The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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Last-gasp goal gives new Lazio coach Tudor winning debut over former club Juventus

Associated Press Sunday, 31 March 2024, 06:28 Last update: about 18 days ago

A stoppage-time goal by Lazio defender Adam Marusic downed Juventus 1-0 and gave coach Igor Tudor a winning debut in Serie A on Saturday, while AC Milan beat Fiorentina 2-1.

Marusic headed home a last-gasp cross by substitute Matteo Guendouzi to secure the victory in Rome.

“This is the best movie I could have hoped for,” Tudor said. “We couldn’t have started better. I’m happy for my players, for how they interpreted the game, and I’m happy that we started on the right foot.”

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Tudor replaced Maurizio Sarri two weeks ago before the international break. As a player, Tudor helped Juventus win Italian titles in 2002 and 2003 while making 112 career appearances in the league for the team from Turin.

Lazio rose past defending champion Napoli into seventh place, while Juventus was left in third place with just one win in nine rounds.

“My players never lacked commitment and professionalism, I can only blame them for the goal five seconds from the end. We managed the end of the game poorly,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

MILAN WINS

Fiorentina's Alfred Duncan quickly canceled out Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s 47th-minute opener, but Rafael Leão put Milan ahead for good in the 53rd.

It was Fiorentina’s first game since general manager Joe Barone died following a cardiac arrest. The club’s previous game at Atalanta two weeks ago was postponed when Barone fell ill shortly before the game at the team hotel.

Before the game, Fiorentino held a moment of silence for Barone with the message “Ciao Joe” on a large message board atop the stadium. It also posted on social media a statement the club attributed to Barone’s family thanking Fiorentina fans for the “outpouring of love (that) has been a source of immense comfort to us all and remind us that we are not alone in our grief.”

Milan stayed in a distant second place at 11 points behind leader Inter Milan.

NAPOLI TAKES KNEE

Napoli players took a knee before their 3-0 loss to Atalanta in a public show of support for teammate Juan Jesus. The gesture came after a sports judge ruled Inter Milan defender Francesco Acerbi will not face sanctions for allegedly racially abusing Jesus, who is Black, in a Serie A match because there wasn’t enough proof.

Atalanta, at sixth place, boosted its chances for a Champions League berth.

Aleksei Miranchuk and Gianluca Scamacca took advantage of some timid defending by Napoli to give Atalanta a two-goal lead before halftime at Diego Maradona Stadium. Teun Koopmeiners completed the win with a late goal for the visitors.

Napoli had back-to-back chances to get back in the game early in the second half when Piotr Zieliński hit the post seconds before Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi pushed Victor Osimhen’s attempt onto the other post.

“We are too fragile. Today we paid for an attitude that left us vulnerable,” Napoli coach Francesco Calzona said. “We must be more solid.”

OTHER RESULTS

Torino forward Antonio Sanabria converted a penalty midway through the second half to down Monza 1-0. Monza finished with 10 men after Mateo Pessina got a second booking shortly after his team fell behind.

Relegation-threatened Frosinone drew at Genoa 1-1 after Reinier canceled out Albert Guðmundsson’s opener for the hosts.

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