal of the week: Vidal’s second against Roma
Juventus midfielder Vidal made an emphatic contribution to his side’s 19th victory of the season. The Chilean broke the deadlock in the third minute with a clinical close-range finish to settle Juve but bettered his opener just four minutes later with a ferocious right-footed effort which flew past Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.