October 28, 2019 / 9:03 AM / 24 days ago

Five-talking points from the Serie A weekend

MILAN (Reuters) - Five talking-points from the weekend's matches in Serie A:

Soccer Football - Serie A - Fiorentina v Napoli - Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - August 24, 2019 Fiorentina's Franck Ribery and teammates during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

RIBERY PUSHES LINESMAN AMID FIORENTINA PROTESTS

Fiorentina’s veteran forward Franck Ribery could be in serious trouble after pictures showed him shoving a linesman in the wake of a 2-1 home defeat by Lazio which left the Frenchman and his team mates fuming.

Video footage showed the 36-year-old, who had been substituted in the 74th minute, remonstrating with match officials on the pitch amid Fiorentina protests.

He was seen to push a linesman twice before being restrained by team mates. He was then shown a red card.

Fiorentina claimed that the move which led to Lazio’s 89th minute winner began with a foul by Jordan Lukaku on Riccardo Sotil and were baffled as to why the referee did not review the incident on the pitchside monitor — instead relying on a silent check with VAR officials.

“Why didn’t he go and have a look?” asked Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella. “It’s very serious if the referee does not have a look in a key episode.”

“We all stood around for four minutes waiting for the VAR to say if he should see it or not. If he’d only gone and looked at it, it would’ve been a minute or two longer, but at least we’d all be sure.”

NO END IN SIGHT TO MILAN’S MISERY

AC Milan's 2-1 defeat to AS Roma left the seven-times European champions stuck in 12th place with 10 points from nine games, only three clear of the relegation zone.

“We made some incredible mistakes,” said coach Stefano Pioli who was in charge of his second game after replacing Marco Giampaolo and said his team had taken a step backwards compared to their 2-2 draw with Lecce the week before.

“We lacked lucidity and concentration because we should have held on for the draw.

“We have to work on many aspects, we have to do more,” he added.

“Plenty of Roma’s chances came from our mistakes where we made poor passes and failed to keep possession. Losing the ball in certain parts of the pitch can be dangerous and that is something we have to change.”

IT WAS ALL GOING SO WELL — UNTIL WE CONCEDED SEVEN GOALS

Udinese coach Igor Tudor made a surprising claim after his side’s 7-1 loss to Atalanta, saying their performance in the opening stages of the game was their best all season.

Tudor said the whole game hinged on Nicholas Opoku’s sending off in the 32nd minute when the score was 1-1.

“The game was divided into two,” he said. “In the first part, I saw the best Udinese of the season.

“I liked the game so much at the beginning, including our interpretation of it,” added the Croatian. “Then what happened, happened — but we turn the page and go on”.

TRAORE BECOMES FIRST PLAYER BORN IN 2002 TO SCORE IN SERIE A

There was a small piece of history in the same match as Atalanta’s Amad Traore became the first player born in 2002 or later to score a goal in Serie A.

The 17-year-old Ivorian, who usually plays for Atalanta’s youth team, was brought on for his professional debut during the second half and scored within six minutes. “This goal will stay in my head,” he said. “I hope to carry on like this.”

QUAGLIARELLA DRAWS ANOTHER BLANK

Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella, Serie A’s top scorer last season as the age of 36, has scored only once in this campaign and drew another blank in the 2-1 defeat to Bologna which left his side rooted to the bottom of the table with three points.

“He put in a lot of effort and if he continues like this, the goals will start coming,” said coach Claudio Ranieri.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Giles Elgood

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