NAPOLI IN FIRM CONTROL OF SERIE A AFTER FINAL GAMES OF YEAR
Posted on November 14, 2022
Only AC Milan will end the year less than 10 points behind runaway Serie A leader Napoli.
An own-goal in stoppage time saw Milan snatch a 2-1 win at home to Fiorentina on Sunday to remain eight points adrift of Napoli, which beat Udinese 3-2 the previous day.
The other four teams in the top six were playing each other in the final round before the Italian league pauses for the World Cup and the traditional winter break. It resumes Jan. 4.
Juventus beat Lazio 3-0 to move above the capital side into third, 10 points behind Napoli. Lazio and Inter Milan are a point further back after the Nerazzurri came from behind to win 3-2 at sixth-place Atalanta.
It was a sixth straight league win without conceding a goal for Juventus, which has soared back up the table after a dreadful start to the season.
Juventus broke the deadlock two minutes from halftime in Turin when Adrien Rabiot won the ball in midfield and picked out Moise Kean who raced forward before lifting the ball over onrushing Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel.
Kean doubled his tally in the 54th minute when he slotted into an empty net after Provedel parried Filip Kostić’s effort into his path.
Arkadiusz Milik sealed the match in the final minute when he tapped home a low ball across the area from Federico Chiesa, who has only recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff.
American midfielder Weston McKennie didn’t dress for Juventus. He heads to the World Cup having not played since Oct. 29 due to a thigh injury.
A superb performance from Edin Džeko helped Inter secure a victory over one of its closest rivals for the first time this season.
Ademola Lookman's penalty had given Atalanta the lead but Džeko netted twice, either side of halftime, and José Luis Palomino's own-goal secured the win for Inter.
Palomino headed in a corner at the right end in the 77th to set up a tense finale.
Inter — which has lost to Milan, Juventus and Lazio this season — will host Napoli in its next match when Serie A resumes.
It was a fourth defeat in five matches for Atalanta.
Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenković turned into his own net in stoppage time as Milan snatched what could prove to be a crucial win in its title defense.
Rafael Leão netted the opener after less than 90 seconds but Milan appeared to be heading for a second straight draw following Antonín Barák's 28th-minute equalizer.
Sergiño Dest entered in the 56th minute for Milan in his first appearance since Oct. 30. The World Cup-bound American defender did not feature for three straight matches because of an adductor injury.
Another stoppage-time goal helped Roma snatch a 1-1 draw against Torino.
Andrea Belotti had seen a penalty kick come off the post for Roma moments earlier, while Paulo Dybala also hit the woodwork just before Nemanja Matić finally got the equalizer.
Roma coach José Mourinho was sent off for dissent late on.
At the other end of the table, Spezia won 2-1 at bottom club Hellas Verona to move six points clear of the relegation zone but its joy was tempered by a serious injury to Poland goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski, ruling him out of the World Cup.
Monza beat Salernitana 3-0.
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