In the long history of the Serie A league championship, there was one single occasion where a playoff was necessary to determine the Scudetto winner. It happened at the end of the 1963-64 season, when Fulvio Bernardini’s Bologna found themselves at top of the league with 54 points, together with the title holder – Helenio Herrera’s legendary Inter squad.
Joaquin Peiró passed away today at 84. He was a striker for the Grande Inter, an invincible lineup that won everything possible between 1962 and 1966 – Three Scudetto, two European Cups and one Intercontinental Cup. The goal Peiró scored to Liverpool in a European Cup Semi-Final invariably grabs one of the top spots in any Nerazzurro’s hall of fame.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease generated by the much-famed coronavirus. Rugani is the first player from a Serie A club to be infected. Juventus and Inter issued stataments announcing that their players and staff will likely need to undergo quarantine, casting further doubts on the prosecution of their football season.
A decision, finally. That’s what every football fan was waiting for, and what the Lega Serie A took to somehow get out of the stalemate caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Serie A games will be played behind closed doors until April 3. All the league games canceled last weekend, including Juventus-Inter, will be played between next Sunday and Monday.
With a storming second half, Atalanta did it again, coming up with another tremendous performance which resulted in seven goals delivered to their unfortunate opponents. Gian Piero Gasperini’s Bergamaschi won 7-2 at the Via del Mare Stadium in Lecce, consolidating their fourth place in the Serie A table.
As they wait for Inter and Juve to play their catch-up games, Lazio gained a solitary Serie A lead for the first time in 20 years as they dispatched of Bologna with goals by Luis Alberto and Joaquín Correa. The last time the Biancocelesti were standing alone at the top of the table was on May 14, 2000 – the day they conquered their last Scudetto.
The Lega Serie A – the governing body of the Italian football top-flight – has decided to postpone all the five games previously scheduled to be played behind closed doors this weekend due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Northern Italy. The decision applies also to the much-awaited Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter.
Juventus lost 0-1 to Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League knockout stage game, writing another chapter of their tormented relationship with the top European competition. The Bianconeri still have plenty of chances to qualify, but it will take a different attitude to see them past the French side in two weeks. Maurizio Sarri’s lineup was frankly a pity to watch.
In their first visit to the temple that once belonged to Diego Armando Maradona, Lionel Messi and Barcelona were put to the ropes by a convincing Napoli side in a Champions League Round of 16 first leg. The Partenopei, however, failed to knock Quique Setien’s squad out after Dries Mertens’ opener and saw their lead canceled by Antoine Griezmann’s equalizer.
With a stunning second-half comeback, Antonio Conte’s Inter won 4-2 a thrlling Derby della Madonnina, likely the most exciting seen in years. The Nerazzurri thus managed to gain three points versus Scudetto-contenders Juventus. It was a real battle at the San Siro Stadium as Milan finally managed to measure up to the cross-town task despite wasting a two-goal lead.
Juventus fell against a magnificent Verona side on Saturday as Cristiano Ronaldo was not enough this time despite scoring for the 10th game in a row. Goals by Milan outcasts Fabio Borini and Giampaolo Pazzini pulled out a huge upset and awarded coach Ivan Juric’s perfect machine their 8th consecutive game with no losses. Maurizio Sarri has much to reflect on.
It took Romelu Lukaku’s fifth brace in Serie A to put Inter back on track after three draws in a row and keep them on Juventus’ back. The Nerazzurri won 2-0 against Udinese among much difficulty as the Bianconeri managed to keep Antonio Conte’s side at bay for more than one hour with their physical superiority.