Milan (AFP) – Juventus have one hand on a seventh straight Serie A title after Napoli’s title hopes unravelled with a shock 3-0 defeat at Fiorentina.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s sending off and a hat-trick by Fiorentina’s Giovanni Simeone mean Juventus have a four-point lead on Napoli and can wrap up yet another ‘Scudetto’ next weekend.
Here are five talking points after the weekend’s Serie A action in Italy:
Simeone inspired by dad Diego
Argentina forward Simeone’s hat-trick could have cost Napoli the Serie A title. And the 23-year-old revealed his motivation comes from his dad — Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone. “When I want a lift, I look at my dad’s videos and I see all the determination that he put in,” said the 22-year-old who has scored 13 goals in Serie A this season. “My father will be very happy with the hat-trick!” Diego Simeone himself proved a key player in the Serie A title chase during his playing days when his header sparked the comeback that saw Lazio win the title in 2000, and again in 2002 when his side ended Inter’s title bid on the final day of the championship.
Sarri fears fans getting bored
Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri fears that Serie A fans are getting bored as Juventus’ domination looks set to continue just a week after the wild celebrations sparked by his side’s 1-0 win in Turin.
“I must say, seeing the Premier League have this constant alternation of winners every year, it grows the love for teams and makes everyone have hope of success,” said Sarri.
“It’s a different situation here in Italy. The risk is that we’ll lose many fans, because they cheer on teams that will never win.
“The only hope is that in life, everything has to end sometime. Sooner or later, the domination will end.”
Icardi tears as Inter tumble
Captain Mauro Icardi could not hold back the tears as a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at home against Juventus dealt a potentially damaging blow to Inter Milan’s bid to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Argentine Icardi had opened the scoring with his 27th Serie A goal this season putting him just two goals behind Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in the top scorers this season.
Inter are fifth — four points behind Lazio and Roma in third and fourth — and if Luciano Spalletti’s side fail to make the elite European football next season the 100 million euro-valued Icardi could be sold to ease the financial blow.
Immobile record at risk
Lazio striker Ciro Immobile’s bid to finish the season as top Serie A scorer looks doubtful as the 28-year-old looks certain to miss the final three games after picking up a muscular injury in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Torino.
Immobile has scored 29 goals in the league this season — two more than Inter’s Icardi — and six more than he netted last season when he finished sixth on the list which Edin Dzeko led with Roma (29).
Gruesome gash floors Mandzukic
Juventus’ Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic will miss next Saturday’s key clash against Bologna after receiving 10 stitches on a deep gash to his ankle following a tackle that saw Inter Milan’s Matias Vecino sent off in the San Siro.
The Inter midfielder missed the ball completely and stamped on Mandzukic’s ankle, and the Croatian displayed the gruesome gash after the game amid controversy over Vecino’s sending off.