Jan 29 (Reuters) – Juventus suffered another blow in their bid for Champions League qualification as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat by Monza in Serie A on Sunday.
Juventus are languishing 13th in the standings with 23 points, two places behind Monza.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have not been able to recover momentum after being docked 15 points this month following an investigation into the club’s transfer dealings. They are 15 points behind AC Milan in the last Champions League qualification spot.
“Every game is decisive, we need to get out of this vortex as quickly as possible. We have one point from three rounds and that should not happen. We were unbeaten at home until now. Monza are a good side, but we cannot concede those two goals so softly,” Allegri told DAZN.
Gianluca Caprari thought he had given Monza the lead after 10 minutes, but he was ruled offside by VAR when he got the pass inside the box
The visitors did score after 18 minutes when Jose Machin sent a well-timed through ball to Patrick Ciurria, who shot high into the net.
Dany Mota doubled Monza’s lead six minutes before halftime when he got the ball inside the box, rounded Juve keeper Wojciech Szczesny and put the ball into the empty net.
Juve dominated the second half but were repeatedly denied by Monza keeper Michele Di Gregorio who made a particularly fine save from Manuel Locatelli’s shot.
“We were sluggish and didn’t even react after the first goal they had disallowed, which was a warning. We’ve been making too many mistakes and haven’t had the right mentality, but the attitude in the second half was completely different,” Allegri said.
“I don’t think we’d ever played a first half like that and we should reflect on that. It went better after the break, but we must admit responsibility for the overall performance.”
Milan slump continues with heavy loss at home to Sassuolo
AC Milan were humbled 5-2 at home by lowly Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday, suffering a fourth defeat in five matches to pile pressure on manager Stefano Pioli.
Tempers flared throughout the match as frustrations grew, with 11 yellow cards shown, seven to Milan players and four to the visitors.
The Italian champions are fourth in the standings with 38 points, one ahead of Lazio and Roma, who play later on Sunday. Sassuolo are 16th.
“I feel disappointment, but we don’t get far with disappointment,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
“Recent performances show we are struggling, this must push me to understand what situations need to be improved and dealt with differently.
“Our Scudetto this season will be securing a Champions League place, that is the objective.”
Martinez strikes twice as Inter recover to beat Cremonese 2-1
Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez grabbed a double as his second-placed side fought back to earn a 2-1 win at basement club Cremonese in Serie A on Saturday.
David Okereke put the hosts ahead after 11 minutes with a superb shot from the edge of the box that hit the underside of the bar and bounced in.
Inter equalised 10 minutes later when Martinez was in the right place to finish on the rebound after Cremonese goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi had parried Edin Dzeko’s volley.
Inter, who have 40 points, are 10 behind leaders Napoli having played a game more. Cremonese remain on eight points, still without a league win this season after 20 games.