Football: Serie A talking points

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LEADERS FINALLY LOSE
Serie A’s joint-leaders, Napoli and AC Milan, both suffered defeat for the first time this season, losing to Inter Milan and Fiorentina, after setting a ferocious pace in the opening 12 rounds picking up 32 points from a possible 36.

Third-placed Inter Milan’s 3-2 victory over Napoli at San Siro took the champions four points off top to create a three-horse title race, with Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi describing it as a “key game.”

“We deservedly beat a strong team and played a great match,” he added.

Fiorentina kept improving under new coach Vincenzo Italiano, with a 4-3 win over Milan. Dusan Vlahovic scored twice to equal Kurt Hamrin’s record from 1960 as the Fiorentina player with the most goals in a calendar year, taking his 2021 tally to 27.

“Vlahovic is destined for a great career, not only because he knows how to score, but because of how he trains,” Italiano said. “Watching him train is extraordinary… he brings all of that to the matches.”

GYAN EARNS NEW BOOTS
AS Roma teenager Felix Afena-Gyan exploded onto the Serie A scene by coming off the bench to score two late goals and earn a 2-0 win at Genoa, ruining Andriy Shevchenko’s debut as Grifone coach.

The 18-year-old, who dedicated the feat to his mother in Ghana, became the youngest player to score multiple goals in a league game in the top-five European leagues this season and the youngest Roma player to do so in the three points for a win era.

Manager Jose Mourinho said Afena-Gyan would be rewarded.

“I promised I’d buy him a pair of boots he likes that cost 800 euros,” Mourinho told Sky Italia. “After the goal he came over to the bench to tell me not to forget. I’ll keep the promise.”

ALLEGRI STAYS HUMBLE
Maurizio Sarri’s reunion with Juventus, the team that sacked him in August 2020, ended in a 2-0 defeat for his Lazio side, the capital club’s first home loss in all competitions since February.

The result helped Massimiliano Allegri’s side draw level with sixth-placed Lazio on 21 points, but Juve are four points outside the top four and 11 adrift of leaders Napoli after a sluggish start.

“The objective is to win one game at a time,” Allegri said. “It’s not a question of humility, but respect for the opponents. Great teams don’t win with superficiality and arrogance.”

via Reuters

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