Five talking-points from the Serie A weekend


  • Football
  • Monday, 22 Apr 2019

MILAN (Reuters) - Five talking-points from the Serie A weekend where Juventus beat Fiorentina 2-1 to wrap up an eighth successive Serie A title with five games to spare.

JUVENTUS MAKE NINTH SUCCESSIVE TITLE THEIR PRIORITY

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said that a ninth successive Serie A title would be their priority next season.

"The scudetto will be the target. We will be up against the two Milan teams who are improving and Napoli area also growing," he said. "Roma and Lazio could strengthen over the summer."

"There is not going to be a revolution. We have to improve the quality of our football and learn how to deal with unexpected events better, because those moments can change a tournament."

"We will meet with the club and see what could have been done better. I might try a few players in different roles, which I already did recently using Emre Can as a third centre-back, or Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado in a three-man midfield. I am curious to see how they do."

SAMPDORIA SPORTING DIRECTOR QUITS AFTER ROW WITH PRESIDENT

Sampdoria's sporting director Walter Sabatini has resigned amid reports of a furious row with club president Massimo Ferrero following the 3-0 defeat to Bologna.

Italian media, including Gazzetta dello Sport and the news agency ANSA, said the two had to be pulled apart after an argument broke out in the dressing room.

"I confirm my resignation with great sorrow and regret," Sabatini told Sky Sport Italia. "There was a row between myself and the president after the game and when something like that happens, it's right that the employee resigns.

"There will be no turning-back but it was a difficult decision because I want the best for this team."

RANIERI TALKS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL PRESSURE IN SERIE A

AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri, back in Serie A after a seven-year absence, has been struck by the amount of pressure on the coaches and players.

"I think the psychological pressure inhibits our players and coaches," he said after his side held Inter Milan to a 1-1 draw at San Siro, leaving them one point and one place outside the top four.

"There’s a lot less tactics abroad, but when they step out onto the pitch they run harder. That’s their secret: constantly training and playing at full pelt."

"They have a lot less psychological stress in the Premier League; you play the game and everything else doesn’t weigh on you as much," said Ranieri who led Leicester City to their title in 2016

"I haven’t changed the training methods from England to Italy, it’s the pressure. Everything weighs on you more here.”

Ranieri was fired by Fulham in February and hired by Roma the following month for the rest of the season.

LAZIO'S INZAGHI BAFFLED BY TEAM'S NAIVETY

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi blamed his players' naivety for a shock 2-1 home defeat by bottom-of-the-table Chievo which could wreck their chances of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Lazio had playmaker Sergej Milinkovic-Savic sent off for retaliation in the 34th minute and Luis Alberto dismissed for dissent after the final whistle.

"Milinkovic made a huge, naive mistake that altered the game," said Inzaghi. "That was a massive error and we all paid dearly for it."

"Our Champions League hopes are not over but this is a huge setback that we didn't expect."

EMPOLI AND SPAL MILESTONES

Andrea Petagna, 23, set a new scoring record for SPAL in a single Serie A campaign when his two goals in the 4-2 win at Empoli took his tally to 14.

Meanwhile, Francesco Caputo's opening goal for Empoli meant he became only the second player to score 15 or more goals for the Tuscan side in a single top flight campaign.

SPAL virtually ensured their survival as the win lifted them to 13th in the table with 38 points, nine clear of the danger zone. Empoli are stuck in the bottom three, four points adrift of Udinese who are the team immediately above them.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)