Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia was a fun place to be on Sunday.
The home side, Atalanta routed Udinese 7-1, equalling their biggest ever Serie A victory and moving just three points behind league leaders Juventus.
Udinese opened the scoreline in the 11th minute, but the visitor’s red card in the 32nd minute proved to be too much for them to overcome. When all was said and done, Luis Muriel finished with hat-trick, while Josip Ilicic added a brace of his own.
Fresh off of a 5-1 drilling against Manchester City in the Champions League – a tournament that has seen them lose its first three games – La Dea was in dire need of such reviving performance, despite just loosing once this season.
Prior to Sunday, Udinese had conceded just six goals this season.
Atalanta will have to turn the page quickly, however, as they take on fourth-place Napoli midweek, while Udinese host Roma, who edged AC Milan with goals from Edin Dzeko and Nicolo Zaniolo.
Juventus will have to wait at least another week to celebrate another Scudetto after a historic SPAL win on Saturday. The club based in the famous region Emilia-Romagna came back to beat Juventus, 2-1. Budding Juventus star Moise Kean scored for the fourth time in five games but two second half goals from Kevin Bonifazi and Sergio Floccari gave SPAL the win.
Juventus, ahead of its second leg match with Ajax in the UEFA Champions League, rested many of its veteran starters including Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini. 17-year-old Paolo Guzzi made his debut for Juventus with all the changes.
AC Milan 1-0 Lazio
Franck Kessie’s penalty kick goal gave AC Milan its tenth home win of the year and kept the Italian giant in the run for a place in next year’s UEFA Champions League.
Just three points separated Lazio and Milan before the match but despite Lazio reportedly having the advantage, Milan came away with all three points. Ciro Immobile had chances to score for Lazio at either end of the first half, but Pepe Reina came up with big saves to keep the clean sheet. At the other end, Davide Calabria crossed to Krzysztof Piatek but he couldn’t put a strike on target.
In the second half, Riza Durmisi fouled Mateo Musacchio in the box, leading to Kessie scoring to secure the victory.
Elsewhere, Edin Dzeko‘s goal led Roma to a 1-0 victory over Udinese at the Estadio Olimpico.
FERRARA, Italy (AP) Video review changed the course of a Serie A match in Italy on Sunday when, for the first time, a goal was disallowed and a penalty awarded to the opposing team in the same decision.
SPAL thought it had gone 2-1 ahead when Mattia Valoti scored on the counter-attack but the referee viewed a previous incident on VAR and opted to award Fiorentina a penalty for Dias Felipe’s trip on Federico Chiesa moments earlier.
The decision, which came more than four minutes after the foul, made everything that had followed null and void, including Valoti’s goal.
SPAL finished 17th last season, just three points above the drop, but Serie A minnows SPAL may have turned things around.
23-year-old AC Milan youth product Andrea Petagna scored a pair within six minutes of each other soon after halftime, and that was all SPAL needed as they topped Atalanta 2-0 at Stadio Paolo Mazza. Atalanta held 57% possession, but couldn’t find a way through, only able to put one of its 13 shots on frame.
The win moved SPAL to second in the Serie A table, level with Napoli on points but ahead by three goals on differential, with Napoli on a 0 goal differential thanks to its baffling 3-0 loss at Sampdoria two weekends ago. Through four matches, SPAL has conceded just a single goal, coming in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Torino, their only blemish so far this season.
The victory marked SPAL’s first match back in its home ground, which had been renovated to increase capacity to 16,000 which was the minimum to host Serie A matches. They had been playing home matches at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in nearby Bologna, the usual home site for fellow Serie A side Bologna FC. Last season’s 17th placed finish was the club’s first campaign in the top flight since 1968.
SPAL and Napoli still sit three points back of eight-time defending champions Juventus, who are on a perfect 12 points through four matches. SPAL visits Fiorentina next weekend.
Juve had 65 percent of possession on the day and out-shot SPAL by a count of 12-3 (3-0 on target), but the likes of Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Douglas Costa and Miralem Pjanic couldn’t beat 20-year-old goalkeeper Alex Meret (on loan from Udinese).
Massimiliano Allegri’s side now leads Napoli by five points, but the game in hand now belongs to the chasers, who host 13th-place Genoa on Sunday with a chance to cut the deficit to just two points with nine games remaining. Just when it seemed crystal clear and a foregone conclusion Juve would wrap up their seventh straight Serie A title, newly promoted SPAL helped to make things quite interesting once again.
Elsewhere in Serie A
Udinese 1-2 Sassuolo
Sunday’s Serie A schedule
Sampdoria vs. Inter Milan — 7:30 a.m. ET
Crotone vs. Roma — 10 a.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Chievo — 10 a.m. ET
Torino vs. Fiorentina — 10 a.m. ET
Hellas Verona vs. Atalanta — 10 a.m. ET
Benevento vs. Cagliari — 10 a.m. ET
Napoli vs. Genoa — 3:45 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Bologna — 3:45 p.m. ET