March 18, 2019 / 9:06 AM / in a month

Five talking points from the Serie A weekend

MILAN (Reuters) - Beaten 3-2 by Inter Milan in the derby, AC Milan were embarrassed, and coach Gennaro Gattuso infuriated, when team mates Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessie clashed on the substitutes' bench with the game still in progress.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Genoa v Juventus - Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy - March 17, 2019 Genoa's Stefano Sturaro in action with Juventus' Daniele Rugani REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Here are five talking points from the weekend:

MILAN TEAM MATES CLASH ON THE TOUCHLINE

AC Milan team mates Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessie will face the wrath of coach Gennaro Gattuso this week after they clashed on the touchline and had to be pulled apart by team mates.

Kessie reacted angrily when he was substituted in the 69th minute and was reprimanded by Biglia, an unused substitute. This further angered the Ivorian and sparked a confrontation between the pair with Kessie being held back by two more Milan players.

They later appeared together and apologised. “It was the adrenaline from the match,” said Kessie. “I was angry when the coach took me off.”

Biglia said: “We made fools of ourselves, it’s not something you should do in front of everyone.”

Gattuso did not mince his words. “If I had seen it, I would have gone in to separate them,” said the famously combative coach. “They will see my response in the next few days.”

BAD DAY FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HOPEFULS

Milan's defeat meant they swapped places with Inter and dropped to fourth, the lowest of the Champions League slots, with 51 points. They still have a four-point cushion after the teams below them failed to capitalise.

Fifth-placed Roma (47 points) lost 2-1 at SPAL, Atalanta (45) were held 1-1 at home by bottom club Chievo, and Torino (44) lost 3-2 at home to relegation-threatened Bologna. Lazio (45) were the only winners in the chasing pack, climbing to sixth with a 4-1 win over Parma.

RANIERI SUFFERS SAME PROBLEM AS PREDECESSOR

AS Roma's new coach Claudio Ranieri is suffering the same problems as his sacked predecessor Eusebio Di Francesco.

Having started with a 2-1 win over Empoli, Ranieri saw his erratic side lose 2-1 at lowly SPAL, who incredibly completed the double over Roma following their 2-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico earlier in the season.

“We lost to a team who earn less than us, who are more humble than us, more determined than us, who are up to their necks in it, and they showed all that today,” he said.

“Our opponents were a team and we weren’t ... clearly some of the lads just don’t have the energy for certain things. Others are short on confidence so they lack a bit of conviction going into individual battles.”

GENOA’S UNLIKELY HEROES

Genoa got goals from two unexpected sources as they beat Juventus 2-0 to hand the leaders their first defeat of the season.

Midfielder Stefano Sturaro, scorer of the first goal, has barely played for the last year after suffering tendonitis followed by an Achilles injury.

The 26-year-old was making his first appearance for Genoa since being sold to them by Juventus, where he spent four seasons but struggled to get a game.

The second goal was scored by 35-year-old Macedonia forward Goran Pandev, who has started only seven league games this season.

TORINO’S UNBEATEN RUN ENDED BY FORMER COACH MIHAJLOVIC

Torino saw their seven-match unbeaten run ended by a Bologna side coach by Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was facing the Bulls for the first time since they sacked him 14 months ago.

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Mihajlovic said he had no hard feelings towards his former club. “I’m sorry for the fans, but I still think they can qualify for Europe next season,” he said.

Torino coach Walter Mazzarri was baffled by the ease with which Bologna carved out chances.

“We made naive mistakes and were unlucky too,” he said. “I had hoped to at least get a point out of it, but every time we lost the ball, we conceded a goal.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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