Live Audience ‘Baby Steps’ Back To Normality For Milan Fashion

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 15, 2020 A model presents a creation by Dolce and Gabbana during the men Spring-Summer 2021 fashion collection shows as part of the Milan Digital Fashion Week at Humanitas university gardens in Rozzano near Milan as the public wears protective masks. – Milan’s men’s fashion week starts again on June 18, 2021 after a year of digital format shows imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, with a “hybrid” formula, between physical and digital shows. (Photo by Céline CORNU / AFP)

 

 

Lights, camera, real live audiences — Milan fashion welcomes back actual people to its shows Friday, a sign the industry is ready to start turning the page on virtual formats adopted during the pandemic.

The numbers are still modest, with only Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and Etro inviting an audience to their men’s Spring/Summer 2022 collections.

“This is the dress rehearsal of the return to normalcy,” Federica Trotta Mureau, editor of the Italian fashion magazine Mia Le Journal, told AFP.

The shows represent baby steps but the effect of the live events, instead of the video presentations or short films relied on since early last year when coronavirus cut short the twice-yearly shows in Italy’s business capital, would still be appreciated, Mureau said.

“The lights that go out and come back on, the music that sounds as soon as the first models come out… it’s an emotion that digital cannot give us,” she said.

Armani was the first in late May to announce the return of the public, after being the first to shut them out in February 2020.

“I’m scared, like everyone else I think,” 86-year-old Giorgio Armani said as the pandemic swept through Italy last year.

– Goodbye dull shades –
The bulk of the 47 fashion shows taking place over five days will remain digital.

The president of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion, Carlo Capasa, called it “an important signal of recovery” that the government granted its request to allow in-person shows after June 15.

After months of stop-start measures, coronavirus restrictions in most of Italy have now been lifted thanks to falling infection rates, although masks are still compulsory in public and social distancing must be respected.

Capasa has estimated sales for the Italian fashion market will rise 17 percent this year to 80 billion euros ($95 billion), driven mostly by growth in China. Exports of “Made in Italy” fashion are expected to rise by 13 percent.

But only in 2022 will the country’s fashion industry regain its pre-pandemic levels, especially since orders during the first months of 2021 have fallen below expectations.

Last year, revenue fell by 26 percent for the Italian industry, as stores shuttered and well-heeled tourists stayed home.

So what will Milan’s men be wearing next year?

After the grey winter and the gloom of the pandemic, colours found in nature such as light green, ocean blue, terracotta, sunshine yellow or fire red should prevail, according to Mureau.

“Goodbye to sober colours and too punishing looks, the summer of 2022 in men’s fashion will be marked by colour and exaggeration!” she predicted.

Title-Winning Conte Says ‘Ciao’ As Inter Milan Dream Ends In Cash Row

From L) Inter Milan’s Vice-President Javier Zanetti, Inter Milan’s President Steven Zhang, Inter Milan’s Italian coach Antonio Conte, Inter Milan’s Sports Coordinator Gabriele Oriali and Inter Milan’s CEO Giuseppe Marotta hold the Scudetto Trophy as Inter players and staff celebrate winning the Serie A 2020-2021 championship after their last Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Udinese on May 23, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

 

Antonio Conte parted company with Inter Milan on Wednesday just days after lifting their first Serie A title in 11 years amid clashes with the club’s cash-strapped Chinese owners on the way forward.

The ambitious Italian refused Suning’s planned cost-cutting which would have prevented him from building the team he wanted to challenge at home and in Europe.

The former Chelsea and Juventus boss took over in May 2019 on a three-year contract worth a reported 12 million euros ($14 million) annually.

But the 51-year-old leaves the San Siro one year early, Inter confirming “an agreement has been reached with Antonio Conte for the termination of his contract by mutual consent”.

Inter Milan’s Italian coach Antonio Conte shouts instructions during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Udinese on May 23, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

“Antonio Conte will forever remain a part of our club’s history,” the statement added.

Severing Conte’s contract has cost the club a reported seven million euros ($8.5 million), while his final year’s salary would have been around 12 million.

As part of the deal Conte will not be allowed to coach another Serie A club next season, according to reports.

Among the names being touted to replace him are Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi and former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has also been linked with a return to the Turin club.

For Conte, future destinations could include Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid.

‘Like a war zone’

A demanding coach, whose training sessions were described by Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku as ‘like a war zone,’ Conte leaves Inter at the summit of Serie A, a feat last achieved by Jose Mourinho, who won the treble with the club in 2010.

It was a fifth league title for Conte having won three with Juventus between 2012 and 2014 and the Premier League with Chelsea in 2018.

But tensions had been ongoing, having already threatened to leave last summer after losing the Europa League final to Sevilla and finishing second in the league to Juventus.

Despite a second Champions League group stage exit this season Inter clinched their 19th Scudetto with a 12-point lead on AC Milan and with four games remaining.

“This is one of the most important successes of my career,” Conte said.

“Deciding to join Inter was not easy, the team was not equipped to win immediately.

“Furthermore, the opponent was Juventus for whom I had worked for a long time. Today we can say that our sacrifices have paid off.”

Conte rebuilt the ‘Nerazzurri,’ getting the best out of players including former Manchester United star Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella, while others like Christian Eriksen and Ivan Perisic overcame initial difficulties to adapt to Conte’s style.

Captain Samir Handanovic and Lukaku both paid tribute to Conte on social media.

“You came at the right time and basically changed me as a player and made me even stronger mentally,” said Lukaku, Inter’s top scorer the past two seasons.

“Winning is all that matters to you. Thank you for all you did. I owe you a lot.”

Slovenian Handanovic, 36, who won his first trophy after nine years with the club, added: “You were the one who always raised the bar and put the right pressure on everyone… the one who made the difference. Thanks mister.”

Financial woes

Inter registered losses of 100 million euros ($122 million) last season mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Suning Group shut down their Chinese club Jiangsu FC in February months after winning the Chinese Super League title.

Five days ago, Inter secured a cash injection worth 275 million euros with US investment firm Oaktree, in the form of a loan reported to be over three years.

In this context, Suning wants to save as much as possible both on the purchase of new players and salaries, and possibly selling those with the highest value, an approach unacceptable for Conte.

Conte’s three-year spell at Juventus remains the longest of a career already spanning seven clubs, and the Italian national team.

He took Bari and Siena into Serie A, began Juventus’ nine-year domination of the Italian top-flight, guided an unfancied Italy to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and won the Premier League in his first season at Chelsea.

But he has never tasted European success, falling short with both Juventus and Chelsea before his near-miss with Inter.

AFP

Ronaldo Overtakes Pele, Tops World Goalscoring List

 

Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at his critics with a quick-fire hat-trick as Juventus brushed aside Cagliari 3-1 on Sunday, five days after their Champions League elimination, while Inter Milan moved nine points clear at the Serie A summit.

Portuguese star Ronaldo bore the brunt of the criticism for Juve’s latest European flop after failing to score in either leg of the last-16 defeat by Porto, while also being partly at fault for what proved to be the goal that knocked them out.

But the 36-year-old scored a header in the 10th minute at the Sardegna Arena, added a second from the penalty spot 15 minutes later, and completed a ‘perfect’ treble on 31 minutes with a fine left-footed strike.

Defending champions Juventus are 10 points behind leaders Inter Milan, who beat Torino 2-1 earlier Sunday, but with a game in hand.

Andrea Pirlo’s side pulled just one point behind second-placed AC Milan, whose title hopes took a big hit following a 1-0 home defeat to Napoli.

“Our approach was spot on and it was important to get off on the right foot after being knocked out the other night,” said Pirlo.

“Ronaldo was angry like the rest of the team. He reacted like a true champion.”

He could also have been sent off after a quarter of an hour, receiving only a yellow card for dangerous play as his boot struck Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno in the face while attempting to meet a Federico Chiesa cross.

Ronaldo is the leading scorer in Serie A with 23 goals this season, ahead of Inter’s Romelu Lukaku, who has 19.

His career tally is now 770 goals, overtaking Brazil legend Pele’s 767 scored in official matches which he matched earlier this month.

Before kick-off, Juventus chief football officer Fabio Paratici dismissed talk about Ronaldo’s future with the club.

“It makes me laugh. I would never have imagined discussing the value of Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Paratici.

“It’s a privilege to have him with us, he’s part of our future.”

Inter pull clear of Milan

Lautaro Martinez scored a brilliant 85th-minute winner in a tight game against 18th-placed Torino to keep Inter on track for a first league title since 2010.

Antonio Conte’s Inter once again needed their strike duo of Lukaku and Martinez to find a way to win in Turin.

Christian Eriksen came off the bench on 56 minutes and had an immediate impact, playing a part in the move which resulted in Torino defender Armando Izzo fouling Martinez in the penalty area.

Lukaku fired home the resulting spot-kick in the 62nd minute.

Inter looked to be wobbling when Antonio Sanabria pulled Torino level eight minutes later, finishing off goalmouth scramble.

But Martinez snatched the victory by getting his head to an Alexis Sanchez cross for his 14th league goal this term.

Inter stretched their winning run to eight matches to move further ahead of AC Milan.

“Victories like these are crucial,” said Inter assistant coach Cristian Stellini, with Conte serving a touchline ban.

AC Milan’s hopes of a first title since 2011 diminished as they failed to win for their third consecutive game at the San Siro, days before they host Manchester United in their last 16 Europa League decider.

Matteo Politano scored the only goal just after the break with Milan finishing the game a man down after Ante Rebic was sent off in injury time for arguing with officials.

Napoli’s Champions League hopes have been revived as they move above Roma into fifth before the two sides play next weekend after the capital side fell 2-0 at 19th-ranked Parma.

Valentin Mihaila opened the scoring on nine minutes with Hernani added a second from the spot to snap Parma’s 17-match winless run.

AFP

Inter Beat Juventus To Move Level With Leaders Milan

 

 

Inter Milan beat champions Juventus 2-0 to move level on points with Serie A leaders AC Milan on Sunday, boosting their hopes of a first league title since 2010.

Arturo Vidal got his head to a Nicolo Barella cross after 12 minutes for his first league goal for Inter Milan against his former club.

Barella added the second six minutes after the break as Inter claimed a first win over Juventus since September 2016, ending a series of seven matches without a win.

Inter are equal on 40 points with local rivals Milan, who travel to Cagliari on Monday, with Juventus fifth, seven points behind the Milan teams with a game in hand.

For Inter coach Antonio Conte it was a first win in four meetings against the club he led to the first three of their current run of nine consecutive league titles.

Inter Held At Roma To Leave Juventus Closer To Serie A Title

 

Inter Milan missed a chance to keep the pressure on Juventus after being held 2-2 at Roma on Sunday, leaving the way clear for the Turin giants to close in on a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Romelu Lukaku’s penalty two minutes from time rescued a point for Antonio Conte’s Inter, who are second, five points behind Juventus.

Juve can open up an eight-point lead on the top of the table when they host fourth-placed Lazio on Monday.

Stefan De Vrij had got Inter off the mark at the Stadio Olimpico when he headed home an Alexis Sanchez corner after 14 minutes.

But Roma captain Edin Dzeko set up Leonardo Spinazzola for the equalizer in first-half stoppage time and was again involved when Henrikh Mkhitaryan got the second in the 57th minute.

Lukaku came off the bench and scored from the spot late after Spinazzola fouled Victor Moses.

It was a stalemate that does little to help either team and boosts Juventus’ chances of extending their record Serie A run.

“We have to get used to playing these big games with so much pressure, which is something Inter have lost in recent years,” said Conte, whose side have not won Serie A since 2010, when they won the treble under Jose Mourinho.

“I can’t blame my players for anything, today we faced a team in good shape,” he continued.

“Our team is doing excellent things. Beyond the second place, we are into the Champions League.”

Inter cannot be caught by Roma, who are fifth and nine points adrift of the Champions League places, 14 behind Inter with four matches to play.

They are one point ahead of third-placed Atalanta, who have also qualified for Europe’s top competition after Inter’s draw in the Italian capital.

Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso was unhappy with the league’s tight schedule as his side beat Udinese 2-1.

Napoli are two points behind Roma in sixth after Matteo Politano blasted in the winner five minutes into injury time to snatch all three points.

“It was an important victory even if now we’re playing another sport which worries me,” said Gattuso.

“This is not football. Playing every three days and without fans is something different, the players are not robots.”

Gattuso’s side are out of the running for the Champions League next season but are preparing to meet Barcelona in the second leg of their last 16 tie in this year’s edition, with both sides locked at 1-1.

SPAL return to Serie B

At the bottom of the table Brescia, in 19th, won 2-1 to condemn SPAL to a return to Serie B after two seasons in the top flight.

In another relegation dogfight, Genoa beat Lecce 2-1 to move four points clear of the southerners who occupy the final relegation spot.

Genoa are four points behind Torino, who lost 2-0 at Fiorentina.

City rivals Sampdoria are on the brink of securing Serie A survival after staging a thrilling comeback from two goals down to win 3-2 at Parma.

Fabio Quagliarella scored one and set up Federico Bonazzoli for the winner as Claudio Ranieri’s side won a third consecutive match for the first time this season.

Ranieri, who memorably guided outsiders Leicester City to the 2016 English Premier League title, took over last October with the club sitting bottom of the table.

But they have come back strong after the coronavirus lockdown, winning five of their last six games and are 12 points above the drop zone with four games left.

Parma were two goals ahead at half-time thanks to Gervinho and an own goal from Samp goalkeeper Bartosz Bereszynski.

But Julian Chabot pulled one back with his head two minutes after the break before Fabio Quagliarella curled in his 11th of the season with 21 minutes and teed up Federico Bonazzoli for the winner with 12 minutes to go.

Sampdoria move ahead of Parma into 12th position as Roberto D’Aversa’s side, who had been targeting the Europa League places earlier this season, slumped to their sixth defeat in seven games.

Juventus Beat Inter To Go Top After Coronavirus Chaos

 

Aaron Ramsey starred as Juventus beat title rivals Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to reclaim top spot in Serie A in a game played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier in the day, Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora called for the league season to be put on hold.

His statement caused chaos at the early game between SPAL and Parma, with confused players sent back to the dressing rooms from the tunnel before eventually taking to the field 75 minutes after the scheduled kick-off.

Juventus’ game against Inter in Turin did go ahead, although in an empty Allianz Stadium, with the defending champions taking a one-point lead over Lazio at the top of the table.

READ ALSO: Madrid’s ‘Worst Game Of Season’ In Betis Defeat, Lets Barca Back In

Juve coach Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sport Italia that he “doesn’t know what is the right thing to do” when it comes to the thorny question of cancelling matches.

“What have to I ask is whether it’s right to take away two hours of enjoyment from those who are stuck indoors or if there really is a serious risk for the players and staff, I just don’t know the answer to those questions,” said the 61-year-old.

On the game itself, he added: “This is an important victory, but there are still 12 games to go, so it’s a long road ahead.

“It’s very positive that we barely allowed a quality side like Inter a single shot on goal.”

Antonio Conte’s third-placed Inter are now nine points adrift, but with a game in hand on Juve and Lazio.

Douglas Costa went closest in a tight first half, but was denied by an excellent save from Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.

The hosts broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the break, as Cristiano Ronaldo got to a low ball first inside the box, with it then falling kindly for Ramsey to sweep a low shot into the net from close range.

It was the Wales midfielder’s fourth goal of the season after joining Juve from Arsenal last year.

The 29-year-old created his side’s second goal 12 minutes later, playing a neat one-two with Paulo Dybala, who wriggled clear of two defenders and fired home.

Inter substitute Christian Eriksen went close to pulling one back when he drilled a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Things went from bad to worse for the away side when Daniele Padelli, sitting on the substitutes’ bench, was shown a red card for dissent.

‘FIGC should consider stopping Serie A’

The climax of the season remains uncertain, though, after a deadly outbreak of the new coronavirus in Italy which has claimed the lives of over 350 people.

Italians woke up to discover the entire Lombardy region around Milan and other parts of the north in which a quarter of all Italians live — and most big teams play — under lockdown.

Italian Footballers’ Association president Damiano Tommasi tweeted that “stopping football is the most useful thing for our country right now”.

“The teams to cheer are playing in our hospitals, in emergency rooms,” Tommasi wrote.

Spadafora quickly sounded his own support for the idea of suspending the season right away.

“The FIGC (Italian Football Federation) should consider immediately STOPPING Serie A,” Spadafora wrote on Facebook.

Elsewhere on the pitch, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s fourth goal since returning to AC Milan could not prevent the seven-time European champions from slipping to a 2-1 loss at home to struggling Genoa.

Milan remain seventh, three points off a Europa League place.

SPAL edged out Parma 1-0 in the delayed early match to boost their slim survival chances, while Sampdoria moved out of the bottom three by beating Verona 2-1.

Delta, American Airlines Suspend Several Flights Over Coronavirus

FILES) In this file photo taken on February 21, 2013, a Delta Airlines jet takes off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  KAREN BLEIER / AFP

 

Delta Airlines and American Airlines are temporarily suspending some flights between US airports and Milan because of the spread of the novel coronavirus in parts of Italy, the two carriers announced.   

Delta is suspending flights between New York’s busy John F. Kennedy International Airport and Milan Malpensa, the largest airport in northern Italy and a major hub for Alitalia, the airline said in a statement Sunday.

Delta’s last New York-to-Milan flight will take off Monday, while the last flight in the opposite direction is scheduled for Tuesday. Service is set to resume on May 1 or 2.

Delta added that flights between Rome and Atlanta were not affected.

American Airlines said late Saturday that it was suspending service between New York and Milan as well as between Miami and Milan until April 25, citing a “reduction in demand.”

Both airlines said passengers will have a choice of rebooking on a later flight or being reimbursed.

US authorities on Saturday asked Americans not to travel to the areas in Italy and South Korea hardest-hit by the virus.

Both Delta and American, as well as the third big US carrier, United Airlines, had previously reduced or suspended service to China, where the epidemic broke out in late December, as well as to several other Asian countries.

As of Sunday at 17h00 GMT, the number of cases of coronavirus in the world stood at 88,257, including 2,996 deaths, in 66 countries and territories, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.

Italy has reported 1,694 cases and 34 deaths. The biggest cluster of cases is in the Lombardy region in the country’s north.

AFP

Two Dead As Train Derails Near Milan

 

Two people were killed and about 30 injured on Thursday when a high-speed train derailed near Milan in northern Italy, Italian media said.

READ ALSO: Three Dead, Scores Hurt, In Turkey Plane Accident

The accident occurred near the town of Lodi, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Milan. The two people killed were rail workers on the train, the media said.

AFP

Victor Moses Signs For Inter Milan On Loan

 

 

 

Victor Moses has signed for Inter Milan on loan from Chelsea, the Serie A club announced on Thursday, reuniting the Nigeria international with former Blues coach Antonio Conte.

In a statement, Inter said that Moses — who moved to Chelsea in 2012 and has spent long periods on loan since — arrived in Milan on a deal that gives the title chasers an option to buy, although the club did not specify the length of the loan.

By moving to Inter, Moses rejoins coach Conte, who won the Premier League and FA Cup in his two-year spell in London and was a big fan of the 29-year-old wing-back.

“Having the opportunity to work with the coach again is something I’m really happy about,” Moses said to the club website.

“I’ve spoken to him and he’s already explained the club’s project to me. I want to be part of it, I’m happy to be here. I’ll give my all and want to help the team.”

Milan-based Gazzetta Dello Sport reported that Moses has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract worth 2.5 million euros ($2.76 million) a season, with a fee of 12 million euros set should Inter wish to make the deal permanent.

Moses’ arrival is the second deal Inter have struck this transfer window after bringing in England international Ashley Young from Manchester United earlier this month.

Inter are also in the hunt for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, with the Gazzetta reporting on Thursday that the prospective sale of Italy international Matteo Politano to Napoli would liberate funds to buy the Dane, whose contract with Spurs runs out in the summer.

Ronaldo Brace Pulls Juventus Clear As Inter Stalled In Lecce

 

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Juventus beat Parma 2-1 to pull four points clear of Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table on Sunday.

Inter’s title push hit another stumbling block after a 1-1 draw at lowly Lecce while Ante Rebic fired city rivals AC Milan to a last gasp 3-2 win over Udinese.

Ronaldo broke through just before the break, to score in a seventh consecutive league game, and almost set up a second just after for Aaron Ramsey, but the Welsh international rattled the post.

Andreas Cornelius scored with a towering header to get seventh-placed Parma back level ten minutes after the break.

But the visitors hardly had time to celebrate when Ronaldo broke through again after latching onto a Paulo Dybala cross for his 11th goal in seven games to bring his league tally this season to 16.

The eight-time reigning champions have a four-point cushion on Inter, who have won only two of their last six league games, and are now also under threat from Lazio, who are just two points behind with a game in hand after hammering Sampdoria 5-1 on Saturday.

Antonio Conte’s side had looked set to take maximum points from his hometown team, where he started his footballing career in the 1980s, when Alessandro Bastoni headed the away side in front with 18 minutes remaining.

But Marco Mancosu grabbed a precious point for the southerners five minutes after going behind.

“For me there’s always great emotion,” said Conte of his return to Lecce.

“Coming back to the Stadio Via del Mare means going back 30-35 years.

“I spent my childhood as a ball boy here. There will always be this attachment, but I am a professional and I try to do this job better.”

Lecce — just one point above the relegation zone — were coming off a four-match losing streak, but had held Juventus by the same scoreline back in October.

“Congratulations to them, even if conceding this goal leaves a bitter taste in the mouth,” added Conte.

Ibrahimovic boost

Croatian forward Rebic hit a brace, including the stoppage time winner, against Udinese that snatched a dramatic win that gave troubled AC Milan back-to-back league victories and moved them up to eighth, two points from the Europa League spots.

Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic got his first start at the San Siro after scoring last weekend at Cagliari.

The 38-year-old Swede did not get to celebrate in front of the home crowd but he has provided a confidence-boost for the seven-time European champions, who have taken seven points in three matches since his return.

“The arrival of Ibrahimovic has given us even more depth and conviction, which has helped us,” said coach Stefano Pioli.

Former Liverpool and Chelsea attacker Fabio Borini, who left Milan on Tuesday, scored his first goal on his debut for new club Hellas Verona in a 1-1 draw at Bologna that leaves them a further two points.

In the race for the Champions League, Roma bounced back from back-to-back league defeats with a 3-1 win over struggling Genoa that put them back in the top four, three points in front of fifth-placed Atalanta ahead of their match with SPAL on Monday.

Cengiz Under opened the scoring after just five minutes and the match looked as good as won a minute before the break when a cross from Leonardo Spinazzola — whose move to Inter broke down midweek — bounced in off Genoa’s David Biraschi.

Former Lazio striker Goran Pandev quickly pulled a goal back but Edin Dzeko had the last word with 16 minutes to go, pouncing on a error from goalkeeper Mattia Perin to send Genoa below Brescia into penultimate position.

Mario Balotelli came on late for lowly Brescia and was sent off just seven minutes later in a 2-2 draw against sixth-placed Cagliari.

The Italy forward entered the field in the 74th minute, but received a yellow card for a foul on Fabio Pisacane before picking up a second when he turned to argue with the referee.

Ronaldo Leaves Stadium Before Final Whistle After Being Substituted

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) goes directly to the changing rooms after being substituted during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs AC Milan on November 10, 2019 at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly left the Allianz Stadium before the final whistle of Juventus’ 1-0 Serie A win over AC Milan on Sunday after being substituted for the second match in a week.

Paulo Dybala replaced Ronaldo on 55 minutes with the Argentina striker going on to score the winning goal 22 minutes later to keep Juventus top in Serie A ahead of Inter Milan.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo looked glum as he came off and directed some words at coach Maurizio Sarri before heading to the changing rooms and Sky Sport Italia reported that the 34-year-old had left the stadium three minutes before the match finished.

However Sarri said he did not know whether Ronaldo had left the stadium early.

READ ALSO: Dybala keeps Juventus At Serie A Summit, Lazio And Cagliari Into Top Four

“Disrespectful to his teammates? Like I said, I don’t know,” Sarri said. “If it’s true that he left before the end it is a problem to be resolved with his teammates.”

“I have no problem with Cristiano, he should be thanked because he made himself available despite not being in the best condition,” said Sarri.

“In the last month he has had discomfort in his knee and this is a little problem for him.”

Ronaldo had reacted furiously after been substituted in his team’s 2-1 win against Lokomotiv Moscow midweek which saw Juventus advance to the Champions League last 16.

“The important thing is that he made himself available. If he gets angry when he comes out this is part of the game,” continued the Juventus coach.

“It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated about leaving the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.

“All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would in general be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset.”

Dybala keeps Juventus At Serie A Summit, Lazio And Cagliari Into Top Four

Juventus’ Argentine forward Paulo Dybala celebrates after opening the scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs AC Milan on November 10, 2019 at the Juventus Allianz stadium in Turin. Marco Bertorello / AFP

 

 

Paulo Dybala struck the decisive goal in Juventus’ 1-0 win over AC Milan on Sunday after replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus stayed top of Serie A, while Lazio and Cagliari moved into the Champions League places.

Argentine forward Dybala hit the winner in the 77th minute in the Allianz Stadium having taken the place of Ronaldo 20 minutes earlier.

Defending champions Juventus maintain their one-point lead over Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan who had taken pole position after their 2-1 win over Verona on Saturday.

AC Milan’s seventh defeat in 12 games saw Stefano Pioli’s side drop to 14th position, just four points above the relegation zone.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo Leaves Stadium Before Final Whistle After Being Substituted

However Milan had threatened as the former European giants chased their first win against Juventus in Turin in eight years.

Wojciech Szczesny was kept busy in the Juventus goal, denying fellow Pole Krzysztof Piatek, Lucas Paqueta and Hakan Calhanoglu.

Blaise Matuidi missed Juventus’s best chance before Dybala’s winner when his powerful curling effort flew wide just after the break.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who had also been taken off during the midweek Champions League win over Lokomotiv Moscow, reportedly left the stadium before the end of the game after being substituted on 55 minutes.

Douglas Costa also came on for Federico Bernardeschi after an hour, with the two substitutions changing the game for the champions.

Gonzalo Higuain fed Dybala, who easily shook off Alessio Romagnoli to beat Donnarumma and claim his third league goal this season.

“Cristiano should be thanked because he made himself available despite not being in optimal conditions,” said Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri.

“In the last month he has had this discomfort in his knee and this a little problem for him.

“It’s only natural a player is going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.”

Returning hero Nainggolan

Behind the leaders, Lazio and Cagliari moved into the top four after goal-packed wins.

Lazio saw off newly-promoted Lecce 4-2, while surprise package Cagliari continued their superb form with a 5-2 rout of Fiorentina.

The two teams are level on 24 points, eight behind Juventus with Lazio ahead of the Sardinians on goal difference.

Lazio’s Argentine forward Joaquin Correa hit a brace either side of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s strike, with Serie A top-scorer Ciro Immobile slotting in a penalty at the Stadio Olimpico.

Cagliari, who battled relegation last season, have been in superb form since Radja Nainggolan returned to the Sardinian outfit after five years away, including a difficult season at Inter Milan last term.

The Belgian contributed three assists and capped a stellar performance with the fifth goal of the game on 65 minutes.

Fiorentina are struggling without Franck Ribery who is serving a three-match ban for pushing an official.

Nainggolan set up Mark Rog for the opener on 17 minutes, with Fabio Pisacane nodding in the second less than ten minutes later.

The 31-year-old was involved again in Giovanni Simeone’s third goal against the Argentinian forward’s parent club, as well as Joao Pedro’s effort 10 minutes after the break, before blasting in his second goal of the campaign from distance.

He was given a standing ovation when substituted in the 78th minute.

“We are doing something extraordinary,” said Nainggolan whose side are unbeaten in 10 games, which include seven victories and three draws.

“Nobody would have said at the beginning of the year that we could play so well,” said the Belgian.

“There is an enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen at Cagliari for years.”

Atalanta lost ground in the league days after their 1-1 draw against Manchester City thanks to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Sampdoria.

The Bergamo side are winless in three league games and played the last 15 minutes in Genoa a man down after Ruslan Malinovskiy was sent off for a second yellow card.

Paulo Fonseca’s injury-depleted Roma also showed signs of fatigue after their Europa League defeat in Germany, falling 2-0 at Parma and dropping down to sixth.

Parma pulled through thanks to a Mattia Sprocati strike on 68 minutes and Andreas Cornelius finding a way through deep into injury time.