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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leaders Inter travel to Rome to take on Lazio on Sunday night. Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to score in his 11th consecutive league game. Meanwhile up north, Sassuolo host Parma as both search for derby bragging rights, under the guidance of the two Roberto’s – Roberto De Zerbi of Sassuolo and Roberto D’Aversa of Parma.
It’s been an interesting 23rd round in the Serie A with the weekend producing some surprising results. Verona managed to snatch up all three points against former leaders Juventus, who have now been overtaken by Antonio Conte’s Inter. With none of the matches ending in a goalless draw, the selection for our Top 5 goals was plentiful.