×
E-PAPER ▾

E-paper

Sports

Juve go 6 points clear of Napoli

| | Milan

Juventus took a major step toward a seventh straight Serie A title on Sunday as they beat Sampdoria 3-0 after Napoli was held to a 0-0 draw at AC Milan.

Douglas Costa changed the match when he came on for the injured Miralem Pjanic, providing three assists for Mario Mandzukic, Benedikt Hoewedes and Sami Khedira.

Juventus moved six points clear of Napoli with six matches remaining - including the two sides playing each other.

"We have to thank Pjanic for getting injured because maybe at that moment I wouldn't have changed things," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri joked.

"Douglas and (Gonzaolo) Higuain are two players who I wanted to use to change the match. I chose the Brazilian to stretch Samp."

Juventus was looking to bounce back from the disappointment of Wednesday's Champions League exit to Real Madrid, decided by a stoppage-time penalty in the second leg when seconds away from forcing extra time at 3-0.

Allegri had mixed feelings about Sunday's win.

"Is it a decisive step toward the title? Absolutely not. But it was important to win after Madrid and the guys were good because it wasn't easy after such a tiring match," Allegri said.

Lazio hosts Roma in the capital derby later Sunday in a crucial match for both sides' Champions League chances.

The top four from Serie A qualify for Europe's premier club competition. Lazio and Roma are third and fourth, respectively, but on the same number of points as fifth-placed Inter Milan, which drew 0-0 at Atalanta on Saturday.

Milan, which had hopes of sneaking into the top four, is seven points behind.

BOUNCING BACK

Juventus was keen to move on from Wednesday's Champions League exit to Real Madrid.

It struggled to find a way through the Samp defense and the visitors almost took the lead but Gianluigi Buffon, who was sent off midweek, managed to parry a close-range header from Fabio Quagliarella.

Pjanic limped off two minutes before the break and was replaced by Douglas Costa who had an instant impact as he whipped in a cross for Mandzukic to volley in under the bar. Juventus doubled its lead on the hour. The ball was passed from the right to the left of the penalty area and Douglas Costa set up a diving header from an unmarked Hoewedes on only his second match for the club.

Douglas Costa was again decisive 15 minutes later with another cross for Khedira to fire into the bottom left corner.

The Brazil midfielder almost capped his performance with a goal but fired narrowly wide of the left post late on.

OTHER MATCHES

Fiorentina remained two points behind Milan and the final Europa League spot after a 0-0 draw at home to relegation-threatened Spal ended its six-match winning run.

Spal inched a point clear of the bottom three after its seventh match unbeaten.

Sassuolo moved four points above the relegation zone after drawing 2-2 against bottom side Benevento, which picked up its first point away from home. Hellas Verona lost 2-0 at Bologna and is now three points from safety.  

 
 
 
 
 

TOP STORIES

Sunday Edition

View All

My father lived, died for India, says Rahul

15 Jul 2018 | PTI | New Delhi

Amid row over alleged use of derogatory language in a web series while referring to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the BJP and the RSS believe that freedom of expression must be policed, while he regards it as a fundamental democratic right. “My father lived and died in the service of India...

Read More

STATE EDITIONS

View All

Two-month-old dies in 108-Amublance

18 Jul 2018 | Staff Reporter | RAIPUR

A two-month-old infant died due to suffocation after the door of the ‘108 Ambulance Service’ that was carrying him to a hospital malfunctioned and failed to open on time at Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital here on Tuesday. The Ambulance operators tried to open the door for a couple of hours but failed to open it on time...

Read More

Page generated in 0.2851 seconds.