Category Archives: Italian Serie A

Benevento snatches shock first point in Serie A from Gattuso’s Milan

Published by:

Benevento has secured their first point in their Italian top-flight debut after their goalkeeper scored a goal an injury-time to tie 2-2 against Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan.

The Serie A newcomers are playing in their first ever season in the Italian top flight but had lost each of their previous 14 games.

Benevento — who were in the third tier in 2015-16 — had also lost more games at the start of a season than any team in history from Europe’s top five leagues, and looked to be on their way to a 15th defeat with Milan leading in the 95th minute.

However, Alberto Brignoli, a goalkeeper on loan at Benevento from Juventus, came up into the box for a Danilo Cataldi free-kick, and rose above the Milan defence to glance a header into the bottom corner to level the score dramatically, and thus becoming the first goalkeeper to score in Serie A since Massimo Taibi for Reggina in 2001.

“It’s difficult to describe,” said Brignoli. “I was thinking: ‘It’s 2-1, the 95th minute, we have nothing to lose.’ I went up there, closed my eyes and jumped.”

“It would have been terrible to lose this, as we’ve lost so many at the last second that we really didn’t deserve to. Today we got some of that [luck] back. We’ve shown that we can play against anyone and just need the incidents to go our way.”

The result also extends a bad spell for Milan, who were looking for a fresh start under new coach Gennaro Gattuso.

Gattuso had replaced Vincenzo Montella as coach last Monday, and was frustrated at the sight of his team squandering their lead twice in a game they looked prepared to win despite Alessio Romagnoli’s sending off in the 75th minute.

“We conceded a strange goal and at the moment that’s just what our luck is,” said Gattuso. “We have a long way to go and a lot to improve. “It hurts. A stabbing would have been better than this goal. We’re Milan and we need to be better, because this isn’t enough.”

AC Milan dropped to eighth place with the draw, as Fiorentina leapfrogged them by cruising to a 3-0 home win over struggling Sassuolo to end a spell of four Serie A games without a win.

Gennaro Gattuso replaces Vincenzo Montella as head coach of AC Milan

Published by:

Gennaro Gattuso has replaced Vincenzo Montella as Milan manager after a disappointing start to the season which saw the club slipped to six Serie A defeats in 14 games.

“AC Milan announce to have parted ways with VMontella,” a statement on the club official account read. “Management of the first team is entrusted to Gennaro Gattuso, who leaves his position as Primavera coach and to whom we wish the best of luck.”

Montella also tweeted saying that it had been an “honour” to have coached the side.

Gattuso, 39, made over 400 appearances for the club as a player between 1999 and 2013, won a brace of Serie A titles and Champions League trophies with the club. He has been head coach of the club’s youth team before being appointed as new first-team coach for the Serie A club.

While Milan have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League with a match to spare, their dwindling domestic form has been a concern for some time.

They are in seventh place in Serie A, 18 points behind leaders Napoli. The decision was made by the club’s board after they were held to a goalless draw by Torino at the weekend.

The team, which was bolstered by over £205m worth of summer signings have won just twice in their last nine league matches, with their match against Torino being the fourth successive home league game without a goal.

A record of only six wins in Serie A have now cost Montella his coaching position as his impressive start to the campaign, winning 10 of the first 12 matches in all competitions, faded quickly.

Juventus suffer shock defeat at Sampdoria after resting Buffon

Published by:

Juventus fell to a surprise 3-2 defeat at Sampdoria on Sunday while Internazionale after 13 matches in Serie A after losing against Sassuolo in stoppage time.

Juventus, the defending Serie A champions were resting key players in Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon, who were both allowed time to rest from the disappointment of Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup on the bench.

The Turin team also had great chances early on with Gonzalo Higuain having a shot deflected wide and Mario Mandzukic and Juan Cuadrado both forcing saves following Higuain passes.

Duvan Zapata, Lucas Torreira and Gian Marco Ferrari put Sampdoria 3-0 up in the second half before Juventus threatened with an astonishing stoppage-time comeback with a penalty from Higuain and a strike from Paulo Dybala.

Zapata’s opener came after a Federico Bernardeschi mistake, with Torreira then firing home their second from 18 yards and Ferrari tapping into an empty net.

Juve, who take on FC Barcelona in the Champions League this week, are now four points behind leaders Napoli, who beat AC Milan 2-1 on Saturday. Inter Milan was able to leapfrog them with a solid 2-0 win over Atalanta later on Sunday.

Sampdoria, meanwhile, moved five points behind Juventus with a game in hand on most other teams.

Inter Captain Mauro Icardi opened the scoring six minutes into the second half at the San Siro when he powerfully met Antonio Candreva’s right-wing free kick.

Icardi went on to claim his 13th goal of the season nine minutes later with another header, stooping to nod Danilo D’Ambrosio’s in-swinging centre into the bottom left corner as Inter made it 13 games without defeat this season.

Juventus survives Benevento scare to go second in Serie A

Published by:

Juventus survived a scare as they came from behind to beat Serie A’s bottom club Benevento 2-1 at home on their 120th anniversary.

The win moves the defending champions to within a point of leaders Napoli, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Chievo, and a point above third-placed Inter, who were held to a 1-1 draw against visiting Torino.

Juve started brightly and were unlucky not to take the lead in the early stages, with Douglas Costa hitting the woodwork twice in three first-half minutes, first having his 13th-minute cross turned onto the post by visiting goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli before clattering the bar shortly after.

It was Benevento, who are rooted to the foot of the table after losing all of their league games this season, who shocked the Turin crowd as they broke the deadlock in the first half when Amato Ciciretti’s free kick found the bottom corner at the 19th minute.

Not wanting the ignominy of becoming the first side to concede points to Benevento in Serie A, the hosts threw everything at Benevento as they searched for a leveller but the champions could not find a way past the impressive Brignoli in the first half, with Paulo Dybala and Cuadrado among those to be denied before the break.

It was in the second half when Juve flew out of the traps and levelled things up 12 minutes after the interval when Gonzalo Higuain fired in his fifth goal in four games in all competitions after Blaise Matuidi had headed Mattia De Sciglio’s cross into his path.

They then finally found their winner after another period of intense pressure as they scored again eight minutes later when Juan Cuadrado nodded in after getting on the end of Alex Sandro’s deep cross.

The home side pushed for a third in the closing exchanges but Brignoli was again on hand to keep out substitute Rodrigo Bentancur in added time, as Juventus celebrated their 120th anniversary with the home team wearing ‘1897’ shirts.