AC Milan joined Serie A leaders Inter Milan on Wednesday with a Theo Hernandez-inspired 2-0 victory over Venezia, while Juventus won their first game of the season in the fifth attempt, 3-2 at Spezia.
France international Hernandez scored Brahim Diaz’s opener and scored the other at San Siro to take second-placed Milan to 13 points alongside city rivals Inter in a victory that maintains a undefeated record so far this season for Stefano Pioli’s team.
Diaz opened up a stubborn Venice side when he forced Hernandez’s cross on the fly in the 67th minute in a game in which the Rossoneri had so far been limited to a handful of chances.
Hernandez then sealed the three points with eight minutes remaining when he recovered the ball following a superb play from fellow substitute Alexis Saelemaekers and scored his first goal of the campaign.
Milan are one point ahead of Napoli who travel to Sampdoria on Thursday in a bid to maintain their 100% record, while Atalanta and Roma are in fourth and fifth respectively.
“We knew Venice were a tough team to face … We have to win all these types of matches and now we have to win on Saturday (at Spezia) as well,” Hernandez told DAZN.
“Our goal has to be to win the title, and that’s what we have to aim for.”
36-time Italian champions Juventus are eight points behind rivals Milan after a relentless victory at Spezia which at one point looked like an embarrassing defeat.
Emmanuel Gyasi and Janis Antiste put Spezia ahead shortly after the break with two deflected strikes after Moise Kean’s opening goal in the 28th minute, the Italian’s first goal for Juventus since returning from Everton.
However, substitute Federico Chiesa equalized in the middle of the second half with his first league goal of the season and in the 72nd minute Matthijs de Ligt hit the winner when the ball fell gently from a corner of Paulo Dybala.
– Spezia troubles Juve –
The performance was far from convincing and Spezia could have equalized late, with Wojciech Szczesny at his best to fend off Giulio Maggiore’s volley with five minutes remaining.
“It was a tough game, in the first half we played well but they managed to fight back,” said De Ligt, who fell down the pecking order and was only playing because Giorgio Chiellini was not in. form.
“We are in a period where everything that can go wrong happens. Their two goals have come from deviations, hope we can be lucky in the future.”
Juve have now conceded at least one goal in 19 consecutive league games, a trend which is set to change with Chelsea’s visit to Turin in a week’s time.
Salernitana scored his first point of the season coming back from a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home with 15th-placed Verona.
Nikola Kalinic put the opposing team ahead with a skillful double in the first half, but CÃ©dric Gondo pulled one out just before half-time when the ball fell to him on Franck Ribery’s free kick.
Mamadou Coulibaly then hit the leveler with 14 minutes left to send a passionate home crowd, although the promoted side remain at the bottom of the league.
Promoted Empoli is 11th after securing his second win of the season 2-0 at Cagliari thanks to goals in both halves from Federico Di Francesco and Leo Stulac.
td / dj