Lazio dominates but draws at 10-man Verona
MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan moved back on top of Serie A with a statement 4-0 victory over relegation-threatened Udinese on Saturday.
Inter knew it had to respond and leapfrog back above Juventus, which beat defending champion Napoli 1-0 on Friday.
Three goals in seven minutes at the end of the first half from Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Federico Dimarco and Marcus Thuram put Inter firmly in control and Lautaro Martínez capped a great night for his team with a fine individual goal late on.
Inter moved back to two points above Juventus and nine above third-placed AC Milan, which lost at Atalanta 3-2.
Udinese remained a point above the bottom three.
Inter dominated and Martinez hit the post early. Their first-half siege paid off from the 37th minute with Çalhanoğlu scoring from a penalty then turning provider for Dimarco. Another lovely team move — 21 passes — ended the match as a contest before halftime when Henrikh Mkhitaryan lifted the ball to Thuram for a cushioned volley at the back post.
It is a rare match that Martinez does not score in and the Argentina World Cup winner netted six minutes from time when he won the ball in midfield and raced forward before unleashing a shot into the bottom left corner from just outside the area.
Luis Muriel netted in stoppage time for Atalanta to win moments after AC Milan captain Davide Calabria was sent off.
Olivier Giroud and substitute Luka Jović canceled two goals from Ademola Lookman and it appeared as if they would end in a draw.
But Milan defender Calabria was sent off in stoppage time for a second booking and Muriel scored the winner soon after to see Atalanta move to within one point of the top four.
Atalanta broke the deadlock seven minutes from halftime when Lookman controlled a ball over the top, forced his way between two players and unleashed an effort that took a huge deflection off Milan defender Fikayo Tomori to loop over goalkeeper Mike Maignan.
Giroud headed in a corner on the stroke of halftime to level but Lookman restored Atalanta’s lead 10 minutes into the second half when he fired in a Charles De Ketelaere cross.
Milan equalized 10 minutes from time. Christian Pulisic rolled the ball across from the left and Giroud got out of the way, allowing Jovic to slot home.
However, after Calabria was sent off in the third minute of stoppage time, Aleksey Miranchuk carved out space on the right and spun around before finding Muriel, who side-footed into the far bottom corner.
FORMER PLAYER SCORES
Lazio could manage only 1-1 at relegation-threatened Hellas Verona despite the capital team dominating and its opponent finishing the match with 10 men.
Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri hit out at talk his team was in crisis after a midweek Italian Cup victory — its third straight win in all competitions.
But Lazio has won only one of its past five league matches and the draw at Verona left it ninth. Verona, which is without a win since August, remained in the bottom three.
Lazio took the lead in Verona with a spectacular goal in the 23rd minute. Following good interplay with Manuel Lazzari on the right, Felipe Anderson rolled the ball across for Mattia Zaccagni to send home with a cheeky, backheeled flick at the near post.
The former Verona player refused to celebrate, and instead waved an apology to the home fans.
Verona leveled with 20 minutes remaining. Tomáš Suslov’s rebound attempt was probably meant to be a shot but turned into an assist that Thomas Henry bundled over the line with his stomach.
Verona was forced to play the final 13 minutes with 10 men after Duda was sent off for a second yellow card.
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