Ibrahimovic and AC Milan almost foiled the predictions in a superb Milan derby, but Inter eventually won 4-2 and joined Juventus at the top of the Italian championship. Inter, Juve, Lazio Rome: the match for three for the title is launched!
Three teams in a single point on the podium, it is the verdict rendered by the 23rd day of Serie A. Inter and Juventus have 54 points but Inter are ahead, with the benefit of a better difference in goals pending the second confrontation between the two teams. And the surprising Lazio is there, just behind, just one point from the giants.
On Saturday, Juventus had been beaten by Hellas Verona (2-1) and had exposed its fragility. Sunday, Lazio first, then Inter, showed that they were ready to seize the opportunity and that they would not spare the eight-time defending champion.
Inter still passed very close to the disaster Sunday evening during the derby. Because for 45 minutes, the nerazzurri underwent the law of Milan and Ibrahimovic.
At 38, the Swede has proven that he is still made for these matches and this level. In the 40th minute, he first "dunked" on the head of Godin to offer the first goal to Rebic. Then five minutes later, isolated at the far post, he scored the 2-0 goal himself.
Inter hadn't existed for 45 minutes but after the break, Antonio Conte's team reversed everything. In two minutes, Brozovic with a beautiful volley from the left (51st) then Vecino (53rd) first reset the counters.
In the 70th minute, it was De Vrij who gave the advantage to the Interistes then in additional time, Lukaku was rewarded for his admirable match with the goal of 4-2.
Meanwhile, we hadn't seen Milan, which slipped to 10th place, except for a header on the post in the 89th minute, signed ... Ibrahimovic of course.
- Naples relapses -
Before this very spectacular Madonnina derby, Lazio had therefore given itself the right to dream by going to beat Parma 1-0 with a goal from Caicedo just before the break.
The Romans have not lost since day 5 and remain on a superb series of 13 wins and two draws in the last 15 games.
And the next few days will be decisive in the title race with next week Lazio-Inter, then Juventus-Inter in three weeks.
"Our rivals are war machines but with that mindset we will go far," said Simone Inzaghi, the Roman coach.
Much lower in the ranking, Naples has plunged back. While two wins in a row had revived the hope of a European qualification, Gennaro Gattuso's team suddenly relapsed with a 3-2 defeat at home against promoted Lecce.
After dropping Juventus (2-1) and Sampdoria Genoa (4-2), Naples could believe in the pass of three against Lecce. But Gattuso had spoken of a trap match and he was not mistaken.
Lapadula scored twice for the Puglia team, now 17th and whose third goal was scored by Mancosu with a superb free kick.
For Naples, Milik tied 1-1 and Callejon reduced the score to 3-2 in extra time. Naples, who ends up 11th, will no doubt regret that Milik did not obtain a penalty which seemed clear enough before the goal of Lecce's 3-1.
In the other matches played on Sunday, Mario Balotelli's Brescia, promoted to captain, took a point against Udinese (1-1) for the debut of his new coach Diego Lopez.
Sassuolo, for his part, won 2-1 on the SPAL field thanks to a last minute goal by former Rennais Boga, author of a superb season.
© 2020 AFP