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Inter Milan beat Juventus 2-0, defending champions slip to fifth in Serie A

Nicolo Barella scored one goal and set up another for former Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal as Inter moved level on points with city rival AC Milan atop the table.

Published: 18th January 2021 09:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2021 09:18 AM   |  A+A-

Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo is tackled by Inter Milan's Arturo Vidal during Serie A. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

MILAN: Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A title was at risk of unraveling after a 2-0 loss at Inter Milan on Sunday.

Nicolo Barella scored one goal and set up another for former Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal as Inter moved level on points with city rival AC Milan atop the table.

Juventus, which has won the Italian league every season since 2011-12, was left in fifth place and seven points behind the leaders — and the deficit could stretch to 10 points if Milan wins at Cagliari on Monday.

In the first matchup between Inter coach Antonio Conte and Juventus counterpart Andrea Pirlo — who played for Conte at Juventus and is coaching for the first time this season at any level — it was the veteran Conte who took home the bragging rights.

Juventus created few chances and never really threatened to get back into the match.

“Our ambitions are unchanged,” Pirlo said. “It’s a misstep against a strong opponent. These things happen. But what I’m disappointed by is the attitude. A side like Juventus must come here with a certain confidence and ambition, the desire to take the initiative and steer the game in a certain direction. But we were too timid.”

Inter took control early on when Vidal leapt over Danilo to head in a cross from Barella.

Having returned to Serie A at the start of this season, it was Vidal’s first goal in the Italian league since his last score for Juventus in 2015.

Inter’s second exposed problems in Juventus’ defense, as Barella ran onto a long through ball from Alessandro Bastoni and sprinted past Gianluca Frabotta and Giorgio Chiellini to finish off a counterattack.

The last time Inter beat Juve without conceding was in April, 2010 — shortly before the Nerazzurri secured their last Serie A title.

“It was important for me and for the squad,” Vidal said. “It was a tough game against the strongest team in Italy. Today we showed that we can fight for the title. It gives us confidence and belief that we can go all the way.”

Key Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt missed the match with the coronavirus, as did Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro.

Juventus doesn’t have much time to regather itself, as it faces Napoli in the Italian Super Cup on Wednesday.
 



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