Soccer-Talking points from the weekend's Serie A matches

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Alasdair Mackenzie
·3-min read
Serie A - Inter Milan v Hellas Verona
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

By Alasdair Mackenzie

ROME (Reuters) - Talking points from the weekend's Serie A matches.

INTER TITLE 95% CERTAIN

Inter Milan moved within five points of their first Serie A title in 11 years as they edged to a 1-0 win over Hellas Verona.

The result left the runaway leaders 11 points clear at the top of the table, meaning that one win and two draws from their remaining five games will be enough to end Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold of the league crown.

Inter's advantage is such that even their coach Antonio Conte, who has repeatedly underlined during his side’s 17-game unbeaten league run that they have yet to achieve anything, admitted that they are almost there.

“I see 95% of the Scudetto conquered,” Conte told Sky Italia.

“It has not been achieved yet. But winning against a team that had nothing to lose and came to play openly brings us not three, not six, but nine points,” he added, emphasising the importance of the win.

CAGLIARI BLOW RELEGATION BATTLE WIDE OPEN

Cagliari’s remarkable bid to avoid the drop continued with a stunning 3-2 home win over AS Roma, their third victory in a row.

The Sardinian side climbed out of the relegation zone on goal difference after drawing level on 31 points with Benevento, who are third from bottom, and Torino, creating a tight battle at the bottom of the table.

Three points separate 14th-placed Fiorentina from that trio, while Genoa, Bologna and Udinese are not completely safe as they sit five, seven and eight points above the drop zone respectively.

“I knew right away that our fate was always in our own hands. Beating Roma is a very important result to end an extraordinary week, but there are a lot of games left to play,” said Cagliari coach Leonardo Semplici.

“The guys must keep their feet on the ground, and I told them that at the end of the game.”

COACH PIRLO AND JUVENTUS UNHAPPY

A tumultuous week for Juventus, dominated by their involvement in the failed European Super League project, ended with a disappointing 1-1 draw at struggling Fiorentina.

The result leaves the reigning champions at risk of failing to qualify for the Champions League.

Juve are fourth, level on 66 points with third-placed AC Milan and three points ahead of fifth-placed Napoli who both have a game in hand.

Milan can pull clear by beating Lazio away later on Monday, and Napoli have the chance to leapfrog Juve with a win at Torino in the early kickoff.

After winning nine consecutive league titles, Juve manager Andrea Pirlo admitted that his debut season as coach of the Turin club had been a disappointment.

“The initial expectations were different, and I don’t think I have done the job the way I wanted,” he said.

“You learn something with every game, but I am not happy and I do not think the club is either.”

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)