Football: Serie A talking points

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Four days after their heaviest defeat in all competitions since 2004 at Chelsea in the Champions League, Juventus welcomed Atalanta to Turin on Saturday as they looked to try revitalise their stuttering season.

Atalanta had not won away from home against Juve since 1989, but after Duvan Zapata’s first-half goal, they never looked troubled by Serie A’s most successful side, who once again flattered to deceive under Massimiliano Allegri.

Allegri’s return was supposed to right the wrongs of Andrea Pirlo’s disappointing tenure last season, but a fifth defeat from 14 league games so far leaves Juve seventh in the standings, 14 points behind leaders Napoli.

“People said at the start of the season that this was a strong squad that simply had to win the Scudetto and I always noted that was inaccurate,” Allegri told DAZN.

“Once we are realistic, we can take the pressure off and work better in a calmer environment.”

Three days after the one-year anniversary of Diego Maradona’s death, Napoli marked the occasion with a performance worthy of one of the greatest of all time as they put Lazio to the sword with a dazzling 4-0 win on Sunday.

Lazio could not cope with a rampant Napoli, who wore shirts with Maradona’s face on, while a statue was unveiled in the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium before the match in tribute to the club’s Argentine icon.

The quality of the goals – Dries Mertens’ double especially – were befitting of the occasion as Luciano Spalletti’s men went three points clear at the top of the table.

“It is our best performance,” Spalletti told DAZN. “Mertens brings that quality, but it would be reductive just to praise him.

“The whole team was wonderful, it had been a long time since we had this possession football with short, quick passes.”

AC Milan and Napoli’s long unbeaten start at the beginning of the season ensured Inter Milan’s own impressive opening few months of the campaign had been overlooked.

Now, with Milan’s unbeaten run brought to a grinding halt, the gap is narrowing.

Milan lost their unbeaten league start last weekend at Fiorentina, but looked set to get back on track after taking an early lead at home to Sassuolo on Sunday.

However, following Gianluca Scamacca’s stunner, second-placed Milan capitulated in the San Siro to lose 3-1.

Inter’s comfortable 2-0 success at Venezia on Saturday means they are now just one point behind their great rivals, and looking in ominous form.

via Reuters

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