Juve ease pressure with Bologna win

MILAN:

Juventus beat Bologna 3-0 on Sunday to ease recent troubles, while Atalanta continued their dream start to Serie A with a 1-0 win over Fiorentina to stay level on points with leaders Napoli.

A routine third league win of the season against a dismal opponent will keep questions about coach Massimiliano Allegri’s future at least until next weekend when they travel to champions AC Milan.

They are seventh, seven points behind leading duo Napoli and Atalanta thanks to Filip Kostic’s first goal for the club midway through the first half and two more after the break from forward duos Dusan Vlahovic and Arkadiusz Milik.

“We hadn’t won a game in a month, when we got back to the dressing room we couldn’t believe it,” Allegri told DAZN.

“We have to take one step at a time, hopefully we can close the gap like we did last season.”

They host Maccabi Haifa ahead of the Milan game on Wednesday, with a win over the Israelis essential to their hopes of reaching the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

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Fans of Italy’s biggest club aren’t filling the Allianz Stadium in Turin, nor will they be confident in a home win over Bologna, who are a point above the relegation zone and haven’t shown any signs of improvement since Sinisa Mihajlovic was previously replaced by Thiago Motta this month.

However, Juve were at least a goal threat and are cheered by both Vlahovic, who scored his first league goal since August, and the continued good form of Milik, who scored his fourth goal in seven games since arriving from Marseille.

It was the end of an eventful day that saw Maria Sole Ferrieri Caputi make history as the first woman to referee a game in Italy’s top division, Sassuolo’s 5-0 win over Salernitana.

Sampdoria sacked coach Marco Giampaolo after Monza’s 3-0 humiliation – who jumped from the drop zone – and Fiorentina called for government action over offensive chants directed at their owner Rocco Commisso by Atalanta fans.

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While Fiorentina fumed at fans who mocked Commisso’s southern Italian origins, unbeaten Atalanta celebrated thanks to Ademola Lookman, who scored the winner in Bergamo in the 59th minute from a Luis Muriel cross.

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side trail Napoli on goal difference and three points ahead of third-placed Lazio – who beat Spezia 4-0 on Sunday – and AC Milan.

“I’m just happy to do it in front of our home fans today. When I scored, the stadium rocked, so I was very happy,” Lookman told DAZN.

It was the fifth clean sheet in eight league games for Atalanta, who are less flamboyant than in recent years but now have a solidity that makes them extremely difficult to beat.

There were some nervous moments against Fiorentina, who are 11th after their third loss of the season after missing good opportunities after taking the lead.

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Joakim Maehle should have had a brace in the 67th minute when he missed a one-on-one with Pietro Terracciano and moments later Lookman was denied a brace by a superb save from Lucas Martinez Quarta.

Ferrieri Caputi had a moment of controversy on her Serie A debut at eighth-placed Sassuolo when Andrea Pinamonti converted the penalty six minutes from half-time to give the hosts a two-goal lead.

Armand Lauriente had already scored his first goal of Serie A in the 12th minute when she blew a whistle saved by Salernitana for a soft foul by Giulio Maggiore on Emil Ceide.

Kristian Thorstvedt, who put on Lauriente’s opening goal, then swept home the third goal in the 53rd minute after a quick counterattack led by Agustin Alvarez Martinez.

Abdou Harroui moved into fourth with 14 minutes to go before Janis Antiste rolled in a low finish to end the injury-time defeat.

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