Juventus clinch late win against Torino; Inter beats Bologna easily

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Rome (dpa) – Lacklustre Serie A champions Juventus bounced back to clinch a late 2-1 win against troubled Torino in the Turin derby on Saturday.

Second-place Inter Milan had fewer problems as Achraf Hakimi’s brace helped them beat visiting Bologna 3-1 to stay one point above Juve and two adrift of leaders AC Milan, who play Sunday at Sampdoria.

The Bianconeri struggled throughout a first half that saw Nicolas Nkoulou glance in a loose ball on nine minutes as Il Toro striker Simone Zaza forced a tough save from Wojciech Szczesny.

Torino skipper Andrea Belotti also came close with a spectacular volley, while Paulo Dyabala’s harmless shot was Juve’s only effort before the break.

Juve fired a first telling shot on target from Federico Chiesa in the 77th, one minute before substitute Weston McKennie nodded in the equalizer. Leonardo Bonucci also headed in a Juan Cuadrado cross with one minute to go.

“When you lose all the duels, it’s difficult to control the contest,” Juve coach Andrea Pirlo said. “In the first half, we didn’t manage to be aggressive. We were too static and didn’t play with width.

“We went up a gear in the second half, injected intensity and created plenty of chances.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, who failed to impress and stayed rooted on eight league goals, received the best Serie A player award for November – it was his third recognition in as many seasons at Juve.

Torino stayed in the drop zone on six points from 10 games as their coach Marco Giampaolo was back after coronavirus quarantine.

Later at the Giuseppe Meazza, Romelu Lukaku netted his eighth goal by battling in the box to open Inter’s scoring, with Hakimi’s clinical drives then sandwiching a flick from Bologna substitute Emanuel Vignato.

Lazio won 2-1 at promoted Spezia with Golden Boot winner Ciro Immobile on target to net his sixth goal as the Rome side moved level on 17 points with Napoli and Roma.

Immobile, who has scored in each of his last five league games, struck in the 15th minute off an assist from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who then curled in a free-kick as the Romans got the most from their rare first-half chances.

The aggressive newcomers were twice denied by the post.

M’Bala Nzola then kept the hosts into the game when he got the better of Francesco Acerbi and struck into the far corner.

The Ligurians have a four-point buffer to the drop zone and sit two points behind Bologna.

“We knew we were going to suffer,” Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi said. “Spezia play very well but we wanted to win. But we must continue to improve.”

DPA

Photo – Torino’s forward Andrea Bellotti (C) shows his dejection as players of Juventus FC celebrate the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match Juventus FC vs Torino FC at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, 05 December 2020. EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO

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