Juventus’ charge toward an eighth straight Serie A title continued at full speed on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over 15th-place Udinese. Rodrigo Betancur and Cristiano Ronaldo bagged the goals, four minutes apart beginning in the 33rd.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side is a perfect eight-for-eight thus far in league play, and last season’s 38-game title battle — as opposed to their typical 30-game sprint — appears to have been a one-season blip, with order fully restored in 2018-19.
Empoli 0-2 Roma
Roma, along with Napoli, are the nearest challengers to Juve’s throne. Saturday’s 2-0 victory away to Empoli keeps Eusebio Di Francesco’s side within 10 points of the top spot. Translation: it’s a steep, uphill battle from here.
Steven Nzonzi and Edin Dzeko were the goalscorers — in the 36th and 85th minutes. Roma have won four in a row after a very poor start to the season saw them win just once in their first five games. Realistically, their title hopes were gone by then.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Cagliari 2-0 Bologna
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Genoa vs. Parma — 6:30 a.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Chievo — 9 a.m. ET
Lazio vs. Fiorentina — 9 a.m. ET
Atalanta vs. Sampdoria — 9 a.m. ET
Napoli vs. Sassuolo — 12 p.m. ET
SPAL vs. Inter Milan — 2:30 p.m. ET
“We will benefit greatly from his physicality, his tempo and his extreme dynamism,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said. “A player like him with his fighting spirit and his desire to be successful would help any team.”
Schulz, who will be familiar to Dortmund coach Lucien Favre from their time together at Borussia Moenchengladbach, scored one goal and set up six more for Hoffenheim last season.
Kicker magazine reported that Dortmund was paying 27 million euros ($30 million) for the player, making Schulz Dortmund’s second most expensive signing after Andre Schuerrle.
Schulz has scored two goals in six appearances for Germany.
Dortmund was also reportedly on the verge of signing 19-year-old Spanish right back Mateu Morey on a free transfer from Barcelona, while Belgium international Thorgan Hazard was expected to join from Gladbach and Germany midfielder Julian Brandt of Bayer Leverkusen remained a target.
Sarri also criticized the Blues’ preseason trip to America, and Matt Law’s report says the manager is fine to stay in England but may want to return to Italy. Roma is also searching for a manager.
Chelsea’s playing style under Sarri drew criticism from supporters but the Blues are in the Europa League Final, finished third in the Premier League, and came within penalty kicks of beating Manchester City to the League Cup title.
Maybe the cigarette-chomping Sarri isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but his success on the table and tournaments with a transfer ban looming was pretty solid. Chelsea could do much worse.
Kompany, 33, has been called up by Belgium for the first time since November. He has 87 caps with four goals for the Red Devils, and perhaps the nickname will be a little less awkward now that he’s not a member of the Premier League’s “noisy neighbors.”
Here’s what Martinez had to say about Kompany’s inclusion.
“In modern football it is not easy to combine the job of player and coach,” Martinez added. “In England they have a tradition of that but less and less because the job of coach has become enormously demanding. We must give him time. We will support him in everything he does.”
Belgium is in a qualifying group with Russia, Cyprus, Scotland, Kazakhstan, and San Marino, and should waltz into the tournament.