Despite Lecce’s best efforts in their 4-3 defeat at home to Parma, a 3-0 win for Genoa at home to Verona saw Lecce relegated on the final day of the Serie A season. The fates of SPAL and Brescia have long been confirmed but going into the final round of Serie A fixtures there was just a single point separating Genoa and Lecce.
Genoa took a big step towards remaining in Serie A on Sunday as they beat direct contender Lecce 2-1 at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium. Davide Nicola’s Rossoblu increased their lead over the Giallorossi to four points with just four games to go, thanks to Toni Sanabria’s opener and Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel’s own goal – which neutralized Marco Mancosu’s equalizer.
Round 32 of Serie A saw Juventus coming pretty close to losing their second game in a row before Cristiano Ronaldo sorted things out from the penalty spot to deny Atalanta a joy. Gian Piero Gasperini’s boys thus failed their assault to the second spot in the table, which was rather conquered by Inter as the Nerazzurri beat Torino in the last round fixture on Monday night.
When looking at the city of Genova from an aerial point of view, beyond the port, the colorful coasts, and the mountains, four towers stand out rising from the ground in the center of the city. That is the Luigi Ferraris Stadium or, as it is commonly known, the Marassi: An architectural jewel, the oldest stadium still functioning in calcio and perhaps the most particular.
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.
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.
Having struggled for form throughout the first-half of the season, Milan have since turned their fortunes around having lost just one game in all competitions since New Year. The Rossoneri look a much more solid outfit under Stefano Pioli and will be looking at this game against Genoa as a banker in their push for a top-six spot.
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.