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Five talking-points from the Serie A weekend

Five talking-points from the Serie A weekend
Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group G - Viktoria Plzen v AS Roma - Doosan Arena, Plzen, Czech Republic - December 12, 2018 AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco reacts REUTERS/David W Cerny   -   Copyright  DAVID W CERNY(Reuters)
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MILAN (Reuters) – Five talking-points from the Serie A weekend after runaway leaders Juventus came from behind to win 2-1 at Lazio and stretch the gap at the top to 11 points over Napoli.


Bottom-of-the-table Chievo, beaten 4-3 at home by Fiorentina, were fuming over one of the most unusual VAR decisions seen in Serie A since the system was introduced at the start of last season.

Trailing 1-0, Chievo’s Emanuele Giaccherini had the ball in the net after Fiorentina goalkeeper Alban Lafont sent a goal kick straight to him but the VAR spotted an encroachment because a Chievo player had his foot on the line of the penalty area.

“I’ve been president for the past 26 years, I’ve never seen a referee and VAR make such a nonsensical decision,” said Campedelli. “If they are going to make decisions like that, we should take it away, it’s no use.”

He then painted a picture — which football authorities have tried to dispel — of a video referee calmly drinking tea while watching the game.

“I prefer a referee who makes mistakes on the pitch, rather than one who is sipping tea,” he said.

Chievo coach Domenico Di Carlo said that, by the same logic, VAR should have intervened when Lafont saved a Chievo penalty later in the game because he was “10 centimetres off his line.”

“Italian referees are good, the VAR officials should not have so much power,” he said.


AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said his team’s inconsistency was driving him up the wall after they squandered a 3-0 lead in a 3-3 draw at Atalanta.

“In the first half, the players did everything we had worked on,” he said. “I can’t fathom what went on in the second half and it’s not the first time this has happened.

“It’s something to do with the mental attributes of this team; we still need to work on this. Full credit to Atalanta, but if you’re leading 3-0 you can’t ever let it get to 3-3.”

Roma are fifth, one point outside the Champions League places, but have suffered defeats to Bologna, SPAL and Udinese, all teams in the lower half of the table, this season.

“What really drives me up the wall is that we lacked consistency,” he said. “You can’t always play well for a half, then at the first sign of difficulty hand over the initiative to the opposition.”


Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted he got the starting line-up wrong after his side’s 2-1 win at Lazio, where they were on the back foot for the first hour.

“I tried playing Emre Can in front of the defence but at the moment he’s not fully adjusted to match tempo and movement, so I put him in a difficult situation,” said Allegri.

“In the second half I moved (Rodrigo) Bentancur and we switched to a two-man midfield base; from that moment Emre started playing well.”

Juventus have dropped only four points all season and are cantering towards an eighth successive title.


Having slammed Torino for their naivety in a 3-2 defeat at AS Roma in their previous game, coach Walter Mazzarri was much happier with their approach in the 1-0 win over Inter Milan.

“I was angry after the Roma and Fiorentina games because the lads were guilty of lapses of concentration which are unforgivable at this level,” he said. “Today, we were fully concentrated and showed the right amount of cunning.”

However, he added it was not their best performance of the season. “We played better and created more chances in other games but we deserved the win.”


Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti, whose side have failed to score in two games since the winter break, said his players failed to stick to their tasks after failing behind to Armando Izzo’s 35th minute goal in the same match.

“We need to restructure the principles of the team and how we play,” he said. “We need to be more organised. When we went behind, we looked to do things more as individuals, instead, everyone must focus on their tasks.”

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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