Category Archives: Italian Serie A

Gennaro Gattuso replaces Vincenzo Montella as head coach of AC Milan

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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

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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

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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.

Maurizio Sarri wary even as Napoli continues to lead Serie A table

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Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri but insists his first-place side have a long way to go in their pursuit of a first Serie A title since 1989-90.

Last season’s second runners-up, Napoli reinforced their title credentials during the weekend with an easy 3-1 victory over Sassuolo 3-1 to go three points clear at the top of the table.

Allan opened the scoring midway through the first half for Sarri’s side before Diego Falcinelli scored an undeserved equaliser in the 41st minute.

However, the Partenopei had little to worry as they restored their advantage on the stroke of half-time with goalkeeper Andrea Consigli parrying a corner into his own net to concede a goal that was attributed to Jose Callejon, before Dries Mertens ensured a 10th win in 11 league games with a second-half strike.

Maurizio Sarri’s side have now won 10 and drawn one of their opening 11 games in the league this season, but the manager is not getting carried despite his team being clear on points on top of the Italian top flight, insisting it will take them more than 90 points to dethrone champions Juventus, who won it last year for the sixth season running.

“Right now, the forecast is a bit improbable. I don’t think the top teams can continue to keep this pace,” Sarri said. “Many smaller team will get new players or they will find their game.”

“Going forward the games will be different, harder. This pace is destined to slow down, not just for us but for any team looking to win the title. The feeling though is that we will need to have more than 90 points to win the championship.”