As the CoronaVirus epidemic keeps threatening Europe, especially Italy, it has now caused a natural suspension of football matches. Cities such as Milan, Torino, and Verona have registered several cases of the virus.
Therefore the games in the regions of Lombardia, Veneto, and Piemonte have been postponed. From the 10 matches scheduled for this weekend, 4 were postponed to an unknown date further ahead.
The matches postponed due to Coronavirus prevention measures were: Inter x Sampdoria, Atalanta x Sassuolo, Torino x Parma, Hellas Verona x Cagliari.
It is still unknown whether next weekend’s football fixtures will happen, as the outbreak is growing wider. It might happen that some games will be played with closed doors, as the UEFA Europa League fixtures such as Inter vs Ludogorets.
As by now, Italy has over 370 cases confirmed, with 12 deaths registered.
Still, 6 of the 10 games from matchday 25 happened this weekend and here is how the table stands:
SPAL 1 x 2 Juventus
Maurizio Sarri is under some criticism as Juventus has not been as dominant in this season of Serie A, as in past years. Still, the club was able to hold on to the lead, following a win away against struggling side SPAL.
Dybala was the first one to threaten the goal, as the Argentinian hit the post with a curled attempt.
However, the opener did not come too late, as Cristiano Ronaldo with a first touch finish, completed a goal initiated by Cuadrado’s run. The Portuguese striker, who just celebrated 35 years of age, has scored now for 11 games in a row.
The Serie A table leaders doubled the advantage in the second half, as Aaron Ramsey chipped the ball over SPAL’s keeper. The Welsh’s second goal in Serie A this season.
Petagna gave SPAL a lifeline of hope, as he converted a penalty kick for the hosts. However, it wouldn’t be enough to take away the 3 points from Juventus, who play Lyon this Tuesday for Champions League.
Genoa 2 x 3 Lazio
Lazio does not give up on the Serie A race and they kept their distance of 1 point to Juventus. As Inter, who they defeated last weekend, got their match postponed, Lazio saw their status elevate as runner up of the competition.
The ‘biancocelesti’ visited Genoa, who is in the relegation zone and Montenegro international Marusic gave them the lead with just 2 minutes. Marusic left Genoa’s defenders crawling on the pitch, as he netted easily past Perin.
Genoa had an immediate chance of equalizing as Andreas Favilli’s nodded attempt hit the post.
The inevitable Immobile showed up in the second half to double Lazio’s lead. It was his 27th goal, as the Italian consolidates even further as the top scorer of the 5 leagues and the most serious candidate to the Golden Boot.
A wonderful lobbed shot from Cassata restored the 1 goal advantage and gave some breathing space to Genoa. However, Cataldi with a well placed free-kick sealed the deal for Lazio.
A penalty converted by Criscito gave some late drama for the fans to hold on too, but Lazio secured the 3 points in the end.
If Juventus slips against Inter on the next matchday, Lazio has a chance of achieving the top of Serie A for the first time this season.
Roma 4 x 0 Lecce
Paulo Fonseca, Roma’s coach, has been criticized, as the Giallorrossi lost the last 3 matches in a row. Roma is still holding to the top 6, but aiming for a top 4 might be too ambitious if they continue dropping points.
A home fixture against relegation contender Lecce seemed the perfect opportunity to get back on track. With 12 minutes on the clock, Cengiz Under, assisted by Mkhitaryan, opened the score for the Romans.
The Armenian doubled the lead minutes later, assisted by Dzeko. In the second half, it was Dzeko himself who made it 3, as the goal was validated after being reviewed by VAR technology.
The only real chance that Lecce had come through Lapadula, who hit the post.
Kolarov finished up the scoreline making it 4, assisted by Barcelona loanee Carles Perez.
Roma keeps the 5th place in the league and they will be deciding their Europa League fate this Thursday against Genk.
Fiorentina 1 x 1 AC Milan
Last time they met, Fiorentina thumped AC Milan at the San Siro (1-3). However, AC Milan looks like a team with new morale after the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and they are in the 7th place. Meanwhile, the ‘Viola’ is 13th and dangerously close to relegation places.
Ibrahimovic was actually the one to score first in this match, but the referee reviewed the goal with the help of VAR technology and claimed a handball. In the replay we can see Ibra’s arm are glued to his torso, which makes this decision seem odd.
However, Milan got their lead anyway in the second half. Ante Rebic who has been on fire lately scored his 6th goal of this campaign. It took a deflection but still left the ‘Rossoneri’ leading.
Fiorentina got reduced to 10 men for a reckless challenge of Dalbert on Ibrahimovic, but the Viola actually looked stronger afterward. A soft challenge on former Milan and Wolves player Patrick Cutrone sent the forward to the ground and the ref pointed to the penalty spot.
Asmir Begovic, who replaced injured Donnarumma, guessed the right side of the goal during Erick Pulgar’s penalty but was unable to save it. 1-1 in a game where the referee had some questionable decisions.
Brescia 1 x 2 Napoli
Gattuso’s road on Napoli started roughly two months ago and the beginning was shaky. However, the Italians have won 3 of the last 4 games and they added another 3 points on their visit to Brescia.
Jhon Chancellor actually left the hosts in front in the first half, but Napoli would turn it around in the second period. Insigne from the penalty spot equalized and then Fabian Ruiz, with a curled beauty turned the game in favor of the visitors.
Napoli jumps to 6th place and they will have a hard task this Tuesday as they host the Spanish champions Barcelona on Champions League.
Bologna 1 x 1 Udinese
In the remaining fixture played this past weekend, Bologna and Udinese split points. Udinese is struggling to leave the bottom of the table, while Bologna is comfortably at the 10th position.
Okaka opened the score for Udinese, with a bullet header following a free-kick. Udinese was confident throughout the game, but Bologna got the draw in the last minute. Palacio found a loose ball in the box and did not waste the chance.