Rome, 9 March 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Juventus went top by beating Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday in a Serie A classic that was part of a six-game program played behind closed doors after being rescheduled last weekend because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Aaron Ramsey struck in the 55th and Paulo Dybala came on to double up on 67 at the empty state-of-the-art Allianz Stadium to help the Bianconeri move on 63 points.
The Turin champions are now one point above Lazio and nine clear of third-place Inter, who have a game in hand against Sampdoria.
Samir Handanovic returned as Inter goalkeeping captain and saved early efforts from Matthijs de Ligt, Cristiano Ronaldo and Blaise Matuidi, while his Bianconero colleague Wojciech Szczesny denied Marcelo Brozovic before the break.
Ramsey fired in after Matuidi centred a low cross from the left and Dybala displayed his class by finishing a break in the box with an elegant flick.
“It was an important win but there are 12 games left, which is a long way to go,” said Maurizio Sarri, who is in his first coaching season at Juve.
“The lads are close to playing the kind of game I expect and tonight I really liked them,” he said.
AC Milan were stunned 2-1 at home against the strugglers Genoa, staying three points off a Europa League place while the visitors left the drop zone.
Verona stayed one point behind the Rossoneri while Sampdoria rallied to a 2-1 home win from Fabio Quagliarella’s brace after an own goal from his goalkeeper Emil Audero.
In Milan, Genoa forward Toni Sanabria dispossessed Theo Hernandez to square for Goran Pandev to score, and Francesco Cassata also turned in a cross from the right before half-time.
Milan veteran star Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled one back in a goalmouth scramble with 13 minutes to go.
“Playing without public is not football, but this was the case for Genoa too,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “We had a chance to show our abilities also in these particular situation. I think if we did not win it was mostly for our mistakes.”
Genoa are now fourth-last, out of the drop zone on goal difference above Lecce.
Fifth-from-bottom Samp, who had substituted Karol Linetty dismissed in stoppage time, have one more point.
Udinese went three points clear of trouble after drawing 0-0 against visiting Fiorentina.
Second-last SPAL won 1-0 away to Parma as Andrea Petagna converted a second-half penalty as the Ferrara visitors moved past Brescia, now sitting last before their match at Sassuolo on Monday to complete matchday 26.
The fixture in Parma had a 75-minute delay as Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora, the Italian football federation (FIGC) and the Lega Serie A reportedly discussed a possible suspension of the league after the government reinforced measures to contain the spread of the virus.