October 1, 2018 / 1:29 PM / in 18 days

Five talking-points from Serie A at the weekend

MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus threatened to extend their dominance and there was more debate about the use of VAR during a typically eventful Serie A weekend. Here are some of the main talking-points.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Napoli - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - September 29, 2018 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo applauds fans after the match with team mates REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

WHO CAN STOP JUVENTUS?

An eighth successive Serie A title is already looking a distinct possibility for Juventus after a 3-1 win over second-placed Napoli left them six points clear.

Juve, bolstered by the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, have won all eight games this season — seven in the league and one in the Champions League — for the first time since 1930-31.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli did their best, hitting the post and taking an early lead as they dominated the opening 20 minutes, but ended up well beaten.

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, however, said it was far from a one-horse race. “Absolutely not,” he told reporters. “After this, we still have to play Inter, AC Milan, AS Roma and Fiorentina. We’ve got a six-point advantage, but it’s a very long season and Serie A is always tough.”

ANOTHER VAR ROW RAGES

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Napoli - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - September 29, 2018 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo in action with Napoli's David Ospina REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

The VAR system was at the centre of another row after Fiorentina were awarded a debatable penalty in their 2-0 win over Atalanta.

Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa went flying after running across the path of Rafael Toloi, who appeared to make little or no contact, and Atalanta were baffled when the referee awarded the spot-kick without a VAR review.

“We prefer not to comment on these things but today it was impossible to stay silent,” said Atalanta director Luca Percassi.

“It was a very, very serious error.....We fought hard for the introduction of VAR but if it’s not used in an episode like this, then what is it for?”

Two weeks ago, Torino were livid at having a goal disallowed for offside. The referee blew his whistle before the ball entered the net, meaning the incident could not be reviewed.

FIORENTINA FIELD YOUNGEST TEAM IN BIG FIVE LEAGUES

Despite the row over their first goal, Fiorentina have enjoyed an impressive start to the season and are third with 13 points.

According to the Swiss-based institute CITES, Fiorentina have fielded the youngest team in any of Europe’s top-five leagues over the first two months of the season, with players having an average age of 23.79.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Twenty-year-old Chiesa, at the centre of Sunday’s row, is one of the most promising.

PIATEK NOT FOR SALES

Genoa's signing of Krzysztof Piatek from a modest 4 million euros ($4.6 million) from Polish club Cracovia went little noticed at the start of the season but the 23-year-old is Serie A's leading scorer with eight goals.

After watching him grab another brace in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Frosinone, club president Enrico Preziosi dispelled suggestions that Piatek could be loaned or sold to a bigger club in January.

“It would be a huge mistake to even think about letting him go,” Preziosi said.

MILAN TAKE THE LEAD AND KEEP IT

AC Milan scored first for the fifth time in their six league games this season and for once managed to keep it as they won 4-1 at Sassuolo, to the relief of coach Gennaro Gattuso.

Gattuso had watched his side squander a 2-0 lead at Napoli, where they lost 3-2, twice throw away the advantage in a 2-2 draw at home to Atalanta and get pegged back in a 1-1 draw with Empoli.

“If the matches had ended in the 70th minute, we would be talking about an entirely different story,” said the fiery former midfielder, whose side are 10th with nine points.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Ed Osmond

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below