Juventus awarded Inter Milan a dose of their own to go top of the Serie A in a surreal match behind closed doors.
Juventus vs Inter Milan was one of the biggest games of the Italian season. It was disappointing that the match took place with no fans to cheer their favorite side. But we clearly understand it is because of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Besides, it was a match to remember as we witnessed on the screens, Ronaldo pretending to high-five where fans would have been standing on the way into the stadium.
In an atmosphere akin to a training session, television viewers could hear the ball being kicked and the shouts of players and coaches.
Media, support staff, security, ground staff and club senior executives were allowed into the Allianz Stadium. No fans or family members of the players were allowed. Everyone had their temperature checked before being allowed in.
With the outbreak aside, Juventus came out with a win to go to the top of the Serie A. Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala scored the goals to take their side one point above Lazio.
Wales midfielder, Ramsey pounced onto a loose ball before rifling home the opener. Dybala, on the other hand, scored a classy second with some nice footwork to dummy Ashley young before poking home.
Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score for the first time in Serie A since November 10th. His 11-game league scoring streak is now a joint record with Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.
On to Inter Milan, substitute Daniele Padelli was sent off from the bench for dissent in the second half.
Samir Handanovic, Inter’s goalkeeper, returned from an injury. They were glad to have the Slovenian back as he blocked Matthijs De Ligt’s header and showed a quick reaction to palm away a Blaise Matuidi drive inside the opening 15 minutes.
However, Inter’s title challenge is likely to be over. Conte’s side now sits nine points behind the league leaders, Juventus.
“This is an important victory. But there are still 12 games to go. So, it’s a long road ahead.” Said Maurizio Sarri. “This was far more what I wanted to see from my Juventus.”
“We had seemed a little empty and flat recently. So we had to choose players who could guarantee more energy, both physical and psychological. That’s the sensation we got in training from these players. But that could change in a couple of weeks.”