Milan (AFP) – Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria made their dream Juventus debuts on Sunday with a goal apiece in a 2-0 win over Verona which puts their new side in the Serie A Champions League places, while Napoli are hot on the heels of leaders Inter Milan after beating Venezia.
The duo ensured that Juve took advantage of Atalanta’s 2-1 home loss to lowly Cagliari by beating fiery Verona in Turin to take their place in the top four.
Serbian striker Vlahovic took just 12 minutes at a foggy Allianz stadium to show why Juve paid 70 million euros ($80.2m) to snatch him from Fiorentina, rushing over Paulo Dybala’s chipped ball before sending a delicate lobbed finish over Verona keeper Lorenzo. Montipo.
Zakaria, who arrived for 4.5 million euros from Borussia Moenchengladbach on transfer deadline day, sealed the points in the 61st minute when he was sent through on goal by Alvaro Morata and struck at home a precise finish that put Juve two points clear of fifth place. Atalanta.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side have played one game more than Atalanta and will travel to Bergamo next weekend to face a side that have been described as ‘not good enough’ by coach Gian Piero Gasperini after their defeat against Cagliari.
Vlahovic’s 18th league goal of the season puts him level with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the race for Italy’s ‘Capocannoniere’ goalscoring title.
The 22-year-old should have added to his total shortly before half-time after the superb interaction between Dybala and Morata led to the latter whipping a perfect cross to their new strike partner.
However, Vlahovic could only glance wide, leaving the door open for Verona – missing key players Giovanni Simeone and Gianluca Caprari – which was only closed once Zakaria struck.
Napoli in the fight for the title
Victor Osimhen put Napoli in the heart of a treble title chase with a goal on his first start since November that helped his side win 2-0 at Venice.
Nigeria striker Osimhen had made two brief appearances as a substitute since fracturing his face in a sickening head crash at Inter, and he rewarded manager Luciano Spalletti’s decision to choose him by jumping to lead Napoli just before the hour mark at Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo. .
Andrea Petagna sealed the points in the 100th minute of an extended match due to a clash of heads between the referee and Venice’s Tyronne Ebuehi, as well as a late red card from the same player for a terrible foul on Dries Mertens.
Wearing a special mask which he described to DAZN as a “good look for me”, Osimhen’s sixth Serie A goal of the season – his first since mid-October – put Napoli just one point clear. ‘Inter after losing the derby to AC Milan. the Saturday.
Napoli have played one game more than Inter, but they host the champions next weekend before traveling to Barcelona for the first leg of their Europa League play-off with the Catalan giants.
“We have a lot of goals this season and the Scudetto is one of them, so step by step and with determination I think we will get there,” Osimhen said.
Sampdoria took advantage by beating Sassuolo 4-0 and taking a five-point lead over Venezia, who fell into the relegation zone after the Cagliari win.
Marco Giampaolo’s Samp won thanks to two superb volleys from Francesco Caputo and Andrea Conti, a goal from Stefano Sensi on his debut after arriving on loan from Inter and Antonio Candreva’s late penalty.
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