Juve beat Bologna to close gap

Published January 26, 2021
TURIN: Juventus’ Weston McKennie (second R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring during the Serie A match against Bologna at the Juventus Stadium.—AFP
TURIN: Juventus’ Weston McKennie (second R) celebrates with team-mates after scoring during the Serie A match against Bologna at the Juventus Stadium.—AFP

MILAN: Weston McKennie scored to help Juventus beat Bologna 2-0 in Serie A on Sunday and bounce back from their demoralising loss to title rivals Inter Milan.

The American headed in Juve’s second goal, in the 71st minute, after Arthur had given the Bianconeri the lead in the first half.

Juve moved within seven points of leaders AC Milan, who were beaten 3-0 at home by Atalanta on Saturday. Second-placed Inter Milan also dropped points with a 0-0 draw at Udinese. Nine-time defending champions Juve have a match in hand.

Juve are fourth, level on points with fifth-placed Atalanta. Napoli missed the chance to move ahead of Juve after they lost 3-1 at Hellas Verona despite Hirving Lozano scoring after just nine seconds to sit sixth, two points adrift of the Champions League berths, equal on 34 points with Lazio who beat European rivals Sassuolo 2-1.

Juve had lost 2-0 at Inter last week but boosted morale by beating Napoli by the same score-line on Wednesday to lift the Italian Super Cup.

Andrea Pirlo’s side needed a stroke of luck to take the lead against Bologna in Turin, with Arthur’s somewhat hopeful shot deflecting into the bottom right corner in the 15th minute. It was Arthur’s first goal for Juve since joining from Barcelona in June.

McKennie scored the second by nodding in a corner, for his fourth goal in 21 games since moving from Bundesliga side Schalke 04.

Bologna could have conceded more late on but for goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski who denied Adrien Rabiot and Cristiano Ronaldo in the final four minutes.

Napoli got off to a perfect start in Verona as, almost straight from kick-off, Mexican forward Lozano fired home Napoli’s fastest-ever Serie A goal after Verona defe­nder Federico Dimarco missed Diego Demme’s long ball.

But Dimarco made up for his mistake by volleying in the equaliser on 34 minutes for eighth-placed Verona.

Antonn Bark netted what was to prove the winner for Verona in the 62nd, following an inspired pass from Mattia Zaccagni, who then scored Verona’s third.

Lazio rallied past Sassuolo to stretch their winning streak to four games.

Francesco Caputo found the back of the net for the visitors after six minutes in the Stadio Olimpico before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic pulled the hosts level with a powerful 25th-minute header.

Ciro Immobile scored the winner with 19 minutes to go for his 13th goal this campaign.

Genoa, in 16th, won the battle of relegation rivals with Mattia Destro scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over 18th-placed Cagliari who fell to their sixth consecutive defeat.

Parma remained a point below Cagliari following a 2-0 loss at home to Sampdoria, who got goals from Maya Yoshida and Keita Bald Diao.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021

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