Football News Cristiano Ronaldo rested, Juventus suffer first loss in Serie A season

first_img Milan: Cristiano Ronaldo was rested and Juventus crashed to their first Serie A defeat of the season at Genoa on Sunday following their Champions League heroics, as Inter won a fiery Milan derby clash 3-2 to move into third ahead of city rivals AC Milan. Ronaldo had fired Juventus into the European quarter-finals with a comeback victory over Atletico Madrid last Tuesday. Without him the team slumped to a 2-0 defeat but still remain comfortably on track for an eighth consecutive league title. Juventus’s lead was cut to 15 points by Napoli who got back winning, prevailing 4-2 against Udinese after goalkeeper David Ospina collapsed on the pitch after suffering a head injury. The on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper was later given the all clear following a CT scan at a Naples hospital. Juventus had won 24 of their 27 previous matches in Serie A this season with three draws, including a 1-1 stalemate against Genoa in Turin.     “It’s not a tragedy, but I’m sorry because we wanted to remain unbeaten,” said Allegri. You can’t play all the games at your maximum. The Champions League match certainly weighed heavy.”  It was the first league defeat for Allegri’s side since April 2018 against Napoli, and first away since losing at Sampdoria in November 2017.     ‘Time to unplug’     The Italian champions had already been beaten this season by Atalanta in the Coppa Italia and lost in the Champions League to Young Boys in the group stage and Atletico Madrid in the last-16 first leg. “The defeat could do us good, because maybe we thought we already had the league in our pockets and instead we still have to get five victories,” continued Allegri. “Much like the Coppa Italia defeat to Atalanta, we picked the right game to lose, because it’s just before the break for international duty, so we have time to unplug and rest.”RELATED     Ex-Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro, 26, playing his first game after ten months out with a tendon injury, scored just two minutes after coming off the bench.     Another substitute Goran Pandev sealed victory for Geno with ten minutes to go. “I’m happy for him (Sturaro), because he suffered a lot and today he changed the game,” said Allegri. Napoli, meanwhile, rallied after letting a two-goal lead slip just before Ospina’s frightening collapse. The Colombian international had collided with Udinese striker Ignacio Pussetto minutes into the game, before collapsing just before half-time.     “Fortunately it’s nothing serious, he’s conscious, they did a CT scan that is negative, he’ll remain under observation tonight,” said coach Carlo Ancelotti. Amin Younes curled in his first Serie A goal after 17 minutes, with Jose Callejon connecting with a Dries Mertens cross for the second on 26 minutes. But Kevin Lasagna and Seko Fofana got two past Ospina in a six-minute spell after the half-hour mark as the Colombian looked out-of-sorts after his fourth-minute collision. Alex Meret replaced Ospina with Napoli pulling ahead when Arkadiusz Milik headed in a Callejon corner on 57 minutes, with Mertens sealing the three points on 69 minutes.     Inter edge derby     Amid drama and tension at the San Siro, Inter Milan overtook AC Milan to consolidate their hopes of Champions League football for the first time since 2014, ending Gennaro Gattuso’s unbeaten run going back to December 22. Matias Vecino found a way through after just three minutes at the San Siro, days after his team’s Europa League exit. Stefan de Vrij added the second on 51 minutes and Lautaro Martinez slotted in the third from the penalty spot. For Milan, Tiemoue Bakayoko headed in after 57 minutes with Mateo Musacchio reacting quickly to finish off a rebound (71).     Inter had won the reverse fixture thanks to ex-captain Mauro Icardi’s late winner but the Argentine has not played in over a month amid a contract dispute.     Luciano Spalletti’s side are now two points ahead of Milan. Roma, are fifth, four points adrift of the Champions League places after a 2-1 defeat to SPAL, with Lazio two points behind in sixth after beating Parma 4-1.     Atalanta are equal on points with Lazio after being held 1-1 by bottom club Chievo. highlights Juventus’ last loss was against Napoli in April 2018.Juventus’ last away loss was to Sampdoria in 2017.Juventus’ lead has been cut to 15 points at the top of the Serie A.center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Sark helped by young talent

first_imgUnlike the 2013 season, which was met with anticipation as it saw Lane Kiffin in the hot seat, the 2014 season held candid uncertainty.Before the 2013 season even began, fans were calling for Kiffin’s job. A universal dislike of Kiffin brought the ’SC faithful together more than a shared love for the team.The 62-41 loss to Arizona State that resulted in Kiffin’s legendary 3 a.m. dismissal at LAX, what should have been a low point of the season, seemed to be a turning point for the Trojans. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron took over as interim head coach, and though his record wasn’t perfect, he led the Trojans to an exciting fourth quarter upset over Stanford.The excitement of the Stanford game and Orgeron’s losses, both to competitive opponents UCLA and Notre Dame, had many Trojan fans believing that he would be named head coach. So when Pat Haden opted for Steve Sarkisian over Orgeron, many fans were skeptical.When the 2014 season began, no one knew what to expect of Sark. People liked him more than Kiffin, but weren’t sure if he deserved the job over Coach O. Since becoming a head coach at Washington in 2009, Sark had never won more than nine games in a season. And as the skeptics will remind you, Sark won nine games with the Trojans in 2014.Since the win over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27, the Trojans have lost junior defensive end Leonard Williams, junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor and “redshirt” junior tailback Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen to the NFL.While 2014 had its fair share of struggles and disappointments, the majority occurring in the fourth quarter, the season also highlighted a lot of potential in USC’s underclassmen, who will be ready to lead the Trojans in 2015.Freshman Adoree’ Jackson, a dual threat at wide receiver and cornerback, put the exclamation mark on his impressive freshman season with his performance in the Holiday Bowl. Jackson had a 98-yard kickoff return and 71-yard catch and run for a touchdown. After the game, Sarkisian said that Jackson’s play was reminiscent of Reggie Bush.Another freshman phenom that holds a lot of potential for the Trojans is wide receiver JuJu Smith. Smith had 724 yards and five touchdowns on 54 receptions this season as the number-two receiver behind Agholor. Now that Agholor has left for the NFL, Smith is poised to return as a leader next year.Though USC loses key defensive weapons in Leonard Williams and senior outside linebacker J.R. Tavai, sophomore safety/linebacker Su’a Cravens showed impressive duality in only his second season at USC. Cravens earned All-Pac-12 first-team recognition after the 2014 season, during which he had 68 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, five sacks and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. These returners will be joined by USC’s highly ranked 2015 recruiting class.USC’s four-year probation ended on June 10, and the Holiday Bowl marked the last time that USC will play with a restricted scholarship count due to the NCAA sanctions. The Trojans will have their first full recruiting class since 2011.Sark currently has 21 total commitments out of the maximum 25, 16 of which are verbal. Five players have already signed financial aid agreements and have enrolled for this spring semester. Some of USC’s top 2015 recruits are four-star quarterback Ricky Town, who had previously committed to Alabama; wide receiver Issac Whitney; linebacker Cameron Smith and offensive linemen Chuma Edoga and Roy Hemsley. Sark can sign 19 more recruits on National Signing Day on Feb. 4.These new additions to the team, along with the already present young talent should help Sark compose a winning team in the early post-sanction years.As for 2015, it is likely only the beginning, but the return of quarterback Cody Kessler for his senior season should help Sark break the seasonal nine-win barrier he has struggled to overcome since 2009.Reagan Estes is a sophomore majoring in public relations. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan.last_img read more