Lautaro Martinez ensured that Inter kept hold of their two-point lead at the top of Serie A as he struck in Sunday’s scrappy 1-1 draw at closest rivals Juventus.
Argentina forward Martinez swept home Marcus Thuram’s low cross in the 33rd minute following great play down the right flank from his strike partner, to keep second-placed Juve at arm’s length in the title race.
His 15th goal in all competitions brought Inter level six minutes after Dusan Vlahovic broke a two-month scoring duck with a similar first-time finish at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.
The stalemate ended a six-match winning streak in all competitions for Inter, who are favourites to claim a 20th league Scudetto ahead of AC Milan who have also won the league 19 times.
Simone Inzaghi’s side have come through the first of a series of tough tests with a Champions League trip to Benfica coming up on Wednesday before they face Napoli in Naples next Sunday.
Inter’s hierarchy have repeatedly said Juve are favourites for the title as they have no European commitments but beyond Vlahovic’s fifth goal of the season Massimiliano Alegri’s side offered very little.
The away side were missing starting defenders Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni but had few problems dealing with Juve’s predictable attacks as both teams seemed keener not to lose than to try to win.
A lively opening period was followed up by a miserable second half in which niggly fouls and protests to referee Marco Guida dominated, and a drab encounter petered out to a draw which won’t displease either coach.
Paulo Dybala felt the need to silence the haters after helping to fire Roma fifth with the decisive second goal in a 3-1 win over struggling Udinese.
Argentina forward Dybala rolled Roma into a 2-1 lead with nine minutes remaining at the Stadio Olimpico after being brilliantly flicked through by Romelu Lukaku, with Stephan El Shaarawy then completing the scoring in the final minute.
It was Dybala’s third goal of the league campaign and his first since a brace against Empoli in mid-September, and he put his finger to his lips for the people who “talk too much for no reason”.
“I try to give back all the love these people give me,” Dybala told DAZN. “I want to make history here by winning a trophy. It was a good night.”
Dybala’s strike helped move Roma three points from fourth-placed Napoli — who currently occupy the last Champions League spot — taking advantage of Atalanta and Fiorentina both losing on Saturday to leapfrog the pair.
Udinese are only a point above the relegation zone, with Empoli just inside the bottom three after Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi consigned them to a late 4-3 home defeat.
Defeat sent Empoli down to 18th, level on 10 points with Cagliari who move out of the drop zone following their 1-1 draw with Monza in Sunday’s late match.
Ilario Monterisi moved Frosinone up to 10th with a 92nd-minute winner against fellow promoted outfit Genoa, who sit 15th after their seventh defeat of the campaign.
World Cup News
/ 3 months ago
FIFA on Saturday confirmed that three bids to host the Women’s World Cup in...
/ 3 months ago
A set of six jerseys that Lionel Messi wore during Argentina’s victorious 2022 World...