Category: Serie A

Fiorentina routs Napoli to diminish Serie A hopes

Napoli’s hopes of winning Serie A for the first time since 1990 suffered a setback as a 3-0 rout at the hands of Fiorentina handed Juventus a clear advantage in the race for the title.

Defending champions Juve are four points clear with three games remaining.

Kalidou Koulibaly was sent off for kicking Giovanni Simeone, and the Argentinian struck thrice to lift La Viola to a first win in four games for mid-table Fiorentina.

Napoli played for 84 minutes with 10 men.

This season’s Serie A campaign has been one of the most exciting title chases in Europe’s major leagues, when Napoli moved to within a point of Juve after Koulibaly’s dramatic late headed winner against the leaders.

However, it is advantage Juventus again after Napoli suffered only their third league defeat of the season a day after Juve’s dramatic 3-2 win at Inter Milan.

Koulibaly was sent off after a video assistant referee (VAR) decision for preventing a clear scoring opportunity. Simeone then sprinted clear to set Fiorentina on their way and doubled the lead from close range.

Simeone, 22, completed his hat-trick with a composed finish in almost the last kick of the game.

Napoli reignites title race with victory over leaders Juventus

Napoli reignited the Serie A title race in dramatic fashion on Sunday when Kalidou Koulibaly scored with a towering header in the last minute to give them a 1-0 win at the league table leaders, Juventus.

Maurizio Sarri’s side cut the gap between them and the Turin side to one point with four matches to play, setting up a dramatic finale to the Serie A season.

Juventus, chasing a seventh successive title, still face difficult matches away to Internazionale and Roma.

Napoli dominated the match but seemed to have run out of ideas and energy until the final minute when Jose Callejon’s outswinging corner was met by the Senegal international with a mighty header which left Gianluigi Buffon helpless.

Juve had needed steel in defence to nullify Napoli’s forward line but a key figure was removed from the back three early on when Giorgio Chiellini suffered an injury during a clash with Lorenzo Insigne.

Stephan Lichtsteiner replaced him and despite the disappointment of the enforced change to the game plan, Juve came close to scoring with a little over a quarter of an hour on the clock in Turin.

Napoli will hope to capitalise on any slip-up by their modern rivals when they tackle the likes of Torino, Sampdoria and Crotone across their remaining fixtures.

Serie A: Inter strikes four over Cagliari to move on top of Roma

Inter Milan moved up to third in Serie A over Roma with a thumping 4-0 win over Cagliari.

Inter — who had failed to register a single goal in their last three matches — netted within three minutes when Joao Cancelo’s inswinging free kick went straight in.

Team captain Mauro Icardi then scored his 25th league goal of the season before setting up Marcelo Brozovic for Inter’s third and Ivan Perisic scored late on from another well-worked free-kick.

The hosts were barely tested, with Cagliari not registering a single shot.

The only sour note for Inter was an injury to midfielder Roberto Gagliardini, who was taken off on a stretcher off before half-time with a muscle problem.

Internazionale moved above Roma in the Serie A table as they look to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2011.