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.
In what is an amazing underdog story from this season’s Champions League, Atalanta became the first team to book a place in the Quarter-Finals of the competition. A 4-3 win over Valencia embellished by a haul by Josip Ilicic was all the Bergamo club needed to make history. Their win was even more important given Juventus President Andrea Agnelli’s recent rant.
Italy was placed under a total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. With about three to four Serie A game-weeks now set to be outstanding after the suspension, what are the possible implications this may bring to the current season? According to multiple Italian media sources, there are now four possible scenarios after the ban.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Italy will be in a total lockdown until at least April 3 to contain the coronavirus outbreak – extending to the whole country the extreme measures originally announced yesterday for 14 provinces only. The restriction also applies to any sports activity, including the Serie A and lower divisions.
After squeezing through to the knockout stages, Atalanta’s Champions League debut is gathering pace. After a stellar performance at home by the hugely talented Italian side, they seem poised to go through. It would take a feat of epic proportions for Valencia to overturn the 4-1 advantage in a second leg which will be played behind closed doors due to coronavirus.
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.
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.
With the threat of the coronavirus spreading in Italy, five matches will be played without fans. The biggest of those is the Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter, which will be in an empty Allianz Stadium in Turin. Elsewhere, Lazio will hope to grab all three points against Brescia and wait on a slip up by Juventus, and Genoa face a tough encounter against Milan.
With big games looming in Europe, Italian teams must be prepared to take on the continent’s best in these upcoming weeks. Napoli beat Brescia and now prepare for the visit of Lionel Messi and Barcelona, while leaders Juventus travel to Ferrara to take on bottom-of-the-league SPAL, before facing Lyon in midweek in the Champions League.
Matchday 24 of Serie A witnessed another round of net busters that were absolute crackers. Ashley Young registered his first goal with the Nerazzurri, Paulo Dybala took the free-kick duties in Ronaldo’s absence, and it took Mario Pasalic of Atalanta just 19 seconds to score his fifth goal of the campaign, and more importantly, his team’s winner against Roma.
This past Serie A weekend was full of thrills and chills. Both Atalanta and Lazio came back from behind to beat their respective guests, Roma and Inter, in two exciting, important fixtures. Juventus got a disappointing victory, Genoa seem to have forgotten how to lose, and Milan are on the right track thanks to the rebirth of a certain Ante Rebic.