Juventus sees signs of a new birth after beating Inter Milan 2-0



Juventus’ long crisis showed signs of ending on Sunday after a 2-0 win over rivals Inter Milan put them within sight of the top four in Serie A, while Felipe Anderson led Lazio to a 1-0 win in the Roma derby.

Juventus spent almost the entire season teetering from one disaster to the next, but Adrien Rabiot’s fine first-time finish five minutes after half-time and a late shot from youngster Niccolò Fagioli earned them a fourth successive league win.

Coach Massimiliano Allegri’s team, which was without Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic and a group of other players, is fifth in Serie A, two points behind Lazio – whom it faces next weekend – and Atalanta in the last two places in the Champions League.

“We had some difficulties… There is a desire and determination to do everything for your teammate and never give up,” Rabiot told DAZN after scoring his fifth goal of the season.

Inter is one point behind Juventus in seventh place after its fifth defeat this season, which came after wasting a group of opportunities.

Rabiot’s opener came after a fine play from Philippe Kosteki and five minutes later Hakan Calhanoglu was volleyed onto the crossbar by Wojciech Szczesny, one of a series of chances Inter needed to take the lead before falling behind.

Edin Dzeko headed in from inches away in the 27th minute, but the worst mistake came three minutes before half-time when Denzel Dumfries somehow tipped over a small chance from close range from Niccolo Barella’s cross.

And after Danilo had a goal for Juve disallowed for a handball in the 65th minute, Martinez drove a low, low finish straight into Szczesny on the end of a swift counter-attack.

Then Fagioli sealed the points with five minutes remaining after conceding a penalty from Kostic to give Juventus hope that their recent troubles might be over.

“We played really well in the first half and you can’t go into the first half without goals there,” said Inter coach Simone Inzaghi.

“It’s a difficult defeat in a big game against an opponent, and it hurts.”

– Lazio bragging rights –

Anderson scored Lazio’s goal just before the half-hour mark in the Italian capital after Roma defender Roger Ibanez gifted the ball cheaply into his own area under pressure from Pedro.

It was the 29-year-old’s third league goal as he continues to play in the unfamiliar position of centre-forward in place of the injured Ciro Immobile.

Italian striker Immobile was on the bench to support Lazio despite a groin problem that left him unable to play and he watched his side climb into third place with an assured performance.

“Immobile has been with us the whole time, even during training camp… He’s a leader and I play a role he’s perfect at,” Anderson told DAZN.

Notoriously wide-ranging in football, Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri created a side hard to beat and ousted from key player Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, absorbing Roma’s largely ineffectual attack to claim their seventh clean sheet in their last eight matches.

Roma were the nominal hosts at the Stadio Olimpico but came close four minutes from falling behind when Nicolo Zaniolo’s shot hit the crossbar.

Coach Jose Mourinho’s team failed to make enough to deserve the victory and fall back from fifth place after its fourth defeat this season.

Earlier, Verona dropped to last place after losing 2-0 to promoted Monza, its eighth consecutive defeat.

Second half goals from Carlos Augusto and Andrea Colpani gave Monza their first win in four matches and left 10-man Verona with five points from 13 matches.

Monza remain 15th but seven points clear of the relegation zone in their first ever season in Serie A and were cheered on by victim Pablo Mari in the stands.

Arsenal defender Mari, on loan, was one of several people attacked last week at a Carrefour supermarket on the outskirts of Milan by a man who killed a staff member after he snatched a knife from a shelf.

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